Shane Larkin turned down big EuroLeague money to land a spot with the Celtics

After a year in which he made Spanish club Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz look like the 2013 Miami Hurricanes, Shane Larkin is heading back to the NBA.

The 5-11 (maybe) point guard and son of Cincinnati Reds great Barry Larkin signed a one-year guaranteed contract with the Boston Celtics back on July 20.

The deal is for the league minimum, and because he’s already spent three years on an NBA roster, he’ll make $1.5 million.

Larkin was among EuroLeague’s assists leaders last season (5.7 per game) and led Baskonia to the EuroLeague playoffs, where they lost in three straight games to Nando De Colo, Milos Teodosic and CSKA Moscow.

He was expected to be one of Europe’s top free agents, and probably left a lot of money on the table to return to the NBA.

“It really just came down to where I wanted to be, and what I wanted for my career,” Larkin told HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy in his recent podcast. “I think I can be a great player in the NBA. I think I have the talent, the ambition, the drive, the motivation to be a great player.”

“If I had the chance to come over and play with a good team and put myself in a winning culture, that would be a much better situation than for me to go back overseas and make more money, be the man of the team, shoot, do whatever I wanted to do within the team rules and have a bigger role. But I feel like I can work my behind off and become a significant player in the NBA. The only way that’s going to happen is if you’re actually in the NBA, and that’s why I signed with Boston.”

Check out the full podcast here.

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