EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After Phil Jackson criticized his hands, Shane Larkin responded by pointing his fingers.
Earlier this summer, Jackson said to Charley Rosen that Larkin, who was under contract with the New York Knicks at the time, would likely not return on another contract.
“Shane mainly wants to get his shot off a high screen-roll situation when he should be pushing the ball and getting his shots in an open floor,” Jackson said. “Another problem is that he can’t control the ball because he has such tiny hands. For sure, every team needs a small, quick guard, but there are a lot of guys like that available.”
But Larkin, attending the official Brooklyn Nets media day as the team’s de facto backup point guard, swiftly dismissed Jackson’s criticism with a few cracks.
“I was going to palm a ball and put it on Instagram for him, but I felt like that wasn’t the right move,” Larkin said. “I never met a man so concerned with another man’s hands, but it’s all good.”
He added that he had “nothing but love for Phil Jackson and that whole organization,” even if his comments had a little love lost.
At 5’11”, Larkin is an undersized NBA point guard who makes up for his lack of size with quickness, and has yet to stick on an NBA roster. After falling to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2013 NBA Draft, Larkin spent his first year with the Dallas Mavericks before getting traded to the Knicks. But Larkin, a pick-and-roll heavy point guard when he played at Miami University, struggled with Jackson’s famed Triangle offense, which limits the role of a point guard. He averaged 6.2 points and 3.0 assists in 24.5 minutes a game in New York.
Still, he wasn’t surprised by what Jackson said.
“He’s old school,” Larkin said Monday. “He’s blatant about what he says, and he knows what he wants, and obviously he has the jewelry to say what he’s got to say. So he’s proven that he’s a great leader, and if that’s what he feels about me, that’s what he feels about me. I’m not on his team no more, so he don’t have to worry about it.”
The Nets also signed one former Knicks player — Andrea Bargnani, who Jackson also criticized. Bargnani declined to talk about Jackson’s comments.