Shane Larkin

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Shane Larkin details his OCD, washing his hands to the point of bloodiness

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Many people describe themselves as OCD.

Far fewer actually have obsessive-compulsive disorder, a clinically diagnosable condition.

Dealing with OCD can be exhausting, isolating and downright terrifying. Shane Larkin – who has played for the Mavericks, Knicks, Nets and Celtics while bouncing between the NBA and Europe – opened up about his experience with the condition.

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN:

SHANE LARKIN OPENS his eyes, sits up and embarks on his own tortured version of “Groundhog Day.” He grabs the remote, clicks on SportsCenter and hops out of bed to wait for his “number.” He is 8 years old, and every morning presents a new set of unpredictable parameters that are purely arbitrary. As he starts to get dressed for school — a ritual that can last a few minutes or sometimes hours, depending on the number for the day — he notices an image of Ray Allen flickering on his television screen. Allen, it seems, hit eight 3-pointers in a game the night before. Suddenly, a sensory message makes a beeline for Shane’s brain and informs him of the number for the day: eight.

“And then I know,” Larkin tells ESPN, “that I have to wash my hands eight times.”

After scrubbing fastidiously, Larkin carefully picks out his clothes. But if his shorts touch the carpet by mistake, he not only has to toss them in the hamper and replace them with new ones, he must retreat to the bathroom again to wash his hands.

Eight times.

From there, Larkin attempts to navigate breakfast in a kitchen that is a cauldron of potential germs. He engages in a deft obstacle course as he sidesteps errant spills, a soggy sponge, a dirty dish. As he approaches the front door, with seconds to spare before he misses the bus (again), the family dog patters up to him, tail wagging, and licks his hand. Larkin has no choice: He heads back to the bathroom for eight more cleansings. By the end of the day, his hands are so raw from the obsessive washing, he falls into bed with bloody open sores.

I can barely imagine living that way for one day. Larkin did it every day.

Interestingly, Larkin said his OCD never affected him on the basketball court – a sweaty, physical, grimy place. But he couldn’t spend his entire life on the court.

He tried medication, but that didn’t work for him. Tough love from his father, baseball great Barry Larkin, didn’t help, either. Through meditation and other relaxation techniques, Shane Larkin has learned reduce the stress that worsened his OCD.

Larkin is not alone, and him telling his story will provide hope for others with the same condition. Like Kevin Love, DeMar DeRozan and several other NBA players recently, Larkin is showing courage by coming forward. His story could be ridiculed by the ignorant, but it will also help people.

Report: Celtics signing EuroLeague point guard Brad Wanamaker

AP Photo/Bob Leverone

The Celtics are loaded at point guard.

Maybe even too loaded.

But that won’t necessarily remain the situation.

This offseason, Marcus Smart will be a restricted free agent, Terry Rozier extension-eligible and Shane Larkin an unrestricted free agent. Kyrie Irving will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. As much as Boston wants to keep everyone, that might not be feasible.

So, it’s time to add more cheap talent

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe:

Wanamaker went undrafted out of Pittsburgh in 2011. He has since plays in the D-League and overseas, developing into an NBA-caliber player.

The Celtics did well signing Daniel Theis from Europe last year. I’d bet on their foreign scouting paying off again.

The bigger question: What happens with the players currently ahead of Wanamaker on the depth chart? It’d be easy enough for Wanamaker to take Larkin’s job, but are Irving, Smart and/or Rozier also on the move?

Celtics PG Shane Larkin out for ‘foreseeable future’

AP Photo/Matt Slocum
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With Celtics Kyrie Irving injured, Boston moved Terry Rozier into the starting lineup and Shane Larkin into the rotation.

Now, the Celtics must make do without Larkin.


It’s foreseeable the Celtics, up 3-1, beat the 76ers in Game 5 tonight and advance. So, it seems unlikely Larkin will be ready for (at least the start of) the conference finals if Boston gets there.

Rozier has stepped up after a promising regular season. But he’s already playing 37 minutes per game in the playoffs. How many more can he handle?

Expect Marcus Smart to spend more time at point guard. He’s still needed plenty at shooting guard with Jaylen Brown on a minute restriction, but Smart will have to pull double duty.

Boston with Smart at point guard in the regular season:

  • Offensive rating: 100.3 (bad)
  • Defensive rating: 91.5 (great)
  • Net rating: +8.8 (good)

This makes sense. Smart is an excellent defender, and using him at point guard allows the Celtics to put another bigger, better defender on the court. Smart’s lackluster scoring hurts more when the ball is in his hands more.

Larkin’s injury means Boston loses to ability to selectively deploy Smart at point guard, as the Celtics could during the regular season, probably boosting their numbers with him there.

Facing even more injury woes, Boston must just use its dwindling supply of players and hope for the best.

Celtics: Kyrie Irving out 4-5 months

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Update: Celtics release:

This Saturday, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving will undergo a procedure to remove two screws implanted in his left patella after the patellar fracture he suffered during the NBA Finals in 2015. Following a mid-March procedure to remove a tension wire that had been implanted at the same time as the screws, pathology indicated the presence of a bacterial infection at the site of the hardware. To ensure that no infection remains in the knee, the screws will be removed. The fracture in Irving’s patella has completely healed, and his knee remains structurally sound. He is expected to make a full recovery in 4-5 months.

Turns out, he’ll miss the entire postseason.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

This is devastating to Boston, which falls from a legitimate Eastern Conference challenger to a team susceptible to losing in the first round. The Celtics will still probably finish with the No. 2 seed, but without Irving, they’re not necessarily better than the Heat, Bucks or Wizards – potential first-round foes.

Irving joins Gordon Hayward and Daniel Theis as Boston players listed as done for the season. Like with Hayward, rumors could still emerge about Irving returning if the Celtics advance far enough. Today’s leak could be about Boston trying to preemptively shut down speculation and questions about Irving’s availability. But winning a series or two obviously becomes far more difficult without those stars.

This also opens the door to questions about Irving’s long-term health. His knee is a reoccurring issue, and he and the team must manage it. This might cause the Celtics to retain Marcus Smart in restricted free agency and/or extend Terry Rozier‘s contract this offseason.

For now, Rozier must continue to step up at point guard. Smart will help if he gets healthy. So will Shane Larkin once he does, too.

Boston isn’t finished. Brad Stevens is an excellent coach who gets everyone to understand and embrace their roles. Al Horford is a star. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are emerging.

No matter what happens in the playoffs, this was a positive year for the Celtics – acquiring Irving and Hayward, seeing Tatum, Brown and Rozier develop. The Cavaliers still have LeBron James, and the Raptors have extended their window through a “culture reset.” Boston can afford to take the long view.

With the available talent diminishing, the Celtics now look more like a lower seed than their 53-25 record would suggest. They play hard and cohesively, but goes only so far in the playoffs. They acquired Irving to put them over the top in those situations – but that must wait.

Three Things to Know: Raptors stave off creeping doubt

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Every day in the NBA there is a lot to unpack, so every weekday morning throughout the season we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA.

1) The Raptors got a much-needed win over the Celtics. Toronto had lost five of eight, including two straight – to the Celtics and Cavaliers, its chief competition in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors had been the East’s best team throughout the season. A “reset” offense and a deep bench seemingly had them poised for playoff success. But this late skid instilled plenty of doubt in a team that has disappointed annually in the postseason.

A 96-78 win over Boston ought to calm panic in Toronto.

This wasn’t the prettiest game, but the Raptors played with more purpose. They defended more aggressively, kept the ball moving and relied on balanced contributions. Kyle Lowry made a positive impact the day after his dud against Cleveland, which followed him going to San Antonio to watch Villanova win the national championship. The reserves came up big.

These weren’t necessarily the Celtics that Toronto would face in the postseason. Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart and Shane Larkin were out. Boston used 11 players through three quarters.

But that only increased the impetus for the Raptors to win.

They didn’t prove anything last night. This team can’t do that until the playoffs, anyway. But at least Toronto stopped the bleeding (of a boo-boo that probably looked worse than it actually was).

2) The Mavericks out-tanked the Magic. Dallas’ 105-100 loss to Orlando might wind up last night’s most significant game on the NBA’s long-term landscape. The defeat dropped the Mavericks (24-55) ahead of the Magic (24-54) in the tight tank race.

Dallas pulled out all the stops. Dennis Smith Jr., Harrison Barnes, Dwight Powell and Dirk Nowitzki – who all started the previous game – sat last night. Two-way player Johnathan Motley started and played 41 minutes. Aaron Harrison started and played 42 minutes. Kyle Collinsworth and Dorian Finney-Smith each played 35 minutes. Another two-way player, Jalen Jones, played 27 minutes. It’s as if the Mavericks were trying to overwhelm their already-overmatched players.

Orlando didn’t idly watch Dallas tank. The Magic rested Nikola Vucevic. Three starters – Aaron Gordon, D.J. Augustin and Bismack Biyombo – sat the entire fourth quarter. Jamel Artis played 32 minutes.

But Gordon (20 points in 26 minutes) did too much in his limited playing time and got the Magic the unneeded win.

3) The Spurs fell to the Lakers, but at least remain in playoff position. Last night’s games otherwise featured chalk between a team in the playoff race and a team not – 76ers over Pistons, Heat over Hawks, Pelicans over Grizzlies. But San Antonio fell to Los Angeles, 122-112, in overtime.

The Lakers, without their own draft picks this year, are still feisty. They’ve got nothing to tank for. Kyle Kuzma scored 30 points, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (21 points on nine shots) and Channing Frye (19 points on nine shots) were remarkably efficient.

The Spurs still haven’t clinched a playoff berth, so a loss to an eliminated team is a real letdown.

The Western Conference playoff-race standings now:

4. Utah Jazz (45-33)

5. Oklahoma City Thunder (45-34)

5. San Antonio Spurs (45-34)

7. Minnesota Timberwolves  (44-34)

7. New Orleans Pelicans (44-34)


9. Denver Nuggets (43-35)

10. Los Angeles Clippers (42-36)

Tonight will feature a couple big games – Clippers at Jazz and Timberwolves at Nuggets.