Isaiah Canaan: 'To go out like that … is just tough'
The main word Isaiah Canaan used to describe Olympiacos Piraeus’s heart-breaking 78-79 loss in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game was “tough” - a difficult way to lose a game and end a dream.
“It’s tough. To go out like that… on a last-second shot after battling the whole game. It’s tough. It’s just tough," said Canaan, who scored a season-high 21 points in the loss, including a championship-game tying 5 three-pointers.
Canaan scored the last basket of the game for the Reds to give the team a 78-72 lead with 2:13 minutes left. Olympiacos failed to finish off the game and leaves Kaunas wondering what if.
"It’s frustrating but it’s part of the game. There is always one winner. Tonight, unfortunately, it wasn’t us."
When asked for his thoughts about Sergio Llull’s game-winning basket with 3.1 seconds left, Canaan said: "People might say it was a lucky shot. But you look at Llull’s career and he makes crazy shots like that a lot. He didn’t score a basket until that last shot. It’s just crazy."
Llull hitting the shot ruined Canaan’s hopes to celebrate his 32nd birthday in style.
"I wanted to go out on top. It’s just part of life. At the end of the day, I’m thankful and blessed to be here another year. To be able to play this game at a high level. I’m okay with playing in a high-quality championship game and be able to play in front of these fans and my family back at home watching. I’m thankful," he said.
Canaan was one of the additions Olympiacos made this off-season after being beaten in the Final Four semifinals in 2022. He thinks the club definitely took another step forward.
“We have taken the steps in the right direction, but we still have some work to do. We battled all season long and to go out on a last-second shot like that, it’s just tough."
There it is again, that word tough.