Shaquielle McKissic wishes EuroLeague coaches continue to risk with him beyond the arc.

Credit: Olympiacos BC
Credit Olympiacos BC

Ignas Brazdeikis made no effort to contest Shaquielle McKissic's three-point shot at the end of the second quarter in a packed Zalgirio arena.

Shaquielle McKissic

Shaquielle  McKissic
Shaquielle  McKissic
MIN: 17.33
PTS: 8.28 (54.66%)
REB: 1.21
As: 1.66
ST: 0.93
BL: 0.03
TO: 1.07
GM: 29

McKissic saw his opponent positioned below the free-throw line and had all the time in the world to take one freddo espresso and then a three-point shot.

This type of defense is commonly referred to as the "Ben Simmons or Russell Westbrook treatment" in the NBA.

McKissic confidently launched the ball, and it sailed through the hoop with ease. He then turned towards the Zalgiris bench, where head coach Kazys Maksvytis was standing on the sidelines, and blew them a kiss while shouting something.

This situation seemed to ignite something within McKissic, as he scored ten consecutive points in just 90 seconds, giving Olympiacos a halftime lead, 40-34.

"No, I need to stop because I like that they're giving me threes," when asked about the kiss, McKissic smiled and said to BasketNews.

McKissic, 32, has been on fire in the last five games, nailing an impressive 52.4% of his three-pointers by making 11 out of 21 attempts.

To put that in perspective, he only made 21.3% of his attempts in his first 24 appearances, hitting 13 of his 61 shots from beyond the arc.

"I'm shooting with Isaiah [Canaan] every day, so... Coaches believe in my shot. I'm shooting really high percentages in the Greek league," he pointed out, where his numbers are a jaw-dropping 53.5%.

"It just has to translate over onto EuroLeague. But I'm not afraid to take the shot. The coach believes in me, but... I'm not offended by it," he said with a smile. "Even though they wanted to sag off me today, it was still extremely hard. With the pieces that we have around, this team is so perfectly constructed that you can't really leave anybody and not pay attention to somebody. Because I'm going to find him."

Shaquielle McKissic

Shaquielle  McKissic
Team: Olympiacos Piraeus
Position: SG
Age: 32
Height: 196 cm
Weight: 96 kg
Birth place: Seattle, United States of America

"If it's one on one, I don't think anybody... I know nobody in the league can guard me one on one. I know that for sure," McKissic proclaimed.

McKissic roared at the Zalgirio arena, delivering an impressive 18-point performance. His crucial five points just before Vezenkov's game-winning shot propelled the Reds to a hard-fought 74-72 victory on the road.

Over the past 11 games, McKissic has been a force to be reckoned with, averaging 12.2 points, 1.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.0 steals in 22 minutes per game.

During this stretch, he has become the second-best scorer on the Olympiacos team, only behind the MVP Vezenkov, and has been shooting 66.7% from the 2-point range and 38.6% from the 3-point range.

This marks a significant improvement from his offensive numbers earlier in the season. His four-year career-low in Olympiacos had him averaging only 5.9 points in his first 18 games.

McKissic's energy and dedication to defense have never been in question. But his impressive offensive surge couldn't have come at a better time, with Olympiacos in the middle of negotiations for contract extensions with several current roster players.

The rumors didn't yet include McKissic's name among those expected to sign new long-term deals. But could it change with his recent scoring streak?

"I hope not. Because that's not my role on the team," McKissic joked.

"For the last few seasons, I could always just go out there and just been trying to score score score and having nose to it. But it doesn't equate to winning. It doesn't translate. Even when I'm watching EuroLeague games, I see guys just trying to score and thinking it's what can get you to a better situation. It works for a season or two. But once people realize that it's not sustainable, and your team is losing, it's very difficult to climb yourself out of that hole," McKissic weighed in on the scoring in the EuroLeague.

"All I can do is step up. I don't think scoring has anything to do with the contract extension but winning games," he explained his mentality being on an expiring contract.

"But I don't think about it. I just think about my wife and my son. We love being in Athens. But it's amazing how it doesn't even cross my mind. I just go out there and just think about playing pure basketball," he said to BasketNews.

Basketball and life in Athens bring only positives to the McKissic family.

Things are really looking up for Olympiacos now that they've secured a spot in the playoffs in Kaunas and are sitting at the top of the EuroLeague standings.

But before he moves on to enjoy the rest of the 2022-23 season, McKissic blows one last kiss.

"But to the coaches, please, keep sagging off of me," Olympiacos guard laughed. "You guys should understand how it makes me happy."

"I get to shoot a wide-open three. This is amazing!" he smiled.

"No pressure, you know, no pressure! But it's fun."

URBONUS Q&A podcast:

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