Earlier today, 15 year NBA veteran Shaun Livingston announced his retirement from the league. Livingston, of course, played for three seasons on the Clippers from 2004-2007 before his career was derailed by a gruesome leg injury. However, Shaun worked himself back in incredibly impressive fashion, becoming a crucial member of the dominant Warriors dynasty of the past decade, and winning three championships. Now 34 years old, Shaun has been slowed by that troublesome knee in recent years, and his retirement has been hinted at for a while.
Fifteen years ago, however, Shaun was the point guard who was promised, the heir apparent to the Clippers franchise and a legitimate building block alongside Elton Brand and Corey Maggette. He was just beginning to break out in that 2006-2007 season (averaging 9.3 points and 5.1 assists per game) when he landed poorly, seemingly destroying his knee. It looked at the time like he might never play again, and Clippers fans were devastated. Shaun was long and athletic, a terrific young prospect who could make plays for others, score the ball around the basket, and play defense. In time, he was able to regain all those skills, and while it was for the hated Warriors, Clippers fans could always take some solace by noting Shaun’s happiness and career trajectory.
It was rumored a couple months ago that Shaun might have interest in returning to play with the Clippers, but that always seemed like a long shot. His play tumbled over the past couple years due his declining athleticism and soreness in that repaired knee, and it took a lot out of him just to warm up to play. It’s possible he might have stuck around had he received another NBA offer, but retirement was impending regardless.
A greatly respected player and person with a wealth of knowledge about the game, it would not be a shock to see Shaun on an NBA coaching staff or front office someday (maybe even for the Clippers). But for right now, all the best wishes to Shaun on a happy retirement and a terrific career in basketball.
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After 15 years in the NBA, I’m excited, sad, fortunate and grateful all in one breath. Hard to put into a caption all of the emotions it takes to try and accomplish your dreams. I wasn’t supposed to be here. Anybody that has beat the odds understands the mental and emotional strain it takes to inspire yourself on an uphill war, let alone inspire others. “The injury” gave me a chance to find and prove to myself (and the world) that I wouldn’t be defined by my circumstances. With my time in the League what I will be most proud of is the fact that my character, values and faith were tested, and I persevered. To my pops that told me to “go get the big ball” I THANK YOU. To my Grandpa that always showed me there was more to life than basketball I THANK YOU. To my Uncles that helped raise me like I was one of their own, THANK YOU. To my wife and kids...the future IS BRIGHTER than our past, and I couldn’t see myself taking on this chapter without you. To all of my teammates, coaches, TRAINERS, staff, my journey is a collection of experiences, and those of you that helped me along the way, THANK YOU! To all the fans and anybody else that inspired me, supported me, cheered for me, or even said good words about me, THANK YOU. “The greatest gift we can give is service to others” #Raiseaglass