15 players have worn the No. 14 for the Los Angeles Clippers, and the best to don it so far has to be Shaun Livingston. The slender guard was drafted No. 4 overall by the Clippers in 2004.
Coming straight out of high school, the Illinois native was like many teenagers drafted in that era: Full of promise but with a body that looked like it wasn’t ready for the NBA.
To be honest, Livingston was always an unorthodox player when it came to his body, the rare tall (6-foot-7) point guard who always looked a little lightweight but could hold his own on the court.
Backing up Sam Cassell when he joined, Livingston also spent time as shooting guard, but his shot wasn’t elite and he wasn’t a reliable scoring option. Instead, his game was suited to play the point.
In his three seasons playing with the Clippers, Livingston’s game seemed to grow and come on each season, but injuries kept him from getting a full rhythm and really making the jump over time.
And of course that was compounded by the end of his tenure in Los Angeles, when Livingston suffered a debilitating injury in Feb. 2007. His leg broke, his kneecap dislocated, the tendons in his knee ruptured and the young man was at risk of losing his leg. While there have been a few horrible leg injuries in basketball in recent years, this one seemingly came out of nowhere, and Livingston’s career looked like it could very well be over.
In the end, that night when his leg shattered was Livingston’s last as a Clipper, as he wasn’t offered a new deal and the free agent signed with the Miami Heat in 2008, after missing all of the 2007-08 season.
Over the next several years he bounced around the league, but just getting back to play again was a win in itself. His NBA career crested with his tenure at the Golden State Warriors, from 2014-19, when he won three championships, before retiring last fall.
While he never hit the heights that many hoped he would when he was drafted in 2004, Livingston was a reliable point guard off the bench at basically every team he played for, including the Clippers. His stats were never eye-popping, but a tall guard with plenty of smarts on the court showed even with injuries limiting his progress, he was more than capable of putting in a shift every time he took the court.
Some news for Tuesday:
- Towns’ mother dies of coronavirus: Terrible news, as Karl-Anthony Towns’ mother has died after battling coronavirus. She was 58 years old. Condolences to the family at this time.
- Changes coming to courtside seating? Caron Butler thinks plexiglass could be coming to NBA arenas to separate players and fans once the coronavirus shutdown is lifted, as reported in The Undefeated. It does sound kind of weird and would forever change the entire viewing experience, in-person and on TV. On the other hand, it would be kind of funny to pay thousands of dollars for a seat and then get stuck behind a barrier.
- Free agent value wings report: If you’re jonesing for some old-fashioned free agency talk, The Athletic has an extensive breakdown of wings available in the offseason (whenever that is) as part of a series of free agency options.