The Comeback Kid

“A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”

-Lao Tzu

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150603214627-shaun-livingston-flexes-warriors.1200x672At least for a 6’7” point guard, the road begins on a 94 feet long and 50 feet wide wooden court.

Before we start this journey, let us begin with a prelude, or rather, a scouting report for you NBA fans.

 “David Stern would personally swim up the Peoria River to grab this magician with a ball.  He will not blow by you with blinding speed, but his basketball IQ is so high he can maneuver around defenders using his wonderful sleight of hand, deft changes in speed and long and fluid strides.  A wonderful athlete he can crash the boards great from the guard spot.  With his great vertical leap and long arms, he will snatch rebounds out of midair only to glide up the court, flowing through defenders to eventually lay the ball into the hands of a teammate for an easy bucket after he’s looked off the any defenders”

NBADraft.net Shaun Livingston Scouting Profile

 

There was a path to stardom and success paved with potential for Livingston.  Selected fourth overall in the NBA draft, the former Illinois Mr. Basketball had a bright future awaiting him.  Unfortunately, his professional basketball career got off to a slow start.  Finally, just as he began to find his groove and was well on his way toward a career year, things took a turn for the worse.  This is when the story truly begins.

Livingston’s journey started on February 26, 2007.  On that fateful day, while attempting a layup, the Los Angeles Clipper point guard landed awkwardly, snapping his knee in two.  In the emergency room that night, his leg was so mangled that he faced the threat of amputation.  A gruesome injury, doctors informed Livingston that he would require months of rehab before being able to walk again.  

The video below is not for the faint of heart:

iHis NBADraft.net scouting report highlighted many of the positive aspects about his game, but left out one key aspect of Shaun’s character: his resiliency.  He trained with discipline, utilized experimental technology in his recovery.  Eventually, Shaun Livingston returned to the NBA in late 2008, roughly twenty months post knee injury. 

Upon his return, Livingston’s career was not the same, which is to be expected.  A former ‘young player on the rise,’ he became the ‘what if’ type of player.  Over the next seven seasons, Livingston was a journeyman on a quest, during which he played for eight different teams.

Ultimately, this quest led Livingston to the Bay Area, where he has experienced an exciting resurgency.  Over the past two seasons, Shaun Livingston has quietly played behind superstar Stephen Curry, not receiving the accolades or reaching the greatness he was once destined for.  This off-season, Livingston has been instrumental in Golden State’s championship runs the past two seasons, and now he’s finally receiving the praise he deserves:  

He was once drafted as a 6’7” point guard considered to be a magician with a basketball; the current scouting/journey report on Shaun Livingston would focus on his warrior resiliency.

By Martin Foster