Shaun Livingston, a 15-year NBA veteran who spent the past five with the Golden State Warriors, winning three championships, has announced his retirement from the NBA. He posted a lengthy thank you on Instagram to all of those who helped him achieve as much in the game of basketball as he has, but with limited prospects leading into the season, Livingston is calling it a career.
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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 🍷
A post shared by Shaun Livingston (@sdot1414) on
Livingston was waived by the Golden State Warriors in July as part of their desperate bid to get under the hard cap imposed by their acquisition of D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade. He had previously expressed interest in a return to the Los Angeles Clippers in an interview with Dave Reynolds of The Journal Star, which would have brought his career full circle.
Livingston was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Clippers, and while he showed quite a bit of promise in Los Angeles, his superstar trajectory was derailed by a devastating injury. In a single play, Livingston tore his ACL, PCL and meniscus while also spraining his MCL and dislocating his patella and tibiofibular joint. He lost quite a bit of explosiveness after that, and his career became somewhat nomadic for a number of years afterward.
He played for the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets before finding a long-term home with Golden State. He excelled as their backup point guard, playing stout defense thanks to his unusual size for the position and dominating in short bursts with his mid-range shooting. Andre Iguodala gets most of the publicity for coming off of the bench with Golden State, but Livingston was nearly as essential in winning their three championships.
Livingston likely could have found a roster spot this season, even if it meant waiting a bit, but without an obvious contender to join, he has decided to hang it up. He may not be doing so as the superstar he could have been before the injury, but few players ever manage to come back from the sort of adversity he has had to overcome. Livingston’s career has been over before. This time, he gets to end it on his own terms, with his head held high as an NBA champion and beloved member of one of the greatest teams in league history.