Shaun Livingston is the Joe Theismann of the NBA — a guy remembered for the injury.
Livingston was the number four pick by the Clippers, a guy with a rare court vision, great passing skills and a world of potential. Then came the landing on a layup back in 2007 (only watch the video if you have a strong stomach). He has rehabbed as hard as anyone — and from the Clippers organization (where he still has a lot of fans) to the rest of the league, people want to see him make it back.
But Livingston tells the Washington Post’s fantastic Michael Lee that he has accepted his legacy.
“The reality is that’s going to be with me my whole career and even after my career. It’s going to be the ‘What if?’ ‘The guy that could’ve been,’ ” said Livingston, the No. 4 overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2004. “But I came to that realization a long time ago when I was laying in a hospital bed. A lot of people can’t accept what happens to them. Certain things, it’s like, I’ve already accepted that. My job is to make the best out of what I have right now and my opportunity. I’m thankful for it.”
And he is working hard to get that chance. He started the season with the Thunder and now has a 10-day contract with the Wizards that likely will be picked up for at least another 10.
Livingston lacks the explosive athleticism he used to have, but the court vision and passing skills remain. He has had to adjust them to a different style of game, but he is slowly getting there. He is trying to develop a more consistent outside shot (and he needs to add a three-point touch). But he still has potential for the future. Which couldn’t happen if he hadn’t accepted the past.