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.
It’s not good news, but it looked like it could have been much worse.
Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns is out for weeks with a right calf strain, the team announced Tuesday following an MRI exam. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports it is likely 4-6 weeks.
The injury occurred midway through the third quarter Monday when Towns started to run back upcourt and went to the ground without contact, grabbing his knee and calf. It looked scary — Achilles scary — and he had to be helped off the court.
Towns has averaged 21.4 points and 8.5 rebounds a game, and while his numbers are down this season — just 32.8% on 3-pointers — the team has struggled at times without him, particularly lineups with Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards together, an -11.8 net rating (in non-garbage time minutes, via Cleaning the Glass).
Kevin Durant carried the Nets to another win Monday night, scoring 45 points on 19-of-24 shooting, plus seven rebounds and five assists.
If you’re having an MVP conversation a quarter of the way into the NBA season, Durant has to be part of it: 30 points per game on 54.8% shooting (and a ridiculous 65.9 true shooting percentage), 6.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game, plus playing solid defense and being the anchor of the Nets. After his 45-point outing to get Brooklyn a win over Orlando, Durant was asked about MVP chants and the chase for the award and was clearly not interested.
Durant has MVP numbers, but so do Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and others. If Durant is going to move to the front of the conversation, the first thing that has to happen is Brooklyn has to win a lot more games — 11-11 is not going to cut it when Tatum’s Celtics and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks have the two best records in the NBA. Winning games and finishing on a top-three team in the conference matters to some voters (and traditionally is one measure of an MVP).
With 2.3 seconds left in the game and the Thunder down 2, they needed to steal the inbounds pass from New Orleans to have a real chance. That’s why when Aleksej Pokusevski walked on the court it looked like he was going to guard the inbounder, Herbert Jones.
Instead, Pokusevski turned his back to Jones, putting himself in position to step in front of anyone cutting to the ball to catch the inbounds. Except, Jones made the clever play to seal the game.
Pokusevski fouled Jones, who sank both free throws and sealed the 105-101 Pelicans win.
The Pelicans got 23-8-8 from Zion Williamson and picked up a win without CJ McCollum or Brandon Ingram in the lineup. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his dominant start to the season and scored 31.
It might have been the loudest the crypto.com Arena was all night.
Between the third and fourth quarters, Lakers fan Jamie Murry of Downey won $75,000 draining a half-court shot — and he got to celebrate with Anthony Davis.
Murry’s celebration is the best part — with Anthony Davis coming out to celebrate with him (and seeming a little shocked by the hug).
One other big shot fell at this game, but Lakers’ fans didn’t like it as much — Pacers’ rookie Andrew Nembhard drained a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.