Shaun Livingston Contemplating Retirement

Warriors guard Shaun Livingston is still only 33 years old, but he hasn’t ruled out the possibility that 2018/19 will be his last NBA season.

As Anthony Slater of The Athletic notes, while Livingston is under contract for 2019/20, his $8MM salary is only partially guaranteed for $2MM, increasingly the likelihood of his release. With potential free agency looming, Livingston is contemplating the idea of calling it a career, he tells Slater.

“Yeah. For sure. Absolutely,” Livingston said when asked if he retirement is on the table. “It’s just all the signs on the wall. And just more so from a physical standpoint. If I’m healthy and having fun, then I want to play. But physically, if I’m not … Like, I put so much work in my body just to get back to playing basketball, let alone get to this point where I’m at. So now that it’s getting harder. Like this year, I’ve struggled with injuries more than any other year I’ve been on the Warriors.”

Livingston, whose professional career was put in jeopardy back in 2007 by a horrific knee injury, made an admirable comeback and has thrived as a backup point guard for the Warriors and other teams since then. However, as he explains to Slater, Livingston has dealt with knee stiffness, soreness, and swelling this season, prompting him to consider how much longer he’ll play.

Earlier this season, Livingston said his retirement was coming “sooner than later,” though he estimated at that point that he might still have a “couple years” left. While that estimate may still be accurate, he admits that if his role gets reduced more significantly than it already has, that would be a factor in his decision. He’s currently averaging a career-low 15.3 minutes per contest.

“We’ll see. This is — like, I don’t want to come out and announce anything,” Livingston said. “I’ve been trying to stay in the moment. But it’s just, looking at it like, if this year or next year is the last year, it would probably be the cap. Even next year, like, I’m maybe playing 12 minutes right now. So it’s just, how much do I want to contribute? I enjoy feeling good. But, also, I got a young family.”

Livingston’s future could also hinge on whether the Warriors would want to bring him back – either on his current contract or a new deal – since the veteran doesn’t sound overly enthusiastic about the idea of switching teams.

“We have a great situation. So going to another organization at this point? It doesn’t sound like the greatest thing to do,” he said to Slater. “It would just have to be somewhere, to me, that made sense. Somewhere warm, somewhere close, that maybe the family would want to be in. But that’s a conversation for the summer.”

After Livingston does retire, whether that’s in 2019, 2020, or further down the road, he intends to take at least a year off before exploring a potential front-office role, he tells Slater.

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