Shaun Livingston Announces Retirement

Veteran NBA guard Shaun Livingston is calling it a career, announcing his retirement this morning in a post on Instagram.

“After 15 years in the NBA, I’m excited, sad, fortunate and grateful all in one breath,” Livingston wrote. “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.”

The fourth overall pick in the 2004 draft, Livingston began his NBA career with the Clippers and was on the rise when his development was derailed by a catastrophic knee injury in his third season. In addition to tearing his ACL and PCL, Livingston also dislocated his kneecap, tore his lateral meniscus, sprained his MCL, and dislocated his patella.

While there were doubts about his ability to return as an effective NBA player following that injury, Livingston eventually made his way back to the court and appeared in over 800 more games (including the playoffs) for the Heat, Thunder, Wizards, Bobcats, Bucks, Cavaliers, Nets, and Warriors.

Livingston, who turned 34 years old on Wednesday, was a key contributor off the bench for Golden State during the team’s recent run of five consecutive NBA Finals appearances. During those five years, the 6’7″ guard averaged 5.4 PPG and 2.4 APG in 367 regular season contests (17.5 MPG) and won three titles with the Warriors.

Livingston was released earlier this summer before his contract for 2019/20 could become fully guaranteed because the Dubs were obligated to keep team salary below a hard cap. It’s not clear if he would have played one more season in Golden State if the club had been able to keep him on its roster or if he would have ultimately decided to retire anyway.

For what it’s worth, a report at the time of his release indicated that Livingston intended to continue his career. Assuming that report was accurate, it seems the Illinois native either had a change of heart or didn’t find an opportunity he liked.

Livingston’s next step is not yet known, but a July report suggested the Warriors would likely offer him a role in the organization upon his retirement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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17 thoughts on “Shaun Livingston Announces Retirement

  1. miguel trucha

    One of the nicest human beings in the world. Wife and I saw him at the airport about 15 yrs ago and he took about 10 min talk with us after he saw me in a clippers shirt. Best wishes to a dude that stuck with it and had a very respectful career after many probably would not have.

  2. arc89

    One of the toughest players in the NBA. Last 2 years you could see how hurt he was but still went out there and gave 100% to the team. I have a feeling the Warriors will find a place for him somewhere in the organization.

  3. Major Factuh

    Dude always came in and hit the tough floater, mid-range, or cutting basket to keep the runs going and going for GSW. Solid.

  4. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    First, was all that the result of ONE injury? Second, whether it was or not, what an inspiration this human is. Wow…

    I’m going to make myself remember this the next time I think to myself, “I can’t do this.”

    • Gary

      Yes he literally blew out his knee. I saw the video once and never again. You can actually hear Livingston moaning as he’s laying on the ground in the video I saw. Didn’t get hit, was all by himself.

      Took a lot of work and toughness to come back from that. Fortunately he was a young guy. Coming back and being an effective NBA player again says a lot about him.

  5. richard1-2

    His gruesome injury, blowing out that knee, was horrible in 2006 or 2007. MOST would’ve given up, but look at the tenacity he showed-rehab, bouncing around from team to team. Ended up w/ GSW and 3 Rings!! Congrats!!! SL IS an inspirational player for sure. Deserving of ALL his success. Steve Kerr said he’d welcome SL in any position in GS. Got that covered. Enjoy retirement SL-a truly accomplished player!!

    • Gary

      A big key was his Very Good Year with Brooklyn which parlayed into his run with the Warriors. Not much was happening for him before that year with the Nets, when he showed the league that he was back.

  6. Great retirement letter! After the injury doctors said he wouldn’t walk again, with one doctor suggesting amputation was the best option! An all-too-rare inspirational NBA story.

    • x%sure

      It would have to be daunting for the doctors, looking at all that damage in one area, wondering where to start.

      As a fan of tall PGs, I was a watcher. He had a fine backpetal… he was always seeing what was going on forward.

      • greg1

        I’ll miss seeing SL on the court, always was a huge fan.

        Those young Clips teams with Shaun, Brand, Miles and Odom looked like they were finally going to break the franchise through the black hole. Even as a Knicks fan I was excited to see that team, and disappointed when Shaun went down.

        The fact that he came back from such a gruesome injury and played another decade of NBA ball is amazing. Glad he got the jewelry, a guy that perseveres that much deserves it.

  7. nentwigs

    Rumor has it he will pursue his PHD.
    Soon, when we see him,
    We will ask….

    Dr. Livingston, I presume !!

  8. Archie M.

    Long-time resident of L.A., I remember during his first couple of seasons with the Clippers, some were even saying that he had the tools to become another Penny Hardaway. I remember watching a couple of games of that young and exciting Clippers team at Staples. EB, Magette, Q, Darius Miles & the rest of the young guns of L.A.

  9. glazedover

    From watching him win high school championships back in Peoria, Il;I can say it was incredible ride to watch his full basketball career. I will miss your leadership on the court! Congrats Shaun.

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