Former Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston announced his retirement Friday morning on his Instagram, ending a 15-year NBA career.
“I’m excited, sad, fortunate and grateful all in one breath,” Livingston said. “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.”
Livingston, the No. 4 overall pick of the 2004 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, tore three of the four ligaments in his left knee while playing against Charlotte in 2007. The injury could easily have ended his career. It took him two years to return to an NBA court, and from 2008 to 2014, he played for six teams before landing with the Warriors, where he won three NBA titles.
“‘The injury’ gave me a chance to find and prove to myself (and the world) that I wouldn’t be defined by my circumstances,” Livingston said. “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.”
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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 🍷
Livingston, 34, spent five seasons with Golden State, helping the franchise to five consecutive NBA Finals appearances, becoming just the second player in NBA history to complete a tenure of at least five seasons with a team that made an NBA Finals appearance in each of those seasons. He joined Tom Heinsohn, who did so in all nine of his seasons with the Boston Celtics from 1956-57 to 1964-65.
“Shaun Livingston’s story is one of the most inspirational in the history of professional sports,” said Bob Myers, Warriors president of basketball operations and general manager. “What he accomplished after suffering so many trials and tribulations early in his career is a true testament to who he is as a person, which has always been characterized by tremendous class, grace and professionalism.”
Livingston averaged 6.3 points, 3 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game over the course of his career, and in 367 regular-season games with the Warrios as their primary backup point guard, averaged 5.4 points, 2.4 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 17.5 minutes.
“He represents everything that you’d want in a professional athlete and, most importantly, in a human being,” Myers said. “We appreciate what he did for our team and organization over the last five years, becoming a three-time NBA champion and a key figure on one of the best teams in NBA history. We wish him well as he begins the next phase in his life.”
Livingston’s 102 postseason games were fifth-most in franchise history. His tenure with the team ended when Golden State waived him this summer. It’s been speculated that he will join the Warriors’ front office in some capacity.