If you google "Shaun Livingston" and "knee injury" you get 139,000 hits. If you google video only, you get 18,000. The video of the February 2007 injury, which Livingston says he's never seen, approaches the pornographic. The displacement of his knee, his obvious pain, is magnetic for some viewers.
Livingston has to talk about it every time he changes teams. The features follow a formula about how he was a great prospect before the injury, has recovered, moved on and is now contributing. The 28-year-old patiently talks about it all, but after the big games he's had with the Nets this season, particularly Friday night, he will not be defined by a seven-year-old injury. As he told Devin Kharpertian after the Heat game, "It's really just about being in the present. You can't live in the past."
He wants everyone to know that he's not just the survivor of a horrible injury, no matter how great of a story it is.
As the Nets' in-house beat writer Lenn Robbins notes, he's taken a seminar in broadcasting, a leadership forum, a coaching clinic and he reads voraciously. He's currently reading Siddhartha, the Hermann Hesse novel about the spiritual journey of self-discovery by a young man.
Livingston understands that his journey back has provided him with self-discipline and maturity, but it's not who he is.
"I've been in some rough places, especially after my injury [in 2007], but that's a long time ago,'' said Livingston. "And there were a lot of different thoughts, but those doubts kind of turned to faith. My family, everybody that's been in my corner, God, it's brought me a long way."
And his teammates honor his struggle.
"I've been knowing Shaun for a long time, so the respect ... his work ethic speaks volume," says Alan Anderson. "His heart, you can't measure that. I'm not sure that too many guys can come back from that injury that he had came back and just be playing like nothing happened, you know what I mean? He's just a testimony to guys that won't quit, man. He's just always, he's a big help for us. And especially a 6'7", 6'8" point guard, and he's guarding wings, 4's, point guards, doing everything he can. We tip our hat to him."
That's enough,don't you think?
- Shaun Livingston's story no longer about redemption - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Livingston Makes it All the Way Back in Win over Heat - Lenn Robbins - Brooklyn Nets