OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Shaun Livingston’s career nearly ended far ahead of his schedule because of a gruesome knee injury. Now, he gets to retire on his own terms — and with three championships after playing a key role during the Golden State Warriors‘ recent title runs.
The 34-year-old Livingston announced his retirement Friday following 15 NBA seasons, an anticipated move. He reached the NBA Finals in each of his five seasons with Golden State, his ninth NBA team.
In a social media post, Livingston said: “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.”
With the Clippers on Feb. 26, 2007, Livingston’s left leg buckled when he fell to the court in a freak accident. Doctors thought it might have to be amputated.
Livingston tore three major ligaments in his knee — the anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and medial collateral — as well as his lateral meniscus, then required extensive surgery performed by renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama.
Livingston, who also dislocated his knee cap and tibiofemoral joint, overcame long medical odds just to get back on the court.