Box & One With Shaun Livingston

By Wesley Chism Jr
Updated: December 30, 2007

SEATTLE — In the wide world of sports, regardless of the venue, there are a few times when you can witness a feat so unbelievable that it will bring you out of your seat with excitement. Have you ever been to a game and have heard a collective “wow” come from the crowd over something that just happen?

Those are moments that are talked about all week around the water cooler and remembered for a lifetime. Often times you are the one that brings it up, “Man, I remember when I was at that game when …..”

The same thing holds true for the other end of the spectrum. I wasn’t at the game but I was watching when the Clippers were playing on a Monday night against the Charlotte Bobcats on February 26th and Shaun Livingston suffered a season ending injury during the first quarter.

I didn’t realize how bad it was until they kept showing it over and over again. Shaun had released on a fast break and it appeared to be a simple drive to the basket. He went up for the layup and when he came down his knee didn’t support him.

What a devastating blow! At the time the Clippers were in position to make some noise and were hitting on all cylinders heading into the final stretch of the season with hope of making a strong push into the playoffs.

“When I first hit the floor, I really didn’t know what to think and I definitely didn’t expect it to be as bad it was that for sure,” stated Shaun. Shaun had been injured with the normal basketball injuries such as dislocated shoulder, sprained knee and sore back but nothing at this magnitude.

Shaun had reconstructive surgery on his left knee on March 13th and at this time he’s recovering right on schedule. “The doctors told me early on that the best medicine for an injury of this type is plenty of rest and lots of patience.”

“I’ve been doing some rehabilitation that will bring tears to your eyes along with some therapy and stress exercises.” My knee feels good but it isn’t where it needs be for game time just yet but getting better all the time.”

The average day of conditioning consist of shooting 800 – 1000 free throws, four days of lower body conditioning, two days of upper body strengthening. “I’ve been the swimming pool so much over the past few months that I’m starting grow gills.

“I can’t begin say enough wonderful things about the Physicians or the Clippers training staff, I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful, competent people. I’m very thankful for what they have done for me.”

I watched Shaun during warm up before the game and my mouth dropped open. This wasn’t something that he took for granted and he was extremely aggressive about his movements. “I’m just trying to get all of my explosiveness back and when that happens for me look out.”

During this time off Shaun has become a student of the game and spends a great deal of time studying film and ways that he can help the Clippers upon his return. “Oh, I’m watching from the sidelines and add my two cents when applicable.” He really looks good and the estimated time of returning is February or early March.

“The best advice that I could give a young player coming into the league is this; be willing to learn and listen to what you’re being told and try to complete that task to the best of your ability. Knowledge is power and to be successful on this level you need to embrace it.”

Shaun Livingston will return this season, be prepared to be amazed.