SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, who came back from a devastating knee injury to play a key role in three Golden State Warriors NBA title runs, took to social media Friday to announce his retirement.
Livingston chose the NBA over Duke after a star-studded prep career in Peoria, Ill. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers and was a mainstay in their lineup until he suffered a devastating knee injury in 2007.
He then became a NBA journeyman, playing for several teams before signing as a free agent with the Warriors in 2014. Coming off the bench, Livingston’s career rebounded.
Livingston anchored Golden State’s second unit and proved to be invaluable as a spot starter.
Warriors State Head Coach Steve Kerr recently told reporters he’d like to see the 15-year veteran play some role within the organization.
“He’s somebody I’m hoping can be involved with our organization for many years to come,” Kerr said. “That would be the plan if we can pull it off, but he’s got to get away right now and get some freedom, enjoy his family before he figures out what’s next.”
Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Livingston had “always been characterized by tremendous class, grace and professionalism.”
“Shaun Livingston’s story is one of the most inspirational in the history of professional sports,” Myers said. “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.”
“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,” Myers statement continued. “We wish him well as he begins the next phase in his life.”
On his Instagram account, Livingston said had a range of emotions in making his retirement announcement.
“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,” he wrote. “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 veteran said he was determined to make it back from his devastating knee injury.
“’The injury’ gave me a chance to find and prove to myself (and the world) that I wouldn’t be defined by my circumstances,” he wrote. “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.”
He also thanked his family.
“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,” Livingston posted. “To my wife and kids…the future IS BRIGHTER than our past, and I couldn’t see myself taking on this chapter without you.”
And lastly his former teammates and coaches.
“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!” he wrote. “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”