Livingston signed a multi-year contract with Oklahoma City yesterday. Tomorrow, he’ll participate in his first practice with the Thunder. Rob Mahoney has a nice paean to Shaun Livingston over at Hardwood Paroxysm:
The underlying sentiment of most Livingston stories will parade his rehabilitation, and rightfully so. From that injury to what we can only hope is a full-time comeback, Shaun has come a long way. At the core of this story is disappointment and redemption. Strength, will, and resiliency. But what Shaun represents isn’t a moral-of-the-story tagline or cheesy documentary featurette on the power of the human spirit. Livingston, as much as any player, is hope. Hope that a lanky, awkward 6′7” point guards can rule the league. Hope that injured players can return to their previous form, even if that form was but a point on the slope to an undetermined end. Hope that some players will realize that braids may not be for them, and that they look better with short hair. Shaun Livingston, a prep star taken 4th in the NBA draft, is a remnant of an era that trumpeted potential, to the point that much of it was overestimated or assumed. Maybe to some that mindset was the source of franchise failure, of one too many immature high schoolers or enigmatic Europeans. But take one of those ‘potential’ stars, and juxtapose them with the current Thunder…
This is essentially a no-pressure situation for Shaun. All he has to do to earn a consistent spot in the rotation is be better than Earl Watson. The team is young, and hardly faces a strict timeline. Westbrook is already manning the starting point guard gig, relieving any pressure that Livingston would have to rush into a role that he just isn’t ready for. He doesn’t have to take the lead, even if so many of his skills would typically lend themselves to just that. All Shaun has to do is be the mysterious guy that sits in the corner, the one that no one quite knows what to make of, until he gathers himself, and puts together an outburst that none of us are likely to forget. Or, y’know, just sit there.
Acquiring a hardly proven, injury-ridden point guard has never made so much sense.