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Shaun Livingston talks knee injuries and Gordon Hayward

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A gruesome injury derailed Shaun Livingston’s career, but it didn’t end it. Watching Gordon Hayward deal with something similar brought back a lot of feelings.

Golden State Warriors v Detroit Pistons Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Most Golden State Warriors’ fans know about Shaun Livingston’s history, if for no other reason than because every national broadcast insists on mentioning it.

The Dubs’ stellar backup point guard suffered one of the worst knee injuries in NBA history more than 10 years ago. His career was in jeopardy, but he recovered and has had a long career that’s far from over.

Not surprisingly, the gruesome opening night injury to the Boston CelticsGordon Hayward brought back some memories for Livingston. In a stellar article for B/R Mag, Tom Haberstroh dove into the search for both physical and mental healing for Hayward.

I recommend reading the entire article, which features many quotes from Livingston, including this excerpt.

Livingston still sees it. Over a decade has gone by since a 21-year-old Livingston landed awkwardly on his left leg during a game against the Charlotte Bobcats, dislocating his kneecap and rupturing just about every tendon in the knee joint. But even after his two championship runs with the Golden State Warriors, the daily reminders won't let him forget that image of his deformed knee.

There are uplifting reminders, to be sure. Adoring fans at arenas around the world thank him for inspiring their own rehabilitations and congratulate him on his journey into the NBA's circle of champions. Those are the good ones.

But injuries like Hayward's often rip open an emotional wound. Seconds after Hayward went down, Livingston's phone inevitably blew up with the news and photos of the injury. But the Golden State guard couldn't bring himself to watch the clip.

"I don't watch those plays anymore," Livingston told B/R Mag. "The eyes are the windows into the soul. It's just a mental standpoint about not putting that stuff into your head."

There are other terrific quotes from Livingston, and from other players who have suffered severe injuries. It’s definitely worth reading the whole article.