Shaun Livingston has seen a lot in his 14-year NBA career.
The guard has played for eight different teams before settling with the Golden State Warriors — where he’s been since 2014 and helped lead them to three NBA championships in the past four seasons.
Yet the 33-year-old is thinking about calling it a career after the season.
“It’s just all the signs on the wall,” Livingston told The Athletic. “And just more so from a physical standpoint. If I’m healthy and having fun, then I want to play. But physically, if I’m not … Like, I put so much work in my body just to get back to playing basketball, let alone get to this point where I’m at.
“So now that it’s getting harder. Like this year, I’ve struggled with injuries more than any other year I’ve been on the Warriors.”
Livingston, who was selected with the No. 4 overall pick in 2004, has dealt with injuries throughout his entire career — most notably in 2007, when he fractured his patella and tore three ligaments in his leg. He missed nearly two full years recovering from that injury, and didn’t play a full season again until his 2010-11 season with the then-Charlotte Bobcats.
Now, Livingston said, that knee injury is catching up with him. He’s had to create new rehab and maintenance routines to keep up with his knee, and at times it will just randomly swell up to the size of a softball.
“But any time it gets swollen now, it’s more about being able to move,” Livingston told The Athletic.“It’s stiff. I can’t move. It’s sore. I come back, it’s aching. And this is all before the game even starts. So then it becomes about building myself up so I can be functional on the court. Once I get to the arena, I got to do all this work.
“And it’s fine, because it’s part of your job that you have to do. But the emotional part of it, at this stage of my career, it can be tough. Like, at 22, yeah, all right, I knew I had to grind. It was part of what came with it. But now, at this stage, it’s like … shoot.”
Livingston hasn’t confirmed if he’ll retire after the Warriors’ playoff run this year. He has just one year left on his contract before he will become an unrestricted free agent in 2020, though only $2 million is guaranteed next season.
Playing for a 10th organization after his latest stint with Golden State, he said, doesn’t make a lot of sense. After all, he’s currently at the top of the basketball world.
“This is like basketball nirvana,” Livingston told The Athletic. “The opportunity to play for this organization, live in the Bay Area, great fans, great ownership, committed to winning, coach that knows what he’s doing and superstars that are selfless.
“We have a great situation. So going to another organization at this point? It doesn’t sound like the greatest thing to do. It would just have to be somewhere, to me, that made sense. Somewhere warm, somewhere close, that maybe the family would want to be in. But that’s a conversation for the summer.”
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