Livingston will stay for rest of season
Shaun Livingston will finish the season as a member of the Washington Wizards. When his second 10-day contract expired, the Wizards (21-45) had to decide to keep the point guard or let him go. It made sense to keep him since he has already emerged as a starter after only being around for 10 games.
After starting the season in Oklahoma City, getting cut in December and spending the next two months working out in Chicago and Florida, Livingston was understandably excited about sticking around.
"I'm being blessed. I'm in the league, a chance to showcase and play," he said. "I'm just happy, man."
In 10 games, including two starts, Livingston is averaging 4.9 points and 3.3 assists. He replaced Randy Foye as the starter after scoring a season-high 18 points with eight assists against Orlando last Saturday.
"I knew that the opportunity was going to present itself, but nothing is guaranteed. It's every day, a day at a time," Livingston said. "It feels good. It shows my progress, just even with playing, regardless of my performance, and them giving me confidence to go out there and play and endure the physical grind."
Livingston, the No. 4 overall pick of the Los Angeles Clippers in 2004, is with his fourth team since tearing three ligaments and dislocating the kneecap in his left knee on Feb. 26, 2007. Oddly enough, Livingston signed his first 10-day contract with the Wizards exactly three years later.
"He's done a nice job. We have 15, 16 games to go and we want to give him a real good look for the rest of the season," Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said in a telephone interview from Milwaukee, where he is scouting the NCAA tournament. "Obviously, he had an unfortunate injury and he is still on the road to recovery, but he has a real feel for the position. He has point guard instincts. He's tall and he knows how to play."
Livingston said that he is pleased that he has been able to play at a high level.
"My performance has never been in doubt, as much as my physical durability. I'm doing everything I can with my knee to take care of it," he said.
Alonzo Gee was also excited about earning his second 10-day contract with the Wizards.
"I feel real good about it. The hard work pays off," Gee said. "I just got to keep working at it, to get better. You just got to stay focused, don't get satisfied and stay hungry."
Coach Flip Saunders said he's been cautious about using Livingston too much, given that he had missed so much time before returning to the league. But he's happy with what Livingston has given the team in relatively limited minutes.