bool(false)

2015 NBA Championship A Reality For Come-Back Kid

03 June, 2015

On February 26, 2007, NBA fans gasped in horror as they watched LA Clipper Guard, Shaun Livingston, crumple to the boards, writhing in pain. The number four overall 2004 draft pick landed awkwardly after a missed layup, dislocating his left knee cap, snapping his left leg and severely damaging every ligament in his knee. So graphic was the video clip aired on ESPN, that the faint of heart were warned not to watch.

Upon initial examination, medical professionals feared Livingston might never walk again or, worse, lose his leg entirely. They felt certain, considering the severity of the injury, that the young man's NBA career was over.

“There are many pro athletes who couldn't come back from such a debilitating injury,” said Livingston's personal trainer, Legacy Fit founder, Manning Sumner. “It takes the heart of a lion and the determination of a rhino to work as hard as Shaun did to get back in the game.”

Following several surgeries and months of painful rehabilitation, Livingston was released by medical staff to begin “basketball activities” in June of 2008. The LA Clippers opted NOT to renew the player's contract, leaving Livingston without a team. He was picked up by the Miami Heat, playing only four games before being traded.

“During that period, Shaun was struggling to get back to the player he had been before the injury,” Sumner added. “He came to me when rehab and his training regimen weren’t cutting it. He knew he could do it but needed someone to support his efforts and encourage him to keep going through the tough times.”

Livingston was traded multiple times over the next few years, playing limited games for any one team, landing with the Brooklyn Nets in 2013.

“We worked together until Shaun knew he was right there,” said a smiling Sumner. “It's no coincidence that in July of last year, ESPN reported he was back in it to win it, he was signed by the Warriors and here they are in the championship.”

Owner and founder of Miami's top gym, Legacy Fit, Sumner trains many off season pro athletes but he considers Livingston an outstanding example of the determination it takes to return from an injury.

“Shaun is a great success story for me,” Sumner said in an interview in March of 2015. “But, the truth be told, he is a 'never say die' kind of guy and that's what it takes to come back from the type of injury he sustained.”

Facing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Championship in early June, Livingston is expected to step in from the bench. After playing nearly 20 minutes in 74 regular season games, Livingston has contributed nicely to the Golden State Warrior's season and playoff success, averaging 7 points per game in the playoffs against Houston, capping off the series with an 18 point game.

“I can't wait to watch him play in the championship,” added Sumner. “It's always exciting to see a client do well but this is really another thing. I mean, it's the NBA Championship! I couldn't be more proud of how well Shaun has come back.”

The 2015 NBA Championship begins June 4, pitting the #1 seed Eastern Conference Champion, Golden State Warriors against the Western Conference Champion, #2, Cleveland Cavaliers.

For more information on the 2015 NBA Championship, Shaun Livingston, and the Golden State Warriors or the Cleveland Cavaliers, visit: www.nba.com

To learn more about Manning Sumner, Legacy Fit or the franchise opportunities of Legacy Fit, visit www.LegacyFit.com

**JD Arbuckle is a freelance journalist specializing in consumer education on a variety of topics including physical fitness, nutrition and sports.

Start Publishing

Jodie Burnham


More related article