This is the slow time in the NBA off-season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start looking ahead to the 2010-11 season and which players might surprise us. The Slept-on Files will feature some of the players you might have overlooked or written off — and give you reasons why you shouldn’t.

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Shaun Livingston’s File: Career numbers: 5 seasons, 193 games, 25.5 MPG, 7.2 PPG, 2,9 RPG, 4,4 APG; 2009-2010 numbers: 26 games, 9.2 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 4.4 APG, 53.5% FG, 87.5% FT

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Why he’s being slept on: With talented young point guards popping up over the league, all eyes will be on this youth movement next season. There is one guy that shouldn’t be forgotten, however, even though he’s had a few years he would love nothing more than to forget. That point guard you might be forgetting is under contract with the Bobcats. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, not the biggest market or flashiest team, but the thing is, this contract, it’s a huge deal. It’s a dream in and of itself, a dream that our slept-on player thought was snatched away from him when the injury grim reaper appeared on the scene in February 2007.

A 6-foot-7 point guard who has been hyped from the preps to pros he came onto the scene with the height, court vision and pass-first mentality that many thought would make him a success. He also had the humility and hard-working attitude necessary to ensure a skilled player makes the jump to a star player.

And then, an innocent drive to the basket looked like it had changed everything. With a YouTube video that will make your stomach weak, and a crumble to the floor that tore every ligament possible, three years later Livingston has made it back. After finishing the season strong with the Wizards, stepping in and providing stability in their injury-riddled season, Livingston proved he could be an NBA player.

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Why he shouldn’t be slept-on: Through 26 games with the Wizards he averaged 9.2 points and 4.4 assists per game while shooting 54 percent from the floor and 88 percent from the line. He was efficient and he was a consummate professional. He made valuable use of his time with the Wizards, eagerly learning from assistant coach Sam Cassell, adding a mid-range game and built up his confidence. There was the dunk that showed he could still get up and then a 25-point, six-rebound, seven-assist night that proved he could still stuff a stats sheet when given the minutes. Had the Wizards not won the draft lottery assuring them soon-to-be rookie phenom, John Wall, they likely would have brought Livingston back.

Throughout every setback he has encountered in his short career, Livingston has taken it with stride, handled it with grace and dealt with it rationally by saying, “Everything happens for a reason.” After signing a two-year, $7 million contract with the ‘Cats, perhaps, indeed it does. Livingston’s dream has been revived and here he is, still an underdog, but one who definitely knows how to fight.

Comments (17)

  1. Livingston was supposed to be the 2nd coming of Magic with Pippen defence… then he became Penny… though he is still super young and young people can comeback… I hope he does cause that guy can ball

  2. I thought Shaun was going to be the best point guard in the league with his talent and height at the position. He is definitely making a comeback and I would like to see him in the all-star game. You gonna have 2 put Lebron on him.

    KEEP IT JIGGY!

    P.S. Why is Lebron king when he hasn’t won yet. And since he is on the Heat, isn’t he prince now?

  3. Good article. I was surprised more people weren’t talking about this.

  4. i really enjoyed watching him when he was the backup here in okc. played hard, seemed like a good guy. trading him and taking E Maynor still the right move though

  5. Excellent post. Livingston’s got the whole package – big body, good PG eyes, great smarts, good attitude. I really want him to succeed.

  6. Well if this doesn’t work out, Jordan will regret not bringin in calderon in that deal that went awry… I hope that shawn works on his legs in the weight room and gains some strentgh to ensure that injury never happens again. good luck.

  7. Liked him when he was with the Clippers, then felt horrible about the injury for two years. Still needs to find a way to have more of an impact on the games he plays, he can be incredibly passive for long stretches of time. Hopefully he can, he certainly has the tools.

  8. Oh man, I wish there had been a warning that that video started with his injury. I had avoided watching it up until this point. That looked nasty. Anyhow, dude can ball, for sure.

  9. Great read, I think a lot of people have written him off to easily, I think he can be a solid role player

  10. did he just dunk on boozer in that vid?!? GET THIS GUY ON THE RAPS!!

  11. I was in Cali in February 2007 watching the Clippers live on tv…I have avoided every chance to see that injury since…horrible…would have loved if he somehow found his way to the Raptors…loved watching him back then, thought his career was done, cheer even more for him now…Go Shaun Livingston Go!

  12. Why does every NBA-player think that everything happens for a reason? I find it rather childish

  13. Everything does happen for a reason. In fact, everything happens for a number of reasons. For example, Livingston’s knee giving out happened because he was moving at a certain speed in a certain direction, and came down in a spot and at an angle which caused the force applied to the tissues in the joint to bend/stretch in such a way that the structure of those tissues could not retain coherent tensile stability, and so they snapped. His comeback attempt is happening because he has spent many many hours rehabbing his knee and practicing his skills, and as he was a high-potential player before his injury that dedication and effort combined with innate athleticism, size, and experience has allowed him the opportunity to attempt to play once again at the highest level.

    Plus he has sacrificed many pigs, goats, and black dogs to the almighty Satan, to whom we should all be thankful. Faith can be a truly wonderful thing.

  14. Bugjackblue. You truly are a great man. I love you. But I know I can never have you, you are too awesome. Like a fully evolved pokemon or a jedi-realitystar.

    But still. Don’t you think that the “everything happen for a reason” cliché is what inevitably will happen when you are an inhappitan of the only western country, that does not believe in evolution? Why this i relevant i do not know… Let’s just say that making fun of americans are a jolly good way of spending you time. At least mine.

  15. Scott/Holly I am loving the ‘slept on’ series you guys have been posting. Helps power me through the NBA doldrums of summer. Great stuff guys, keep up the interesting content. You are making me check in with the jones on a daily basis…when I have no reason to do so in the middle of August. Keep it up.

  16. drinkalot: Glad you’re enjoying it. If you have a suggestion for a “slept-on” player, Holly and I will take it into consideration for a future post. Of course, whether or not a player is truly being slept on is subjective, but that’s kind of what makes this fun, right?

  17. oh man the only one I can really think of is Josh Childress

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