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Just The Sports: The Association's Mr. Glass

Just The Sports

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Association's Mr. Glass

Unless you are sadistic or feeling particularly spiteful for whatever reason, you have probably never wished injury upon an athlete. Injuries not only result in lost playing time for an athlete, sometimes for the rest of an athlete's life, but they can also destroy teams' seasons and if the injured player is important enough, an injury can set an entire franchise back years. Or, as Los Angeles Clippers point guard Shaun Livingston has found out, injuries can retard an athlete's development and improvement.

In his three short seasons in the NBA, Livingston has already suffered a dislocated right knee, torn cartilage in his shoulder, lower back stress fracture, and now he has torn three of the four ligaments in his left knee along with a couple of bone dislocations thrown in for good measure. With a return to the court this season completely out of the question, Livingston will have only appeared in 145 out of a possible 246 games. As a result, in his third season, he is no better than he was during his rookie and sophomore years.

Although his 50.3 TS% is higher than his rookie mark of 46.1 TS% and his sophomore mark of 46.0 TS%, Livingston is so wildly inconsistent that it has kept him from posting completely significantly better shooting percentages. The same story can be told about his points per shot attempt statistics. Livingston's dilemma arises from the fact that an athlete needs good health with which to become consistent and good health does not seem to be very forthcoming for him at the moment.

Not even his assist rate to turnover rate ratio has improved over the course of his NBA career to the point where you can say it is a significant increase over when he was a rookie, made worse by the fact he is a point guard. Such is the work of injuries.

Livingston is just one example of how injury can ruin a player's career. Like, for instance, turning a former fourth overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft into someone who is staring down draft bust status. What is worse about the whole matter is the chance of Livingston ever being physically able to redeem himself is astronomically against his favor. An injury-prone player usually stays injury-prone.



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