He has not watched it.
His friends warned him not to, but it was not a tough sell.
Besides, Shaun Livingston was there. He already knows how it feels when your knee explodes. The replay would not be illuminating.
If he really needs to know, there were witnesses.
“It was surreal,” said Dr. Steven Shimoyama, who was on the Clippers’ medical staff on Feb. 26, 2007 when Livingston, the coming pride of the franchise, tore three of his four knee ligaments.
Those who have endured those horrifying frames know Livingston’s skinny left leg, the one that had survived the punishment of the NBA, looked like a straw that a child had bent to slurp the last drop of milkshake.
Livingston was sailing for a layup, after Cuttino Mobley had stripped Charlotte’s Derek Anderson. Livingston knew he had to get the ball up in a hurry, and he just came down wrong, maybe by an inch.
The paramedics put Livingston on a stretcher and removed him from the Staples Center floor.
Somehow there is a happy ending. Primarily because it isn’t an ending.
Livingston again has a regular gig. He is the backup point guard for those same Charlotte Bobcats.
He is averaging 6.3 points and 17.4 minutes. He is still 6-foot-7 and thinner than the 3-point line. He is only 25, because he bypassed his commitment to Duke when the Clippers made him the fourth pick of the 2004 draft, out of Peoria, Ill.
“I’ll never know how close I am to what I would have been,” Livingston said.
“But I like to think I’m as close to 100 percent as I’m going to be. Sometimes I can elevate like I used to. Other days I can’t.”
He laughed. “I’m getting old, you know.”
Charlotte coach Paul Silas says Livingston is closer to fine than Livingston thinks.
“He’s so much bigger than other point guards, so that helps on both ends,” said Silas, a reserve power forward for the 1978-79 NBA champion Seattle SuperSonics.
“Once he gets confidence shooting the three, look out. Twenty-five point games will be nothing for him.”
To reach Charlotte, Livingston made stopovers in the NBA’s Developmental League, Miami, Oklahoma City and Washington.
Arrival, he says, is a relative term. He gets to the arena three hours in advance, for ice and lifting. He ices his knee three times a day.
Others find it easier to revisit Livingston’s injury now that they see him running again.
Shimoyama was sitting behind the Clippers bench when all the players rose as one, and trainer Jason Powell immediately waved in the paramedics.
“I didn’t know what happened,” he said. “From the way people reacted, I thought maybe a bone had broken through the skin.
“When I got out there, my job was to get the knee back in place, because he had dislocated his kneecap, too. It took about four or five seconds, but time was important. I didn’t want him to lose circulation in his foot. If he had, amputation was a possibility.”
Shimoyama remembers grunting, “Come on, Steve,” as he forced everything back into place.
The anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments snapped. Livingston was wheeled to Centinela Hospital.
Dr. James Andrews, renowned re-assembler of athletes, did the three-hour operation. Livingston was laid up for four weeks and used crutches for the next five. Since then he has needed arthroscopic surgery and has fought tendinitis.
Remarkably, there was no inflammation of his spirit.
“I really thought it was 50-50 whether he’d come back,” Shimoyama said.
“Yeah, I had a lot of down time and it was tough,” Livingston said. “I was going to be the Clippers’ point guard of the future and our team was taking off.
“But it all comes down to the realization, mentally, that it is what it is, and you really just have to make the most of it.”