Shaun Livingston became a fan favorite in his lone season with the Brooklyn Nets, as a key component of a re-energized starting lineup that finished the season 34-17 and made it to the second round of the playoffs. Livingston signed a three-year contract with the Golden State Warriors last offseason, and made his first return to Barclays Center since switching teams Monday night. The Brooklyn Game caught up with Livingston before the game. Questions in bold.
What are your impressions coming back to Barclays Center for the first time (since signing in Golden State)?
Man, it’s been great. Just obviously the memories, starting from the drive over. It felt good to just come back. Last year, the memories, good, positive memories for sure.
How has the adjustment been to a new team and a new situation, and finally having a stable (three-year) contract?
Just taking it in stride. Gearing up. We’ve got a chance to do something special, this team. Just being a part of it, trying to gear your game up, I want to be ready and prepared for it. If we stay together, we can definitely do some things. This first year, obviously, it’s coming together fast.
In that vein, Draymond Green said to the Boston Globe, “This is a special group, a special bond, so let’s make the best of it, because this team will probably never be together again.”
You have to (make the best of it). I experienced it last year (with the Nets). You know what I’m saying? I would know better than a lot of people. He has a point. But at the same time, you don’t know what’s going to happen. We could — to me, that’s the key. For guys to stay together, really form chemistry. Especially when guys are young, or in their prime. That’s definitely a key component to building a championship team.
Speaking of this team, what’s playing with this backcourt like? You’ve got two of the best shooters in the league.
It’s great. For me and my game, it’s a lot of space out there. And they’re selfless, but at the same time, they want to win. They compete at the highest level. They want to challenge themselves. It’s just refreshing, because we’re all out there competing. It’s fierce. Constant competition, whether it’s games or practices.
I can imagine practices are crazy.
Back-and-forth. Up-and-down. Lot of talking. It’s good. It’s fun.
Who’s the best trash talker?
Draymond (Green). For sure. And it’s his fault (points to Brandon Rush). He’s the O.G., so he just starts telling him (to keep talking). He gotta start checking him a little bit more. Draymond, (Rush) let him get a little reckless. It’s cool. He knows.
What’s the biggest thing you learned playing with the Nets?
Playing with (Paul) Pierce and K.G. (Kevin Garnett), just that level of competition. The mentality more than anything. What it takes to win. They got a real preparation for the game, and a real hate for the other team. You take that with you. It gives you a chip on your shoulder. It gives guys confidence.
What do you envision for this Warriors team?
A championship. That’s the ultimate storybook ending for all of us. That’s what we’re shooting for.