Their freak accidents happened within weeks of each other. Tony Allen dunked the ball after the whistle, and ended up tearing his ACL, Shaun Livingston was on a fastbreak when his leg bent in a way no leg should. Allen has worked his way back. Livingston is still attempting to resurrect his career with the Wizards.
The both cringed when they saw what the hideous injury that ended Andrew Bogut's season. In a way it's almost like a brotherhood. of players, who want to see the others come back.
Describing his reaction when he saw replays of the fall that left Bogut with a dislocated elbow, sprained wrist and broken hand, Allen said, "I said, "God bless him. Please Lord, bless him." I wouldn't want that for nobody. Me being a person that's torn my ACL, I just wouldn't wish that upon nobody."
Livingston, taken with the fourth pick in the 2004 draft, has bounced around since his injury.
"You don't wish that on anybody," Livingston said. "You don't wish that kind of injury or situation on anybody. But it's the game of basketball, and nothing's guaranteed. There's injuries and things that can happen and you play the game knowing that. I feel for him, he has a really good work mentality and he'll bounce back. He can come back and be as good as he was.
Nagging injuries delayed Allen over the past two seasons, but he's been able to average 16.5 minutes in 52 games this season. From the opposing locker room, Allen wished Livingston the best, having been through a similar circumstance.
"I'm completely honored for him to be back doing his thing. I'm pretty sure he's got a lot more work to do that he wants to cover. I'm just happy to see him back. I definitely pull for those guys.
Both players said that after their injuries the last thing they asked was "Why?"
"Maybe in the beginning," Livingston said. "But what do you have after that? Once you're done asking that. Who has the answers? I don't know who has the answers. Whoever does, I want to meet him. Nobody has the answers to life."