Early on the first day of this Brooklyn Nets training camp as Shaun Livingston grinded through a battery of drills on the floor of the pristine gymnasium the man for whom it’s named walked in grabbed a chair and studied a small piece of might’ve-been.

“You’re looking just like I remember” Mike Krzyzewski said later warmly.

“Coach” Livingston said laughing “maybe if you’d had this beautiful building back in the day it would’ve gone different.”
“Maybe a lot of things would’ve been different” Krzyzewski said smiling.

Back in the day back in 2004 Livingston was the jewel of that spring’s high school recruiting haul and Krzyzewski had him locked up. The old point guard out of Chicago’s Archbishop Weber High had lured the kid playmaker out of Peoria Central and together they were going to make Bobby Hurley Steve Wojciechowski and Jason Williams look like a warm-up act.

Livingston was that good.

“He had everything” says Jason Kidd who knows a thing or three about the craft of point guard. “He had all that energy. He could see the floor. He was unselfish. He could play all day. All of that and he was 6-foot-7.”

Kidd smiles.

“You couldn’t draw up a more perfect blueprint” he says.
The NBA thought so too and in those days high school kids could still make the leap. Livingston leapt. Even then Livingston’s mind worked two or three moves ahead of almost everyone else just as a point guard’s mind must. His family wanted him to give Duke a try. Krzyzewski assured him the rigors of the ACC would make him more NBA ready. Livingston understood.