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Sports & Recreation

Best Less-Sung Warrior 

Shaun Livingston

Coach Steve Kerr was not the only fresh face when the Golden State Warriors began their incredible and still a bit unbelievable rise to the best team in NBA history. Sitting there on the edge of the bench, Shaun Livingston was a near-anonymous journeyman, playing with his 10th team in 10 years in the league, backing up the incomparable Steph Curry. In other words: just another spare part. Or so he might want you to think. With Curry sidelined via injury as the Warriors kicked off the playoffs to defend their title, Livingston started every game — and provided a life-sustaining spark, as the Dubs cruised past Houston and started to make short work of Portland. (And it was Livingston getting heated with the refs in Game 4 that led to Curry's history-making 40-point return.) Long-limbed and rangy, a post player rather than a splashy shooter, in many ways he's the anti-Curry. There may be ticket-holders in Oracle who would fail to recognize him on the street — but he's getting his due, and if there's any player who personifies Kerr's trademarked motto "Strength in Numbers," it's this dude. Just how valuable is he? "We'd be dead without him," Kerr said.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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