Just as the Los Angeles Clippers were beginning to hit their stride, disaster stuck when veteran guard Chauncey Billups went down with a leg injury in the fourth quarter Monday night against Orlando. Unfortunately Billups’ injury was as bad initially expected; Billups torn his left Achilles tendon and will be done for the season. The recovery time is being reported as 6-8 months. Billups (35) was among the team leaders and was averaging 15 ppg, 4 apg and 2.5 rpg while shooting .384 from three-point range in 20 games this season.
In past years an injury such as Billups’ would cripple the Clippers, but this season the team should be able to sustain the loss. The Clippers have capable veteran guards Mo Williams and Randy Foye who can step in and contribute immediately, and 2nd year PG Eric Bledsoe will be returning from a knee injury soon. The Clippers current management has appeared to be focused on building a competitive team and with their guard depth Billups production shouldn’t be missed to much.
Chauncey Billups was drafted third overall by the Celtics in 1997 and has played for seven teams, averaging 15.5 ppg and 5.5 apg over his 15-year career. The Clippers acquired Billups in the off-season after he was waived by the Knicks via the amnesty clause. Billups will be a free agent after this season and plans to make a full recovery:
“I’m most definitely not retiring,” Billups said in a telephone interview. “The way my career has gone and the body of work I’ve put in, I definitely want to walk out on both feet. I don’t want to go out like this.”
”With my work ethic, I’m going to get back to 100 percent,” Billups said. “I’ve still got some good years left to play.”
Best of luck and a speedy recovery to Chauncey Billups. It would be a shame to see such a good, still productive player end his career with an injury.