Chauncey Billups is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon and he's not getting any younger at 35, but the Los Angeles Clippers guard vowed yesterday that he will return to fight another day in the NBA.
"I will be back," Billups told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. "I’m not done. I’m not retiring. I will definitely be back. This has been the story of my career, coming back, fighting, scrapping and I will play again."
Billups tore the tendon late in the Clippers' road win over the Orlando Magic on Monday night, crumbling to the floor after trying and failing to run down the court. He was in the midst of a huge game, scoring 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter before leaving with 5:48 left. An MRI taken in Cleveland on Tuesday the next morning confirmed the tear.
Doctors have told the veteran guard that a rehabilitation period of six to nine months is possible. Billups has said he plans to seek out advice from other athletes who have suffered the same Achilles injury, including Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins and David Beckham. Billups is a 15-year NBA veteran, a five-time All-Star and the MVP of the 2004 NBA Finals, with the Detroit Pistons. He's scored 15,546 career points and dished out 5,545 assists, 38th-most in NBA history.