CAPTION: Feb 6, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Chauncey Billups (1) is attended to after an injury during the fourth quarter against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Los Angeles defeated Orlando 107-102 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

Chauncey Billups Suffers Torn Achilles Tendon, Out For The Season

Chauncey Billups suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon tear on Feb. 6. He's expected to miss at least eight months, effectively ending his tenure with the Clippers.

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Chauncey Billups On Torn Achilles Tendon: 'My Career Is Not Over'

A torn Achilles tendon may have ended Chauncey Billups' season, but the Clippers point guard is determined not to let it end his career. From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

"I will be back," Billups told Yahoo! Sports by phone. "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."

[...] "I'm focusing in a major way on coming back, and, without a doubt, my career is not over. You will see me again," he said. "I know that. You will see me playing again."

A torn Achilles tendon can sideline athletes up to a year, but given Billups' situation -- a 15-year veteran who will be a free agent this summer and turns 36 in September -- it wouldn't have been surprising had he contemplated retirement. But given all the obstacles he's overcome in his career, it's even less surprising that he's decided to return.

Despite being selected third overall in the 1997 draft, Billups was widely considered a bust early in his career, bouncing between five organizations in five years before signing with the Detroit Pistons in 2002, where he established himself as one of the finest point guards in the game.

He was named the NBA Finals MVP in 2004 and made five All-Star teams from 2006-2010. He's won gold medals playing for Team USA in the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship and 2010 FIBA World Championship, and he was in the running to play in the Olympic games this summer before suffering his injury.

Unlike most point guards, Billups relied more on strength and smarts than quickness and speed, so there's no reason to think that he can't be an effective player in 2012-13, either starting or coming off the bench. His next contract may not be as lucrative as it would have been had he not suffered the injury, but there should be no shortage of teams interested in signing him next summer.

For more on Billups and the Clippers, visit Clips Nation.

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Chauncey Billups Suffers Season-Ending Torn Achilles Tendon

Chauncey Billups is done for the season after tearing his left Achilles tendon, coach Vinny Del Negro told the Los Angeles Times. The Clippers point guard went down in the fourth quarter of Monday's overtime victory in Orlando and had to be helped off the court. An MRI exam Tuesday confirmed the severity of the injury. He's expected to be sidelined for at least eight months.

Although the official diagnosis wasn't discovered until this afternoon, several players in the Clippers' locker room immediately suspected the worst, as HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler reported hearing players hint that Billups had suffered a tear and was "done."

"All I can say is that it was very quiet in the locker room and very quiet on the bus and very quiet on the plane because everyone knows how important Chauncey is and how much they respect him and what he brings to the team," Del Negro told reporters after practice Tuesday before learning the diagnosis. "You feel bad for him more than anything. So, we'll see what the results are and go from there."

Now that the results are known, this injury could effectively end Billups' tenure with the Clippers. He'll be a free agent at the end of the season, and he'll be 36 years old by the time 2012-13 season starts.

In 20 games sharing the backcourt with Chris Paul, Billups averaged 15.0 points and 4.0 assists per game, helping the Clippers climb to first-place in the Pacific Division with a 15-7 record. Randy Foye and Mo Williams are expected to see their roles roles increase in Billups' absence.

For more on Billups and the Clippers, visit Clips Nation.

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