"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.
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