by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni
UPDATE: As expected, the Los Angeles Clippers confirmed that Chauncey Billups’ season is over. Terrible news. Per the team website:
“Los Angeles Clippers guard Chauncey Billups suffered a torn left Achilles tendon in last night’s 107-102 Clippers’ win in Orlando. The injury, which occurred with 5:48 remaining in the fourth quarter, will sideline Billups for the remainder of the 2011-12 NBA season. Billups underwent an MRI today at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio which confirmed the injury. He will return to Los Angeles on Thursday for further evaluation. A date for surgery is yet to be determined.”
The Los Angeles Clippers’ thrilling overtime victory over the Orlando Magic last night was dampened by concerns that Chauncey Billups may be done for the year.
The veteran guard suffered a left Achilles’ tendon injury midway through the fourth quarter, which many in the Clipper organization feared had been ruptured.
Understandably, there was a feeling of devastation within the locker room, as it quickly dawned on players and coaches just how big a blow the Chauncey Billups injury is.
From Hoopsworld and the LA Times:
Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro would not offer many details, except to confirm that it was an Achilles injury. “He’s going to be re-evaluated,” Del Negro said. “He’s got an Achilles injury. I don’t know the severity of it, but it’s kind of bittersweet. We will see what happens but we will re-evaluate it tomorrow.” Many of Billups’ teammates commented in the locker room that their point guard was “done,” hinting that the Achilles was more than a strain and was, in fact, a full tear. Billups left the locker room with his foot in a boot, walked with the aid of crutches … One of the Clippers coaches commented under his breath that losing Billups was “a damn shame.”
“It felt like somebody kicked me, man,” Billups said after the game as he made his way to the team bus with crutches under both arms and a walking boot on his foot. “I don’t know if it’s torn, but I know it’s not good.” There was a hush in the Clippers’ locker room after their 107-102 overtime victory over the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Chris Paul fought back tears when asked what Billups has meant to the team. Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro kept shaking his head, repeatedly saying how bad he felt for Billups and adding, “This is not good.”
Chauncey Billups was averaging 15 points a night, and had provided the young Clippers with invaluable leadership this season. An MRI today is expected to determine the 35-year old’s fate.