According to ESPN, Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard Chauncey Billups will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his left Achilles tendon during the team's 107-102 slim victory against the inconsistent Orlando Magic. Team officials confirmed the horrific injury on Tuesday, as the Clippers have just lost a key piece in their championship hopes.
Even though this news is extremely painful for the Clippers organization, there is no doubt that it hurts Billups the most. After all, this is a 35-year-old veteran who was thriving next to fellow superstars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Before going down with injury, Billups was averaging 15 points and four assists per game, while playing a completely new position in shooting guard.
Despite the fact that this is a career-threatening injury for this elder statesman, Billups assures NBA fans that they can expect to see the former All-Star suit up next season.
However, if this truly is the end to the legendary career of Mr. Big Shot, I want to ask a fitting question: Does Billups belong in the Hall of Fame?
Over Billup's 15-year tenure in the NBA, the former University of Colorado star racked up the personal accolades in multitude. Despite having an extremely slow start to his career, Billups became one of the elite talents in the association. From being a five-time All-Star to winning NBA Finals MVP, Billups has enjoyed a lengthy and successful career in the NBA.
However, though his personal awards are very impressive, the attribute that could find him a spot in Springfield one day is his character on and off the court.
If there is one quality that describes Billups, it is his extremely valuable leadership mentality. This attribute shined in the much-hyped 2004 NBA Finals.
Despite going up against the Los Angeles Lakers with four future Hall of Famers in Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, Billups led the Detroit Pistons and his cast of "role players" to an improbable championship. His efforts did not go unnoticed, as he was awarded NBA Finals MVP.
Plus, Billups has made a living hitting big shot after big shot during his time in the league, hence the nickname Mr. Big Shot.
Sure, Billups was an elite talent on the court, but he was also a fantastic person off it. Billups has won numerous awards due to his kind, caring personality. Billups has won both the NBA Sportsmanship Award and the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.
In the end, I believe Billups will one day see himself in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. But for now, let's hope that we will once again see Mr. Big Shot in the NBA.