According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Chauncey Billups is suffering from peroneal tendinitis in his left foot. This has kept Billups out of game action and practice, which beckons to a once-unimaginable truth.
It's time for Billups to give coaching a try.
Since joining the Los Angeles Clippers in 2011, Billups' career has been marred by injuries. The latest ailment has the 36-year-old's future in doubt.
No timetable has been set for his return:
'I'm not really practicing on the court yet,' Billups said. 'When I get to do that, then we can assess [a return date].'
'I'm good,' Billups said. 'As long as the team is playing good, I'm just trying to get better. I'm trying to get healthy. I'm being patient with it. I'm trying not to jump the gun. I just want to be patient and be right.'
No one will question Billups' heart or drive. What we must question, however, is what the best role is for Billups as his legs begin let to him down.
It may not be your most conventional theory, but taking over the role of player-coach is the best option for Mr. Big Shot—even if it is a temporary fix as he recovers from injury.
Setting a Steady Pace
This article is, in no way, a suggestion that Chauncey Billups will never play again. The fact of the matter is, Billups is not a young man recovering from a manageable injury.
He is 36 and recovering from a pair of serious ailments.
During February of 2012, Billups suffered a torn left Achilles tendon (via ESPN Los Angeles)—an injury severe enough to derail the career of someone half Billups' age.
Even still, Billups' heart was on full display as he fought his way back into the league.
Just three games into his 2012-13 stint, however, Billups suffered the previously alluded to injury, peroneal tendinitis in his left foot (via The Orange Country Register).
Yet another severe injury that will limit his mobility.
How would Chauncey Billups fare as an NBA coach?
Instead of removing himself from the Clippers altogether, it would behoove the team to keep Billups on as a player-coach. This way, he would be able to provide his veteran leadership to a relatively young team.
Whether we want to admit it or not, Billups may be out for an extended period of time. The best case scenario, at this stage, is for him to grant the younger players guidance during a long season that is filled with championship expectations.
Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin are just a few who come to mind.
Chauncey Billups may not be the first name you think of when you hear "Hall of Fame," but he's one of the most decorated point guards of his time. Just check the resume.
Billups is an NBA champion, 2004 Finals MVP award winner, five-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA and two-time All-Defense selection. He's also the 2009 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner.
Character, pedigree and commitment. All the qualities of a great head coach.
Even Chris Paul, a seven-year veteran, could benefit from Billups' presence. Keep in mind, Billups is a former NBA champion and 2004 Finals MVP.
Paul has never made it past the second round.
Although head coach Vinny Del Negro has experience of his own, even he has never won a championship. Furthermore, Del Negro is nearly 12 years removed from his most recent game as a player.
Billups is a respected voice in the locker room who can connect with each and every player present—a "voice of reason," if you will.
Voice of Reason
The Los Angeles Clippers are no different from any other team in the history of L.A. athletics: They are surrounded by controversy.
During the 2011-12 NBA regular season, Chris Broussard of ESPN Los Angeles reported that Vinny Del Negro had lost control of the locker room. This came in the midst of a stretch in which the Clippers went 9-13.
A voice of reason was needed. Chauncey Billups can be just that.
As L.A.'s franchise-best 13-game winning streak eventually withers away, it is imperative that the Clippers keep their head in the right place. Billups is capable of providing that voice in the locker room.
With Billups' past, it is hard to believe it would be. Which is why Mr. Big Shot must become a player-coach for LAC.
Whether temporarily or in a permanent stint.