Billups' trainer: Chauncey's ready to play

Chauncey Billups


Point Guard
New York Knicks


Chauncey Billiups still had trouble moving around a month after he suffered what turned out to be a season-ending knee injury in Game 1 of the Knicks' first-round playoff loss to the Celtics.

Apparently, he's feeling better now.

Joe Abunassar, Billups' long-time trainer, has been working with the 34-year-old point guard all summer and believes that, if training camp started Monday, Billups could play.

"He's donig great," Abunassar said by phone Monday. "He's back to pertty much full-go with everything."

Billups has worked with Abunassar to keep his left knee and quad strong. He's also working on losing about five to seven pounds to prepare his body for the grind of the NBA season. The weight loss will also help him keep pace with Mike D'Antoni's -- at times -- high-speed offense. According to Abunassar, Billups is planning to play at around 205-208 pounds. He usually plays around 212 pounds.

The trainer says that Billups has been playing well in informal games at the Impact Basketball gym in Las Vegas.

"He took it to everyobody last week in the five on five games so i don't think there's any problem there. He's still Chauncey," Abunassar said. And the NBA is still in a lockout, so it is unclear just when Billups will suit up again with the Knicks.

In the meantime, Billups is one of three Knicks slated to play in a Las Vegas league scheduled to start on Monday.

Billups played 21 regular-season games with the Knicks after coming over from the Denver Nuggets in the Carmelo Anthony trade. He averaged 17.5 points and 5.5 assists for New York.

After the season, the Knicks decided not to buy out his contract, instead locking him up for 2011-2012 for his full $14.2 million salary. They had the option of paying him a $3.7 million buyout.