Kobe Bryant will miss Billups

Chauncey Billups’ torn left Achilles tendon not only knocked him out for the rest of the season, but also ruled him out of playing at this summer’s Olympics for Team USA. Billups had previously said that playing in the Olympics was one of the last goals in his career.

“Of course [we'll miss him], because of the rapport that we’ve had with that team in Beijing,” Kobe Bryant told ESPNLA’s Dave McMenamin. “Hopefully he’ll still be there, though. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t still there in some capacity helping out some of our younger guards that are going to be a part of the team.”

Bryant said Billups took Chris Paul under his wing when they were both named to the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team in 2006 following Paul’s rookie season.

“He really helped out Chris Paul a lot,” Bryant said. “Chris Paul was kind of [at] the beginning of his career. I know Chris views Chauncey as almost like a big brother. Chauncey did a great job showing Chris kind of the tempo and pace of the game and things like that.”