Steve Francis was a well-known NBA player during his career in the league. He spent nine seasons in the league playing most of his career with the Houston Rockets. He made the playoffs once in his career, and that was with Houston. After his NBA career was over, he had a brief stint overseas playing in the Chinese Basketball Association.
Francis impressed fans with his handles and his leaping abilities standing at 6’3. Some people even compared him to Allen Iverson. After his career was over, Francis got into some off the court troubles and people started to question what was going on.
His NBA career
Francis was the No. 2 pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. He was selected by the Vancouver Grizzlies. He was later traded to the Houston Rockets before the 1999-2000 season began. In his first year with the Rockets, he averaged 18.0 points per game and was named Rookie of the Year along with Elton Brand.
Francis also competed in the Slam Dunk Contest that year and finished as runner-up to Vince Carter. Francis began to make a name for himself in the league as a rookie. In his third year with Houston, he was a member of the 2002 NBA All-Star Game and was announced as one of the starters. He would go on to make the all-star team the next two seasons.
After playing in Houston, Francis was traded to the Orlando Magic. A decision that he was not happy with. He spent two seasons with the Magic and then was traded to the New York Knicks. After two years in New York, he became an unrestricted free agent and returned to the team he spent his played with as a rookie.
Only playing ten games with the Rockets, the team traded him back to the team that originally drafted him, the Vancouver Grizzlies. In January of 2009, it was reported that the Grizzlies waived Francis without him appearing in a game. That was the end of his NBA career. Francis was able to join the Chinese Basketball Association in 2010, playing for the Beijing Ducks. He only averaged 0.5 points playing in 14 minutes, and he ended up leaving the team after a month.
Issues off the court
Francis was once known as a top player in the NBA during his playing days. But a few years after he was done playing, he was more of an afterthought. In November of 2016, he was arrested for driving under the influence and a felony charge for threatening a public servant.
Things don’t get any better for Francis. He ended up turning himself in the next month, while he was in Florida when police issued a warrant for his arrest on burglary charges. Who would have thought this man was a three-time all-star in the NBA?
What could have been a successful NBA career
Francis could have gone on to have a successful career. Plagued with a few injuries may have limited his success, but he was not the same player he was when he first came into the league. It seemed as his skill level took a drop toward his seventh season in the league.
Looking back on his career, he will always be known to have tremendous leaping abilities with his size and being able to get to the rim. In his prime, he was one of the best point guards in the league. Though his career is over he is still giving back and teaching the game to the younger generation. He constantly reminds kids not to make the same mistakes that he made.