Steve D'Shawn Francis (born February 21, 1977 in Silver Spring, Maryland) is an NBA basketball player for the New York Knicks.

Houston Rockets 編輯

He was the 2nd overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies out of the University of Maryland. He famously cried after the Chicago Bulls chose Elton Brand with the number one pick, swearing that they would regret that decision. He was subsequently traded to the Houston Rockets that summer after publicly announcing that he did not want to play for the Grizzlies. Ultimately, Francis and Brand shared Rookie of the Year honors. In Houston, he formed an electric backcourt tandem with Cuttino Mobley, and had Yao Ming in the pivot. Francis was an All-Star in 2001, 2002, and 2003, and valued for his explosiveness to the basket, but was also criticized for his perceived selfishness and labeled a liability on defense. Ultimately, when coach Jeff Van Gundy sought to make Ming the focus of the Rocket's offensive attack, Francis became disgruntled, leading to the end of his tenure with the club.

Orlando Magic 編輯

On June 29, 2004, Francis, the formerly nicknamed "Stevie Franchise" (self-described "Steve-O") was traded to the Orlando Magic along with Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin Cato in a seven-player deal that sent Tracy McGrady, Juwan Howard, Tyronn Lue, and Reece Gaines to Houston.

At first, Francis was unhappy with the trade, but adapted to his new environment. Francis flourished in the "run n' gun" offense of interim head coach Chris Jent. After posting a career-low 16.6 points per game the previous year with the Rockets, Steve averaged 21.3 points per game in his first season with the Magic.

The 2005-2006 season saw a different Steve Francis. With the development of Magic forward Dwight Howard and point guard Jameer Nelson, as well as the successful return of Grant Hill, Steve fell into a mid-season slump. His scoring average fell, his turnover average rose, and his attitude, both on and off the court, was noticeably less enthusiastic. When Nelson and Hill were injured, his stats returned to All-Star levels, but upon Nelson's return, Steve returned to his slump.

On January 12, 2006, Francis was suspended indefinitely by the Magic for refusing to re-enter a game during the waning minutes of a blowout loss. He was reinstated after 4 days.

On 5 February, 2006, there were rumors that he could be traded to the Denver Nuggets for Earl Watson but they were later dismissed and GM Otis Smith publically announced that he would not trade Francis. However, rumors persisted that Francis would be traded to the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle SuperSonics, or even back to his former team, the Houston Rockets.

New York Knicks 編輯

On 22 February, one day before the NBA's trade deadline, Steve Francis was traded to the New York Knicks for small forward Trevor Ariza and the expiring contract of shooting guard Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway. Prior to the trade, the Denver Nuggets reportedly offered both Watson and Kenyon Martin for Francis, but the deal never took place. He made his Madison Square debut on February 26th when Knicks faced the New Jersey Nets, and scored 16 points in a 94-90 loss for the Knicks. He wears the jersey number 1 as a Knick as his original number 3 was a number already assigned for Stephon Marbury.

He currently lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife and newborn child.

Trivia 編輯

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