Steve Francis once was a famous player in the NBA league, but he was caught in a personal struggle in the latter part of his career. What happened to Steve Francis?
Steve Francis struggled with addiction and battled against some legal troubles. Despite the impossible, Steve Francis made it through the slump, ultimately turning his nightmare into a dream.
Despite succumbing to bad choices like substance abuse, divorce, financial issues, and even burglary, Steve Francis made a turning point in his life. Check out the rest of the blog to know how Steve Francis surpassed these struggles.
Who is Steve Francis?
Steve Francis is a former NBA player known for being an excellent player. Steve Francis’ NBA career spanned from 1999 to 2008 or approximately nine years. He started loving the intensity of basketball at a very young age, even practicing under the scorching heat of the sun and the harsh rain.
He had an impoverished childhood; he worked for drug dealers at ten and sold crack cocaine as a teen. After his mother died in 1995, when he was 18, he stopped attending school. But he was given a scholarship by San Jacinto College to play basketball for their team.
In 1998, Steve Francis transferred to the University of Maryland before joining the NBA draft in 1999. In the drafting year, he was selected by the Vancouver Grizzlies as their second pic. Not shortly after (before the 1999-2000 NBA season), he was traded to the Houston Rockets—where he became a key player.
As an NBA player, Steve Francis was described as an excellent player for his flashy style of play. Specifically, he was known for his prolific moves on the court, long-range shooting, and excellent ball pass. He also had the chance to play for other NBA teams, namely the Orlando Magic and New York Knicks.
Unfortunately, Francis faced severe personal problems during his NBA career and was caught in legal battles. Hence, his NBA spanned for a short period because of these reasons. Now, he uses his story to inspire people.
Steve Francis was the epitome of the ups and downs of life. He grew up in a dire situation. Fortunately, Steve could surpass those through basketball and later found himself at rock bottom again. These days, he is starting to get through the.
Steve Francis NBA Career Highlights
Steve Francis’ career in the NBA lasted almost nine years, from 1999 to 2008. He started playing in collegiate tournaments and entered the NBA scene due to his perseverance and innate skills.
Below are the bulleted points highlighting his NBA career. Check it out.
- 1999 NBA Draft
After playing for the University of Maryland, Steve Francis joined the 1999 NBA Draft. He was selected as the second pick of the Vancouver Grizzlies. However, he did not want to play for the team, citing hoe distance, taxes, etc., as his reasons.
Before the 1999 NBA season kicked off, he was traded to the Houston Rockets. He did not play any game for the Grizzlies and officially started his NBA career as a part of the Houston Rockets roster.
- Houston Rockets (1999 to 2004)
Steve Francis filled the NBA courts with burning passion as a rookie player. True enough, he unanimously bagged the Rookie of the year award in 2000—the first time since David Robinson achieved the same feat in 1989.
In his first season, he averaged 18.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. He also led the Rockets to the playoffs in 2002, the first time the team made it to the playoffs since 1999.
In the same season, he improved his stats and averaged 21.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game. With this outstanding record, he made it to the NBA All-Star for the first time in the same year.
However, his record dropped to 16.6 points per game in 2003. Hence, he was later traded to the Orlando Magic in 2004.
- Orlando Magic (2004 to 2006)
Steve Francis played for two seasons after being traded to the Orlando Magic. He picked up the pace again and improved his stats, averaging 21.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game.
Again, he made a successful year. Thus, he got into the All-NBA Second Team. However, despite his influential record, he could not lead the team to the championships.
- New York Knicks (2006 to 2007)
Even though he made outstanding achievements with the Magic, he was traded to the New York Knicks. However, Steve Francis’ injuries in the right knee intercepted his momentum.
As a result, he only averaged 11.3 points per game. Ot shortly after, he was traded to the Portland Trailblazers in 2007, but the team bought out his contract for $30 million.
- Houston Rockets (2007 to 2008)
After becoming a free agent, the Dallas Mavericks, L.A. Clippers, Miami Heat, and Houston Rockets showed interest in him. Despite the heat being the highest, he returned to the Houston Rockets for a $6 million contract.
Due to his surgeries in the past seasons, Steve Francis failed to keep up the momentum. Hence, the Rockets traded him back to his original team, Grizzlies. However, the team dropped him without giving him a chance to appear in any game.
After then, no other teams showed interest in his play.
How Did Steve Francis Lose His NBA Career?
Steve Francis’ retirement was heavily affected by his injuries in his knee and ankle. He was undeniably a great player, but his injuries took a massive toll on his health and performance. Hence, the results of these injuries were evident in his gameplay.
His declining performance did not impress NBA teams, so he lost the chance to be picked up on a roster again. Since his play relied on explosiveness, his injury hit hard during his NBA stint.
Steve Francis’ stats ended at 18.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game. This alone can tell how great of a player he was despite the ups and downs of his career. After being dropped by the Grizzlies, no other NBA teams showed interest in him.
Steve Francis’ Life After the NBA
Steve Francis also had ups and downs after his NBA retirement. When his stepfather, whom he considered his best friend, died, he started drinking heavily. In 2016, he was arrested for driving under the influence and a felony charge for threatening an officer.
Only a month after, he was again arrested for his involvement in a burglary. His wife, for his substance abuse, also divorced him. In 2018, he wrote for The Daily Tribune, describing his situation after his stepdad died as a “dark place.”
Steve Francis’ net worth of $40 million dropped at the height of these unfortunate events. Luckily, he started becoming better since then. In an interview with Forbes, he stated that he is now investing and owning a team in The Basketball League (TBL).
These days, he is also active in the Steve Francis Foundation in hopes of inspiring at-risk youth in Washington and Houston, DC. The foundation creates opportunities for these teens to do recreational and educational activities
Wrapping Things Up: What Happened to Steve Francis?
Steve Francis’ journey is indeed a rollercoaster ride. His entrance to basketball was not accessible, especially in the NBA league. Hence, he made the best of it and became a star player. However, his career took a wrong turn. What happened to Steve Francis?
He suffered from injuries in his ankle and knees that made his performance decline, and he also experienced personal issues after his stepdad died. Luckily, he surpassed these challenges and now doing philanthropic duties.
Steve Francis’ story is a testament that you can be a masterpiece after adversity—so keep pushing through.
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