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NY Times: Francis slams JVG

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Faos, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. Faos

    Faos Contributing Member

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    If this has been posted I sure couldn't find it:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/02/sports/basketball/02hoops.ready.html?oref=regi

    In Orlando, Francis Finds Another Fresh Start

    By HOWARD BECK

    Published: January 2, 2005



    Steve Francis surveys his winding career path and concludes, earnestly, that being traded was the best thing to happen to him. Twice.

    Francis, a gifted point guard, forced the first deal when he refused to play for the Vancouver Grizzlies, the team that drafted him in June 1999. Vancouver shipped him to the Houston Rockets two months later.

    The second deal was forced upon Francis, over his initial objections. Given the chance to obtain a box-office star, Tracy McGrady, the Rockets sent Francis to Orlando in a multiplayer deal last summer.

    Five years and two blockbuster deals later, Francis is counting his blessings. Again.

    He is on pace for career highs in points (22 a game) and assists (6.9). His stellar play, combined with the return of Grant Hill, has transformed the Magic from moribund to marvelous.

    "This is like the second-best basketball thing ever to happen to me," Francis said last week. "Getting traded from Vancouver to Houston, that was the best thing to happen. And then this. It not only revived me, but revived spirits and other players."

    Francis says he loves playing with Hill, who is healthy and thriving again after a series of ankle operations. Francis's best friend in Houston, Cuttino Mobley, went with him to Orlando in the McGrady trade. And Francis has a coach, Johnny Davis, who has given him some freedom and room to breathe.

    Those items were apparently in short supply in the Rockets' locker room. Francis insisted that he never fought with Coach Jeff Van Gundy, but he clearly never felt comfortable with him.

    "The coach here treats you like you're a player; he treats you like a man," Francis said, comparing Davis with Van Gundy. "He doesn't try to walk around like he's hot stuff. In Houston, that was a problem. He thought he was bigger than the players."

    A lot has gone wrong in Houston since the Francis trade. Pairing McGrady with center Yao Ming was supposed to make the Rockets a power. But they are just 15-15, sagging under the weight of expectations.

    They have yet to find a suitable replacement for Francis and have cycled through three starting point guards - Charlie Ward, Tyronn Lue and Bob Sura. In the past two weeks, they have traded for two shooting guards with ball-handling skills, Jon Barry and David Wesley. The Wesley deal cost them a highly regarded prospect, Bostjan Nachbar, and their best 3-point shooter, Jim Jackson.

    Orlando has become one of the feel-good stories of the season.

    After finishing a league-worst 21-61 last season, the Magic is again a contender in the East. Francis, Mobley and Hill form one of the most potent threesomes in the league.

    Francis views Hill as the veteran mentor he never had in his early years in Houston. Hakeem Olajuwon kept himself at a distance. Charles Barkley, needless to say, was no role model. By Francis's third season, each was gone, and Francis was the team captain at age 24.

    "Being around Grant has matured me, as a person and as a basketball player," Francis said. "Shot selection, off the court, the way I dress and just being a professional about everything."

    Hill, one of the most respected veterans in the league, is just as pleased with the partnership, calling Francis "one of the best teammates I've ever had."

    He admittedly was not sure what to expect, given that Francis initially developed a bad reputation when he forced his way out of Vancouver.

    "He's been a pleasant surprise," Hill said. "His play on the court speaks for itself."

    Little Patience in the West

    There are no indications that Jeff Van Gundy's job in Houston is in jeopardy, but high expectations have already led to the departures of two Western Conference coaches.

    The Denver Nuggets, plodding along at 13-15, fired Jeff Bzdelik last week and replaced him on an interim basis with Michael Cooper, who won his debut Friday night. Bzdelik's dismissal came five weeks after Hubie Brown stepped down as Memphis Grizzlies coach. The Grizzlies were 5-7.

    Conspiracy theorists could blame Kobe Bryant. The spectacular breakup of the Lakers has every team in the West believing it can make the finals.

    The Nuggets and the Grizzlies were coming off breakthrough seasons and, stocked with young talent, had reason to believe they could take the next step.
     
  2. NBAHOU713

    NBAHOU713 Contributing Member

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    man **** francis, that hater. We got tmac
     
  3. shawn786

    shawn786 Member

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    Right when i think he's done... he proves me wrong again.
     
  4. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    Stuff like this is just annoying. Francis isn't any better than he was three years ago when he had better numbers. And, frankly, if you blame the coach for you not being good, you aren't owning up to your own problems. The great one's not only worked around their coaches, they set high standards for themselves and their teammates in the process.

    This kind of shot at a former team/coach is so classless. He says Grant Hill has given him maturity, yet, I can never imagine Hill going after a former coach. Oh well, talk it up Stevie. Until your team can learn to play defense, you ain't going anywhere but out of the first round of the playoffs.
     
  5. Faos

    Faos Contributing Member

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    I like how he also gave jabs to Dream and Barkley. While Barkley might not have been a "role model" he still could have taught Francis and Cat a thing or two. Maybe dream kept his distance, but is it because Francis never tried to get close to him.

    Francis is a punk, a talented punk, but still a punk. Good riddance.
     
  6. GRENDEL

    GRENDEL Contributing Member

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    I'm really not surprised.

    Orlando is 3-7 over the last 10 games and OVERALL: 15-13.

    I guess anything over 21 wins will be call a success. Also, let not forget the real X factor in Orlando is G. Hill
     
  7. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    Those were comments by the writer.
     
  8. swilkins

    swilkins Contributing Member

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    F Francis. :mad:

    He may think that JVG thinks he is bigger than the players, but SF thinks he's bigger than the game.

    I would have had more respect if he had just kept his mouth shut.
     
  9. Faos

    Faos Contributing Member

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    Yes, but wasn't he getting his info from Francis? How would he have known that Dream kept his distance?
     
  10. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!

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    I can't believe I am going to do this..but...

    Quit hating on the man, he spoke his mind, and everything he said is 100% correct.

    What is wrong with that?

    Geez, he is gone, we got Tmac....let's move on.

    DD (defender of Francis for the one and only time)
     
  11. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    Francis' ego and lack of maturity showed up when a coach demanded that he actually follow a game plan.
     
  12. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    Those were comments by the writer.
     
  13. droxford

    droxford Member

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    well... in all fairness, Steve didn't say that. The writer of the article said that. Steve said nothing about Dream or Barkley.

    -- droxford
     
  14. AlexVanderpool

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    First of all, the reporter takes jabs at dream and charles, steve is not quoted as saying anything against them. Secondly, i think there is a lot of truth in what steve says...this isnt the first time we have heard that JVG has stepped on toes with his "im right and everyone else is wrong" attitude.

    If he just wanted to blindly bash, he would have said something against rudy as well...
     
  15. Faos

    Faos Contributing Member

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    Again, he got his info from Francis. It doesn't have to be an exact quote to be information from Francis.

    And I guess JVG stepped on the toes of Francis by not wanting him to go to the Super Bowl.
     
  16. RocketsAstros

    RocketsAstros Contributing Member

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    Whoa. It's not Francis that made those comments about Dream and Barkley. It was the columnist. Look, there are no quotation marks around those words. The columnist took it upon himself to assume that. Anyway, Francis was speaking the truth about Gundy. There have been many post on this board that have talked about Gundy thinking he is "bigger" than the players. For instance, when anything goes wrong, Van Gundy never has a problem with pointing the finger at the players.
     
  17. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    Eh, you're just defending him because he hates JVG as much as you do. ;)

    What I find funny is that he is opening his mouth too soon. Now the Magic are stumbling, playing the turnover-prone, no defense style of game Franics is loved for. And the Rockets are playing better after minor trades.
     
  18. AroundTheWorld

    AroundTheWorld Insufferable 98er
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    That has already been posted (Francis' comment about JVG).
     
  19. gucci888

    gucci888 Contributing Member

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    Did anyone read the TMac article in SLAM Magazine with TMac/Francis cover?

    TMac bashed Wisebrod and crew much much worst than Francis did. TMac was even cussing in the article, does that make TMac a punk as well?

    Ya'll are acting like Francis has no right to bash JVG. Look at it from Steve's view: JVG replaced his favorite coach, Francis played his worst basketball under JVG, JVG continuously bashed his players, and then sent Francis to Orlando from his home.

    Ya'll would be pissed too.
     
  20. AroundTheWorld

    AroundTheWorld Insufferable 98er
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