HoopsHype Steve Francis rumors

December 28, 2010 Updates
December 27, 2010 Updates

Former NBA All-Star Steve Francis has decided to leave the Beijing Ducks after a two-week stint with the Chinese Basketball Association club, a club official confirmed on Monday. "Francis came to the gym in the afternoon and told the team that he wanted to leave," Ducks vice general manager Yuan Chao told Xinhua. Xinhua

Min's remarks fueled rumors that the Ducks wanted to waive Francis, who also missed a training session on December 25. "I talked to Francis in the morning about his leaving during the match and his absence from the training session. I told him, on behalf of the club and the team, that we wanted him to leave. He didn't give me the decision during the meeting," said Yuan. "But he appeared on the court during the afternoon training and said he is ready to leave," he added. Xinhua

The Beijing Ducks on Monday denied that former NBA All-Star Steve Francis had been released amid widespread media reports the troubled guard's brief stint in China was at an end. "These reports are all false -- the Beijing Ducks have not announced to any media that (Francis) has been released," assistant team manager Yuan Zhao told AFP by telephone. "At present we are in discussions with him -- that is all I can say." Inquirer.net

December 26, 2010 Updates

Steve Francis, revered in China since his days in Houston with Yao Ming, arrived in Beijing early in the morning on December 14th to a hero’s welcome; a homecoming of sorts for one of China’s favorite players of all time. 13 days later, Fu Laoda’s happy homecoming has turned into a messy divorce. According to Sina Sports, the Beijing Shougang Ducks have decided to cut Francis from their roster, just six games after the three-time NBA All-Star joined up with the franchise. Although the team has yet to formally announce the news, Francis’ agent has confirmed to the Chinese news outlet that the nine-year NBA veteran will be released by the organization shortly and will return to the United States within the next couple of days. NiuBBall.com

December 21, 2010 Updates

The Chinese Basketball Association issued a warning Tuesday to former NBA star Steve Francis over an indecent gesture the embattled guard made at a recent match with his new team, the Beijing Ducks. Francis was given a "serious warning" for waving his middle finger as he sat on the bench during Beijing's 80-78 win over reigning league champions Guangdong Tigers on Sunday, the CBA said in a statement on its website. The CBA also ordered the Beijing team to "educate and criticize" the 33-year-old former Houston Rocket for his "uncivilised behavior," it said. Inquirer.net

December 8, 2010 Updates

Steve Francis, who has yet to practice with his new Beijing teammates as he prepares to fly into China’s capital city within the next few days, will start the season off the bench whenever he is declared fit for game action by both himself and the team, as announced by head coach, Min Lulei. The 6-3 guard, who is signed up to play professional ball for the first time in over two years, has already been ruled out for the team’s first two games on December 12th and 15th as he works to get back into game shape. “Regardless of how old the star, he still must listen to the coach’s plan,” said Coach Min . “Francis will definitely start the year off the bench. The other players have all been practicing together for a while and they’ve also played in some warm-up games. There’s no way he can start right when he comes here. He’ll need to start out on the sidelines to look at what we’re doing and to understand our overall strategy.” NiuBBall.com

But, would Francis, arguably the biggest name to ever play professionally in China, be willing to play off the bench on arrival? Min, who flew to the U.S. last month to personally watch the nine-year NBA veteran workout, doesn’t seem too nervous about a potential flare-up. “Anytime a player comes to a new environment there will always be a period of adjustment. [Coming off the bench] is for is own good. We’ll wait for him to get used to the team and for his body to get back in shape. When that happens, his time on the court will naturally increase.” “Francis’ contract has some clauses, like obeying the coaches plan, not ducking out of practice, etc. Our final hope is that he can feel at ease with and play some basketball. He’s a big name player, so we know that he won’t be willing to just sit there and not say anything. He’s always been a player who actively tries to understand the team’s overall concepts and strategies… we have a lot of faith in him.” NiuBBall.com

November 29, 2010 Updates

What was pretty much official is now totally official: Three time NBA All-Star Steve Francis will be in Beijing tonight to officially sign a contract with the CBA’s Beijing Shougang Ducks, according to the Jinghua Times (via Sina Sports). The deal has been reported earlier as a one year guaranteed deal with a mutual team/player option for a second year. “Because of the time difference, on Monday night, or Monday morning in the States, the two of us well sign a contract,” said Beijing general manager, Yuan Chao. ”Obviously, this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone.” NiuBBall.com

November 24, 2010 Updates

As we relayed yesterday, Steve Francis and the Beijing Shougang Ducks have agreed to a one-year fully guaranteed contract. TOM Sports has released the details for Steve Francis’ soon to be signed contract with Beijing, and they go a little something like this: Francis will sign a “one-plus-one” deal, meaning that the first year will be completely guaranteed, while the second will be a team option that would be picked up depending on Francis’ health, performance and desire to remain in China. Francis will make $800,000 this year, and if he signs on for next year, he’ll receive a 15% bump in salary. NiuBBall.com

November 23, 2010 Updates
November 16, 2010 Updates

Steve Francis and the Beijing Shougang Ducks have been talking for quite a while. But, if the three-time All-Star is going to become the latest former NBA player to sign in China, the two sides are going to have to talk some more. According to TOM Sports, Beijing came away satisfied after watching Francis workout in Florida for two days and are prepared to enter the final stages of contract negotiations. NiuBBall.com

With Francis out of professional basketball for two years, the team had major concerns about his physical conditioning and the health of his surgically repaired knee. But, based on feedback from Min, Beijing feels comfortable with Francis’ ability to perform at a high level in China. “Judging from his workout with Coach Min, Francis has been recovering OK. He’s been training for just more than ten days, but I think he’s actually doing alright. His ability is still there and although it’s not up to NBA level, it won’t be a problem in the CBA.” “His weight has gone down, he’s looking more or less the same as when he played before.” NiuBBall.com

November 5, 2010 Updates

According to multiple Chinese reports, Steve Francis agreed to sign a two-year deal with the Beijing Ducks, in China. CCTV basketball commentator confirmed through Twitter that the team had “basically get Francis.” Head coach Min Lulei was in the United States to meet the former Houston Rockets’ guard and negotiate the contract whose amount is still unclear. He will also examine the physical condition of Francis and could sign the deal just after this last step. hoopsnotes.com

October 25, 2010 Updates

The merry-go-round of rumors revolving around high profile former NBA players coming to play in China continues to spin at full speed with Steve Francis’ name the latest to be mentioned in the Chinese media. HoopChina is reporting that Francis and the Beijing Ducks are discussing a contract that would bring the three time NBA All-Star to China’s capital city this season. The article sites Francis’ increased willingness to take a pay cut in order to keep Beijing flexible with their salary structure as a major indication that he’s serious about coming to China. Francis originally demanded $1.5 million per year; then $1 million, both of which were deemed too pricey by a Beijing management team who is wary about over-investing in one player. NiuBBall.com

October 8, 2010 Updates

Former NBA star Steve Francis was arrested Thursday night at Los Angeles International Airport, officials said. Francis was taken into custody about 10 p.m. by airport police for resisting arrest, officials said. He appeared intoxicated and became boisterous at one of the ticket counters, officials said. He was released after posting $10,000 bail early Friday. Los Angeles Times

September 13, 2010 Updates

The once highest-paying NBA star said money is not his priority that playing in China can also give him the chance to enjoy his favorite Chinese food and bring his two kids close to the Chinese culture. A free agent currently, Francis is actively engaged in businesses ranging from real estate, IT to music making. However, he said his biggest business now is his family. He drives his two kids, 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son, to school at about 8 am almost everyday. He also coaches his son, who, he said, has shown talent for basketball. Xinhua

August 9, 2010 Updates

After a small Internet furor developed over his claim to be D.C.'s best basketball product since Len Bias, Steve Francis was offered a chance to back off last week. He declined. "That's a true statement," Francis said on ESPN 980's John Thompson Show. "I mean, the numbers don't lie. I'm not trying to degrade those young guys, but as you know, a lot of work has to be put in for a person to be able to have that statement come out of their mouths. And I think at the time that I was interviewed, that's how I was feeling at the time." Washington Post

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