Tuesday, February 03, 2004

HOLY CRUD: Steve Francis missed team flight to attend the Super Bowl. Blinebury is all over him:

Does anyone think Francis would even have noticed the irony of what he was watching? A close-knit Carolina Panthers team that had the dedication and resolve to get off the floor from a 1-15 record two seasons ago to play its way into the biggest spotlight. A committed New England Patriots club that was a model of proficiency and consistency in winning 15 consecutive games to close out another trophy-raising season.


Remember when we used to call him Stevie Franchise? Sadly, that nickname does still apply to a flimsy basketball team that long ago used up all of the goodwill from the era of Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. The "heart of a champion" motto and all it stood for is packed away in mothballs and covered with cobwebs.

Stevie Franchise stands for a team with a winning percentage of merely .471 since a blockbuster 11-player deal brought him to Houston in August 1999 as the symbol of a new age. He stands for a team that has been all flash and no substance in 4 1/2 seasons, the very core of a unit that has been full of promise and short on results.

The debate about whether Francis possesses the raw talent or the instincts to be a true point guard for a contending team is one for another day. This is about being responsible, about fulfilling the most basic duties to an employer who is paying you $85 million over six years. This was not a youthful indiscretion but blatant insubordination.

Via Memphis Bengal at SportsFrog. I don't expect the Houstonites to make with the "Fire Francis" chants, but that was just dumb on Stevie's part.

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