June 23, 2004
No deal yet
Well, the Francis/McGrady trade has not happened yet, and the word is that other teams, including Phoenix and Indiana, have upped their offers. So the Rockets are at least temporarily in the lurch. What will happen? Don't ask Mark Cuban - he doesn't know any more than you or I do.
For what it's worth, the sports guy on KKRW this morning (filling in from the local WB TV station) thinks that if the trade doesn't go through, Cuttino Mobley will be OK with it but Steve Francis won't be. I think one way or another, Stevie will come to see this as a wake-up call, and will want to prove that everyone was wrong to be down on him. At least, that's the way he ought to see this if he knows what's good for him. We'll see.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 23, 2004 to Other sports
I would like to see Francis relegated to a much-lesser team so he can figure out the hard way what he got much too easily - a competitive team. That his agent had to come out and say he was 'very friendly with' Cuttino and something like 'good terms with' Yao is ridiculous. You can't even say you're friends with two guys on your team? Why didn't his agent just come out and say "well, not everyone hates him!" Just underscores what everyone already knows - Francis feels entitled, and is an overrated, spoiled brat who's lucky to shoot better than 35% on any given night. Hurt feelings or not, it was definitely the right move for Houston to try and get rid of his cryin' ass.
Who should be looking out for hurt feelings more is LA and Indiana. Byrd said everyone but O'neal is up for auction. To me, Indiana's a possible title contender next year - it's a big deal to tell most of your team that you really *don't* need them, nor necessarily even want them. Same thing goes for LA. Shaq is already bent, and has every reason to be, but the incredible lack of loyalty/respect shown to Shaq by the LA front office might come back to haunt them if they can't deal the Diesel. Every NBA player has had, at least at one point in time, a sick competitive streak that makes them want to win just a little bit more than the other guy, but disrespecting people is the kind of thing that could make a player wait until just before the beginning of the season to have surgery. To me, it's common sense that respect is a prerequisite for great play today - the players demand it - as they should. People who always shout "but he's making $X million dollars a year, so he should just keep his trap shut and play" just don't get it - and I'm not sure why. I think, to get it, one has to be able to identify - really identify - with being disrespected in a profound way. I suspect black players are more attuned to this because they face racism every day of their lives, but really anyone who empathizes with people outside of their own walk of life can see that $X million dollars a year, alone, does not buy happiness. I think if the NBA business dealings were more ethical and empathizing, many players would accept $X-10 million a year.
That said, I'll be crushed if Francis doesn't get to toil down in Orlando for a few years - just so he can figure out why Tracy just doesn't want to play D any more - and see what a gift he had in Houston. *That* would be justice...