Francis' deal with Rockets worth $6 million
Updated: July 19, 2007, 6:12 PM ETBy Chris Broussard | ESPN The Magazine
Steve Francis is going home.
After three years of struggles in Orlando and New York, the former All-Star guard will return to the place of his greatest glory, the Houston Rockets.Francis was in Houston on Thursday to sign a two-year contract worth roughly $6 million with the Rockets. The club will announce the signing at a newsconference on Friday. "It's great opportunity, I'm definitely excited," Francis told Houston's Fox 26 Sports. "This is a pretty astonishing moment right now. I am still caught up in the hype." The 30-year-old Francis was recently bought out of the remaining two years, $34 million of his previous contract by the Portland Trail Blazers. He received nearly $31 million in the deal. With money being no factor, Francis chose the Rockets over Miami, Dallas and the Clippers. The Heat are believed to have offered him more money. According to a person close to Francis, he chose Houston largely because of his familiarity with the organization and the city. He has kept a home there since joining the club in 1999, and it was the site of his best years in the NBA. As a high-flying point guard for the Rockets, Francis made three All-Star games and was regarded as one of the top players in the league. Francis' career began to decline when he clashed with coach Jeff Van Gundy, who had replaced Francis favorite Rudy Tomjanovich, in 2003.
Some of Steve Francis's best days in the NBA came as a member of the Rockets from 1999-2004. He played the last three seasons with Orlando and New York, but didn't put up the stats he did during his Houston days.