Grizz waive recently acquired Francis

Updated: January 27, 2009, 11:49 PM ET
Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies have waived three-time All-Star Steve Francis.

Francis
Francis

The Grizzlies had acquired him from Houston in December in exchange for a 2011 conditional second-round draft pick.

Francis, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound guard, did not appear in a game for Memphis or travel with the Grizzlies, though he did occasionally practice with the team.

Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace announced last week that the team was working on a buyout of Francis' contract. The Grizzlies announced Tuesday that Francis was leaving.

The 31-year-old Francis averaged 18.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.0 assists in nine seasons with Houston, the Orlando Magic and New York Knicks. He was an All-Star in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

The Grizzlies also announced the hiring of assistant coach Barry Hecker and the reassignment Kevin O'Neill. O'Neill, a former assistant coach, has been named special assistant to Wallace.

Wallace said O'Neill is expected to play a big role in the team's player evaluations for this year's NBA draft.

O'Neill joined the Grizzlies last year after serving as interim head coach at the University of Arizona. He also has been a head coach at Tennessee, Marquette and Northwestern and has worked in the NBA with New York, Detroit, Toronto and Indiana.

Hecker, a former scout, assistant coach and director of player personnel with the Los Angeles Clippers, has joined the Grizzlies as an assistant coach.

He was an assistant coach last year with the Jiangsu Nangang Dragons of the China Basketball Association.

Hecker was with the Las Vegas Bandits of the International Basketball League for two seasons as an assistant in 2000-01 under Lionel Hollins, the Grizzlies' new head coach


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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