Steve Francis leaves Chinese team
BEIJING -- Three-time NBA All-Star Steve Francis is leaving his Chinese team after playing in just four games over two weeks.
Chinese media say the out-of-shape 33-year-old played just 14 minutes for the Chinese Basketball Association's Beijing Ducks. To the consternation of his coach, Francis left the stadium midway through the Ducks' 104-89 victory over the Jiangsu Dragons on Sunday.
Francis had reportedly signed with the Ducks for $800,000 for the 32-game 2010-11 season, a portion of which he will receive as a settlement.
"I feel unhappy that I couldn't play the game. I know I was not well-prepared physically to help the team on court. As the team is in hot form, I think it is best for both sides for me to terminate my contract," Francis was quoted as telling Beijing Television on Monday afternoon.
A number of former NBA stars, including former All-Star Stephon Marbury, signed with Chinese teams this season following the lifting of a $60,000 monthly salary cap.
Ducks coach Min Lulei said he's been willing to provide a personal trainer for Francis, but the player merely asked for more game minutes.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press