By now, many have seen the latest photos of former NBA star Steve Francis posing with a truly geriatric baller to kick off the Liuzhou,China basketball weekend league.
Father Time has not been kind to this once bright star, who never lived up to his billing as the 2nd overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft. Sure, in 11 seasons his likely final averages aren’t too shabby-18.1 ppg, 6.0 apg, and 5.6 rpg., but in his last four seasons he never played over 46 games.
Now, his face is weathered and aged like an old catcher’s mitt (Don’t look me at me! I’m hideous!). But, how did we get here?
Here’s Francis in middle school in Tacoma Park, Maryland. Mean mugging, headband. I’d say he’s ready for greatness.
High school photos are hard to come by, as Francis dropped out and had to go the community college route.
This is the picture many us of think of when we first saw Francis. The transfer to Maryland. Looks like the future is bright. Even Franchise like.
Ahh, the kid is a NBA star. Looks fit and healthy. This Francis-Yao thing is totally going to work out. Spolier alert-it doesnt.
Francis with fellow malcontent, Stephon Marbury most likely focusing on anything, but basketball.
Fast-forward to 2010, we have a problem. Sure, there is the standard Francis charm in the right hand picture by flicking someone off. But, the left hand picture shows a 32 year-old man with the muscle tone of a14 year-old girl. Something is not right.
Oh, yes. This is the one that got all of our attention. This was snapped in 2012. Stevie was 34 years-old at the time. Either he has terrible genes or an intervention of sorts is needed.
This is from the latest press conference in China. We all age and we all hope we age gracefully and elegantly. Unfortunately, this is not the case for Steve Francis.
Honestly, who is that guy?