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Steve Francis still says he's D.C.'s best since Bias

(1998 photo by Joel Richardson - TWP)

After a small Internet furor developed over his claim to be D.C.'s best basketball product since Len Bias, Steve Francis was offered a chance to back off last week. He declined.

"That's a true statement," Francis said on ESPN 980's John Thompson Show. "I mean, the numbers don't lie. I'm not trying to degrade those young guys, but as you know, a lot of work has to be put in for a person to be able to have that statement come out of their mouths. And I think at the time that I was interviewed, that's how I was feeling at the time."

Here's the back story. Francis did an interview with SLAM Magazine in April. It was published in June. In the interview, he was quoted thus, when asked about his legacy:

"To be the greatest player out of the DC/Maryland area since Len Bias, Kevin Durant can't say that. Michael Beasley can't say that. None of those guys can say that. I am the best player to come out of DC since [Bias]."

Far as I can tell, this quote didn't become a big deal until SLAM published the story online earlier this month, more than three months after it was conducted, at which point bloggers weighed in. So did Durant, via Twitter.

Steve Francis I appreciate you n what you did to pave the way for guys comin out the DMV area but let us youngins do what we do. jus support
At which point John Thompson invited Francis on to clarify his position. As you can see above, his position is pretty clear. Doc Walker then asked Francis what made him make this an issue in 2010.

"it wasn't no one thing, it was just about how people are talking about the local players that came from here, in this area," Francis said. "And I always reach out to the younger guys who are entering the NBA and just try to give 'em some of the type of advice that I was given when I used to have to walk in McDonough Arena at 7 o'clock in the morning...and Coach [was] there waiting on me. It's not like it's something that's outside of the box, but it's just true facts."

Hey, who doesn't love true facts? Let's go with a side-by-side comparison.

Francis won the Rookie of the Year. So did Durant.

Through his first three NBA seasons, Francis averaged 19.7 points per game, 6.4 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.4 blocks, while shooting 43.9 percent from the field.

Through his first three NBA seasons, Durant has averaged 25.3 points per game, 6.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.9 blocks, while shooting 46.2 percent from the field.

Through his first three seasons, Francis's teams won 34, 45 and 28 games, in that order. Through his first three seasons, Durant's teams have won 20, 23 and 50 games, in that order.

Through three seasons, Francis failed to qualify for the playoffs, not making the postseason until his fifth NBA campaign, when his Rockets lost in the first round. Through three seasons, Durant has played in six playoff games (all this year), averaging 25.0 points and 7.7 rebounds in a first-round loss.

If you're talking a complete career, assuming Durant's ended today, I suppose you'd have to go with Francis. Still, "jus support" would appear to be sound advice for Francis.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 9, 2010; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  NBA , Terps  
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Notice how in the original quote, he just says the DC/MD area...'cuz even though it's not in the DC Metro area, Hampton is still in Virginia, and Stevie Franchise claiming to be better than Iverson would be pretty laughable.

Posted by: EdTheRed | August 9, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm ashamed that Steve Francis was ever a Terp. He's never done anything except hype himself, at the expense of the team/area/whatever. Take off the blinders and grow up, Steve.

Posted by: tigerquoll | August 9, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Does NoVa count? Cause if so, Grant Hill has to be part of this conversation. He's easily better than Francis. Maybe not Durant.

Posted by: rumbaugm | August 9, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Durant blows Francis' doors off--that's the fact jack!!

Posted by: thebone | August 9, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

David Robinson anyone??? the pride of Osburne Park

Posted by: ajian1 | August 9, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I still laugh when I think about the fact that Maryland retired his jersey. Ridiculous. It'd be one thing if he'd led them to a Final Four, at least, but he didn't.

Posted by: gkronenberg | August 9, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm ashamed that Steve Francis was ever a Terp. He's never done anything except hype himself, at the expense of the team/area/whatever. Take off the blinders and grow up, Steve.

Posted by: tigerquoll | August 9, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

His jersey is up in the rafters at Comcast buddy. When the tornado hit CP several years after he had left school, he came in and donated a ton of time and money to help the students out. He still attends games at MD on a regular basis and help mentor the players.

Some Terp fan you must be TIGERQUOLL.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 9, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes. I remember during Steve's single season the time when he tried to take over the game when they were behind -- AND COULDN'T DO IT. Great player? You bet. Exciting as hell? Without question. ONE of the best Terps (even if only for one season)? Sure. Great pro? Well . . .

The best ever come from DC? No way.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | August 9, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Really? Is this even an a topic worth discussing? He cried when he got drafted and ever since has only displayed a childishness and immaturity that is nearly uncomparable.

It matters very little what garbage spews from his mouth because I think we all know by now that's all it is.

Yes, I too am a Terps fan but that shouldn't cloud my judgment when it comes to his behaviour. He has been a good samaritan for the most part but otherwise he is best known among the general public as a whiner. And that is basically what he is doing here.

One thing that actually may be true, he might have had more natural talent than any name on this list. What a waste.

Posted by: SanityNotIncluded | August 9, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Francis is a complete scrub. His game was predicated almost entirely on athelticism and not skill. The guy always had an ego too big for his own good. People around the NBA have been laughing at this guy for 6 years.

I am no fan of Durant the racist, but to suggest that "franchise" was better a player than him is absolutely ridiculous.

Posted by: Max_in_Missouri | August 9, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Exciting as hell? Without question. ONE of the best Terps (even if only for one season)? Sure. Great pro? Well . . .

Posted by: bethesdaguy | August 9, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Dude he was NBA Rookie of the Year, a 3 time All Star, and stands as one of only four players in NBA history (along with so-so players Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Grant Hill) to average at least 15 points, five rebounds and five assists in each of their first six seasons

I'm pretty much not debatable that Steve Francis was a great pro, until injuries derailed his career.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 9, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

should read "it's pretty much not debatable"

Posted by: Barno1 | August 9, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Durant was better in high school, college and the pros.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 9, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

@ajian1 Oh, dag, I completely forgot that David Robinson went to Osbourn he stayed local for college. So let's see:
2x NBA champion
1x NBA Defensive Player of the Year
10x NBA All-Star
Rookie of the Year
2x Olympic Gold Medalist, 1x Olympic Bronze Medalist
Member, Original Dream Team
Oh, and he spent four years in college and what would have been the first two years of his pro career serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy.

So, um, yeah, no disrespect to Steve Francis, but he is in no way, shape or form even close to David Robinson in the DMV-post-Len Bias era.

Posted by: EdTheRed | August 9, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Barno not only likes sucking Dan Snyder off, but also enjoys doing the same for Steve Francis.

If Francis thinks he's the best since Bias than he's been smoking more weed than I have.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 9, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Typical Stevie Franchise...still rolling those 2 Bentley's dumbazzz? Only a fool takes a car over money as part of a contract.

And if he's better, why just quantify it with 'after Lenny'? Why not bring it PERIOD?

Cause he knows he can't eff with:

Dave Bing, Elgin Baylor, Sherman Douglas, Adrian Dantley, etc.

And then you got Walt Williams who carried the team AND the school on his back after Lenny, after Bob Wade...while this cat whined and cried and bytched like a colic little baby constantly from draft day to last day in the league.

Posted by: kahlua87 | August 9, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

This is newsworthy, a player w/ an overinflated sense of himself? Francis has always been a blowhard. Everyone in the NBA hated him because of his big yapper.

Posted by: randysbailin | August 9, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Grant Hill & David Robinson:

not only head and shoulders above Stevie on the court, but WAY too classy to ever act a fool like this.

The modern NBA would actually be watchable if it had more guys like these two.

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | August 10, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

These post are funny to me… Let’s just say that Durant is the best since Bias (I think, if not today, then over time he will DEFINITELY be), Steve Francis would still be in the top 2 or 3 to come out of the DC metro area – aka the DMV. Considering how many “top flight” ballers come out of this area, I would say that is quite an accomplishment…!

As for the AI, Grant Hill and David Robinson talk…the people who bring them up MUST not be from DC, because they are not considered DC ballers. DC, for basketball purposes is considered the district (interhigh & catholic league back in the day), Maryland, up to but NOT including Bmore and its immediate suburbs, and Northern VA, down to about Woodbridge.

If you happen to catch Stevie’s call in to the LaVar show – he gave the title up to Curt Smith, as the best baller DC has produced - as a DC playground legend, but of course that can’t compare with being selected No. 2 in the NBA draft and being rookie of the year, if you look at overall accomplishments – but Curt is the best I’ve seen with my own eyes...

So, put Stevie’s comments in perspective, because even if he wasn’t completely right, he’s not that far off…

Posted by: Zo5508 | August 11, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

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