Saturday, July 21, 2007

Point Guard 大回歸!!

Francis' deal with Rockets worth $6 million

Rockets 個陣真係大有作為.. YAO + T-Mac + Franchise.. 希望佢地下季有病冇痛啦..

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.

Though Van Gundy helped Francis get to the playoffs for the first and only time in his career, his deliberate style of offense rubbed Francis the wrong way, and his scoring average dropped from 21 points per game to 16.6.

Francis was traded to Orlando for Tracy McGrady the following year. But while McGrady was outstanding in Houston, Francis failed to regain his form and was eventually dealt to New York to team with Stephon Marbury in the backcourt.

That experiment failed as well, as Francis ended up in a reserve role behind Jamal Crawford while struggling with minor knee injuries. Finally, the Knicks traded Francis to Portland in a draft-night trade that sent Zach Randolph to New York.

The Blazers had agreed to buy out Francis as a condition of the trade.

Francis returns to Houston in a much different role. The top option during his five-year stint with the club, he will be no more than the third option behind McGrady and Yao Ming. Francis spoke with both players as well as new Rockets coach Rick Adelman before deciding to accept Houston's offer.

Derek Fisher is returning to Lakers

佢番黎真係冇乜用.. 而家既 LA Lakers 已經大不如前了

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- Derek Fisher is coming back to Los Angeles and will rejoin Kobe Bryant in the Lakers backcourt.

They came into the NBA together in 1996, Fisher taken with the Lakers'24th draft pick and Bryant obtained in a draft day trade with Charlotte.

Fisher, who turns 33 on Aug. 9, cleared waivers Thursday, and the Lakers scheduled a news conference for Friday to announce his signing. The contract reportedly is a 3-year deal worth about $14 million.

He had asked the Utah Jazz to release him from his contract so he could concentrate on finding the best medical care for his 1-year-old daughter, Tatum, who has cancer in her left eye. The Jazz honored his request.

Fisher played eight years in Los Angeles, including three NBA championship seasons, before signing with Golden State as a free agent after the 2003-04 season. After two seasons with the Warriors, he was traded to Utah.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder averaged 10.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists for the Jazz last season. He has career averages of 8.7 points, 3.3 assists and 2.2 rebounds.

He made one of the most dramatic shots in Lakers' history with his desperate "0.4" second shot in the fifth game of the 2001 Western Conference semifinals against San Antonio.

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