After gracing SLAM magazine as a Junior College player to watch for, Steve Francis enrolled at the University of Maryland where he would explode onto the basketball scene.? The combo-guard would have an instant impact at Maryland, being named to the All-ACC First Team and finishing as a finalist for both the Wooden and Naismith player of the year awards.? He would opt out of his senior season to enter the NBA draft.? Francis was selected second overall by the Vancouver Grizzlies, but refused to play so far away from home.? His reluctance to join the Grizz sparked the biggest trade in NBA history where 11 players switched teams in a three team trade that ultimately landed Francis in Houston.? As a Rocket, Francis excelled sharing Rookie of the Year honors with Elton Brand and finished second to Vince Carter in an epic Dunk Contest.? His explosive play made him a starter in the 2002 and 2003 All-Star games.? Francis was later traded to the Orlando Magic for Tracy McGrady.? He would shine early on in Orlando’s run-and-gun system but was later dealt to the New York Knicks.? Since his stay in New York Francis has been shipped around to various teams in hopes of return to his All-Star play.
Francis wore Nike in college but elected to sign with Reebok after turning pro.? Reebok used Francis to push their Blacktop collection because of his playground moves and streetball roots.? Francis would be most notably attached to the Reebok Wink and the X-Beam.? Reebok would also use Francis in their effort to relaunch the Pump technology.? During his tenure in Orlando, Reebok and Francis parted ways prompting Francis to revisit his college roots wearing Nike.? In 2007 Francis made a major move by becoming the first international endorser for Chinese brand Anta.? Francis was able to have design input on his signature footwear from Anta.
|Steve Francis for Anta