Tuesday , Feb , 03 , 2009 Oly Sandor

The Steve Francis Effect: Five NBA All-Stars who fell off

There is no happily ever after. Only regret. Soon, the game’s best will meet in Phoenix for the All-Star contest. These players expect the good times to last; nothing but six figure shoe deals, first option status, and ‘max’ contracts with as many zeros as the American national debt. For some, this will be the pinnacle of their career. Their days of superstardom are numbered. Consider the plight of ‘The Franchise’ …


The Steve Francis Effect: Five NBA All-Stars who fell offThere is no happily ever after. Only regret. 

Soon, the game’s best will meet in Phoenix for the All-Star contest. These players expect the good times to last; nothing but six figure shoe deals, first option status, and ‘max’ contracts with as many zeros as the American national debt.

For some, this will be the pinnacle of their career. Their days of superstardom are numbered. Consider the plight of ‘The Franchise’.

Not long ago, Steve Francis was ‘The Man’ in Houston. His dunks, followed by that trademark skip, received endless Stuart Scott love on ESPN Sports Centre. The combo guard’s numbers and play were so strong fans voted him to start the 2002, 2003, and 2004 All-Star game.

After getting released by the Grizzlies over the weekend, Francis is without a team. This isn’t new, though. Over the last few years, he has failed in Orlando and New York, while striking out in his second go round with Houston.

Francis shouldn’t feel bad because he is just the latest star to fall off. Some are in a far worse predicament. In this edition of ‘Listed’, HoopsVibe The Blog is naming five former All-Stars who went the way of Mickey Rourke minus the comeback.

#5 Chris Gatling …

Gatling, a journeyman forward who played for eight teams, was a last minute, injury replacement in the 1996-97 mid-season classic. He never had this success again. Most remember Gatling as the guy who showed Shawn Kemp love after getting posterized.


(Notice the Gatling-Kemp handshake at 1:24)

#4 Shawn Kemp (Speaking of the Reign Man) … 

This five-time All-Star crumbled after putting on weight, battling drug addiction, and having legal issues. This was a waste. After all, Kemp was more than an athlete –he was the best player in the 1995-96 NBA Finals between Chicago and Seattle.

#3 Vin Baker (Again, speaking of The Reign Man) …

A 20-point, 10-rebound All-Star in Milwaukee, Baker’s career stumbled after getting traded to Seattle as part of a three-team deal for Kemp. In the Northwest, the puffy post had issues with food, alcohol, and depression.  Baker spent his final years shuffling between Boston, Houston, and New York.

#2 Latrell Sprewell …

Spre, even in his mid thirties with Minnesota, could play. The four-time All-Star was blacklisted by teams after commenting he “couldn’t feed his family” on the Timberwolves’ 21 million dollar contract offer.

Sadly, Sprewell wasn’t kidding. The athletic swing has run into financial problems since hanging up his sneakers, even though he made approximately one hundred million dollars throughout his career.  

#1 Jayson Williams …

From NBA All-Star to possible prison All-Star. Williams, who retired prematurely due to a leg injury, was facing a lengthy jail sentence after shooting a man. The former Net beat the manslaughter charge thanks to fancy manoeuvring from his legal team.  But his reputation is shot (no pun intended).  

What former NBA All-Star became the biggest bust? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of jeffbalke.