One of the best players during his heyday, drugs and alcohol derailed one of the NBA’s brightest stars.
Francis wrote a first-person story for The Players’ Tribune:
I had some dark days, no question. And I know people were asking, “What the hell happened to Steve Francis?” But the hardest part was reading some bullshit on the Internet saying that I was on crack. When I thought about my grandmother reading that, or my kids reading that … that broke my heart. Listen, I sold crack when I was growing up. I’ll own up to that. But never in my life did I ever do crack.
What happened to Steve Francis? I was drinking heavily, is what happened. And that can be just as bad. In the span of a few years I lost basketball, I lost my whole identity, and I lost my stepfather, who committed suicide.
Francis also talked about selling drugs, which began at the age of 10 when he became a “phone boy.”
“It was easy. I’d wait outside the Chinese spot and sit on the curb by the pay phone, looking all innocent, and whenever the phone would ring, I’d answer,” Francis wrote. “It was always people looking for drugs, looking for girls, looking for whatever. I’d tell them where to meet the dealers, and that was it. All day, all night. It would be 50 drugs dealers standing outside on one corner, and 50 drug dealers standing on another corner. And then Lil Steve, posted up by the pay phone.”
Francis was always fun to watch, a seriously great talent. Check out some of Stevie where are they now below, I miss Stevie Franchise.