Whit Watson on Francis
"Wondering why the Orlando Magic continue to put up with Steve Francis, despite his bizarre funk of the last month? The answer is found in the first line of his bio on his NBA.com web page:"In 2003-04, [Francis] joined Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Grant Hill as the only players in NBA history to average 15 points, five rebounds and five assists in each of their first five seasons."Francis can play this game, that's why. Go back and read that again: The Big O, Magic, and the pre-injury Grant Hill. Francis is a member of one of the most elite fraternities in the history of pro basketball. He can play. Say what you will about John Weisbrod -- he knew a gamer when he saw one. The trick for Brian Hill is to figure out how to get inside Steve-O's head.There are two, and only two, motivating factors for NBA stars today -- money and minutes. Steve-O is signed up for $16 million-plus over the next couple of seasons, so remove money from the equation. What's left is minutes. By taking away his playing time, Coach Hill has drawn a line in the sand: "You want to play, you play our way." This may well prove to be Brian Hill's defining moment in his second go-round as Magic head coach. I've already stated it on this site, and I will not back down now -- the Magic are a playoff team in the East, because the East is terrible. If the Magic can get to Francis via this suspension, the rest is gravy. But I admit, it's a big "if.""
I am not sure that coach Hill can force Francis to play his way by taking his minutes away without risking resistance on his end. But he can definietly communicate with Francis to bring him to his side, only if knows how, and that is a big "if".