Friday, January 13, 2006

It's Groundhog Day

Steve FrancisWhat would the NBA be without its annual Steve Francis suspension. The Orlando Magic’s bad boy was asked not to bother coming to work on Thursday morning, or anytime else for that matter, until head coach Brian Hill and the Magic brass has a chance to meet with him. That won’t presumably happen until the Magic return from their West Coast swing this weekend.

It’s rumored that Francis refused to return to the game during the Magic’s 113-104 loss to Seattle on Wednesday night. He had been critical of the team the night before after the Orlando was blown out by the Lakers.

The Magic released the announcement which ended with, “The team will have no further comment following this statement.” Does that mean that the team’s PR staff is out of work?

Francis’ run-ins are becoming almost Punxsutawney Phil-ish. He kicked a courtside photographer in Seattle last season (3 game suspension), in addition to missing a practice after the All-star break (undisclosed cash fine). In 2004 he shelled out more money after dropping a few four-letter words during a nationally televised interview ($25,000 fine) and was booted from the Rockets after missing a practice (1 game suspension).

All the while one Tracy McGrady is the model citizen in Houston.

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