(Francis, left, shown with former MTV fixture Bill Bellamy, who sadly, cannot so easily be shipped to China)
A more thoughtful blogger would prefer to fixate on yesterday’s wheeling and dealing between Orlando, Phoenix and Washington, but as you’ve probably come to understand, I’m not that person. Instead, through the auspices of NiuBBall’s Jon Pastuszek, we consider the Beijing Ducks debut of 9-year NBA vet Steve Francis during a Friday defeat of Qingdao Double Star. Francis, having just arrived in China after 13 hours in the air, was expected to to sit this one out, but as Pastuszek explains, with time running out, “large numbers of fans started chanting obscenities towards (Ducks head coach) Min Lulei.”
With Francis icing his ankle on the bench clearly not expecting to be subbed in, Coach Min inserted him into the game anyways after Beijing™s Jordanian forward, Zaid Abbas, converted on an and-one lay-up on the offensive end. Completely unprepared to enter the game, Francis didn™t even have time to tie his shoes as he quickly shed his warm-up suit and tucked in his jersey before entering the court. With his shoelaces loose and the ice pack around his ankle, Fu Laoda “ loosely translated into English as Big Boss Francis “ received a loud standing ovation and the obligatory œFu Laoda, jiayou! chant from the home crowd as he ran back on defense after the free throw. (In Chinese, jiayou literally means œadd oil, but translated into common English, it would mean œlet™s go! œhere we go! and/or œcome on!) After a Charles Gaines putback for Qingdao, Francis received the inbounds pass and dribbled out the clock, despite cheers from the crowd egging him to shoot one at the buzzer.
He did not record any statistics.
Asked why he decided to against his original plan after the game, Min smiled wryly and answered, œYou didn™t see all the fans yelling and swearing at me?