Francis decides to leave Beijing   2010-12-27 19:51:03 FeedbackPrintRSS

BEIJING, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- Former NBA All-Star Steve Francis has decided to leave the Beijing Ducks after a two-week stint with the Chinese Basketball Association club, a club official confirmed on Monday.

"Francis came to the gym in the afternoon and told the team that he wanted to leave," Ducks vice general manager Yuan Chao told Xinhua.

Francis, 33, did not play in Beijing's 104-89 win over Jiangsu Dragons on Sunday and left the locker room during the break.

Head coach Min Lulei confirmed Francis' leave at the post-game news conference, saying "it's the first time in my life that saw a player leave during a match".

Min's remarks fueled rumors that the Ducks wanted to waive Francis, who also missed a training session on December 25.

"I talked to Francis in the morning about his leaving during the match and his absence from the training session. I told him, on behalf of the club and the team, that we wanted him to leave. He didn't give me the decision during the meeting," said Yuan.

"But he appeared on the court during the afternoon training and said he is ready to leave," he added.

Yuan said he had informed the club and both sides would work on to make it a happy departure for Francis.

In about two weeks with the Ducks, Francis -- a three-time NBA All-Star and former teammate of star Chinese center Yao Ming -- played in four games, averaging 0.5 points and 0.7 rebounds in about three minutes per match.

Francis was selected by the Vancouver Grizzlies on the NBA Draft in 1999. He played for the Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and New York Knicks before he was waived by the Grizzlies on January 27, 2009.

He was voted as the All-Star player for three times, averaging 18.1 points, 6.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds in 10 seasons.

Editor: Wang Guanqun
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