Steve Francis China

Steve Francis accused of sexual assault


From the office of “unnecessarily depressing news” comes word from TMZ that former Houston Rockets guard Steve Francis is being charged with sexual assault.

According to the police report, obtained by TMZ, Francis allegedly “groped” a 20-year-old woman through her clothing in May 2010 … and the woman immediately went to the cops to file a complaint.

The alleged victim tells TMZ … she is a singer who was signed to Steve’s record label and on the day of the alleged incident, she had met Steve at an office to discuss her contract.

via Steve Francis Accused of Sexual Assault |

Francis most recently played in China, but has been doing… whatever it is Steve Francis does after playing basketball, which apparently includes running a record label. Francis’ allegations mark a relatively quiet start to the NBA offseason, especially considering, or maybe because of the lockout, as very few NBA players (current or former) have been in legal difficulties, relative to previous year.

The fact that the police have yet to pursue charges in over a year since the charge was filed by the woman doesn’t speak well of the case , but of course, without knowing the details, speculation is dangerous (as always).


James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.