BLACKBALLED From Employment
Tons & tons of guys in the NBA stick around, and then you have guys who don't due to being Blackballed out of the league.
Which Former NBA players have been Blackballed out of the league?
Another one of your dumb threads memphistiger... seriously about only 10% of your threads are remotely interesting. Blackballed in the NBA? Seriously? If your good, you'll get your shot.
rashad mccants was apparently blackballed for being a headcase.
Wrong..McCants isnt in the league any longer because he ate himself out of shape, lazy work ethic, and a 6'3 SG are a dime a dozen.
Why were they blackballed from employment? What is the reason for that? Unless at a regular criminal check he turned up a criminal record there should be no problems.
I'm aware of McCants & Stevie Franchi$e
Had no clue about Marcus Fizer, what's his story?
Can we all officially say Javaris Crittenton is BLACKBALLED now, especially with the lockout?
I got Blackballed from being a hooters waiter
I would like to know about Fizers story......Hopefully .nets own Marcus Fizer can shed some light.
Easy there 4th Dimension, easy. Lets take a deep breath in........ and exhale. But This is sort of interesting, I would say Adam Morrison.
I say about a year ago Steve Francis story of him being blackballed was in the Slam Mag......
Where’s The Love?
Steve Francis was a great player and even better athlete. A few years later, do people remember that?
No story has generated more Trash Talk in the past few months then this Stevie Francis feature that ran in SLAM 140. With that in mind, and with word leaking that Franchise hopes to play for Miami next year, we felt like the time was right to post the full feature online. Enjoy. —Ed.
by Bonsu Thompson
Nobody knows where Steve Francis is. Not his business partner Kenny Westray. Not his manager-slash-agent Nate Peake. Not even Steve’s nameless buddy on the other end of Nate’s cell. The sour sky blanketing the DMV region this soggy April afternoon sets the perfect backdrop for the mood inside We R One (the retail hub for Steve, Kenny, Nate and Nick Van Exel’s clothing line of the same name). From biz partners to store employees to the journalist awaiting an already hour-late interview, everyone’s itinerary has been paralyzed by the local legend nicknamed Stevie Franchise. Yet, while Nate’s furrowed brows and tight jaw projects “Where the hell is my client?” Kenny has a question that’s different yet still relevant to Steve Francis’ absence: “How the &$#%#&@! you just get tired of making millions?”
Steven D’Shawn Francis hasn’t been seen earning NBA millions since 2007. Powered by bunny hops and an underground crossover, the Takoma Park, MD, product gave us nine NBA seasons, including an electric first six which generated ROY honors, three consecutive All-Star game elections (one start) and a runner-up finish to the greatest performance in NBA Dunk Contest history. Then Stevie went MIA as quickly as he arrived. If the League has a backdoor, Francis slipped through it.
“Here he go,” says one of the eager We R One employees, staring out of the store’s rain-slicked front window. Francis enters the room and the tension exits behind him. Everybody’s now rocking a smile—Steve’s the widest as he greets his peeps with orchestrated pounds. Fortunately, he’s ready for his interview. Unfortunately, first he wants to get a shave at the barbershop next door (also owned by him). “This all I do, Bon,” he says, arms spread eagle, entering the chop shop in his patented diddy-bop. “Just chill—kick it with my peeps and check on my businesses.”
These businesses include a construction company, boxing promotions and of course the barbershop and clothing line. But what Steve claims he’s most passionate about these days is his budding rap label. He has dreams of becoming the Master P of DC—millions invested into 30 artists, none more a priority than the others, in a region that, Wale notwithstanding, has traditionally been as hip-hop fertile as Joan Rivers. It’s a baffling business model, though not more baffling than why a 33-year-old with career averages of 18, 6 and 5 is living the entrepreneurial life of an ex-player 10 years his senior. Not more confusing than why a PG who claims he’s currently “100 percent healthy” and was “the best point guard in the League from 2002 to 2005,” walked away from the game at age 30.
“NBA players only have a small window,” Steve yells over the barber’s buzzing clippers. “So after seeing stories about guys being broke, and then I just seen some &$#%#&@! about Antoine Walker…I was like, let me put my head into my business for my family.”
Healthy financial investment, family and future security: all valiant but unsurprising goals for a millionaire, especially a professional athlete. What’s hard to believe is that the chase of a strong portfolio could replace the competitive spirit of a player who led both his junior colleges (San Jacinto in TX and Allegany in MD) to undefeated records before becoming a Maryland Terrapin. A baller who after an NBA All-Star season sharpened his game on summer blacktop from The Dome in Baltimore to Harlem’s Rucker Park. Nope, not buying it.
Steve concedes. He finally relinquishes the truth: Both the Houston Rockets and his own ego play huge roles in him being inactive today. It began with Jeff Van Gundy replacing Rudy Tomjanovich as the Rockets’ head coach in ’03. Van Gundy quickly replaced Francis as the team’s offensive focus in favor of Yao Ming. Francis’ freestyling, run-and-gun game was of no interest to Van Gundy, and after a season of PG/coach head-butting, Steve-O was traded to Orlando. Though rough for him at first, Disney World became home to his second-best statistical season (21.3 points, 7 assists, 5.8 rebounds). In the middle of the ‘05-06 season, Steve was bounced to the Knicks, into the middle of the Larry Brown nightmare. In ’07, Francis found himself back on a Rick Adelman-navigated Rockets team. “They ain’t start me [and] that rubbed me the wrong way,” says Steve through a jaw full of shaving cream. “I’m playing behind a guy that wasn’t drafted—Skip To My Lou. You can’t put a three-time All-Star on your bench. So [I decided] if I’m getting x-amount of dollars, I’ma fall back and just get my money for my kids.”
While the Rockets won 55 games, No. 3 wasn’t exactly looking his strongest. In December of ’07, Francis suffered a knee sprain, then went through a bout with the flu. As soon as he was germless, he tore his quadriceps, requiring season-ending surgery. With speedy rookie Aaron Brooks shaping into a floor general for the future, the Rockets shipped Steve’s rights to Memphis. The Grizz had as little interest in the aged Stevie Wonder as the Rockets. Just like they would bench another past-prime little man known for his huge game a year later, Steve had to compete against the team’s youth investments—Mike Conley and Kyle Lowry.
Standing over Steve listening in, Nate adds his two cents: “Why should he have to prove himself to an organization that’s not winning but gonna put guys in front of him that haven’t proven themselves?” The client-agent tag team. “If you bring your product to the table and they don’t respect your product, you gotta go in a different direction,” says Francis, who notes that Nate negotiated a healthy buy-out from Memphis. “I got a bag [of money] from ‘em. I’m not gonna be whored out by nobody.”
Steve is now lined-up. His face is shaven smooth. Yet he remains in his barber’s chair for a leg massage. Only the hum of the electric contraption being run over his legs can be heard. Steve is quiet—in his head, too busy remembering Opening Day of the ’08-09 season. He breaks out of his cloud and answers the question: “The first day [of the season, when] I watched those games and I wasn’t in training camp…man, I was sick.”
While it’s understandable watching the NBA season would make the veteran a bit ill, one would imagine his sickest period of all might be now, during the NBA postseason. Steve was picked second overall in the ’99 Draft. Baron Davis, Lamar Odom, Rip Hamilton, Shawn Marion and Jason Terry all trailed him in the Lottery that summer. Ron Artest went 16th. All the aforementioned players remain heavy contributors to their respective clubs. The Jet, Matrix, LO and Ron-Ron all competed in the ’10 postseason, with the latter two looking like Finalists, if not champs.
To see Francis’ peers balling so sufficiently makes the former PG’s absence even more acute. “He’s a rare guard,” says Baron, who met and bonded with Steve on a trip to B-More after his freshman year at UCLA. “He’s 6-3, can shoot, can pass, get to the hole at will and dunk on you. Makes no sense for him not to be still playing.”
When asked how he stays NBA-ready, Steve quickly notes that Nate doesn’t allow him to play streetball anymore because he has nothing else to prove. These days the bulk of his shooting takes place on his home court with his 2-year-old son. “I can go out on the court right now and bust anybody’s ass,” he says. “If a team called, just give me two weeks and I’ll be ready to rock.” He ciphers back to cash. “It’s just that at this point, with two kids and a wife, it’s about the money being right.”
It’s four hours later and the sun has set. The We R One store is closed to the public but nobody in this crew has left. Kenny, Steve and the WRO crew are huddled together staring up at a mounted television, where ESPN is airing No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson. The latter part of the documentary touches on AI’s refusal to be a bench player and his undetermined legacy (“Me and [Bubba] Chuck on the same page,” says Steve). The doc’s last 10 minutes could just as easily be about Francis’ legacy, a subject he’s crystal clear on. “To be the greatest player out of the DC/Maryland area since Len Bias,” he states, “Kevin Durant can’t say that. Michael Beasley can’t say that. None of those guys can say that. I am the best player to come out of DC since [Bias].”
“He’s like a Nick Van Exel or a Rod Strickland or Mahmoud Rauf,” says Davis. “He’s gonna go down as one of those guards that was dangerous but never got the credit they deserved.”
Steve is not tired of makin’ millions, but he has grown weary of the NBA’s disposable nature. He’d rather be bought out than sell himself short. While there’s still an internal battle to be won, there’s surely a lot more hoopin’ inside of Steve Francis, or maybe we just want there to be. He’s got his money. Now he just wants respect and opportunity. It’s a convoluted Catch-22. For everyone, that is, except Steve.
“Like Jay-Z say, ‘I shut it down for 10 summers. Numbers don’t lie. Where’s the love?’”
I think TJ Ford will be the next, he has been injured too often
Like the great philosopher Kanye West once said,
"Cause the same people that tried to blackball me forgot about two things, my black balls"
I can't honestly feel for Steve Francis, he is one my ABSOLUTE favorite players of all-time. It seems to me that he created this "blackball" out of the league. His non-humility and unwillingness to play from the bench frustrated teams and he got his just due. If Francis was more of a team leader, as well a hard worker giving examples for the team's younger players than there would be no problem with him getting legit starters minutes. Francis understood he ruined his chances, hence why he isn't in the league today. If you love the game with all the passion and heart that you claim, then you treat the game right. You keep yourself in shape, present a good attitude to the team no matter your role, and you do what it takes to keep playing at a high level as a player and team. Francis clearly didn't get through with all that.
Chris Jackson has to be the poster boy for being blackballed
The Timberwolves' bus pulls up to the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey following an afternoon practice. Players still in workout togs file off. Some have draped towels around their necks, others have fixed ice packs to knees and shoulders. Everything around them seems small: the scurrying bellhop, a lone autograph seeker, an elderly couple in need of directions. It is one of the countless humdrum moments of an NBA season that blur into nothingness.
From a chair inside a dimly lit lounge just off the hotel lobby, Rashad McCants watches his former teammates walk by. He has taken the stroll hundreds of times, but this is the first time he has seen it from the angle of an ex-player. As the Wolves push through the lobby a few of them spot an old pal. "Shaddy!" shouts Corey Brewer, who once battled McCants for minutes. Some wrap him in hugs. McCants grins uncontrollably as he is peppered with questions. Where are you living? When are you coming back? Ryan Gomes offers his new cell number. Al Jefferson sits down to reminisce. He and McCants laugh about the time Kevin McHale put a garbage can by the court after learning that Jefferson had had a birthday party the night before.
Then, just as quickly as they flocked to him, the players head to their rooms. Elevator doors close. A December Santa Ana wind rushes through the now-vacant lobby. Outside, McCants hands over his claim check. "What room is it under?" the valet asks.
Good try. "That'll be $12," the valet says.
Every profession has its sore thumbs, employees who stick out because they can't fit in, underpaid, underappreciated or unloved. Or maybe they're just perpetually pissed off. Still, unless you happen to share a cubicle with one, they are someone else's problem. But who wants to pay to see a bristly millionaire play a game? More important, who wants to pay him? Especially in a sport like basketball, where on-court chemistry is paramount. In the confines of an NBA locker room, one sourpuss can send a season into a tailspin. The slightest frown can fray a relationship, label a guy or halt a career.
Just ask McCants. He'll tell you that gainful employment in the NBA is a delicate thing, easily thrown off kilter by meddling forces, real or imagined. A coach who wants to derail your career, too many visits to the psychiatrist, and, well, suddenly you have a tainted aura that, like an oil spill, grows out of control with no hint of containment.
The common refrain about McCants' predicament is that it has never been about his game. "He's a pure talent with a high basketball IQ," former Wolves GM McHale says of his former shooting guard. "Beautiful stroke, great body, everything. His problem was giving himself up to the team." That view is seconded by many who shared his locker room, whether McCants' under-his-breath mumbles were directed at them or not. "In any line of work you have to know how to talk to people and when to bite your tongue," says Kevin Love, who played with McCants two years ago. "Rashad has a me-against-the-world attitude. You have to get past that if you want to help yourself."
Sye Williams/ESPN The MagazineArmed with a feathery J and a quick first step, McCants says there isn't a two guard that can stop him.
McCants, meanwhile, wonders how a player can "get $25 million for being just a shooter," or why guys with criminal records -- McCants has never been arrested or suspended -- somehow get more consideration than he does. "I'm out of the league because of facial expressions?" he asks. "Players get arrested or demand trades, and I'm the one they call difficult?"
It's not easy being the guy who frowned himself out of the NBA.
"They say I don't smile," McCants says. "Does that make me a bad person?" In his eyes he's done everything asked of a good teammate. He sees none of the accountability issues everyone else can't stop talking about. What coaches label as sulking McCants says is just being quiet. "Management doesn't see how well I get along with my teammates when we're hanging out together," he says. "They're not interested in that."
So for now he remains in an unusual and scary place: outside looking in. He's 25, jobless and lugging around a toxic rep in the midst of an unforgiving economy. "He has to grow out of his old mentality," says McHale. "If he doesn't, he won't play in this league again."
McCants lives quietly by himself in a two-bedroom apartment in an upscale complex in LA. An Xbox 360 is connected to a 42-inch, swivel-mounted plasma. On a coffee table in front of a gray velour couch, next to a folded half-eaten bag of cool ranch Doritos, lies a threadbare copy of the Nov. 22, 2004, issue of Sports Illustrated. The cover line reads, "Mystery Man." McCants, in his UNC uni, is the subject.
The flesh-and-blood McCants wears basketball shorts and a white tank top. He adjusts his Yankees cap (one of six he owns) and plops down into a chair that matches the couch. It's six weeks into the 2009-10 NBA season and the muted plasma is tuned to SportsCenter. Subs he once shared minutes with now provide the nightly highlights. Any bravado from his playing days is long gone. "I don't watch the NBA," he says in a voice soft and direct. "I haven't reached the point where I can do that."
He hits rewind on a couple of recent humbling experiences. It's the summer of '09 and McCants is growing anxious over a lack of offers, so he undertakes a quest for answers. "I've heard nothing but bad things about you," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra tells him in the midst of an informal run in Miami. At the Vegas Summer League, Mike D'Antoni says he can't give McCants a shot for fear he'd poison the Knicks' locker room. Tar Heel blood brothers Larry Brown and George Karl barely give him the time of day. Some GMs won't even get on a conference call with him. "Everybody said I wasn't a good fit," he says with genuine sadness. "It felt like I had nowhere to turn. It felt like I died."
One final ray of hope quickly vanished. McCants worked out for the Mavericks, and afterward coach Rick Carlisle asked him to see a psychiatrist. "To find out what was wrong with me," McCants says sarcastically. It was the third time a coach had made such a request. During his freshman year at UNC, coach Matt Doherty sent him to see a "friend" who happened to be a shrink. McCants says 10 minutes into the first visit he was told, "There's absolutely nothing wrong with you." Yet, the next season, new Tar Heels coach Roy Williams asked McCants again to make an appointment.
Sye Williams/ESPN The Magazine"Just because I'm not chipper," McCants says, "like I just drank a pot of coffee, doesn't mean I'm a bad guy."
Carlisle's interest in McCants didn't last long enough for the Mavs to make him an offer, and by New Year's 2010 he'd begun to realize that the best he could do was a 10-day contract. "The fact that nobody wanted me was so frustrating," he says.
So now he's left to try to get back into the game any way he can. "Do I have to change who I am to fit into an organization?" he wonders aloud. "That's what I'm asking myself."
He also has to ask how it all went wrong.
McCants was drafted by Minnesota with the 14th pick in 2005, and his baggage seemed to arrive before he did. McCants had long been perceived as sullen, moody and aloof, and he did nothing to change perceptions in his new town. He barely smiled when introduced to season ticket-holders, while an admonishment from coaches to be on time elicited an exaggerated eye roll. He wanted you to hear that sigh from across the locker room, a reminder that he didn't think he was getting the touches he deserved.
Funny thing is, off the court he presents like any pro his age. There's the Cheshire Cat smile when he puts the smackdown on an opponent in DJ Hero, the boisterous laugh when friends hit his BlackBerry. Some nights, all the bottles go on his tab. "He's just a fun, solid dude," says Jefferson.
In his first two seasons McCants earned an on-court rep that didn't exactly sync up to the profile either: a quick-trigger shooting guard physical enough to defend small forwards. He bonded with the team's superstar, Kevin Garnett, the two frequently working out together after practice. When McCants awoke from knee surgery in 2006, KG was sitting at the foot of the bed. In 2007-08, under first-year coach Randy Wittman, McCants began to blossom, selected by his peers as a team captain. As Minnesota's second option, he routinely made highlight reels. Future All-Star was what they said. At his season-ending interview, Wittman praised his effort. Brimming with optimism, McCants spent the summer in the area, organizing workouts and early-morning sprints for his teammates.
Thinking he was in Minny for life, he bought a four-bedroom house with a big yard 20 minutes from downtown and lined the basement theater with signed jerseys from guys like Kobe and LeBron. Life was good. In New York he was often a guest of Jay-Z's at 40/40. He stood onstage with Lil Wayne, texted with Chris Paul, partied in Miami with Shaq and D-Wade. His exterior, once Velcro, was suddenly Teflon, all the negatives no longer sticking. Or so he thought.
By training camp in September 2008, the mood had shifted. McCants and Wittman were now on very different pages, and with the coach looking to put his stamp on the team, McCants' star quickly faded. He couldn't move without Wittman getting annoyed. It didn't help that McCants dribbled through his legs excessively during shootarounds. And it was hard to miss Wittman peering over his glasses with disapproval at the card games McCants organized on team flights.
Early in the preseason, McCants was driving to the airport when he realized he'd forgotten his Xbox. Knowing his teammates wanted to play on the plane, he drove home to retrieve it. When he finally boarded, three minutes late, Wittman was waiting. A week later the two had a meeting. The coach told McCants that his teammates were complaining about his selfishness. "My heart was beating so fast," says McCants. "I didn't know what the hell was happening." Then came the kicker. "You've got 11 days to prove you belong on the roster," McCants says the coach told him, from then on not speaking to his player. (Wittman denies that the meeting took place. "I have an open-door policy," he says, "and he never walked in to say I was doing him wrong.")
The situation quickly spiraled. Wittman stripped McCants of his captaincy at a team meeting, bestowing the duties on Jefferson, Mike Miller and Randy Foye. "A couple of those guys didn't even want the responsibility," says McCants, who thought Wittman was trying to break him. Stunned and embarrassed gave way to depressed and confused. "Nobody would talk to me," McCants says. "I didn't know what was going on." (Wittman says he doesn't remember the incident. "I don't even recall his being captain," he says. But several players, including Jefferson and Love, say they remember it distinctly.) His minutes withered. "He had a hard time accepting his role," says Wittman, who's now an assistant coach with the Wizards. "He'd put his head down and pout and not necessarily give 100 percent."
But after a 4-15 start, Wittman was fired and replaced by McHale. Owner Glen Taylor addressed McCants in the locker room in front of the whole team. "We all know Randy Wittman didn't like you," said Taylor. "Kevin McHale does." A changing of the guard, though, changed nothing.
On Dec. 30, after a game in Dallas, McCants flew to Vegas to spend New Year's Eve with his then-girlfriend, Khloe Kardashian. The team was off the next day, so he had time to recover, fly back and make a shootaround on Jan. 2. But McHale caught wind of his revelry and, by McCants' lights, the coach was none too pleased. "He didn't like the fact I was dating a celebrity," McCants says. "He thought I wasn't putting basketball first." (McHale insists McCants' personal life was irrelevant: "I'm old. I didn't even know who Khloe Kardashian was.")
McCants was benched for the first 14 games of 2009. By then the team had decided he wasn't in its plans. "At that point they were just doing him wrong," says Jefferson. "And there was no explanation for it." McCants' agent called daily to ask for a trade, and finally, an hour before the deadline, he was shipped off to the Kings.
David Sherman/Getty ImagesMcCants says McHale (right) took issue with parts of his personal life.
McCants played well for his new team, averaging 10.3 points in 19.4 minutes, but a chip remained firmly planted on his shoulder. "I talked to some people in Sacramento after the fact, and they had the same problems with Rashad," says McHale. But McCants says that in an exit interview, Kings interim coach Kenny Natt told him he wished he could have done more for him. Natt, though, did have a question for McCants: "Has anyone ever told you your body language is bad? You look like you're mad at the world."
"Just because I'm not chipper like I just drank a pot of coffee doesn't mean I'm a bad guy," says McCants. And he does have his supporters. Dwane Casey, McCants' first NBA coach, says he never had a problem with Rashad. And don't get his father, James, started. James, who, with his wife, Brenda, raised Rashad and his two younger sisters in a tidy, middle-class neighborhood in Asheville, N.C., strictly enforced evening curfews and made sure his son did his chores and homework before hitting the blacktop. "He had it together as a kid," James says, "because he knew if he didn't he had to deal with me." James says people often misread his son initially but warm up once they get to know him.
It's a luxury not afforded many guys in the association. What team execs see are not-so-subtle body language cues that scream lack of interest. The slow walk back to the bench for timeouts. The thousand-yard stare. "He had the tendency to disengage," says McHale. "Unless you're incredibly, ridiculously talented, you can't get away with that." Teammates who couldn't break through the facade would go to McHale to ask if they had done something wrong. "I'd tell them, 'That's Rashad, and you just have to deal with it,'" he says. It remains a touchy subject for many involved. "He's a talented guy who played hard," says former teammate Love. "But he seemed to have his own agenda. I'm a fan of his as a player, but maybe not so much as a person." Love turns to his locker neighbor, Brian Cardinal. "Why do you think Rashad is out of the league?" he asks.
Krolik: McCants And Vegas
Rashad McCants was all set to reintroduce himself to NBA fans and scouts by playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers' Las Vegas summer league squad this week, but life got in the way. After being put on the Cavaliers' summer league roster, McCants was a no-show in Vegas. According to his agent, McCants has been tending to the family of his mother, who has serious health issues.
His agent said McCants would come to Vegas ready to perform Sunday and attend Tim Grgurich's camp the following Monday, but not everyone is on board with that plan. If McCants does play Sunday, it won't be with the Cavaliers.
"He's missed the whole time, so we're not going to bring him in here for one game, to play in that game, instead of the people who have been here for day one. No, we wouldn't play him," Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said.
Scott went on to explain why he gave the former UNC standout a camp invite in the first place:
"He's a guy that's been in the league, that understands how to score. He's a true 2-guard; he has some skills. So we thought inviting him to play with the team, inviting him out to Cleveland could have been beneficial to him -- not only for us, but it would have given some other teams a chance to look at him."
-- JOHN KROLIK, ESPN TRUEHOOP
"I'm not touching that," Cardinal says before walking away. Another player, who declined to be named, walks up and slaps his own arms. "Because of these right here," he says referring to McCants' tattoos. "He lives by those." On their old teammate's right biceps is written BORN TO BE HATED, on the left DYING TO BE LOVED. "On the floor he was cocky and arrogant a lot of the time," says Foye. "Other times he just kept to himself. His motivations were maybe different than everybody else's." McHale pauses when asked if McCants was interested in making friends. "You know, I don't know."
Down a grimy, narrow street in the Valley crammed with third-rate auto body shops sits a red-brick health club. This is where the baby steps of McCants' comeback are taken. Since November he has worked out six days a week under the watchful eye of training guru Joe Abunassar. On a mild winter afternoon, McCants enters the gym dressed in a skintight black bodysuit and Jordan shorts. There are diamond studs in his ears, and the flat brim of another Yankees cap is cocked to the side. The gait is that of a world-class athlete. And from the broad shoulders to the slim waist, the V-shape torso is what scouts mean when they talk about an NBA body.
McCants' massive hands cradle the ball, covering it like water over the earth's surface. As he begins shooting drills one thing fast becomes evident: This game does not belong on this floor. The near flawless mechanics -- squared shoulders, high release, perfect follow-through -- are designed for an NBA arena. Nowhere in the change-of-direction dribbles and stepbacks is movement wasted. With each feathery shot, his presence here becomes all the more strange. "When I met him I asked what he did to piss everybody off," says Abunassar. "I said, 'You must have been a real ass. Did you blow up somebody's house?'" GMs may not love McCants, but they're all over Abunassar. "They don't ask about his game," he says. "They ask about his head. I tell them all he needs is the chance."
McCants knows it, too. Six months ago he scoffed at the idea of a 10-day contract. Four months ago the D-League was beneath him. But his extended unemployment has melted his stubbornness. In its place is a new financial reality. McCants lives comfortably but far from the lifestyle he once enjoyed. Aside from his rented pad, a Mercedes-Benz CL 63 AMG and Yukon Hybrid, he has few obligations. His house in Minnesota has been up for sale for over a year. "Tough market," he says with irony. Many of his perks have dried up. He bought the Nikes stacked in boxes around his apartment. He eats at Subway and Panda Express, or makes sandwiches on wheat bread. His only extravagances are those lime-green video game cases that litter his apartment. And acting classes. He sees himself on the silver screen one day. "It's about letting yourself go and becoming someone else entirely," he says.
But he knows the NBA isn't waiting for him. He knows it's his move. "You know," McCants begins slowly, "if they want me to smile ... I'll do it." He sits back in his chair and promptly undermines the declaration he has just made. "But I won't ever change being me." That stubbornness led to a parting of the ways with his agent, so these days, McCants takes matters into his own hands. He calls GMs himself. He tells them he wants to look them in the eye. He knows he has to sell himself. He really does care about what people think. And instead of waiting for a camp invite, he's accepted an offer to play summer league with the Cavs -- for around $100 a day. At least it'll give him more time to prove his worth. "D-League, Europe, anything," says McHale. "He can't take any more time off; he has to play." Above all he has to change people's minds. "Make the changes you need to survive," McCants' father advises. "And if you have to, use some of your acting stuff."
Yeah, humility stings like a son of a &$#%#&@!. There are no more calls from Lil Wayne or Jay-Z. Chris Paul is harder to reach, too. It's what happens when you're on the outside looking in.
McCants dreams of carving out a niche as a sixth man. It's a good living, he thinks, and he knows he's up to the task. "There isn't a 2-guard in the league who can guard me," he says. "Not one."
Back at the practice gym his high-arching rainbows drop through the net like an Olympic diver who barely disturbs the water. A few more, and McCants walks off the floor and takes a swig of mango-flavored Gatorade. "Another day, another dollar," he says.
If only that were true.
I have to agree with nearly every player listed in this thread, but McCants was definitely blackballed. McCants is a different type of guy and misunderstood every since he was at UNC. I have never heard about him being in trouble off the court. He was close to getting picked up by the Mavs towards season's end if you remember. I beg to differ, 6'3" guards with his scoring ability are not easy to come by. McCants is probably the best guy without a home out there. He avg over 20ppg at UNC as a soph but sacrificed his shots and scoring as a junior to win a national title.
Didn't the Pacers keep him under contract for a couple of years with no desire for him to play or be around they just didn't want to buy him out and let him go to another team. Also, does anybody think Iverson has?
Rashad wasn't that good, but he is good enough to still be in the league. In his best year, he was a top scoring 2G. But he didn't play quality D and he doesn't bring assist or rebounds. Best you could say is that he all around average but with upside. He should still be in the league though. It is definitely a response to his attitude and work ethic that no one has lately offered him a spot. But you can tell from the quotes ("No 2G in the league can guard me.") that he still doesn't get it. Dude, you are a career 43% shooter. Clearly there are people out there that can guard you.
I was gonna mention iverson, he had a hell of a career but his bad attitude and arrogance forced him out of the league. He still has the talent to deserve a roster spot but that's not good enough for him... He still wants to be the go to guy but those days are over
I dont think Steve Francis was black listed..It was his disminishing skills and bad attitude thats keeping him out of the league..I've never seen guy go from being an all star 1 day to not being wanted the next day..Some say when he was traded from Houston to Orlando really broke his spirits...And he never recovered,even though in public he acted like he was kool with it..
Latrell Sprewell seem to have been black listed..I thought he could still play..But after his contract with the TWolves ended nobody signed him..It seem to me, like he still had something to offer...
McCants never ate his self out of shape, he was a head case.
Ok..Sprewell refused an 21 million dollar 3 year deal with the TWolves, and made 1 of the most BONEHEADED Quotes of ALL TIME,''How can i feed my kids on a million dollars?
He wasnt black listed....
I dont think Iverson was blacklisted....its just that its hard finding a place for him that fits. I mean, a team rebuilding surely doesnt need him and if its a contender...AI hasnt really shown the ability or willingness to be a productive role player. Although he has a lot more left than given credit for, he said himself that it is very difficult for him mentally coming off of the bench.
Rashad McCants, 2002: Parade All-American, played in the McDonald’s All-American High School basketball game.
Rashad McCants, 2005: NCAA Champion. UNC beat Illinois 75-70, McCants scored 14 points.
Rashad McCants, 2005: 1st round Pick (14th overall) by the Timberwolves.
Rashad McCants, 2011: Playing the role of a bi-sexual leader of a shoplifting ring in a web series called “Booster Club.” Former adult film star Traci Lords is involved....Youtube it for yourself
Are we not maybe being a bit dramatic, tyga? I mean, I think that what happened too some of these guys might have been unfair, that the lables might not have been true, and that maybe their not being NBA players had too do more with a belief system or attitude than actual talent. Still, the only person I truly feel was "blackballed", was more than likely Craig Hodges for what he said and wore too the White House. Yes, incredibly unfair, but he still got paid too play basketball in other places and had a pro career. Craig was a fantastic shooter, but a fairly poor defender (and my friend who played for him said he had really small hands, which apparently helped the cause in his shooting). Still, Craig played 695 NBA Games and left the league at the age of 31.
Getting "blackballed" from the league is usually something that a player does too them self. It is being completely unaware of ones self or ones role, and honestly, in this case of Rashad McCants, it could have easily just been his reputation, or not smiling while doing the job. Small two guards are a dime a dozen. If Rashad really were great, believe me, he still would have been in the league. It was unfair what happened too Rashad, but at the same time, being completely unwilling too try and work on what your employer may not prefer is probably not the best way to go about things. Have to comprimise somewhere.
You seem to ride Franchise all of the time, and he was a very exciting player. But, it got too a point where he got hurt and lost a considerable amount of athleticism. Of course, who can forget him pouting in the draft room after being taken by Vancouver? That is a great way too start your NBA career! Still, he did great things in Houston, was a multiple time All-Star, but the dude was a major hog. Yes, someone who averaged as many assists as Francis (and Iverson), can still be a hog. Than, and this is a trend here with so called "blackballed" players, his production started getting worse! Quelle surprise! Well, when Stevie was the best player on the team, or even one of the best, than people could put up with him. But, once you reach a certain point, if you do not change your attitude, you are not doing favors for anyone.
I love SLAM magazine, have loved them forever, still buy it and really enjoy it. Go to their website, so on and so forth. In the days before internet searching became the norm, SLAM was where I learned about players I had possibly never heard of, and wrote articles about players from a perspective I never knew. But, there whole thing with, "People forget Francis" and "Where is Iverson's Respect", is garbage. If you read SLAM, there is no way you would ever let us forget them! Iverson was on the cover more than any player besides Jordan I believe, and it was all well and good, when he was awesome, but once his attitude started sucking, than, it was not as much fun idolizing him like SLAM still seems to do. Iverson is a one of a kind type of player, and Franchise was almost like Dwyane Wade before Dwyane Wade (almost, never quite on Wade's level after year 3 in the league), but in the end, they were very "me-first". That may be perception, who knows, but I think it is safe to say, Dwyane Wade always seemed to have a better attitude than those two dudes.
So, there are a few easy ways not too be "blackballed". The first is, be a fantastically talented player. Every player in the league is too some extent, but if you are good enough to be amongst your teams best 3 or 4 players, you can get a way with a little bad attitude. The second is, HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE! Try too handle things in the best way possible, be coachable, be respectful, work on things people constructively criticize you on, be cool with your teammates. Really, fairly easy and simple steps. Odds are, if you are not one of those two, and you do not have a skill that is majorly beneficial too a team, you are out. Not incredibly athletic and quick (Nate Robinson, who is apparently a basket case)? See ya. Can block shots, but lack discipline (Dalembert is apparently able to be worked with, though Sean Williams got his walking papers)? We'll try and find someone else. Get my drift? Guys do not get blackballed for being rebels without a cause (or in the case of Hoges, with a cause). They usually get thrown off the roster when there is someone that can do there job, even possibly not as well, but is less of a headache. Those are the guys you usually find on winning basketball teams, and the headaches on winning teams are usually manageable, otherwise they would not be winning.
I know SLAM loves rebels, they made us love them too. But, SLAM also loves drama and stories, which is why they usually come up with snazzy names and titles, and say Steve Francis and Rashad McCants are blackballed rather than maybe, just maybe, sort of being &$#%#&@!. As soon as DeMarcus Cousins gets hurt, or loses even more mobility, that guy could be on the chopping block. The NBA seems too be a league where nice guys (atleast too there teammates and coaches) and hard workers, last. Unless you are incredibly, incredibly talented, you are not going to get by. Plus, once that talent fades (or in the case of some, holes get exposed, ie. Adam Morrison/Marcus Fizer), you better shape up or you will be looking too have a shelf life.
Still, back too the "banned from employment" concept. These guys still get jobs. Just not necessarily in the NBA, but if you were talented enough too get close too the NBA, there is a job waiting for you somewhere if you are still healthy and able. It may not be domestic, it almost definitely will not pay as well, but, again, if you are a good enough, someone will pay you. Even Craig Hodges, if you look behind the Lakers bench, he is a shooting coach. So, teams may not have wanted him as a player in 1992, but he was not "blackballed" from the NBA. He just was deemed as a 10 minute per game player that caused too much of a headache. Still played pro basketball, still got into coaching, will probably still be behind the Lakers bench next year if Mike Brown kept him on.
Morrison isn't black listed, he just isn't any good. He gets workouts, even a month ago for the Bulls, but he's not good enough to make the team.
MikeyV that was a good read
The only reason why is because he doesnt want to come off the bench. He said he would but that didnt last long and if he's not blacklisted he should go to NY
when I say blackballed...I am referring to someone not being given an opportunity in a league anymore but that decision has little if any bearing on the skills to play the game. Had Rauf did what he did early in his career, he couldve withstood it...but being he was approaching his downside and his potential fully realized, it was easy to discard him.
if a player's baggage seemingly outweighs their ability to perform then they can be blackballed. Its kinda like Jamarcus Russell. He is on his way to being blackballed. Russell is young, and there have been plenty who have struggled before and made a turn around in their careers....particularly when playing for the Raiders. Russell is better than most 2nd and 3rd stringers in the league but his attitude and work ethic can be seen as cancerous and until he clears that up, he hasnt played well enough to warrant a position on a roster. The question is whether its fair or not. We will always have an argument for impartiality or lack thereof. Jamarcus Russell and Rashad McCants alike have to except most of the blame for the situation they are in. Are they getting fair treatment, in my opinion...not if you are judging off of talent alone. The reason being is, they do have a lot to offer skillwise...but if they are not on an all-star level, it may not keep them in the league. So MikeyV I agree that the treatment is unfair. Its case by case. It depends on the level skill and if it outweighs the reasons they are being ousted in the first place. I guarantee you a 39 year old Stackhouse can come back and get a job quicker than the 26 year old McCants.
We see guys all the time in different sports and we say "why in the heck is this guy on the team and such and such cant get a job???" its because that person is not a cancer, they are valuable in the locker rooms and practice, and quite simply, they dont have the baggage. From what is reported....of Demarcus Cousins bad attitude, immaturity, and weak work ethic he would be a perfect candidate for being blackballed...if he werent so damn good. If he gets injured or stops progessing, watch how fast he goes out the league.
Iverson is not being blackballed IMO because teams dont want him because of his skills. He has lost a step, is more oft injured and on top of that he doesnt want to come off the bench. If he still was the Iverson of old, he would have a job, and would be starting too, no matter how unwilling he would be to accept what would be deemed to himself a lesser role.
As far as TJ Ford, if a player were to get blackballed due to being injury prone (no such thing in my book) then Oden and Yao would be the first to go. Those guys are such great guys with great attitudes. The organization loves them and the fans sympathize with them. If Ford is oft-injured and he has a bad attitude or is not representing the organization in a manner befitting then he WILL be blackballed.
Once again, it comes down to their worth to the organization balancing out with the baggage they bring. Hodges may be a shooting coach, but less so in the public eye than when he was a player. Living with him as an obscure member of an organization as opposed to a guy who is on the court are two different things altogether.
Jamarcus Russels is terrible, he is an interception machine.
Shawn kemp was eight balled out of the league