Steve Francis wrote recently for The Players’ Tribune that he struggled with alcohol issues.
Former NBA player Steve Francis was arrested Sunday night in Southern California public intoxication, Burbank police told ESPN.
Police were called to a hotel bar after reports of an unruly patron, according to ESPN, and Francis was taken into jail when officers “determined he was under the influence to an extent that he posed a risk to his own safety and the safety of others.” He was issued a citation and released at 7 a.m. on Monday.
Francis, 41, wrote in an essay on The Players’ Tribune published earlier this month that he struggled with alcohol issues.
I had some dark days, no question. And I know people were asking, “What the hell happened to Steve Francis?” But the hardest part was reading some bullshit on the Internet saying that I was on crack. When I thought about my grandmother reading that, or my kids reading that … that broke my heart. Listen, I sold crack when I was growing up. I’ll own up to that. But never in my life did I ever do crack.
What happened to Steve Francis? I was drinking heavily, is what happened. And that can be just as bad. In the span of a few years I lost basketball, I lost my whole identity, and I lost my stepfather, who committed suicide.
Drinking contributed to Francis’s swift decline as a player and early exit from the game, he said. He was a three-time All-Star with the Rockets from 2002 to 2004 but was not the same player after being traded to the Magic and then the Knicks. He played 10 games in his return to Houston in 2007 before an injury ended his season and was out of the NBA by the time he turned 31.