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Francis is traded to Grizzlies

December 25, 2008|wire reports

Injury-plagued guard Steve Francis was traded from the Houston Rockets to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday for a conditional second-round draft pick in 2011.

The Grizzlies also receive a second-round pick for 2009 and cash. That pick originally belonged to Memphis; it was acquired by the Rockets during last year's draft, part of the deal that brought forward Donte Greene to Houston. Greene was later traded to Sacramento as part of the deal that brought Ron Artest to the Rockets.

The 6-foot-3 Francis has not played this season, though he remained a fan favorite from his previous stint with the team from 1999 to 2004. He was an All-Star three straight seasons (2002 to '04) and led the Rockets to the playoffs in 2004, when they lost to the Lakers in the first round.

The 31-year-old Francis has career averages of 18.1 points, 6.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds, but he hasn't played a full season since 2004-05 with the Orlando Magic.

He was traded to New York during the 2005-06 season and played in only 38 games for the Knicks the next season because of knee and ankle injuries.

He re-signed with Houston in July 2007, but played in only 10 games during the 2007-08 season after tearing a quadriceps tendon in his right knee. He underwent surgery in February 2008 and never regained his old form.


The Phoenix Suns signed free-agent guard Dee Brown. He made 11 starts this season for the Washington Wizards before being released two weeks ago.

Brown entered the NBA with the Utah Jazz in the 2006 draft and spent his rookie season in Salt Lake City before moving to Galatasaray in Turkey for the 2007-08 season.


Ronaldinho's home robbed

Thieves broke into soccer star Ronaldinho's house in Milan, Italy, and made off with thousands of dollars' worth of goods but left behind the AC Milan midfielder's Golden Ball trophy, Italian media reports said.

Ronaldinho was in his native Brazil when the burglary took place early Tuesday morning, Corriere della Sera reported. Four thieves stole mainly jewelry and watches, Corriere reported.

Ronaldinho, who won the Golden Ball award as the best player in Europe in 2005, is in his first season with Milan. He recently moved into the house, which has been broken into twice before while previous owners, including former Milan player Riccardo Sogliano, lived there.


Jeff Withey, a 7-foot freshman who spent one semester at Arizona but did not play basketball for the Wildcats, will transfer to Kansas next semester. Arizona's top 2008 freshman, Withey requested a release from his scholarship before the season after coach Lute Olson suddenly retired in October. He'll be eligible to play as a freshman at Kansas in December 2009. . . . Defending series champion Chad Reed will make his Suzuki debut Jan. 3 in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross opener at Angel Stadium. Reed left Yamaha at the end of the season, an opening that 2007 champion James Stewart has filled. Stewart previously rode for Kawasaki. The season will close May 2 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. It also includes stops in Phoenix, Houston, San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Daytona Beach, Fla., New Orleans, St. Louis, Toronto, Jacksonville, Fla., Seattle and Salt Lake City.

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