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In a new feature for The Players Tribune, former Houston Rockets point guard Steve Francis details his life before the NBA, his time with the Rockets and also how much he lives the city of Houston.

One particular moment came during his two years teaming with Hakeem Olajuwon. The Dream, this before he headed to Toronto to finish his NBA career was still one of the biggest things in the city and the future Steve Franchise took to the dream. When the two saw one another before a road trip to Seattle, Dream had to clown the young rookie.


Couple of weeks later, we’re playing the Sonics. I idolized Gary Payton growing up. So we’re on the plane to Seattle, and Rudy T sat me next to Hakeem on purpose. He knew what he was doing. He wanted me to learn.

We’re about to take off, and I’m sitting there with my big headphones on, listening to Jay-Z.

Hakeem is sitting there reading the Quran. Not saying a word.

Then he gives me a look. You know how Dream is. He’ll just look at you — super wise, super calm. Every word that comes out of the man’s mouth is like it’s coming straight from God Almighty.

I’m like, “What’s up, Dream?”

Dream says, “Steve.”

I’m like, “Yeah, Dream?”

“Steve, you walk around dressed like a bus driver.”

“Come on, Dream.”

“What are these construction shoes you have on?”

“These are Timberlands, man. Come on.”

“Steve, let me help you. Come to my tailor with me, and we’ll get you 10 suits. Custom-made. Cashmere.”

“Come on, Dream.”

“Cashmere, Steve.”

“Dream! Yo…”

“Come with me, Steve. Come to my tailor.”

Dream probably hadn’t seen someone in Timbs since the 1994 NBA Finals. Still, Steve once more reminding us how much of a voice of God Hakeem has is proof that the greatest 34 to ever grace the city originally came to Houston from Lagos, Nigeria.

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