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Q. To get Christie, you traded Mobley, the best friend of Steve Francis. What do you think of Francis?

A. I still love Steve - especially coming off a player like Tracy. We were looking for somebody that really wanted to compete and was intense and a competitor, and he's obviously that. From a talent and work ethic standpoint, he is everything we could have wanted. It's obviously going to be a big transition in Steve's career to go from a great player on an average team to being a player that leads and makes his teammates better. I still think he has that in his future. He still has some growing to do. One of the sidebar issues of the Mobley trade was for Steve's growth. Even though it made him unhappy, uncomfortable and it's not fun to have your security blanket and best friend taken out of town, a lot of the thinking behind that was that it would be in Steve's long-term interest to get him where we want him to be. He is a coachable kid. He's hard-headed and used to doing things a certain way. But I think that winning is important enough to him that he will change, and he'll be a complete player.

Q. As we near the end of the season, what kind of grade would you give yourself?

A. I would give myself a C. I'm disappointed we haven't performed better. I think we got an A in the NBA draft but maybe a D in the way we've managed the process of using the players. All in all, until you get into the playoffs and start beating the teams in the playoffs, you can't deem anything successful. That's what it's all about.

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