New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton is facing significant gun charges that could potentially lead to jail time, and police can thank his estranged wife for dishing out an assist in the investigation.
According to TMZ.com, Ariane Raymondo-Felton, who filed for divorce from Felton last week after just 19 months of marriage, brought Felton's semi-automatic pistol to a New York City police department, which ultimately led to three serious charges being levied against him.
Per the report, Felton has been charged with felony counts of second- and third-degree possession of a firearm along with misdemeanor fourth-degree possession of a firearm.
If Felton is convicted of the second-degree charge, he could face as many as 15 years in prison, according to Chris Herring and Pervaiz Shallwani of The Wall Street Journal.
The 29-year-old Felton reportedly turned himself in at the 20th Precinct station house in Manhattan, N.Y., at 12:50 a.m. ET Tuesday morning, where he was questioned, arrested and booked.
Per Herring and Shallwani, a law-enforcement official said Felton's gun and ammunition are illegal in New York City.
Also, Raymondo-Felton claimed Felton waved the gun around aggressively on four occasions, including once as recently as Feb. 14.
Although things don't look great for the nine-year NBA veteran right now, Sports Illustrated's Michael McCann believes Felton has a chance to escape significant punishment by questioning his wife's potential motives:
Case against Raymond Felton is not a layup. Govt must prove he actually possessed this gun. He'll argue estranged wife is motivated to lie.— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) February 25, 2014
There is obviously never a good time for someone to face such significant criminal charges, but it has to be especially difficult for Felton considering how poorly he and the Knicks have performed this season.
New York is well outside the NBA playoffs at 21-36, and Felton is averaging just 10.4 points and six assists per game while shooting a paltry 40 percent from the field.
Felton's arrest came just hours after a heartbreaking 110-108 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night, which underscores the nightmarish season that the Knicks have suffered through, as Adam Zagoria of SNY highlights:
In case you didn't think things coudl get worse for the #Knicks AFTER a loss and BEFORE the rest of us wake up, Felton proved they can.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) February 25, 2014
When asked about the possible impact his divorce had on his on-court performance last week, Felton admitted that it weighed on him to a certain degree, per Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
It's your life. When you're going through certain things in life it's on your mind, no matter what. You try not to let it come into your job, into your workplace, but sometimes it does. You're human and it's a part of life. But at the same time, it is what it is. That's my personal life, though; I don't want to discuss that part.
It remains to be seen how these charges will impact Felton's ability to play moving forward, but it almost certainly won't have any effect on the Knicks' fortunes this season.
New York has essentially been a one-man team with Carmelo Anthony carrying the load, and that isn't likely to change regardless of Felton's status.
Felton is signed with the Knicks through the 2014-15 season with a player option for 2015-16, according to HoopsHype.com, so the Knicks won't be able to wash their hands of the situation in the near future.
Based on how poorly Felton has performed this year, the Knicks figure to look for a replacement this offseason no matter how his legal issues unfold. Felton is essentially fighting for his NBA life on the court, and doing that will surely get more difficult with multiple distractions now facing him off the court.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter