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Raymond Felton Reminds Us That He's Not a Distraction

In this Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, photo, New York Knicks' Raymond Felton (2) loses the ball as he drives against Dallas Mavericks' DeJuan Blair during the first half of an NBA basketball game  in New York. Felton was arrested Tuesday on weapons charges after a lawyer for Felton's wife turned in a loaded gun allegedly belonging to the basketball star, saying she didn't want it in her home, police said. Felton turned himself in at 12:50 a.m. Tuesday, not long after the Knicks lost to the Mavericks.  (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Jason DeCrow/Associated Press
Grant HughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2014

According to the predictably backward logic of Raymond Felton and the New York Knicks, the best way to assure everyone that the point guard's legal troubles won't be a distraction is to hold a press conference about how the point guard's legal troubles won't be a distraction.

Per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York, Felton wouldn't comment on the criminal charges stemming from Felton's wife turning over the point guard's semi-automatic handgun to police on Feb. 25, but he did offer the following pledge:

I want to start off by saying thank you to my teammates, thank you to the fans. To my family, to my friends, everybody for their support in this situation. This is not a distraction to this team. I'm focusing on finishing out this season, finishing out these games with my teammates.

Everyone's been a little rough on Felton this year because of his poor play and doughy physique, but it's hard to fault him for what sounds like an earnest desire to avoid hurting his team. And there's really no way Felton could ever expect to avoid questions about his off-court troubles. So maybe we should credit him for getting out in front of this thing.

But if Felton thinks he has a chance of making it through the rest of the season without being a distraction, he's kidding himself.

The best he can hope for is to quietly fade into the dense fog of New York's myriad other distractions. Perhaps when compared to the looming free agency of Carmelo Anthony, Mike Woodson's ongoing break with reality and whatever ridiculous thing J.R. Smith does next, Felton's struggles won't seem so distracting by comparison.

Of course, it's possible Felton could also rely on the public's growing fatigue over the endless slew of negative Knicks stories:

As bright sides go, that one's pretty dark.

But in a Knicks season that most—including Felton—probably wish had been blacked out from the beginning, that's probably the only ray of light available.

That's right, folks; we've reached the point in the year where the Knicks' great hope is to simply be ignored.


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