Jul 20, 2012, 10:48 AM EDT
The second Raymond Felton was back with the Knicks, Portland fans celebrated he was gone and were all to happy to tell the tale about how terrible he was last season on the West Coast. The “Raymond Felton is fat” idea gained a lot of momentum online.
Felton heard it, heard all of it.
He was in Las Vegas watching Summer League and said he was ready to change that image, he told the New York Times.
“I’ve been listening to all those people talk about what happened in Portland last year,” he said. “I’m just ready to shut up a lot of people.”
But he also owned up to what happened in Portland.
“I won’t make any excuses,” Felton said. “I wasn’t in shape.”
He wasn’t, but he looked thinner when shown on NBA TV than he did last season. Felton said he lost weight, but would not say now much.
He also didn’t really mesh with coach Nate McMillan, whose style is to slow it down and grind it out a little. The result was him shooting just 40 percent, turning the ball over at the highest rate in his career and just generally struggling with his decision making.
It was pretty much the opposite of his time with the Knicks (he was traded out in the Carmelo Anthony deal).
In his last stint in New York Felton averaged 17.1 points and 9 assists per game, plus he had a real chemistry with Amare Stoudemire, but this is a different Knicks team with a different head coach in Mike Woodson. The offense runs through Carmelo Anthony now, and that will be an adjustment.
We’ll see how Felton does this time around. Fair or not he will be seen as the guy with fan favorite Jeremy Lin’s job and there will be a real pressure to play up to his old levels.
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