Raymond Felton claims gun arrest 'not a distraction' as Knicks prepare for Heat
Knicks point guard Raymond Felton is hoping to move on following his arrest on multiple felony weapons charges this week.
Addressing reporters one day after he released on $25,000 bail, Felton expressed gratitude to those close to him while stating that his attention remains on the basketball court.
"Thank you to my teammates, thank you to the fans, to my family, to my friends, everybody for their support in this situation," he said, in comments recorded by the MSG Network. "This is not a distraction to this team. I'm focusing on finishing out this season, finishing out these games with my teammates and going down to Miami, focusing on this next game on tap versus the defending champs."
Felton’s arrest occurred just hours after New York lost to Dallas 110-108 at Madison Square Garden on Monday night. Felton tallied eight points (on 3-for-4 shooting) and seven assists in 34 minutes.
The Knicks (21-36) did not play on Tuesday or Wednesday and are set to face the Heat (40-14) in Miami on Thursday. Felton, who started 41 games for New York this season, is expected to be available.
Prosecutors are charging Felton with with two felony weapons possession charges after his estranged wife turned over to police an unregistered, Belgian-made semi-automatic pistol that was loaded with 18 rounds of ammunition. The weapon allegedly belongs to Felton.
"As far as speaking on what's going on off the court with me, there will be no comment speaking on that," Felton said. "If you have any questions dealing with on that, speak with my lawyer."
The NBA and the Knicks have not yet assessed any punishment to Felton, which is not uncommon during unresolved legal situations.
“The bottom line is Ray is a part of our team,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Wednesday, according to CBS New York. “And as his coach I’m going to support him and make sure he’s doing everything the right way from here on out, and to try to get him to just concentrate on basketball and practice and playing games.”
New York currently has the East's 11th-best record and needs a strong push over the next six weeks to claim a playoff spot.
"I'm here to concentrate on this team, finish this season out with the New York Knicks and see what happens," he said. "We're trying to make it to the playoffs -- we're 5.5 games out with 25 games left. I'm really focusing on that with these guys on the team and trying to make that happen."
Felton, 29, is averaging a career-low 10.4 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per game in what has been a rocky season. The nine-year vet is shooting 40.3 percent from the field, 29.6 percent on three-pointers and holds a 12.7 Player Efficiency Rating, which is a career-low mark. Felton, who is on the books for $3.6 million this season, was involved in numerous trade rumors prior to last week’s trade deadline but New York ultimately did not move him. He will next appear in court on June 2.
News circulated last week that Felton and his wife of less than two years were in the process of getting a divorce.
“It’s your life,” Felton said at the time, according to the New York Daily News. “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.”The Knicks released guard Beno Udrih and forward Metta World Peace on Monday.