Felton says arrest not a distraction to Knicks

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 26, 2014 at 2:34 pm •  Published: February 26, 2014
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) — Raymond Felton is determined to keep personal turmoil from affecting what was already his most trying season professionally.

A day after his arrest on felony weapons charges, Felton returned to practice with the New York Knicks on Wednesday, saying that was "not a distraction" to the team.

Felton spoke for less than a minute and did not take questions. He thanked family, friends and teammates for their support and insisted his thoughts were on the Knicks' game Thursday night in Miami.

"This is not a distraction to this team," he said. "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 at task versus the defending champs."

The Knicks are barely hanging on in the playoff race and Felton's struggles have been among their biggest problems. Slowed by nagging leg injuries early, he's averaging a career-worst 10.4 points on 40.3 percent shooting for a team with a 21-36 record.

He's also dealing with the breakup of his marriage, and he was arrested early Tuesday after authorities said a lawyer for his wife turned into a police precinct a loaded semi-automatic handgun allegedly belonging to the point guard, claiming she no longer wanted it in their home.

Felton was released on $25,000 bail, and his next court appearance is scheduled for June 2.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he never considered not letting Felton play against the Heat.

"The bottom line is Ray is a part of our team, 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," Woodson said.

Felton was charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and criminal possession of a firearm. The firearm charge is punishable by up to four years in prison. The weapons charge is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

He had turned himself into police not long after a 110-108 loss to Dallas dropped the Knicks farther back in the playoff race. His wife, Ariane Raymondo-Felton, filed for divorce last week, according to court records, and Felton acknowledged recently dealing with personal problems.

He said he wouldn't comment on the case, referring any questions to his lawyer.

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