Just two days after he was arrested, Raymond Felton is set to play in an NBA game. On Thursday night, the New York Knicks will visit the Miami Heat in a high-profile game on national television.
The point guard turned himself in to police early Tuesday morning, following the Knicks’ loss to the Dallas Mavericks, because his estranged wife brought his gun to the authorities. After remaining in custody for most of the day, Felton was released on $25,000 bail. He is being charged with two counts of felony weapons possession. There are also allegations that Felton threatened his wife with the gun.
Despite his legal issues, Felton’s status with the team has not changed. According to head coach Mike Woodson, New York will resume business as usual.
“I don’t know much about what actually has happened. You guys probably know more than I do,” Woodson told reporters. “But the bottom line is Ray is a part of our team, and as his coach, I’m going to support him,” Woodson said. “(I’m going to) make sure that he’s doing everything the right way from here on out and to try to get him to just concentrate on basketball.” Felton met with the media after his arrest, but refused to discuss the situation. His case shouldn’t disrupt his playing schedule, since it has been suspended until June 2.
“This is not a distraction to this team,” Felton said on Wednesday. “You know, I’m focusing on finishing out this season, finishing out these games with my teammates and going down to Miami and focusing on this next game at task, versus the defending champs.”
The 2013-2014 season has been a rough one for the veteran. On the court, he’s struggled mightily, averaging a career low in points and leading a Knicks team that is 15 games under .500 with just 25 to play. New York was actively looking to replace him at the trade deadline because he’s played so poorly. In addition to troubles with the Knicks, Felton is reportedly going through a divorce with his wife, Ariane Raymondo-Felton.
It’s not likely that Felton will receive a suspension from the league. Recent history suggests that the NBA will let the legal process play out before doing anything. The New York Daily News reports that new commissioner Adam Silver will wait for the case to be resolved, before handing down any type of punishment.
In two games against the Heat this year, Felton is averaging 10 points and nine assists. The Knicks are 9.5-point underdogs in Miami.
The game tips off at 8:10 pm Eastern time, and will be televised on TNT.