Since Mike Woodson took over head coaching duties in New York, the Knicks have deployed two point guards in their starting lineup to serve as distributors to Carmelo Anthony. However, Raymond Felton wasn’t supposed to take his role as the Knicks starting “shooting guard” too seriously.
Hidden amid the reports on Monday of Metta World Peace’s departure from his hometown Knicks roster was that New York had also bought out the contract of backup point guard Beno Udrih. It was the worst timing imaginable.
On Tuesday morning, the peacefulness spurred on by the Knicks resignation that their season was doomed to end without a playoff berth was disrupted by a loud bang.
After reportedly waving an unregistered, armor-piercing handgun around his estranged wife during a domestic dispute at her apartment on February 14, Felton turned himself in and faces two felony counts including second-degree and third-degree criminal firearm possession, in addition to a misdemeanor fourth-degree firearm possession charge.
Allegedly, Felton found out during the Mavs game on Tuesday night that there was a warrant out for his arrest. Ironically, the Knicks now find themselves with a paucity of point guards and Pablo Prigioni is now the only healthy point guard on the active roster. If Felton does return to the team he’ll pull off an impressive feat of being a major distraction on the most distracted team in the league.
Point guards are relied upon to be the soundest decision-makers on the roster. However, if the charges stick, Felton made the most harebrained decision of his polarizing career. Everyone knows the gun laws in New York, especially pro athletes who witnessed the Plaxico Burress saga play out tragically in 2008.
What Felton does have going in his favor is that unlike Burress, Mayor De blasio won’t be holding a press conference directly calling for Felton's prosecution to the fullest extent of the law as Bloomberg did after Burress shot himself in the leg with an unregistered firearm.
Conspiracy theories surmising that the Knicks are being run from the shadows by Creative Artists Agency have been bouncing around for months, however, nobody has wielded more power than the Real Housewives of New York City, Ariane Felton and La La Anthony.
According to the New York Post, Ariane Felton, who recently filed for divorce from Raymond, brought a Belgian-made FNH 5.7×28 pistol to the 20th Precinct on the Upper West Side. Ultimately, like everything in the Knicks season and offense, it all circles back to Carmelo.
As Anthony’s wife/pseudo business manager, there were rumors that La La’s Hollywood aspirations would compel the Anthonys to switch coasts and break bread with the Laker family. If the Knicks miss the playoffs for the first time in his NBA career despite playing in a terrible Eastern Conference, La La won’t need to convince her husband to ditch the Big Rotten Apple.
In January, La La’s assuaged the panicking Knicks fanbase by expressing her belief that Anthony would be returning next season.
"I definitely think he will stay," La La Anthony said in an interview with Bravo TV's Watch What Happens Live last month." "I know that he wants to stay, and I support him wherever he wants to go.
L.A. may not be far enough away from Madison Chernobyl Garden. Madison Avenue used to be the epicenter of marketing for athletes and the Knicks use that allure to tempt athletes, but the yen is the international . China loves champions. Stephon Marbury won a championship in Beijing and J.R. Smith became the highest paid player in Chinese Basketball Association’s history.
The loss to the Mavericks on Dirk Nowitzki’s signature one-legged fadeaway stepback jumper hurt, but The Knicks playoff hopes are basically microscopic after Felton’s arrest is factored into the equation.
Considering that Felton played with the knowledge of an arrest warrant being out with his name on it got 34 minutes and scored eight points, dishing seven assists, it’s very possible that Felton returns to the the Knicks lineup sooner rather than later and remains effective.
Whatever happens with Felton, it’s becoming more and more apparent that the end is near for Anthony in New York.
"You score 40 or 44 points and still lose, and you ask yourself, 'Is it worth it?'" a desponent Anthony said after scoring 44 points in the loss.
The Knicks atmosphere is as toxic as the 2009-10 Washington Wizards locker room.
After Javaris Crittenton and Gilbert Arenas allegedly drew guns on each other in the Wizards locker room over a card game, Commissioner David Stern suspended them both for the season. For the guns in the locker roomThe next season, Washington hit the reset button. In the Knicks scenario, Anthony has access to his own eject button.
Anthony and Metta World Peace both signed with the Knicks out of a sentimental desire to play for their hometown franchise. After World Peace was jettisoned unceremoniously, Anthony needs to follow him out the exits this summer quicker than a speeding bull… You get the point.