As the summer days begin to get shorter, the months to college football and the NFL become weeks and then days, you also know that the National Basketball Association will be coming out of hiatus soon enough. For one former North Carolina basketball player this season might be the most important one in his career, as he will be on a talented team in a city that never sleeps (that includes its media) and replacing a fan favorite. If you have not guessed by know I am talking about Raymond Felton, who is going to be the floor general for the New York Knicks after the franchise let Jeremy Lin leave for Houston. And for those that might not follow the former Heels in the NBA closely, Felton, who had gotten a two year contract worth close to $ 16 millions his first time around in the Big Apple, was also a fan favorite while playing in the mecca of basketball.
For the 28 year old, who was drafted in 2005 by the Charlotte Bobcats after being one of the main players in getting head coach Roy Williams his first national title, this stop in New York is not his first one, but will definitely be a lot more important. In the first stint with the Knicks the point guard was not on a team with the talent that there is on it now, and secondly, he was not coming off a season when many said he was out of shape going into the pre season. And while some might think that Felton has a chip on his shoulder going back to a team that traded him to get Carmelo Anthony, I see nothing into that, as the former Tar Heel has always played with a chip on his shoulder, and I say that in a positive way, and more importantly the Marion, S.C. native has always played as a professional. The way that Felton is both going back to NYC and wanting to prove the naysayers wrong could make him a very special player for the Knicks.
In the 54 games with the Knicks in the 2010-11 season, which he started all of them and was the co captain of the teamm alongside Amar’e Stoudemire, he had an average of nine assists per game. If he can do that, or even get it into double digits, he is going to be a perfect fit at the point for a team that has enough shooters/scorers on it. In the `10-`11 season the two co captains worked very well the pick and roll, which could once again play a part in this season’s offense for the Knickerbockers. I also believe that Felton will be good in the chemistry of this team off the court, as everywhere he has been all have said, with the exception of last season, that he is a good person to have in the locker room. For a team like the Knickerbockers that will be fighting for respect and position in the same division as the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics and their new New York neighbors, the Brooklyn Nets, having a guy that can gel the squad on and off the court could do wonders.
In a league like the NBA where the players story lines seem to always outshine the franchises ones, if you are a North Carolina basketball fan following of Raymond Felton, who this time got a three year deal worth $10 million to play in New York, does this season should be one of your main objectives. And of course for all North Carolina basketball and/or football information make sure to come back to isportsweb often.
And of course, for those that want to go down a bit of memory lane, here is a small video of when Raymond Felton was at Carolina…