The knock on Raymond Felton during his seven-year career has been about his weight and his overall shape.
Year in and year out, it seems the only shape Felton has been in is “pear shape.”
That was certainly the case in Portland last season where the point guard not only struggled with his conditioning but also his game averaging 11.5 points and 6.5 assists while shooting 41 percent from the field.
That was Felton’s lowest scoring total of his career and his lowest field goal percentage since the 2008-09 season in Charlotte. Two seasons later in New York, Felton was running the show with the Knicks and scoring at the rate of 17 points per game, which is his career-high.
So it is no wonder Felton is looking to reclaim that fame back with Knicks.
"I’ve got a big, big chip on my shoulder, so I look forward to this season and I’m definitely happy to be back in this New York Knicks jersey," Felton said Monday at media day.
"I want to get it out there — I came into Portland out of shape. Being in a lockout year, I just got really relaxed, got complacent, didn’t work as hard because I didn’t think we were to have a season. I’m going to go ahead and say that — I was out of shape when we first went there. I played myself into shape towards the second half of the season."
Last season in Portland, Felton clashed early and often with some in Portland’s small-market media circle which did not help his situation either during a rough transition year for the Blazers. Many times Felton’s conditioning was at the center of the friction. Nothing new there.
But looking back, Felton could have saved himself a lot of frustration in Portland had he simply removed that big bag of Doritos right then and fessed-up.
Instead, he failed to face the reality of being out of shape and owning the fact that it lead to his poor performance on the floor.
In New York, Felton is expected to be the starting point guard and, while head coach Mike Woodson has not said as much, it appears Jason Kidd and new addition Pablo Prigioni will serve as back-ups. Yet Felton has more than just two fellow point guards to beat out. He is also dealing with replacing fan favorite Jeremy Lin.
Will the die-hard Knicks fans rally behind Felton during his comeback?
Management already has.
“We felt Raymond Felton was the best option at the end of the day. We were excited to get Raymond back. We weren’t disappointed at all [Houston changed the offer],” said general manager Glen Grunwald about the Rockets boosting Lin’s offer sheet.
Money-wise bringing back Felton may make more sense, but judging if this move is a success really comes down to what Felton will make of his second go-around in New York. Word is he’s in great conditioning and even got married over the summer.
Right now, Felton’s return is starting to take shape in New York for the better.
Can Raymond Felton bounce back in New York? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter by using the hashtag #KnicksDay.