The 2013-2014 season was a tough one overall for the New York Knicks, but the 37-45 campaign was especially brutal for Raymond Felton. The pudgy point guard averaged a career low 9.7 points per game, was the subject of numerous trade rumors, sparked a mini-scandal when he was caught on cameras yawning during the middle of an OT loss to the Kings, got divorced and was arrested on gun charges immediately after the Knicks lost on a buzzer-beater to the Mavericks in February.
Felton capped his ugly year by pleading guilty today to third degree weapons possession. Despite his guilty plea, things are finally looking up for Felton. Copping to the charge means that Felton will avoid jail time, and instead only pay a $5,000 fine and do 500 hours of community service.
“I want to thank the DA for being fair to me throughout this whole situation,” Felton said outside of Manhattan court today. He also thanked his “family, friends and fans for supporting him and understanding … the person I am.”
Felton has reason to be thankful. He was facing a maximum prison sentence of seven years for the two felony gun charges. He may get more than a slap on the wrist from the NBA, though. After Felton was arrested, NBA spokesman Tim Frank said that the league “was monitoring the situation.” The NBA typically lets legal situations play out fully before issuing punishments, and now that Felton has plead guilty to a felony conviction the NBA can issue a fine or suspension. However there is a precedent for players being suspended for weapons possession. Sebastian Telfair was also arrested in New York for weapons possession in 2007, after officers found a loaded .45 caliber handgun under a seat in his Range Rover. He served a three-game suspension.
Follow me on Twitter @RussellSimonNBA