The play of New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton early this season has been one of the driving forces of the team’s hot 7-1 start.Through eight games, Felton is averaging 15.5 points and 6.5 assists, including a 25-point, seven assist dominant performance in a win over the San Antonio Spurs.
Felton’s positive early season performance is just as surprising as the Knicks near-perfect start.
The former North Carolina point guard was overweight all of last season in Portland and well into the offseason this year. And he’s coming off his worst season of his career, when he averaged 11.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game last season with the Trail Blazers, both career-lows.
That’s why many Knicks fans were up in arms when the Knicks brought in Felton for three years, $10 million instead of holding on to Jeremy Lin, who was largely responsible for revitalizing the entire fan base.
But Felton has been able to silence most of those critics with his excellent play that has ushered the Knicks to one of its best starts in franchise history. And his performance could be partly chalked up to a newfound dedication to getting in shape.
Here’s what he told Steve Serby in a question and answer with The New York Post:
Q: How good a shape are you in now?
A: I’m probably in the best shape I’ve been in since college, since the first year I got into the NBA. I feel like I’m back to 21 years old starting off with the Charlotte Bobcats.
Q: Did you do anything unorthodox training-wise?
A: No not really. Probably getting in the weight room, something I never did in my life (chuckle). I did a lot of running … training two times, three times a day … and then I had a great chef on board. I didn’t drink nothing but water for like three months.
In the interview, Felton explains that he felt slighted by the Knicks when he was traded in a package to Denver for Carmelo Anthony. He had to get his mother to travel to Denver to calm his nerves about the situation.
That was because Felton relishes being a part of the Knicks organisation. He had his best season of his career two years ago with the Knicks when he averaged 17.1 points and nine assists in 54 games. He enjoys playing under the city lights and is driven to make the most of it this time around. It’s likely why he finally dedicated himself to getting in shape this season.
Felton’s recent commitment to the weight room could mean he performs closer to the way he played two seasons ago. And with a refurbished lineup in New York, that’s the most any New York fan could hope for.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.