Sep 24

Raymond Felton Hasn't Forgotten

By caseyholdahl
During an appearance for Under Armour at a Macy's in New York, former Trail Blazer and current Knicks point guard Raymond Felton was asked, among other things, about the end of his tenure in Portland. And rather than reverting to any number of deflective stock answers NBA players give when asked about not-so-pleasant memories with former teams ("I'm just focusing on the upcoming season" or "I've put that behind me" being two examples), Felton chose to go on-record about the rift, be it perceived or otherwise ... 
Felton is still bitter at the character assassination he received in the Rose City. Last March during a game there, he was booed viciously every time he touched the ball after being portrayed as the guy who cost Portland the playoffs.

He went on a long rant Monday about being portrayed as a locker-room cancer by the media and fans.

“I laughed at the crowd,’’ Felton said. “We’re in the playoffs. What about you all."
Berman also posted more of Felton's comments on Sulia (which I didn't realize people were still using) that didn't make the print edition ...
“At the end of the day, they said a lot things about me,’’ Felton remarked. "Said a lot of things about Jamal Crawford. They said me and Jamal were bad eggs. I’m sitting back like: “Jamal is with the Clippers having a great year, up for Sixth Man of The Year. His team was in the playoffs. And our team is in the playoffs. I don’t think we were the issues of bringing that team down. Not in the playoffs again and you want to put the blame on two guys. It was our fault they didn’t make the playoffs. Really?’’

“I was kind of upset about that,’’ Felton added. “Because now you’re trying to kill your character. I’m not a type of cancer in the locker room.’’
A couple of things here.

First off, it's a bit hard to tell if Felton's issue is with the Portland media, the fans or both. If it's with the media, that's fine. I don't necessarily agree with it, but I'm not going to argue with Felton's perception, if for no other reason than I don't think player/media relationships are all that interesting. He's certainly not the first guy to think he didn't get a fair shake from the local media, and he won't be the last.

But if his issue is with the fans, then I think Felton is indulging in a bit of revisionist history. I don't think the issue was fans blaming Felton individually for missing the playoffs in the lockout-shortened season; the issue was Felton coming into camp out of shape (something Felton has admitted to) and the entire team rolling over in the games immediately preceding the trade deadline and the dismissal of Nate McMillan. Players who didn't have necessarily successful stints in Portland have typically been welcomed back with indifference at worst or applause at best (Jarret Jack, Travis Outlaw, Martell Webster and Steve Blake immediately come to mind), but what Portland fans obviously have no stomach for are players on teams that simply give up, as seemed to be the case with the 2011-12 team.

And to be fair, I think Felton has a right to be salty after being roundly booed every time he touched the ball in his return to Portland on March 14, 2013 (a game the Trail Blazers won, by the way), but THAT is what he should be mad about. As far as how he was treated by the fans when he was still playing in Portland, that's on Felton.


  1. Well put Casey.

    by krizzikinz on 9/24/2013 11:45 AM
  2. I was a Felton defender for far too long when he was here. I regret that now. I was also a Jamal defender. I don't regret that. He was playing out of position, and wasn't able to play his game. Also, Jamal is a really good dude. Felton trying to bring Jamal in on his stuff is...well, it's pathetic. Felton is a clown, and I hope he's booed here forever.

    by ChrisRozwod on 9/24/2013 11:57 AM
  3. Krizikinz: Thanks. Hope you enjoyed the Blink 182 show. That's no small thing. Ha!

    Chris: I don't think either Felton or Jamal are bad guys. Heck, neither comes close to some of the legitimate bad dudes we've had on this team through the years. I just think it's hard sometimes for people, be they basketball players or otherwise, to admit to much of their problems were/are of their own making.

    by caseyholdahl on 9/24/2013 12:01 PM
  4. Not to go all ad hominem here -- his up-and-down progress as a point guard is why we disliked the guy, more so than his locker-room shenanigans -- but "salty" seems like the wrong food-related adjective. "Doughy" is more appropriate.

    by sleepesoteric on 9/24/2013 1:19 PM
  5. Coming in overweight definitely put a sour taste in the mouths of Blazer fans, but what you said about giving up in the middle of games hit the nail on the head. There's no room for that kind of play in Portland, and that's why players like Outlaw and Blake will always be cheered in the Rose Garden (I refuse to call it Moda Center!)

    by ami91sun on 9/24/2013 1:25 PM
  6. The Knicks did indeed make the playoffs and we didn't, but they also had a payroll that was 1/3 higher than ours - over $23mm more. And Felton was not the reason they made it. He was apathetic, fat and lazy while he was here. More prone to Felt-downs than end of game heroics. So, NY can have him. On the other hand, I thought that Jamal was great for the Blazers but not always put in the best position to succeed.

    by papadac on 9/24/2013 1:36 PM
  7. I have no issue with Crawford. Cupcake, on the other hand...

    This was a guy that we were excited about when the trade was made. He's a guy we tried to love when he showed up out of shape. He's a guy we grew to dislike from his boneheaded plays late in games where he'd turn the ball over at crucial moments. He's a guy that soured the locker room, leading to the firing of the coach. He's a guy that started calling out fans in official interviews, souring the fanbase against him. And he's a guy that ran from a fanbase which would have forgiven him, talking trash all the way to a bigger paycheck with a team whose fans are probably harder on their team than any other.

    Cupcake, you deserve the dislike. We wanted to like you. But in the end, you gave up not only on the team, but the fans. And that cannot be tolerated.

    by The X-man on 9/24/2013 1:47 PM
  8. Huge Kudos to the first person to inteview Felton and ask him to say "chubby bunny."

    by Blazer Fanatic on 9/24/2013 3:19 PM
  9. He didn't want to be in Portland from the beginning and it showed. Came in out of shape. Didn't do extra work to turn it around. Kept saying he would play himself into shape.
    It's not all roses in NY either. Still can't hit a shot consistently. Still dribbles off of his feet. Not a big game player. NY exited the playoffs early. Happy it took us less than a year to see he was not Blazer worthy. History. I'm over it.

    by Divotking on 9/24/2013 4:24 PM
  10. I was not a Felton fan before he was a Blazer and even less of one when he cost us Andre Miller. Felton did melt down in Portland to the point of calling out friends to his "Pearl District" apt. I never had a problem with Jamal, but Jamal was not happy playing pt guard and even less happy when Nate was fired. Gerald Wallace said it after his first really poor home game performance, "I don't know what the identity of this team is" It's confusing. Crash was right. If only there were a stat for dribbling the ball off your foot, Raymond Felton will forever be tied to that skillset in my book.

    by riverman on 9/24/2013 4:38 PM
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