Raymond Felton can continue to tell you he's been there, done that; that he is a tenured professional and knows how to handle this scrutiny and slump. He comes across as a strong person mentally - in charge of himself. But deep down, he's got to be going through torture inside. I say, enough is enough. At this point, it is counterproductive to continue crucify the way someone the way the fans and media do.
Confidence is a very powerful thing. Most of us have experienced the feeling of being rock bottom mentally, as well as sky high. You've undoubtedly recognized the difference in your performance in all aspects of work, relationships etc. when you are that high or that low.
Felton is rock bottom. It's not about speculation - we know it. I've never seen the fans - through call-ins (especially last night), tweets; the top figures in local media; certain lead writers on other top Blazer blogs, etc. lash out so negatively about a Blazer player regarding his on-the-court performance.
I get just as frustrated by the mistakes as anyone else. But last night I started thinking that enough is enough.
Felton needs to see the light. It can't get any worse for a player. It's so ironic when you consider some of his accolades and achievements:
*Naismith Award winner by the Atlanta Tipoff Club as the 2002
National High School Player of the Year and was also Gatorade National
Player of the Year
*Led Latta High School to back-to-back state championships
and a 104-9
record in his career
*Two-time Mr. Basketball winner in South Carolina
...Broke state career scoring record
with 2,992 point
*First player in Tar Heels history
to record 1,000 points, 600 assists, 300 rebounds, 150 steals and 100 three-point field goals
*Named to the NCAA Final Four
All-Tournament Team after helping lead North Carolina to 2005 NCAA title
Felton has it in him. Should he continue to start? No. He hasn't earned it. Is he really, truly one of the worst starters in the league? Maybe statistically, but the guy has been in the league a long time, and not by accident. Felton is clearly not the only one struggling on this team.
The war of emotions in his head will end - eventually. Then he will turn into a solid player again. But it is really time everyone give him some air before that happens.