Knicks star facing charges relating to holding unregistered firearms.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has conceded that Raymond Felton’s weapon-related charges create an “image problem” for the league.
Felton was arrested on Tuesday and was charged with two weapons-related felonies, although with his court date set for June 2, he is expected to continue to play for the rest of the season.
The 29-year-old will now go through the requisite legal proceedings, while the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement means that a team is not permitted to discipline a player based solely on an arrest.
Therefore, the NBA will wait until the legal process is concluded, before implementing their own punishment on the player.
However, despite that, Silver believes that the situation alone causes its own problems for the NBA, as even though players go through a process of being educated on guns and gun laws in various jurisdictions, Felton’s arrest doesn’t reflect well on the league as a whole.
“We spend a lot of time here educating our players on guns,” Silver told ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike” on Friday.
“We have a rookie transition program where there are several seminars about, of course, the dangers of guns. But, also, players do have a legal right to guns in certain jurisdictions and we assist our players if they are insistent on having a gun, how to do it legally.
“In this case, at least, the allegation is Raymond didn’t have a legal gun in New York. So it’s a problem for all of us; it’s an image problem for the league.”
It is a difficult situation in particular for the Knicks, who continue to struggle this season and aren’t expected to now make the playoffs with time running out and their form showing no clear signs of improvement.
Felton returned to action this week against the Miami Heat, but questions have been raised as to whether or not he can fully focus on the game from an individual standpoint, while there is also the debate as to whether or not his situation has had a negative impact on the rest of the organisation.