Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports that New York Knicks guard Raymond Felton believes that his 2011-12 season with the Portland Trail Blazers was an "unfair situation" because of the lockout.
Felton, who has played well this season in his second stint with the Knicks, accepted responsibility for his performance and fitness not being up to standard with Portland. Felton wrongly believed that the NBA labor dispute would wipe out the season and wasn't in shape when the season began on Dec. 25.
"It was kinda being put into an unfair situation," he said. "You really didn't have a training camp to (develop) chemistry, and that's big for a point guard especially coming to a new team, new arena and new organization. And that didn't play into my favor.
"Then I was out of shape. I got kinda relaxed because I didn't think we were going to have a season. I did what I had to do. I felt like I was professional, didn't talk bad about anybody, didn't try to cause any drama even though that was said about me. The only drama that I own up to is that I was out of shape. That's it."
Felton is making his first return trip to the Rose Garden on Thursday.
Earlier Wednesday, Felton issued a warning to "certain people" that should "better not come near me." Later Wednesday, he repeated that warning and called out media "lies" about his relationship with former coach Nate McMillan. He also pointed out that the Blazers are still headed to the 2013 NBA Draft lottery.
Felton's 2011-12 season got off to a slow start when he returned from the lockout in poor condition and it went downhill from there, as he struggled with turnovers and poor outside shooting. In March 2012, Felton was implicated in a "mutiny" against former coach Nate McMillan and hit with the "cancer" tag. In April 2012, Felton welcomed his critics to confront him at his condo and said that criticism of his play and conditioning was a "spit in my face."
The Blazers sign-and-traded him to the Knicks in July 2012. In November 2012, he clarified that it wasn't his intention to eat his way out of Portland.
Last summer, Felton promised to "drop 50" points in his return to Portland.
"I'm a free agent so maybe those bloggers and those people who write won't have to see me again. Maybe they won't, until I'm coming in on the other end and droppin' 50 on 'em. We'll see what happens. Who knows. Still no bad taste in my mouth with Portland. I still got a lot of great relationships there with the owner, management and as well some of the players. Who knows what might happen. I still might go back there. We'll see what happens."
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter