Simmons: Portland's Criticism Will Fuel Raymond Felton Bounce-Back

Bill Simmons of pop culture, entertainment, gardening, interior decoration, pottery, gambling, home living, culture, celebrity gossip and sports website -- also known as "The Sports Guy" -- said on a recent episode of the B.S. Report podcast that he believes New York Knicks guard Raymond Felton is poised for a major bounce-back season after catching so much grief over his conditioning during his one year with the Portland Trail Blazers. The discussion began with an analysis of the 4-team blockbuster deal that sent All-Star center Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers. Simmons argued that guard Jason Richardson, who went from the Magic to the Philadelphia 76ers, should play with an edge next season because he was treated as a salary that needed to be dumped. ----------------------------------- "If [Richardson] is any kind of competitor and has any juice in the tank left, the fact that he was just regarded a a throw-in, as somebody whose contract has to be taken if we're dealing Dwight [Howard]. He was rendered so meaningless. How does that not affect you as a competitor? "I feel the same way about Ray Felton, who I think in just about any other situation might have been done as a basketball player. He took so much heat in Portland last year, he took so much heat for being fat. Then he signs with the Knicks and the Knicks fans are just furious that they let go of Jeremy Lin. "I think it's going to work in their favor in a weird way. I think he's going to have a big year. How does he not show up in shape this year? Does he have any pride as a human being? He's got to show up in shape, right? He's probably working out right now. "Did you see his quote? His quote was, I think, my favorite quote of 2012 by an athlete. He was mad about how people were talking about how fat he was. He's like, I don't know the exact words, but he's like, 'I've been in shape for seven of the eight years of my career.' "You've got to love that. 'I've been in shape for seven of the eight years of my career!'" ----------------------------------- -- Ben Golliver | | Twitter