Sunday, August 18, 2013
Felton drops 15 pounds, ready to go
By Ian Begley
NEW YORK -- Raymond Felton says he "loves" the changes the Knicks made in the offseason. Felton also made a pretty significant change himself.
With the help of Washington D.C.-based trainer Keith Veney, Felton says he has lost approximately 15 pounds since the end of the 2012-13 season. He played at around 212 pounds last year and is encouraged with his new physique and the added speed it can lead to.
"I was quick before, but if you take off 15 pounds, you can be that much quicker," Felton said Sunday at a Big Brothers-Big Sisters New York City event at St. John's.
Felton's weight was an issue in his lone season in Portland in 2011-12. He entered the season out of shape because he was caught off guard by the lockout. When the lockout ended and the season began in late December, Felton admits that he was not physically prepared.
That wasn't an issue last season, though, the first of his second tour in New York.
And it doesn't seem like it will be an issue this season. He was in a T-shirt and sweat pants, so it's tough to gauge, but Felton appeared slimmed down and stronger on Sunday.
Felton said his new physique should allow him to push the tempo a bit this season. Felton's intrigued by the possibility of having Andrea Bargnani trailing on fast breaks, where, in a perfect world for the Knicks, he'd find Bargnani open for 3-point attempts.
"I'll push it right down the court ... if I don't have anything, I know I got him," Felton said.
Felton's also excited by the idea of playing in a two-point guard lineup alongside Pablo Prigioni. The Knicks had great success with that lineup last season, reeling off 13-straight wins from mid-March to early April.
"I'm pretty sure we will go to it sometimes. Who knows how the starting lineup will go? We can go big this year, we can go small. We can go to a variety of lineups. We can start Metta World Peace, we can start Bargnani. We're going to be alright."
FELTON'S MESSAGE: Felton worked extensively with the Big Brothers-Big Sisters program in Charlotte. He has continued that work in New York. The veteran point guard was named an ambassador for the New York chapter of Big Brothers-Big Sisters.
On Sunday, he welcomed approximately 80 young children for workouts at St. John's.
"If I can make one kid's day, their week, their month, then I'm all for it. I love it," Felton said. "There's a lot of kids who don't have that father figure or that person they can go to to help them go through life. So if you can give a kid just hope in life, it's not even about hope in basketball, it's about hope in life that every things going to be alright, then that's what it's all about."
PRE-TRAINING CAMP WORKOUTS: Felton said the Knicks plan to meet for workouts in early September, about 3-4 weeks before training camp starts.
"We should be back at full force by then," the point guard said.
It's fairly common for NBA teams to organize players-only workouts before training camp.
Both the Knicks and Nets did so last season.
The Nets will convene this week in Los Angeles for players-only workouts, a source confirmed to ESPNNewYork's Mike Mazzeo.
The Knicks will meet after Labor Day somewhere in the area because most players will be back in town with their families at that point.