Raymond Felton to Fans: “Be Patient With Us”
Is anyone in full panic mode about the New York Knicks yet? It’s really early, so that shouldn’t be the case but this is New York; a city where people often have the mindset “what have you done for me lately” when it comes to their sports teams. So a few doubters is normal.
However, with the hype built around this team after their strong season last year is causing all sorts of pandemonium from their 1-3 start. This is not only a 1-3 start either. This is one that includes losses to the Timberwolves and Bobcats. Even their one win was almost a disastrous loss where they nearly blew a 25-point halftime lead. Add an injury to Tyson Chandler that will keep him out to four to six weeks and the Knicks will be searching for answers as they go through the early part of this season.
Many people may jump off the bandwagon with a slow start and a dark outlook for the first month or so. However, Raymond Felton has a message to all Knicks fans who may be doubting them which is simply, “we’re sorry” and “be patient.”
Here is what Felton said on ESPN New York’s 98.7 FM The Michael Kay Show:
“The fans are not here in the locker room with us,” Felton said. “They are not inside (knowing) what’s going on with this team. All I can say to the fans is we do apologize. I am speaking on behalf of myself and my teammates. We do apologize for the way we have been playing. We are not playing Knicks basketball right now. “We understand that. We are going to play harder, we are going to play better. It’s early on in the season. Just be patient with us.”
It’s foolish for people to give up on any team after four games, but when expectations are high and they are not met, people have the right to be angry. Felton is right; the Knicks play so far this year has been offensive and an apology was necessary. It was refreshing to hear someone take accountability for the product they have put on the floor so far and is one that will buy them some time if they don’t right the ship soon.
There are some new guys who are playing significant minutes and it is obvious that these guys are still trying to mesh. Andrea Bargnani has struggled to find his shot but will need to grab more rebounds in order to build a rapport with fans. They will not tolerate a seven footer averaging just two rebounds a game and with Chandler out, he will have to do more on the glass. Ron Artest (I refuse to call him by his new legal name Metta World Peace) has been one of the bright spots and has done more than the team bargained for. However, it is uncertain if he can keep this up.
What the Knicks need to turn this around is for a number of guys to step up. Unfortunately, Carmelo Anthony will have to do just about everything which may include facilitating more than usual. They also need Amar’e Stoudemire to play up to his contract, even with a minutes restriction. Charles Barkley came out yesterday and said he thinks that Stoudemire’s skills are completely diminished and its hard to argue with him so far. However, the Knicks will need him in order to be a factor both offensively and defensively if they want to succeed.
A quick fix would be for them to beat the Bobcats on Friday night. This would not be the complete remedy but it would give fans some hope that the ship is not completely sinking. They had a terrible loss to them on Tuesday night and now have to travel to Charlotte to play them again. Felton may have bought himself and his teammates some time with the unruly fans but a loss tonight would most likely lead to a hostile environment on Sunday, when they host the Spurs.
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