Raymond Felton has some pretty big shoes to fill. He is well aware of that. The Jeremy Lin frenzy in New York last year was one that is unrivaled by any other in sports that doesn’t have to do with Tim Tebow. Linsanity became an infectious disease across New York, and the fans loved every second of it. Now, he’s gone and Felton is supposed to take his place. The former Blazers guard said there is no question he can do it.
“I am a competitor, I am a point guard just like he is, so do I think I am better? Of course, I am going to say that,” Felton said according to the NY Post. “I think I am better than any point guard. That’s the way I am supposed to think. But at the same time it’s nothing personal between me and Jeremy. But people are going to make it about that. I am fine with that.”
Chances are, Felton will not be able to win New York over the way Lin did even if he performs as well. He played well with the Knicks for 54 games during the 2010-2011 season (over 17 ppg) before being shipped to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony deal, but that was under Mike D’Antoni. Lin and Felton were both beneficiaries of D’Antoni’s point guard-friendly system, but as we know Mike is gone.
Losing Lin is about more than just basketball to the fans in New York. His story made him a celebrity. Felton is a former fifth overall pick out of UNC who has been a good player throughout most of his career but has ultimately underachieved. Having come out of Harvard and almost been forced out of the NBA, Lin has a completely different background. In reality, Felton will probably never be a New York celebrity that inspires fans to make posters like this.
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