Raymond Felton back with Knicks

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Raymond Felton returned to practice Wednesday and will play on Thursday against the Miami Heat, vowing that his legal issues will not be a distraction for the New York Knicks.

A day after he was charged with one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and one count of criminal possession of a firearm, Felton said he will play the rest of the season for the Knicks, who are in 11th place in the East and have lost nine of 11.

"I want to start off by saying thank you to my teammates, thank you to the fans," Felton told reporters after practice without taking any questions. "To my family, to my friends, everybody for their support in this situation. This is not a distraction to this team. I'm focusing on finishing out this season, finishing out these games with my teammates.

"As far as speaking on what's going on off the court with me, there will be no comment. If you've got any questions, anything dealing with that, speak with my lawyer."

Felton was arrested early Tuesday. Authorities say a lawyer for his wife turned in a loaded semi-automatic handgun allegedly belonging to the point guard to a police precinct, claiming the woman no longer wanted the weapon in the couple's home. The judge ordered a six-month order of protection for Felton's wife and set bail at $25,000. Bail was posted, and there are no legal restrictions on Felton's ability to travel.

According to reports, Ariane Raymondo-Felton told police she and Felton are going through a divorce and that she feared her husband might attempt to harm himself.

Court is adjourned in the case until June 2, at which point grand jury action may take place.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Felton was focused on basketball at practice. He said he did not know all the details surrounding Felton's legal situation but added there was never any internal discussion about sitting him for a few games.

"I spoke to him last night," Woodson said. "And I think he's committed and focused. I thought today when he came in he was on board in terms of what we were trying to get accomplished in practice today. So I think that's not going to be an issue. I've just got to get him ready to go for tomorrow. We've got a big game in Miami.

"You are always surprised when something happens within your family. But again, I don't know the dynamics of it. I don't know where we go from today, but at the end of the day Ray is still a part of the Knicks family and he is still wearing a uniform, and it is my job to make sure that he is mentally and physically ready to play basketball, and that's what I am going to continue to do."

Center Tyson Chandler said that outside of the increased media at practice Wednesday, the situation hasn't been a distraction.

"Honestly, I don't think that's any of my business," he said when asked whether he talked to Felton about what happened. "My concern is him as an individual, as a friend, teammate, brother, and [when] when he's ready to play basketball, go out there and fight with him.

"He seemed like he was no different than when I saw him at [Monday's] game. He seemed very focused, very attentive to what was going on as far as our game plan for Miami. Like I said, if it wasn't for all the media, I wouldn't know what was going on."

When asked whether he's seen any signs of Felton's personal life affecting his play, Woodson said it has been a topsy-turvy season for the entire team.

"When you go back at the very beginning, coming out of camp, we were beat up, suspension with J.R. [Smith]," Woodson said. "I mean, it's been a lot. It's been a roller-coaster ride for our ballclub."

The Knicks (21-36) are 5½ games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.

The NBA is monitoring the Felton situation, a league spokesman said Tuesday.

The point guard, meanwhile, vows to play through his issues this season.

"I'm here to concentrate on this team, finish this season out with the New York Knicks and see what happens, man," Felton said. "Trying to make it to the playoffs. We're 5½ games out, 25 games left, so I'm really focusing on that with these guys, with the team and trying to make that happen."

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley and The Associated Press was used in this report.