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Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Legal Analysis of Raymond Felton's Gun Charges & His NBA Future
Earlier this morning, New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton was arrested for illegal possession of guns under New York Law. In an article for Sports Illustrated, I break down the charges and whether the NBA will suspend him and whether the Knicks will try to void his contract.
Here are a couple of excerpts:
New commissioner Adam Silver will face his first major disciplinary decision with Felton. Like Stern, Silver is an attorney and he will likely scrutinize the charges and available evidence before making a decision. Silver will also rely on the counsel of Rick Buchanan, the league's general counsel and executive vice president. Silver and Buchanan undoubtedly know that the league's image is tarnished with fans, media and lawmakers when players are connected to guns. On the other hand, they do not want to punish a player who may ultimately be cleared of any wrongdoing. This is a crucial point for Felton as he considers his legal options: if he pleads guilty to any crime, the NBA would be clearly justified in suspending him.
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The Knicks could try to terminate Felton's contract under Clause 16 of the NBA's Uniform Player Contract. In theory, this clause allows NBA teams to void a contract if a player, "fails, refuses, or neglects to conform his personal conduct to standards of good citizenship, good moral character (defined here to mean not engaging in acts of moral turpitude, whether or not such acts would constitute a crime), and good sportsmanship..." The Knicks would have to first place Felton on waivers. Assuming he clears waivers -- a safe bet -- the Knicks would then notify Felton that his contract has been voided. To be sure, the Knicks' legal argument for terminating Felton's contract would be strengthened if Felton is convicted or if he pleads guilty.
To read the rest, click here.