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A photo of the former UNC basketball players who attended the wedding is a who’s who of Carolina hoops royalty. The list includes Harrison Barnes, Tyler Hansbrough, Bryon Sanders, Sean May, Deon Thompson, Danny Green, Raymond Felton, Quentin Thomas, and Jackie Manuel. Longtime UNC staffer Eric Hoots also attended.
When Raymond Felton joined Ian Begley and SNY’s Chris Williamson on the latest edition of The Putback, he was asked about what advice he would give to Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina, two young point guards trying to find their way while playing in the bright lights of New York. “Just confidence, man. Having confidence in yourself. Don’t get caught up in just all the pressure,” Felton said in this week’s Putback Extra. “There’s a lot of pressure to play in New York. It’s a lot of pressure. The fans in New York really love basketball, they really love their Knicks, and if you ain’t putting up, they’ll let you know. It’s a lot of pressure. If you can’t take it, and I’ve seen it hurt a lot of people’s careers.”
Felton explained that even if the young guards are struggling with their shots, there are other ways that they can impact the game and win over the New York fans. “That’s one thing I felt in that arena, it’s one thing that I felt from the fans. I think that’s the biggest thing I would help those guys with, just trying to be complete players,” Felton said. “Everybody thinks it’s all about scoring. ‘I’ve got to score all these points to get my money and get this contract,’ and it’s like yeah you do have to be able to put the ball in the basket, you’ve got to score, but there’s a lot of other things you can do, too, to get paid in this league.”
Recently, Raymond Felton and I talked about how most NBA teams are pursuing younger players that become available and not going after veteran players as much these days. Have you experienced that as well? And, if so, how frustrating is that? Mario Chalmers: I’ve definitely experienced that. And, yeah, it is frustrating – just because there’s the saying, “A team always wants a winner.” I just feel like with my resume, I’m a proven winner. I’m not a bad guy in the locker room; I’m not a jerk. So, I just feel like for me to not even get a chance and not even get a workout or nothing like that, it’s a little disheartening. But that’s the way the business goes… I’m definitely surprised how they’ve shifted away from . Those guys are very important. For me, some of my vets were Dwyane Wade, Bron, Jermaine O’Neal, Jamaal Magloire and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, so I’ve had vets that have actually been All-Stars and they’ve taught me about basketball, about family, about a lot of different things.