DALLAS (CBSNewYork/AP) — The NBA has suspended new Dallas Mavericks guard Raymond Felton for the first four games of the upcoming season after his guilty plea in a New York gun case.
“I demonstrated poor judgment and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Felton said in a statement released by the Mavericks. “Moving forward I’m eager to get to Dallas, to start fresh and make a positive impact in the Dallas metropolitan area.”
The criminal case arose last winter, as Felton dealt with the breakup of his marriage and a struggling season with the New York Knicks.
Felton pleaded guilty July 23 in New York to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm. He admitted he knowingly had a large-capacity ammunition magazine and a semi-automatic pistol without a license.
The plea involved Felton admitting to the felony but avoiding jail time. He was immediately sentenced to 500 hours of community service and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
His case will be closed without jail time or probation if he complies with his sentencing. Felton will be allowed to complete his community service outside the state of New York.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Thursday that the team is “working with Raymond and the court to develop a community service program that will have a positive and lasting impact on North Texas.”
Dallas acquired Felton, who will not be paid during the suspension, from the Knicks as part of a six-player trade June 25 that brought center Tyson Chandler back to the Mavericks.
That was just two days after prosecutors said Felton would enter a guilty plea in exchange for a no-jail sentence.
About a week after Felton’s law student wife filed for divorce, her attorney brought a loaded semi-automatic handgun to a police precinct and said it was Felton’s and she wanted it out of the house, authorities said. His lawyer, Jim Walden, has said Felton never threatened anyone with the gun.
It was late February when police contacted Felton, and the then-Knicks guard turned himself in shortly after a game against the Mavericks at Madison Square Garden.
The NBA veteran averaged 9.7 points, 5.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds for the Knicks last season.
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