As the Cleveland Cavaliers entered the locker room after their Martin Luther King Day loss to the Golden State Warriors, Cavs’ rookie Kay Felder was still buzzing as he took a seat at his locker.
Halfway through his first season, the Cleveland point guard has carved out his place in the team, and is very quickly developing into supporting player on a start filled Cavs roster.
After dealing with the hostile confines of Oracle Arena for the first time, the young guard was quick to tell starting5online that Warriors fans are crazy.
“It’s a great experience for me,” he said. “We didn’t have this in college, I was playing smaller arenas. But this is the big league – the big stage where fans are serious. Here in Golden State, their fans are crazy. They’re like the Duke of the NBA or something.”
As Felder took the floor for the final seven minutes of the game, he was approached by both Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala during stoppages. Talking about the what the conversations entailed, Felder said that it was all friendly banter.
“That’s my guys, that’s my big brother. They took care of me when I was coming up and they have talked to me ever since,” he said. “We just exchanged a few words – brotherly love and that’s about it.”
Where most NBA rookies might ease their way into the league, Fleder has been thrown in the deep end during his first year with the Cavs. The lack of options at the point guard position, as recently highlighted by LeBron James, has meant that Felder finds himself entrenched as the team’s back-up behind Kyrie Irving at the position. After recently acquiring sharpshooter Kyle Korver, Cleveland have bolstered their already elite level roster. As a newcomer to the team, Felder says “it’s great” learning from so many experienced guys.
“I get to take in so much that these guys help me out a lot, from Channing Frye to LeBron James,” Felder said. “All these guys are vets, Kyle Korver coming on now. I just take in everything from the vets.”
There is a small man revival taking place in the NBA now with Boston’s Isaiah Thomas leading the way and carving up the league. Don’t let Felder’s size fool you though, his speed and explosive dunking ability has got the Cavaliers excited about his future, and he says that with the way the game is evolving, we will see more small guys making it to the NBA.
“You can tell that the league is changing and getting smaller and things like that, and it’s a great wave for small point guards coming up and guys like Isaiah Thomas are flourishing in that system,” he said.
Moving to a new city can put added stress on the younger players in the NBA, but for Felder, making the transition was easy due to the similarities between Cleveland and his hometown Detroit.
“My favorite thing about the city is that it’s kinda like Detroit honestly,” he told starting5online. “I can go bowling, go skating, go to the movies whenever I want to. You know, I’m a simple guy, that’s what I like to do.”
As the defending champs assert their dominance in the Eastern Conference, and work towards another successful playoff run, Felder is proving to be an integral component of the squad, and crucial to getting Irving the rest he needs over the course of a grueling NBA season.
If he’s not already on your radar, make sure you keep an eye on Kay Felder throughout this season.