Carrick Felix: The Comeback
Carrick Felix has been impressive during preseason play for the Wizards scoring 11 points against Guangzhou Long-Lions. Teddy Owusu/DC Sports Box
Going up for a dunk attempt and leaving the arena on a stretcher is not the ideal situation when you are trying to play your way back onto an NBA roster. However, that is the fate that Wizards guard, Carrick Felix, suffered when he fractured his patella in November 2014, while playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the NBA Development League. And thus, began a two-year journey to recovery for Felix, before he returned to the court in the NBDL with the Long Island Nets in 2016.
 
Now, at 27 years old, having played only seven games in his NBA career, Felix is looking to hang on to a roster spot with the Wizards. His hard work and positivity may be a large factor in why he was able to get another chance to make an NBA roster.

After fracturing his patella in 2014, Felix maintained a positive attitude and saw the silver lining in his injury, as he worked his way back to the court.

“It definitely is taxing on the mental game, but I’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot about not only the basketball game but also my personal self. And just being able to grow in different areas — mentally, physically and emotionally — it’s great for me.”

Off the court, Felix grew his public speaking and entrepreneurial skills. He has a start-up called Zing It, which is an online concierge type service for vacations. After he hangs up the sneakers for good, Felix, who holds a Master’s Degree in Communications from Arizona State, hopes to have a career in motivational speaking.

In the meantime, with his energy, high-flying dunks, and defensive play, he is showing the Wizards why he deserves the team’s final roster spot.

In the team’s first pre-season game against the Guangzhou Long-Lions, Felix scored 11 points to go along with 2 steals and 1 block in 14 minutes. In the second pre-season game against the New York Knicks, Felix chipped in 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 block. In the third pre-season game, Felix had 13 points to go along with 2 steals and 2 blocks.
 
Count Coach Scott Brooks and teammate Kelly Oubre Jr. as fans of Felix after seeing his play throughout training camp and pre-season.

“He plays with maximum effort. That is his strength,” said Coach Brooks, before adding, “He has one way of playing, he has the play hard button and he plays it and uses it every game and he steps on the floor and does the same thing in practice, every practice he brings it.”

Oubre called Felix his favorite player in training camp and talked about how his play energizes the team.

"He's honestly just been my favorite player this whole training camp. He goes hard at all times. He takes care of his body. He's a professional guy. He's on time. He does things that he needs to do to be a professional,” said Oubre.

“I'm very impressed at how hard he plays at all times. As an energy guy, when I'm on the court with him I just get a little bit more energized. We come back. We make a lot of runs together and we do things but he's been my favorite player this whole training camp because he plays hard. He puts everybody else in front of him. He just does the right thing at all times so I respect him a lot."

With the Wizards’ final pre-season game tomorrow night, it will be Felix’s final opportunity to show why he deserves the team’s final roster spot. Given his play on the court and the impression he has left on teammates, it is fair to say, Felix has made major strides in his comeback journey.
 
Written by Hirdesh Matta