Reserve G: Allan Houston

  • Stats from 1996 to 2005:  
  • 18.5 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.7 STL 

A three-point marksman by way of Tennessee in college and Detroit in the pros, Allan Houston ended his career with a sizzling .402 mark from downtown, once leading the league in free throw percentage (.919) with the Knicks in 2002-03, four years after stunning the NBA world by leading an 8-seed all the way to the NBA Finals.

With his runner in the lane in the closing moments of Game 5 of a first round series against the Miami Heat in the 1999 NBA Playoffs, Houston made New York the second team in NBA history to defeat a 1-seed (seasons before, Dikembe Mutombo’s Nuggets upset the Seattle Supersonics).

A two-time NBA All-Star, Houston made headlines, albeit infamously, by signing a maximum extension, the Knicks’ first ever $100 million contract, in 2001, completely falling apart by the deal’s third year, when Houston averaged a paltry 11.9 points per game (in a mere twenty games), the lowest average in his New York tenure.  Knee injuries forced him to retire, giving way to the “Allan Houston Rule,” by which franchises were granted “a one-time option to release a player without his contract counting against the luxury threshold regardless of how long or how rich the contract was,” according to Wikipedia and USA Today.

The “rule” is now known in NBA circles as the “amnesty clause,” which the Knicks used during Houston’s career to release Jerome Williams and would later use to release Chauncey Billups, under a different collective bargaining agreement, to eventually acquire center Tyson Chandler, who would become the NBA Defensive Player of the Year during his time in New York.

At present, Houston is assistant to the general manager with the Knicks, and general manager of the Westchester Knicks, the big club’s developmental team, which has groomed the likes of Cleanthony Early, who will likely play a larger role with New York in 2015-2016.

I am an English teacher, music and film aficionado, husband, father of two delightful boys, writer, sports fanatic, former Long Islander, and follower of Christ. Based on my Long Island upbringing, I was groomed as a Yankees, Giants, Rangers, and Knicks fan, and picked up Duke basketball, Notre Dame football, and Tottenham Hotspur football fandom along the way.