By David Anthony
It’s Game 5 in Miami (back in the day the first round was a 5 game series) the Knicks are down 77-76 with 4.5 seconds left in the game. Charlie Ward in-bounds the ball to Allan Houston with a few seconds remaining. Houston runs towards the lane and jumps in the air. As his arm flips, up the ball hits the front of the rim and takes a high bounce then hits the back board and goes in. The Miami crowd become as quiet as a mouse. The Knicks have just become the 2nd 8th seed to beat a number 1 seed. Houston had just won the game and the series. The Knicks would use this momentum to march all the way to the finals before losing to the Spurs.
Fast-forward one horrendous contract and one failed comeback attempt later and Houston has made quite a name for himself.
In 2010 Houston was named special assistant to then GM and president Donnie Wash. At the time the move felt very Herb Williams”ish” (all Knicks fans know what that means). From time to time the Knicks would throw out these life long contracts to former popular players. From Starks to Larry Johnson these guys do nothing more than sign a few autographs and kiss a few babies. However along the way something strange happened.
Allan Houston actually became good at his job, and he survived the Phil Jackson cuts (which not even the great Herb Williams would survive).
In 2014 Allan became the Westchester Knicks GM, although he went thru a very rough first year. The D-league team went 10-41 in there first season and had very little talent on there roster. However Houston turned things around when he added Dajuan Summers, Jimmer Fredette and Travis Trice II. The club bounced back in 2015 with a 18 game Improvement. Going 28-22 and even making the playoffs. All three players mentioned above provided plenty of spark for there club. Summers pumped in 25 and 10 a game while Fredette chipped in 21 points and 5 assist. Travis Trice II also poured in 15 points 5 assist and 3 rebounds. *side note Summers only played in 3 games before a season-ending injury, he was also a prime candidate to be called up*
Lets not forget former fan favorite Langston Galloway (who know spends his days with the Pelicans), it would be foolish to think Houston didn’t spend some time with him in the gym. Galloway has been an instant success since being called up. Providing the Knicks with a spark plug off the bench. Galloway put up 7 points 3 rebounds and 2 assist per game while playing some outstanding defense last year.
Aside from building up the minor league team, Houston has also taken on a bigger role with the big league club. He is the assistant GM to Steve Mills and even conducted the interviews at this years draft combine. Isaiah Whitehead had this to say after meeting Houston
“I MEAN I WALKED INTO THE KNICKS MEETING AND I SHOOK ALLAN HOUSTON’S HAND. THAT’S A BLESSING RIGHT THERE. HE’S A GREAT PLAYER AND I WAS SHELL-SHOCKED. I WAS KIND OF STARSTRUCK TO REALLY BE IN FRONT OF HIM AND HIM ASK ME QUESTIONS ABOUT ME. THAT WAS REALLY A BLESSING.”
Sounds like Houston still has a way with the young kids, and I mean he should. Allan is only a 2-time all-star who drilled over 1,300 3’s in his career. He is also responsible for one of the famous plays in Knicks history. He also had his infamous 50 point game against Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant and the gang. In which he hit a few of those 1,300 threes I mentioned above.
Speaking of 3’s, Tony Wroten (who was cut due to disciplinary reasons) posted a picture of himself and Houston working on his “broken” jump shot. While Wroten remains an elite driver in the lane, he is a career 23.1% shooter from beyond the arc. Wroten said in the Instagram post
“BEEN IN THE GYM EVERYDAY WORKING WORKING WORKING WITH ONE OF THE BEST SHOOTERS TO DO IT.”
So if it’s running the D-league or conducting interviews for prospects or shooting some 3’s in the gym with Wroten, Houston has his hands all over the Knicks, and that seems to be a good thing.
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