The New York Knicks have struggled in recent years. A team that was once a top team in the east now finds themselves at the bottom of the league. During the late 90s and early 2000s, the Knicks were a playoff-contending team year in and year out.
Allan Houston played an important role on those Knicks teams that made it to the playoffs. He also was a member of the 1999 NBA Finals team.
Allan Houston’s NBA career
Before the NBA, Houston had a successful career in college. At Tennessee, he finished as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,801 points and is currently in second for 3-point field goals made. He was also a two-time All-American in 1992 and 1993. Tennessee would retire Houston’s jersey in March of 2011.
After his years at Tennessee, Houston was selected in the first round of the 1993 draft by the Detroit Pistons. In his rookie season, he averaged 8.5 points per game. He saw his numbers increase during his next two years with the Pistons. He averaged 14.5 points per game in his second year and 19.7 points in his third year.
Houston started to come into his own during his first few years in the NBA. The potential was beginning to show, and Houston was establishing himself as a top player in the league.
Houston playing with the Knicks
After Houston’s rookie contract expired in 1996, the Knicks signed Houston as a free agent. He spent nine seasons playing in New York. When he joined the team, Houston was put in the starting lineup and help guide the team to five straight NBA playoff appearances.
During the 1999 playoffs, the Knicks made it to the NBA Finals and played the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs defeated the Knicks 4-1. Houston was second on the team in scoring during the finals averaging 21.6 points in five games.
In the next two seasons, Houston found himself on the All-Star team. He averaged 19.7 points per game both seasons. Houston also was a member of the 2000 USA men’s national basketball team that won the gold medal at the 2000 Olympics. During the 2002-03 season, he averaged the most points in his career with 22.5 points per game. He would finish his career averaging 17.3 points shooting 40 percent from behind the arc.
During his playing career, Houston was a pure shooting guard. He could shoot from the mid-range and long-distance. The Knicks noticed Houston’s talent early in his career, and they took a shot with him.
Career after basketball
Injuries cut Houston’s career short, and he attempted to make a return to the NBA in 2007 after he announced his retirement in 2005, but that did not work out. He would continue to be involved in the game of basketball and with the Knicks’ organization.
In 2008 the Knicks hired Houston as an assistant to the president for basketball operations. Two years later, he was promoted to the general manager position. He is currently a special assistant to the general manager. Houston also spent time as the general manager of the Westchester Knicks, the organization’s G League affiliate.