Knicks Resign Allan Houston

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but is thought to be in the 6yr/$100M range.

Official press release:

NEW YORK, October 10, 2007 ? New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Isiah Thomas announced today that guard Allan Houston has been re-signed as a free agent after a two-season absence from the court.

“After much thought and prayer, I have decided to return to the NBA as a member of the New York Knicks. I have worked extremely hard in the last year and a half to accomplish my dream of playing in the NBA again,” Houston said.

?After my wife and I were blessed with the birth of our fourth child last week, I realized that New York is where I am supposed to be, and the Knick uniform is the one I want to wear. I have seen the Garden in some of its best moments, and I truly believe that this team is on the verge of experiencing that again. This team is hungry and energetic. I hope to contribute in the weeks and months ahead.

?Thank you to all of the Knick fans and those that have supported me. I will always be a Knick, and I am committed to helping this team compete for a championship.”

Originally retiring on Oct. 17, 2005 following training camp two seasons ago, Houston is the team?s fourth leading scorer in franchise history during the regular season (11,165) and eighth leading scorer during the playoffs (1,139). Only NBA legends Patrick Ewing, Walt ?Clyde? Frazier and Willis Reed have scored more points during their regular season careers with the orange and blue. On Oct. 4, 1999, he was named a team captain, and held that title for six seasons. He was selected to be a member of the 2000 and 2001 NBA All-Star teams and was a member of the Gold medal-winning United States team at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney.

On May 16, 1999, the Louisville, KY native authored one of the most memorable shots in club history with a game-winning runner at Miami in the closing seconds of Game Five in the first round of the 1999 NBA Playoffs. After defeating the Heat, the Knicks went on to defeat the Atlanta Hawks in the conference semifinals and Indiana Pacers in the conference finals to make their first NBA Finals appearance since 1994.

The preseason roster is now at 20.

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Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

48 thoughts to “Knicks Resign Allan Houston”

  1. I love the rules, Mike!!

    And I dig this move, but only because I love Allan Houston way too much. :)

  2. Love the move. Low risk, high potential reward. Would like to keep Demetrius for his big 2-guard potential and ditch Fred the undersized scrub. I’d rather take the hit on D than on O at this point, we have DLee, Renaldo, Mardy and Jeffries as D specialists already. I actually like him more than WChandler, they seemed much alike in Vegas with Nicholls having the better J.

  3. Actually, the move makes almost no sense whatsoever. What is the point in adding a 34 year old ex-retiree to a team projected to be borderline playoffs at best? This seems like another case of Thomas rewarding loyalty and friendship. Now the team’s going to lose at least 1 more young prospect.

  4. Whats that bit about ‘Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but was thought to be in the 6yr/$100M range.’?

  5. He’s 36, not 34 and I don’t think the contract is guaranteed. He has the rest of pre-season to earn a spot. My guess is his knees will give out, we won’t sign him, we’ll cut James and sign Nichols. He’s too good of an investment to just let walk.

  6. “Whats that bit about ?Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but was thought to be in the 6yr/$100M range.??”

    It was a joke and I think a funny one.

    Also I like this move because it is a win win move. At the very least it is a good PR move, signing a long time Knick and giving him a chance. If his knees do not hold out then nothing is lost, if they do hold out he could still be a solid specalist coming off the bench much like Berry in SA, or Kerr in his last couple years.

    If we do end up cutting any of our youth I doubt that it is anyone too special. Both Nichols and Jordan could be good but they are 2nd round picks and training camp is the exact place where 2nd round picks earn their roster spots. If they cannot earn a spot as 4 year college players then they will probably never be anything special.

  7. Anyone who thinks this move is about basketball is fooling themselves. This move is about public relations, pure and simple. The smiling weasel and Daddy’s boy need to get some feel good shimmies going in the NY Post and the fans. Another story about Big Snacks not playing would just about sink the ship. Signing The Big K (contract, that is, for those who didn’t go to law school) gives a whole new storyline for Berman and the beats to write about, for at least the rest of the month before cuts down to 15 need to be made.

    What is my preference? Well glad you asked. I want to see D Nichols. I want to see Chandler. I want to see Balkman. I want to see the main guys play the team to a decent record (as long as Curry stays hurt so Lee and Randolph can work), with the young guns getting spot time where they can. Pro basketball is about one of two things – winning or hope. Right now, our boys can do a little bit of both – unless Isiah keeps making decisions that having nothing to do with basketball. Cut bait on Big Snacks, try to trade Fred Jones for a 2nd round pick (you think Utah can’t use a decent 2 right now?), and keep the youngsters!

  8. If the Knicks were a title contender I would have more of a problem with the Allan Houston experiment. Even if it is just a PR move, the Knicks are in serious need of a PR move (even more than for a SG who can defend).

    If Houston makes the squad and contibutes there will at least be one good story coming out of the Knicks’ season. If he busts, the only real harm is in losing Nichols (if he does in fact turn out to be useful for another team down the road).

    As for Nichols– today was the first that I’d heard of his false positive for Hepatitis C. Is this true?!? If so it validates holding on to him, since it’s no surprise teams would be scared out of drafting him higher (if in fact he really is negative). Perhaps he’s a first round pick if his medical was clear…


    Because of the circus surrounding Isiah and Dolan, I haven’t read much about the actual Knick players and their performances during camp (other than from you). Since you saw these guys, could you get an impression of Jeffries? He supposedly was working hard this off season at not embarrassing himself everytime down the court. Any indication that he’s going to be a different player (i.e. a defensive lock down when he’s out there (as advertised))? Any offensive look to him? Just wondering…

  9. I hope Houston does well in his comeback. But I hope the Knicks lose all of their games least initially so we can get rid of Thomas and Dolan.

  10. For all us Knick fans down here in Kigali, the Allan Houston move is unsurprising. It falls flatly into Knick spending recently and history. The truth is, though, there is nothing to knock until we watch them play. The major concern for me is that he will eat into the playing time of certain players. We need to give Jamal Crawford one very serious chance at being a scorer and distributor. For whatever reason, he is Curry’s guy, and it looks like Marbury may be Randolph’s…is this how it can end up working???

    Houston back will be hard because he will not hold the prestige or primacy he did earlier. We will see him get off the bench, hit a couple shots, maybe sit back down. Personally, I find his desires to return, and his reasons for it, quite sincere. Until he dissapoints us, lets not lose our heads. He’s not going to make the team much worse.

  11. Josh – first welcome! (And a welcome to all our international readers!) As for Houston eating into playing time, I feel that it’s not Jamal Crawford that will suffer the most. He’s averaged 36mpg as a Knick, and has been given plenty of opportunities to maximize his talents. More likely it’s a youngster like Nichols, Collins, or Nate that will lose their minutes (or even roster spot!).

    I have to say I’m a bit dubious on the contribution Houston can give at this age. I think it makes for nice copy, but ultimately I won’t be sad if he doesn’t make the team. Who knows maybe this is a Dolan move – Houston joins the Knick bench, and then is groomed as a possible replacement for Isiah (Mattingly-Torre)?

  12. Z-

    Jeffries played for next to no minutes. So I only saw him standing around in his uniform. CI cant’t really give you an overall impression yet.

    I can’t say that I’d anticipate much change one way or another from jeffries.

    “He’s exactly what we thought he was…If you want to crown him crown him!” :)

  13. I agree wholeheartedly with Josh. We don’t even know what he has left, so to call it purely a PR move is a bit premature. He’s only a few years removed from being a 20+ PPG guy and a 40% from 3 guy. I’m sure he can still stroke the J, and maybe near the end of games he’s a guy we want on the court shooting FT at his career 86% rather than many of the other guys bricking them like they did last year. If he comes off the bench and does a Dell Curry or Steve Kerr imitation, I can’t argue with that. Our best remaining shooters from 3 last year are Nate Robinson at 39%, then Q at 37.6%, then Marbury at 35.7%, then Jamal at 32%. Ugly numbers for a team that needs shoot much better from long-range when presumably there will be many open looks from double-teaming down low.
    And like Hollinger always writes, the ability to shoot is not a skill that declines much with age (as opposed to sheer athleticism, which Houston never relied on anyway).

    Now if Houston is a terrible defensive liability, that’s another story, but as a 10-15 min/game guy, it’s worth a look. He’s certainly not a Francis/Marbury type who will demand 15 shots/game– he’s just not that kind of guy. And it’s not my money and it certainly won’t affect our cap situation to any noticeable extent. I’d happily give up James, Collins, or Fred Jones (ie. all players with little long-term upside) for him. Not sure I’d let Nichols go for him but of course I’ve really never seen Nichols play.

  14. Allan deserves a shot. This team has no leadership and nobody to look up to. Coming from a medical field, allan will be fine. The difference from him and other players who had a similar injury is that Allan rested for 2 years! Plus he had therapy and all the training he needed to get back into shape. At most Allan will give you 25 mins. Plus he’s not 20 mill, only about minimum pay.

  15. I guess its nice to have Houston back, he can at least shoot the 3 but I have no idea who he can guard.

    I am a Syracuse grad, and I saw a lot of Nichols in college (just about every game he played) and I wanted to say I don’t think he has much of a chance to play any minutes at the 2 in the NBA. He is 6-8 and long but not very athletic. He played almost exclusively in the back of the 2-3 zone in college, and I don’t think he could guard many NBA 2’s. He can shoot over people though.

  16. The only “good PR” the Knicks need is winning Basketball Games. What good PR will Allan Houston bring when he is out of breath in 2 weeks and denying young players and this team a chance to move forward?. To quote Doc Rivers’ famous line, “Winning is the great deodorant, it covers all the stink” of whatever else is going on outside the lines. I think this is a very selfish act which will serve as an unwelcome distraction to a team that already needs to bond with the injury to Curry, and especially unwelcome for Isiah Thomas. Unless a roster spot has already been given to Houston by Dolan, I think this just adds to the perception that the Knicks are a Joke.

  17. Conor, thanks for the insight from Syracuse, I’ve been waiting to hear if anyone saw Nichols in game comp. The Knicks need a Steve Kerr – Dennis Scott type Gunner, especially from 3 Pt range; those guys were one dimensional but they could really bring the one dimension. Nichols would get tons of open shots in this offense that no one could hit last year. This is why people have high hopes for someone that young; shooting is the one talent in the NBA that keeps you in the league 10 years. Ask Eddie House.

  18. I appreciate Allan Houston, but this is a PR/loyalty move by Dolan, pure and simple. And, unfortunately it’s going to cost Nichols a spot on the roster.

    Nichols may end up being fairly one dimensional, but it’s a good dimension that the Knicks (or any nba team) could really use. I feel like the negative things being said about Nichols are the same things people said about Kyle Korver (another 2nd round pick) or even Matt Carroll who the Knicks had in camp during his rookie year but had to cut because of their bloated roster. I’d take either of those two guys, and at this point I’d rather take Nichols than Houston.

  19. Houston was a major defensive liability BEFORE his knees went out and he retired for two years. I mean, we’ll see what he looks like in camp – no harm in signing him now – but come on, guys…

    As for Nichols, I pointed out on another thread that he is already the same age as Nate Robinson and only a year younger than David Lee.. he’s THREE years older than Wilson Chandler. He is not a guy with major upside. Maybe without the Hep-C issue he would have been picked in the 30s, or even late first round – after a full 4-year college career — but there’s no way he’s NBA starter material on a decent team.

    That said, it would be a shame to lose him to clear a courtside seat for Grandpa Houston, until he retires again in December.

  20. p.s. Kyle Korver the worst defensive player in the league, according to 82games. Pure shooters like him (or conceivably Nichols) might have a role on a good team like the Spurs, who can cover for them defensively, but in New York it’s like throwing gasoline on the fire.

  21. Caleb – That’s pretty hilarious about Korver being rated the worst defensive player. Good point! Fortunately for him, though, it looks like he might be supplanted by Houston as the worst defensive player this year.

    And you’re right about pure shooters having more of a role on playoff teams like the Spurs. Which is why I just don’t get signing Houston.

    I have no illusions that Nichols is any better than he really is – he’s a 10-20 minute guy a few years down the road, maybe – but he can shoot. I’m just saying that if we’re desperate for some outside shooting, I’d rather take a chance on developing Nichols. Maybe there’s more there than meets the eye.

  22. Crawford said Houston looked good during the summer and that at one point he hit 96 of 100 jumpers.
    But we have heard it before when he was coming back – his knee feels stronger, he feels better – only to have it break down under NBA pounding and pressure.
    I think he will dazzle early because the man can shoot, but then begin to falter as the knee shows its weakness. Arthritis isn’t something that goes away. It’s something that you manage, often by reducing exercise and pounding…
    Not sure that bodes well for Houston.
    I suspect if he makes the team, it speaks more to how weak the Knicks are at the two and less about his ability these days.
    Again, I am continually frustrated that Isiah keeps trying to find high risk answers rather than developing the young talent he has.
    But competence and good judgment are exactly strong suits of this administration.

  23. Nichols is a good shooter, but far from a great shooter. He isn’t in the Kerr/Korver mold (not saying anyone was saying he is, just saying). Even last year, he knocked down about 41% from 3, which is good, especially for a guy his size but is nothing awesome. I am also a little worried that he won’t simply be able to shoot over as many people as he did in college. A 6-8 SF is big in the NBA, but in college a 6-8 SF towers over people. All that being said, he does provide something this team needs, and I hope he can provide it in small doses and I will be rooting for him.

  24. Anybody who thinks this is a good move should have their speaking privileges revoked. I would be happier if the Knicks signed Dan Dickeau. Isiah Thomas said in a New York Times article ?If he?s the Allen Houston that we know, we haven?t seen him play in awhile, but if he is that good a player, we want good players?. Is he referring to the Allen Houston that played ZERO defense? The one who stood behind the arc and just waited for the ball? That?s the Allen Houston I know, I like how Isiah saves the statement by including the big ?IF?. ?IF? he?s a good player, he isn?t Zeke cut his ass.

  25. Anybody who thinks this is a good move should have their speaking privileges revoked. I would be happier if the Knicks signed Dan Dickeau. Isaiah Thomas said in a New York Times article ?If he?s the Allen Houston that we know, we haven?t seen him play in awhile, but if he is that good a player, we want good players?. Is he referring to the Allen Houston that played ZERO defense? The one who stood behind the arc and just waited for the ball? That?s the Allen Houston I know, I like how Isaiah saves the statement by including the big ?IF?. ?IF? he?s a good player, he isn?t Zeke cut his ass.

  26. Stephon Marbury, You Were Right: Buying Expensive Sneakers Is a Waste of Money, Researchers Say,2933,301136,00.html

    Interesting little article here. I recall a few people on the board here reasonably speculating that a lot of Marbury’s injuries last season were due to his cheapy sneaker. It’s good to know the sneaker probably wasn’t at fault. There was a sneaker study performed in Europe which concluded that whether you spend $200 or $40 on a sneaker, they all provide the same support.

  27. Oh god, where to start.

    A player 2 years removed and with arthritic knees signed as #19…if the new Knicks are a run and gun team, those knees are going to take a serious pounding. If the Knicks revert to “drag it out in the half court”, then Houston is a serious defensive liability.

    Frank’s right though: we need a legitimate 3 point threat to keep opponent’s D honest. When they collapse on ZR and Curry, there needs to be a guy on the wing that is automatic from the arch. Is Houston that guy? Maybe.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with taking a look, but it seems like Houston will subtract more than he will add.

    If we are going in the wayback machine, then bring back a strong defender. Bring back Oak!

  28. “Stephon Marbury, You Were Right: Buying Expensive Sneakers Is a Waste of Money, Researchers Say,2933,301136,00.html

    Interesting little article here. I recall a few people on the board here reasonably speculating that a lot of Marbury?s injuries last season were due to his cheapy sneaker. It?s good to know the sneaker probably wasn?t at fault. There was a sneaker study performed in Europe which concluded that whether you spend $200 or $40 on a sneaker, they all provide the same support.”

    what a ridiculously misleading headline. not only did they not use Marbury’s sneakers in that study (the cheapest ones were $56), but they didn’t exactly try them out under NBA conditions.

  29. if we signed houston to be the answer, then we’d have something to worry about.

    but it’s just a courtesy. nothing more, nothing less.

    and, in the 1/100 of a chance he turns out to be vintage allan, then that’s gotta be much better than the jamal crawford experience we have going right now, right? especially with the two big guys down low who need plenty of space.

    but it’s just a looksee. we can’t be too worried about who occupies the 15th man space on the roster.

  30. “Is he referring to the Allen Houston that played ZERO defense? The one who stood behind the arc and just waited for the ball? That?s the Allen Houston I know”

    He’s not referring to that Allen Houston because that Allen Houston never played for the Knicks.

    Allan Houston, on the other hand, did play for the Knicks, creating a lot of his own shots and playing what is apparently some very underrated defense during his time in NY.

  31. Mike, can you do a piece on the roster situation? I read that Houston takes them to 20 guys, do we have a list of them somewhere? when do they have to cut that to 15, by opening night?

  32. “playing what is apparently some very underrated defense during his time in NY.”

    Houston did put hard work in on the defensive end, running miles chasing Reggie Miller and the likes off picks. More noticable than his D was the fact that he was only great at one thing. He was a terrible rebounder in his prime, wasn’t a gifted passer, and was slower than most guys he defended, but he was never a liability to the point of getting him off the floor on defensive switches.

    Still, at his age his D is probably going to be worse than it ever was this time around…

  33. His defense was adequate around the turn of the millennium.

    KB, how about starting a pool, predicting Allan’s last day on the roster? (I’ll go with October 28 (2007)) Or the day he announces his re-retirement? (I’ll go with November 10th).

    Winner gets a free subscription to knickerblogger, or a JD & the Straight Shot t-shirt, or some other prize TBD…. ?

  34. Here is a stupid question – if you send someone to the development league, do they count against your 15?

  35. Caleb,

    I think I would only hold a contest if he made the roster. We could bet to see what date he makes his last appearance. But then we might have to wait until the end of the season (in case he tries another comeback).

    BTW did anyone else notice he just had a child last week. Anyone else think it might be a ploy for him to get out of diaper duty?

  36. Since there has been no write up from last night’s exhibition game posted here, I had to read the wrap up provided by the site. I think it was written by Isiah himself (he does have control issues…).

    Anyway, it’s nice to see the propaganda machine in full force, even for an exhibition game.

    A few excerpts:

    “the Knicks ended the evening by showing that when they get to the basket and create open shots as they did on Thursday, they are capable of giving the home fans much to cheer about in 2007-08.”

    “Though the Knicks started slowly, everything changed after the team’s first timeout. Whatever Thomas said to the team worked.”

    “But with double-digit point totals and an ability to get to the basket at will, Marbury and Crawford displayed the sort of guard play that will bring the crowd to its feet this season.”

    “Randolph provided the inside game that will be a tremendous complement to center Eddy Curry, when Curry returns from an injury.”

    “The tough, inspired play of Randolph, Crawford and Marbury ensured that the Garden crowd would walk away feeling good about the season ahead.”

    “there was the knowledge that the Knicks had decimated a strong European team despite playing without two of their regulars in Curry and Renaldo Balkman.”

  37. Man you guys are tripping, be excited H20 is back baby! In all seriousness i feel that he will be able to contribute, being that he is a great spot-up shooter. He will fill help the team tremendously if the low-post game works out as advertised, Houston could be in for a very solid season. Upon the end of which Isaiah will severely overpay him for his services. My prediction, the knicks get 50 wins this season, and everybody will get off Isaiah’s back.

  38. Question – let’s say the Knicks cut bait on James and Rose, could they then petition for an injury exemption for Balkman and start the season with 16 players?

    I know you can petition the league for an injury exemption that would allow four players to be on the inactive list, but I have no idea how one would go about doing so, and starting the season with it seems fishy to me.

  39. Brian– spacedocrich yesterday posted this:

    “If all three of your guys on inactive list are injured, as determined by your AND league?s mds, AND you get a fourth injured guy the league can give you an extra injury spot.”

    I’m not sure if it’s true, but it seems to make sense. If it is true, there is no way the league will allow the Knicks to start with 16 unless Blakman and two others are out indefinitely.

  40. I believe that loyalty isn’t a factor that should scope the outcome of the final roster … Allan Houston is a legitimate shooter/ scorer with strength, Jamaal Crawford I love as a back up, he is way too streaky and cannot defend 2 guards … demetris Nichols and chandler are two good acquisitions that should be nurtured, we need to develop young talent, the team of the 90’s placed us in a vulnerable position with no young talent and elderly players that made a great run at getting close to a chip … jared jeffries, is frail, cannot rebound and overall isn’t a good basketball player, without the back to the basket mentality that he had @ IU he is an oversized rec player … Fred Jones should not be allocated a spot on this roster if any of the following players will have to go due to his presence: chandler (which because he was scooped in the 1st round most likely will not go), houston or nichols (big east leading scorer, 6’8″ we lack size at the guard/ TRUE SMALL FORWARD position, very good 3 point shooter, active defensively and can create his own shot off the dribble …

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