Best Season as a Knick- 2002-03- 22.5 PPG, .919 FT Percentage, .396 3 Point %
Allan Houston truly is one of the greatest Knicks of all time. Many might say, Allan Houston, really? I tell them to check the record books because if they do, they will see Houston’s name.
Houston is the Knicks 4th all-time leading scorer. He is 3rd in free throw %, 2nd in 3 pointers made, and 4th in field goals made.
I think the biggest reason why Houston was never fully appreciated was because of his contract. He was an all-star quality player who was paid like a franchise player, which he was not. His first contract signed as a free agent in 1996 was for a lot of money, but the one that drove Knick fans nuts was the extension signed in 2001 for over $20 million a year. His career ended after the 2005 season, and the Knicks were forced to pay him while he was not even playing.
Additionally, Houston struggled in his first two years as a Knick because Jeff Van Gundy favored John Starks, and gave Starks a lot of the crunch time minutes over Houston. Van Gundy also trusted Starks defensively, and Houston was not known for his defensive abilities. To Houston’s credit, he worked hard to improve his defense during his Knicks career. His play as a Knick also continued to improve each year with the team as he became more acclimated to playing in New York, but he was never worth $20 million. It is not his fault thought that he was paid that much money. We can all blame James Dolan for that. Any of us would have taken the money and ran with it.
His greatest moment as a Knick has to be his game winner in game 5 knocking out the number 1 seeded Heat in the first round of the 1999 NBA playoffs. I still remember when he floated that ball high in the air, and got the perfect roll off the rim to beat the hated Heat. It was one of the greatest moments in the history of the franchise and will be remembered forever. He then went on to help lead the 8th seeded Knicks to the NBA Finals.
Houston also had many other accomplishments as a Knick. He was probably the greatest shooter in Knicks history. He scored 50 points twice as a Knick. He developed his offensive game, with an incredible mid-range game which was deadly. Overall, Houston was a terrific offensive player, and in my opinion top 5 in Knicks history.
By Rob Bonanni