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Allan Wade Houston (born April 20, 1971) is a retired Americanmarker professional basketball player for the NBA, and currently the Assistant to the President for Basketball Operations, for the New York Knicks. Currently Houston spends his time helping different charity and non-profit organizations.

Early life

Houston was born in Louisville, Kentuckymarker and played at Ballard High Schoolmarker in Louisville, helping them to win the 1988 Kentucky state championship. He went on to play at the University of Tennesseemarker (where he played under his coach and father Wade) and graduated in 1993 as the school's all-time leading scorer, and he is currently second to Chris Lofton at Tennessee for three point field goals made. He was roommates with UT baseball standout Brody Hendrix. Houston is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

NBA career

Houston was selected 11th overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 1993 NBA Draft, and averaged 8.5 points per game in his rookie year. His average was raised to 14.5 and 19.7 points per game in the next two years.

In 1996 after his rookie contract expired, Houston signed as a free agent with the New York Knicks, for whom he played for the next nine seasons. At the time the Pistons fully expected Houston to re-sign giving the team a formidable duo of Houston and Grant Hill, but Houston left Detroit without even discussing a contract, leaving Pistons' fans very bitter toward him. In his first year as a Knick, Houston took the place of John Starks in the starting lineup, with Starks serving as a mentor for him coming off the bench. Houston kept his scoring average at a consistent clip of 17 points per game, and later helped to lead the team to the 1999 NBA Finals. His most famous play came in the decisive Game 5 of the first round of the 1999 Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Miami Heat. In the fourth quarter, with the Knicks inbounding the ball trailing by one with little time left, Allan Houston caught the inbounds pass, and nailed a running jumper in the lane with 0.8 seconds left on the clock to win the game 78-77 and the series for the Knicks, resulting in one of the few times in the NBA playoffs where a #8 seed had knocked off a #1. The play is #50 in the 60 greatest playoff moments by The Knicks would later go on to reach the NBA Finals. Houston also made the All-Star team in 2000 and 2001.

Despite the accolades, though, Houston's lasting legacy may be something that happened off the court: In 2001, Houston signed a maximum contract extension with the Knicks, a decision that proved to be a huge mistake for New York because it cut deeply into the Knicks' already-grim salary cap situation and prevented them from making any free agent moves. Houston's yearly salary of over $20 million made him virtually untradeable and injury problems would further burden the Knicks. Houston missed 32 games in 2003-04 due to a knee injury, and despite claims in the summer of 2004 that he would be ready to play the next season (he even refused to have surgery on his knee that summer), he played in only 20 games that season because his injury hadn't completely healed. The knee injury would eventually force Houston to announce his retirement, on October 17, 2005.

Houston retired as one of the most prolific scorers in Knicks history, and his last-second shot in the deciding game of the 1999 playoffs against the Miami Heat was one of the most dramatic moments in Knicks history, sending the team into the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals and eventually to the NBA Finals. Houston also ranks 10th on the NBA's all-time list for career 3-point field goals made.

On March 30, 2007, while waiting for his current contract to expire with the Knicks, Houston was reportedly interested in making a comeback. Despite not having played in the league since 2005, Houston was the second highest paid player in the league two years later during the 2006-07 NBA season at $20.7 million.On June 27, it was again reported that Houston was interested in making a comeback. The Knicks signed Houston to a contract, of which terms were not disclosed. On October 8, 2007, it was reported that Houston would join the Knicks in training camp, and that Jared Jeffries, who wore number 20 with the Knicks, would switch to number 1 so that Houston could wear his old number. It was reported later that Houston would not end up wearing no. 20, as the NBA does not allow jersey number changes without prior approval (Jeffries could not give up #20). On October 20, after only spending a week with the Knicks and seeing six minutes of activity in one pre-season game against the Boston Celtics, Houston decided to end his comeback attempt because of bad timing in choosing to join the team so late into preparation for the regular season. Houston's participation in voluntary games for the Phoenix Suns in September 2008 was a harbinger for his return to the NBA. Houston was signed by the Knicks to play in 2008, and wore number 14 during preseason practices in honor of his father. However, he was cut before the end of the preseason, without appearing in a game.

Houston was appointed special assistant to the General manager and President Donnie Walsh. Houston is also a friend to President Barack Obama, and hosted fundraisers at his home to raise money for Obama during the 2007-08 primary and general election. Houston is also a co-owner of the UNK NBA clothing brand, an NBA licensed company based out of New York City.

Career Stats

93-94  DET    79 20 19.2 .405 .299 .222 .2 1.3 1.5 1.3 .43 .16 1.25  8.5
94-95  DET    76 39 26.3 .463 .424 .860 .4 1.8 2.2 2.2 .80 .18 1.49 14.5
95-96  DET    82 75 37.5 .453 .427 .823 .7 3.0 3.7 3.0 .74 .20 2.84 19.7
96-97  NYK    81 81 33.1 .423 .385 .803 .5 2.4 3.0 2.2 .51 .22 2.06 14.8
97-98  NYK    82 82 34.7 .447 .385 .851 .5 2.8 3.3 2.6 .77 .29 2.44 18.4
98-99  NYK    50 50 36.3 .418 .407 .862 .4 2.6 3.0 2.7 .70 .18 2.60 16.3
99-00  NYK    82 82 38.6 .483 .436 .838 .5 2.8 3.3 2.7 .79 .17 2.27 19.7
00-01  NYK    78 78 36.6 .449 .381 .909 .3 3.4 3.6 2.2 .67 .13 2.06 19.7
01-02  NYK    77 77 37.8 .437 .393 .870 .5 2.8 3.3 2.5 .70 .13 2.21 20.4
02-03  NYK    82 82 37.9 .445 .396 .919 .3 2.5 2.8 2.7 .66 .09 2.17 22.5
03-04  NYK    50 50 36.0 .435 .431 .913 .4 2.0 2.4 2.0 .76 .04 2.04 18.5
04-05  NYK    20 11 26.6 .415 .388 .837 .2 1.0 1.2 2.1 .40 .10 1.05 11.9
Career      839 727 33.7 .444 .402 .863 .4 2.5 2.9 2.4 .67 .10 2.10 17.3
Playoff       63 63 40.1 .448 .420 .884 .3 2.6 2.9 2.2 .68 .16 2.59 19.3

"Allan Houston Rule"

In 2005, the NBA agreed on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The most striking innovation granted NBA teams a one-time option to release a player without his contract counting against the luxury tax threshold regardless of how long or how rich the contract was. The provision did not negate the player's contract, a team's obligation to pay the player, or the impact on the salary cap; it merely removed the player's salary when computing the luxury tax. This rule benefited teams that were in danger of facing the "luxury axe" penalty, a tax paid on salaries spent above a certain threshold of total team salary. The correct term is "amnesty clause," but because the team with the worst problems was the Knicks, and their worst financial liability was Houston, it was quickly dubbed the "Allan Houston Rule." Ironically, the Knicks chose not to use the exception for Houston, but for forward Jerome Williams instead, since the Knicks correctly predicted Houston would retire due to lingering injuries over his last two seasons. As a result, Houston's contract counted a total of $40 million against the luxury tax threshold over last two years of the contract even though he did not participate in any games for the Knicks.

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