Tuesday , Oct , 23 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Allan Houston’s N.Y. Knicks Tryout A James Dolan-Isiah Thomas Smokescreen?

Houston seems straight-up; a word is bond kind of cat. He’s respected by fans, players, and media. Faking a comeback would go against everything he stands for. If caught, his legacy and image would be ruined. And Houston would find it tough to get another NBA job as a player, executive, or broadcaster …

Newsday reporter Barbara Barker questions if Houston’s comeback bid with the Knicks was a farce:

That’s why one has to wonder just how serious Houston’s attempt was in the first place. Did Houston really want to play again for the Knicks? Or was his barely six-day comeback a favor to owner Jim Dolan, a public-relations smokescreen designed to give everyone else something other than tawdry to focus on in this post-Anucha Browne Sanders Garden?

Houston did some incredible things for the Knicks before his aching knees forced him to retire for the first time two years ago. Though this doesn’t rank up there with his playoff-winning shot in Miami as one of his finest moments, it does seem like he was willing to take a bullet for the boss on this one.

Houston has always been close with Dolan, and many think he has a future in the Knicks’ front office any time he wants it. A lot of people believe that Houston would have had a much better chance of making another team, including the Nets, who are close enough that he could spend time with his pregnant wife.

My Quick Take: Houston‘s comeback with the Knicks was odd, but Barker is reaching to suggest a conspiracy occurred to divert attention from the Anucha Browne Saunders case. Oliver Stone, the master of far-fetched conspiracies, would roll his eyes at this one. Here’s why:

  • Houston seems straight-up; a word is bond kind of cat. He’s respected by fans, players, and media. Faking a comeback would go against everything he stands for. If caught, his legacy and image would be ruined.  And Houston would find it tough to get another NBA job as a player, executive, or broadcaster.
  • Houston has been scheming on a comeback for more than a minute-long before the Brown Simpson case became national headlines. We’ve been hearing about his workouts for months, so the timing of his return was nothing more than a convenient coincidence for the Knicks.
  • Executing a conspiracy takes brains, planning, and an understanding of the media-three things Dolan and Thomas clearly lack.  This is the duo that still justifies signing Jerome James to a five year, $30 million dollar contract and tolerated the ‘summer of Steph’ on youtube.
  • All risk, no reward for Houston. The classy ‘vet’ signed several lucrative contracts, so money isn’t an issue. And he can score a playing contract or front office position with another club. Why take such a risk? 

Do you think Houston’s tryout was a farce? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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