On This Date: Allan Houston passes Richie Guerin to become the 5th leading scorer in team history

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December 14, 2003: Allan Houston passes Richie Guerin to be 5th all-time on the Knicks scoring list

Allan Houston passed Richie Guerin to become 5th on the Knicks all-time scoring list (10,392 points). Houston scored 39 points on 12-19 from the field and 12-12 from the free throw line to lead the Knicks to a 89-87 victory against the Washington Wizards in MSG. He hit the go-ahead basket with 18 seconds left.

The game sadly marked one of the few remaining highlights in Houston’s NBA career.

Houston underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee in June 2003.  Prior to the surgery, Houston only missed 19 regular season games to that point. He had just finished the second year of his $100 million contract and played nearly 38 minutes a game during the first two seasons of the contract.

Ultimately, Houston faced chronic pain in both knees post-surgery. Despite averaging 18.5 points a game in the 2003-04 season, Houston missed 32 games with chronic knee injuries and didn’t play in the playoffs against the New Jersey Nets. The knee injuries persisted into the 2004-05 season and limited Houston to only 20 games played.

Houston retired only weeks before the beginning of the 2005-06 season. At the time, he still felt chronic knee pain and had 2 more years remaining on his contract. Despite retiring, he attempted to make a comeback in both the 2007 and 2008 training camps. Houston played 6 minutes in one 2007 preseason game and didn’t play in any 2008 preseason games.

Ironically, the NBA CBA created the “Allan Houston” rule meant to create a one-time amnesty of a player’s contract counting against the luxury tax. The Knicks were well above the luxury tax threshold and most expected the team to use the provision on Allan Houston. However, the Knicks used the exception on Jerome Williams.

Donnie Walsh hired Houston to be assistant to the president after his 2008 training camp stint. Walsh later promoted him to assistant GM where he remains to this date. He is the general manager of the Westchester Knicks G-League team.

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