NBA / Jul 7, 2010 / 11:30 am

Allan Houston on New York: “There’s No Better Place For Winning”

Winning just one championship in New York can transform an athlete into an instant icon. Take for example Earl Monroe. After leaving a small market team in the Baltimore Bullets, Monroe was expected to sign with several franchises, New York not being one of them. Yet he was wooed in a full-court press and defied the prognosticators by signing with the Knicks. Just a few years later, Monroe won a world championship and has been a New York icon ever since.

So with everyone wondering who New York is going to ink, I got up with Allan Houston, who in 1996, signed as a free agent with the Knicks. And just like LeBron James, nobody thought he would leave as well.

Dime: What are your thoughts on this summer’s free agent crop?
Allan Houston: I think every player comes into the League wanting to establish themselves and work as hard as they can to have this chance. A lot of it is timing, but they worked hard for it, and they’re about to be rewarded for it.

Dime: Why did you sign with the Knicks?
AH: For me, there were a lot of different reasons. For one, everybody realizes that your career isn’t long so maximize when you can. For me, coming to New York, I was a piece of the puzzle. And I liked that.

Dime: Did playing in the Mecca of basketball have anything to do with it?
AH: Playing in New York wasn’t the thing, but a huge factor. For me, it was simple: the organization was very classy and had a very strong identity and history. Most free agents want to win. After you get past winning, where would you rather win? If I realize that I’m going to win, where would you rather win? For me, I realized that once I understood that the Knicks truly saw me as an integral piece to winning, there’s no better place for winning. And keep in mind we didn’t even win the whole thing.

Dime: Talk about what it means to win in New York.
AH: There’s playing in New York and there’s winning in New York. And there’s a difference. When you win, there’s no other place like living in New York. I felt the team, organization and management made it clear that I was a big piece of winning in New York. The city wasn’t the No. 1 reason I came here, but rather the icing on the cake.

Dime: What do you say to people that think the Knicks won’t win next season?
AH: We have room for two great players. For example, look what Boston did. I think it’s very clear that if you get one, they will come, and they will immediately turn things around. With new blood, you automatically turn the whole culture inside out. And when you have a chance to win, there’s no better place to do so. The fact that Donnie [Walsh] put us in the position to have that capability for players to have that opportunity changes everything. You can’t win in this League doing it by yourself; bottom line, you have to have other great players with you.

What do you think? Will the Knicks get LeBron?

Follow Aron on Twitter at @the_real_aron.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.

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  • Heckler

    what does allan houston know about winning in ny?
    he was a 1-dimensional player.

    and the only time he did shit worth a damn with the knicks was when the league had a shortened season due to lock out.

    i think he scored fitty in a game once or twice, but seriously, what does this guy know about winning?

    he was DAMN LUCKY scott layden was in office to overpay his ass $100million dollars for no reason.

    shit. sprewell did more for the knicks than allan houston did.

  • easy yeezy

    “theres no better place for winning”

    ..how would you know? you didnt win anything.

    ‘bron- the pieces are in place in chicago, wade and bosh have run off to miami and left you to rot on your own. come to the chi and lets show ‘em all.

  • dmitry of jersey

    Allan Houston is right. There is no better place for winning than New York. Brooklyn, NY.

  • Showtime

    How would he know? I remember he stole a lot of money but I definitely can’t remember him winning shit? I guess he’s talking about his contract ‘cuz for him that was like winning in the lottery

  • control

    Is it just me or did he answer every question w/ the same answer?

    This guy is a horrible interview, Harrison Ford gives better interviews (check Bruno out for a taste of his).

  • http://twitter.com/SaggyWheels SaggyWheels

    He’s a Kentucky native, so i have mad love for him.

  • Vinny

    Yo Aron, Earl Monroe was traded to the knicks.

  • Rafa23

    Well, I think he explained how it was great winning(which is winning over 50 games), even though they didn’t win the title. reading comprehension ftw.
    and getting to the conference finals and the nba finals two years in a row isn’t too bad.


    lol, i read this an thought the same as what every other comment said…… what the fuck does he know about winning in NY. His crippled knees and unmovable contract were the beginning of the end for the Knicks.

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    NY: There’s no worse place for losing.

  • Ian

    ahhhh the man that killed ny with his game and contract talks about winning.

  • T.O.M.

    I think Knicks should give Shaun Livingston a chance at point he’s 24 years old just need a chance. Other then my plea what in the world Allan talking bout he has no rings good player no rings.

  • Joe’s Momma

    Allan Houston won a little in NY, but not enough to make that comment.

    And coming from a guy who is employed by the Knicks, you have to take that with a grain of salt. He would say the same thing about Detriot if he was in that front office.

    And everyone keeps talking about how the Celtics did it, that was different. The Celts had one good player, and one young big man lots of teams coveted at the time, plus a lottery pick and lots of young talent. The Knicks are nothing like that. They have no talent on the roster, no picks in the next 10 or so years. So stop the Boston comparisions

    And they don’t play defense, never will as long a D’antoni is the coach.
    “Hey Lebron, if you come to NY, we will play defense, in fact, we will be the best defensive team in the league. Heck, we got Amare, he will block a shot or two every week, Eddy Curry will crash the boards harder than Chris Paul”


  • Joe’s Momma

    Earl Monroe was a NY icon before he even suited up in the NBA. Black Jesus was killing the Philly and NY streets with his game.

    When he went to NY, he wasn’t the same player. Playing out of position

  • icey

    lol @ “Hey Lebron, if you come to NY, we will play defense, in fact, we will be the best defensive team in the league. Heck, we got Amare, he will block a shot or two every week, Eddy Curry will crash the boards harder than Chris Paul”


    face it, knicks wont win anything anytime soon. once nets come to brooklyn. the diamond plated knicks organization will be razed to the ground