09.14.07

D’Allesandro : Star Of James Toback’s Worst Movie Might Return To MSG

Posted in Basketball at 4:15 pm by

Welcome to a busy Friday at Can’t Stop The References To Microfracture Surgery, folks. The Newark Star Ledger’s Dave D’Allessandro conferred with Allan Houston’s agent, who claims “Given his tenure with the Knicks, I would think they had a slight advantage over any and every team.”

That’s not to say the two-time All-Star isn’t considering all suitors, but Houston made his reputation in New York, developed an abnormally cordial relationship with owner Jim Dolan and was the face of the franchise for nine mostly successful seasons. Moreover, he lives a short drive from the Knicks’ training complex in Greenburgh, N.Y.

The snags, of course, are obvious: The Knicks have 17 guaranteed contracts, including three shooting guards who have to play (Jamal Crawford, Quentin Richardson and Nate Robinson), and a management team that is very distracted right now. There would also be a great deal of pressure on Houston to regain his footing at Madison Square Garden two years after a chronic knee problem prematurely ended his career there.

Speaking of guaranteed contracts, Strickland may be the only one who doesn’t consider it a hurdle. With so many teams conscious of the luxury tax threshold, however, it is a very strong consideration for teams such as the Nets — who, as of now, are unwilling to give Houston anything but a make-good contract.

Does the agent really anticipate anyone giving his client a guaranteed deal?

“If I’ve got something to say about it,” Strickland stated flatly.

“There are any number of (considerations), particular as a veteran player. He told me money is always important, but it’s not the major consideration. The ring is important, but not the major consideration. He’s driven in part by wanting to end his career on his own terms. And mentoring is a part of it. He sees himself being in a position to influence how young players approach the game.”

It should be a huge relief for Isiah Thomas and James Dolan to know that winning a championship “is not the major consideration.” Why deal with that kind of pressure?

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