If you tune into tonight's preseason game between the Knicks and Maccabi Tel Aviv you might experience a bit of deja vu. With a twist. The 6'6" shooting guard will look familiar and the sweet shooting stroke will tickle both the twine and the far reaches of your memory bank yet you'll find yourself saying "I don't remember any Knick player wearing number 7 recently."
That's cause there isn't one but that player you recognize is none other than Allan Houston, author of one of the most memorable Knick moments in history and attempter of a comeback I don't think anyone saw coming. Sure, Houston's been talking about it for a while but the last place I thought he'd end up is back with the Dolan carnival. If he can still go it will be as a long-range shooter off the bench, the perfect complement to a good team looking for a weapon.
These Knicks do have backcourt needs but they begin at the point, not at the two. If Houston does make the team he'd take the spot of rookie Demetris Nichols, a sharpshooter, and he wasn't the best defensive player during his prime. Those skills probably haven't improved with time off and I'd rather see the Knicks get younger than older after years spent flailing about with old, expensive players.
Houston won't cost much and doesn't have a guaranteed contract so that's not the big complaint about the signing. I think James Dolan and Isiah cooked this up as a way to deflect some attention from their recent courtroom farce. Bring back a beloved veteran of better days, let the media attention flow to coverage of his comeback and try to foster some goodwill in a town that thinks the whole organization has gone to pot under their watch.
Oh yeah, the reason he's not wearing number 20 is because Jared Jeffries hasn't been given cement boots and a toss from a boat in the Hudson yet and the NBA, in its infinite wisdom, has a rule that says players can't switch numbers without notice given to the league before training camp begins. Because there's so much call for Jared Jeffries jerseys around the country.