Ric Bucher is reporting today that former Vol Allan Houston is the frontrunner to become the next general manager of the New York Knicks. Houston played with the Knicks from 1996-2005, made two all-star teams, and most famously hit the shot in the final seconds of Game 5 to send the Knicks past #1 seed Miami in the 1999 playoffs; the Knicks would ultimately reach the NBA Finals that year.
Houston is currently the special assistant to Knicks' president Donnie Walsh, who confirms in Bucher's report that Houston is learning the role. The Knicks' front office has been a train wreck for much of the last decade, a situation Walsh has tried to resolve since arriving two years ago after a successful run in Indiana. Walsh will continue as president of basketball operations.
While Allan's father certainly didn't have much luck running a basketball team in Knoxville, Allan's familiarity with the Knicks and the presence of Walsh and coach Mike D'Antoni could give him a chance to succeed with a franchise that currently has nowhere to go but up. Houston would join Ernie Grunfeld - who previously worked as the Knicks' GM from 1996-1999 and helped bring Houston to New York, before working with the Bucks and now the Wizards - as former Vols in high-power front office roles in the NBA. Working for the Knicks has been an exercise in drama with little reward...but this could be a great opportunity for Allan.