By Alan Walsh
With 4.5 seconds left in Game 5 of the 1999 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the Knicks were trailing the Miami Heat 77-76. In this do-or-die situation in the old five-game first-round playoff format, one team was moving on to the second round, for the other team, it would mean the end of their season.
Charlie Ward inbounded the ball to Houston, who then split defenders, Tim Hardaway and Dan Majerle, and hoisted up a prayer from the right side of the free-throw line. The ball hit the front rim, then the backboard, and dropped in so gently as if it were meticulously planned.
Former Knicks play-by-play announcer, Gus Johnson, sets the tone as always in this visual/audio trip down memory lane.
Believe it or not, this isn’t the biggest moment of Houston’s playing career. He says that the clinching game against the Indiana Pacers to send them to the Finals later in these playoffs was it for him.
Also, his first child was born the morning after that so it was a indeed a memorable two days for Houston.