By Tom Westerholm
Former New York Knicks star Allan Houston spent 12 successful seasons in the NBA with the Knicks and the Detroit Pistons. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard averaged 17.3 points per game during his career and was considered one of the league’s deadliest 3-point shooters. His ability to knock down long-range shots as well as mid-range jumpers made him a tough matchup for even the best defenders.
Now, 10 years after retiring, Houston is an assistant GM with the New York Knicks. He appeared at the Basketball Hall of Fame on Tuesday to give a talk as part of the 60 Days of Summer Program, and he was kind enough to sit down with MassLive after the event.
Some questions have been lightly edited for brevity.
MassLive: I want to ask you a few questions about shooting. For starters, as a shooter, what was the biggest difference you encountered between college basketball and the NBA?
Allan Houston: Well, you have more time to work on it, for one. You learn different ways you are going to have to get your shot off. When I talk about shooting, I talk about before you shoot the ball. Preparation. The energy you have to create to get your shot off, whether it’s off the dribble or getting to a spot. Getting stronger and getting comfortable with the physicality of the game. The speed of guys. For me, it wasn’t about the mechanics of shooting, it was what goes on around it: The speed, the strength I needed, being a little more creative with the ball, finding space, those type of things. But you have more time to work on those type of things. You have coaches who are available to you. When I first got to Detroit, Joe (Dumars) and Isaiah (Thomas), I got in the gym with them a lot. Those are the type of things you don’t have in college.
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