Timing of NBA season forces Houston to end comeback

NEW YORK -- Allan Houston ended his comeback attempt with
the New York Knicks on Saturday, saving Isiah Thomas from possibly
having to cut one of the top scorers in franchise history.

Houston rejoined his former team late last week, two years after
he was forced to retire because of chronic knee pain. However, the
Knicks already had the maximum 15 players under contract, and
Thomas said he only gave the 36-year-old guard an invite to camp
because of his history in New York.

Houston's chances were even slimmer because he didn't join the
team until 10 days after practices began. He cited the timing issue
in his decision to walk away again.

"While my body and my knees, in particular, feel fine, I know
what is required for me to be truly effective in the NBA again, and
it involves a timing and progression that would not be fair to
Isiah and the Knicks right now," Houston said in a statement
released by the Knicks. "With the season opening less than two
weeks away, I think it is best for the team to move on without me.
I appreciate the opportunity that Isiah and the Knicks have given
me, and I wish the team nothing but success."

Houston played only six minutes in his lone preseason appearance
Wednesday at Boston, then sat out a game at New Jersey the next

Houston spent nine seasons with the Knicks and is fourth on the
team's career scoring list. He said upon his return that he didn't
think he would try to latch on with another team if he didn't stick
with the Knicks.