Erie BayHawks general manager of basketball operations, Allan Houston, did an interview at halftime of Erie’s 111-88 loss to Austin in the second day of the D-League Showcase in Reno earlier today.
NBATV interviewed Houston, who is also an assistant general manager of the New York Knicks. The Knicks and BayHawks are hybrid partners.
Houston talked about trying to balance his two jobs, the addition of Mike James to the BayHawks and the Knicks.
How do you balance the two and how much time do you dedicate to each one of them? “It’s fun, but it’s a balance. I try to be around the Knicks as much as possible. Be around our team and try to keep understanding the dynamics of the coaching staff and what’s going on, but this is fun because you get to see a lot of players and be familiar with a lot of the players, especially the great talent pool that’s come in so far (to the D-League Showcase). I think the Showcase is great because you see everybody at one time. In a shortened season, it is tough, but you get it done.”
So if you’re watching these different teams outside of the BayHawks at the Showcase, are you keeping one eye on what the Knicks might need and then looking at some of the other NBA Development League players and say, well the BayHawks may be able to use that guy down the road, too? A little bit of both, but I think mostly you’re just trying to see what the best players are and what would be good for our team whether it’s now or the future. That’s really where you first eye goes, but obviously you really want to see the other players in the league that can potentially help our team. One of the things that I’ve been happy with with (Erie head coach) Jay (Larranaga), our coach, he has been doing a good job of keeping the chemistry level. You don’t want to just disrupt that if you don’t have to and it’s tough. In talking to a lot of the other players and coaches and personnel, that’s one of the challenges, but you try to do the best you can.”
When you see a guy like Mike James playing in the NBA Development League. You know full well how successful he was as an NBA player, how has that changed from an NBA Development League standpoint of having more veteran players like that try to work their way back into the NBA? “I played against Mike so I know. We had many battles, but I think having a guy like Mike? A lot of players like Ricky Davis and Mike have come in because they know they can still play and they can still help. I think it’s good for the D-League because they’re actually helping the younger players understand the little nuisances of the game that they’re going to have to know whether they go to the NBA or not. I think that’s one of the things we’ve seen. That’s part of development. Not just developing physically, but developing your mental perception and your awareness of the game and I think that’s one of the things Mike and a lot of the veterans have come in and can help with.”
So many moves over the last year and half for the New York Knicks. Obviously Carmelo (Anthony) was the center of it after Amare (Stoudemire) was the center of it. Then Tyson Chandler this offseason. With a roster shakeup and having to fill spots on that roster, is the NBA Development League the first place you’re looking if there is room back in that roster. Is this the go-to place when you’re looking for talent? “I don’t know if it’s the go-to place because there are a lot of great players around this world and coming up in college, but this is a place that you have to look.
“I think what s going to happen in the coming years is you’re going to see a lot of rosters being filled out this way because of what’s going on with the salary cap. I know Glen (Grunwald) did a great job with the Tyson deal so that allows us to at least be fixed there with your main guys, but this is what the value of the D-League will hopefully bring.”