Allan Houston was upgraded to assistant general manager after recently signing a two-year contract to remain in the Knicks' front office. Houston previously worked under the title of special assistant to the president after being appointed by Donnie Walsh on Nov. 7, 2008.

"It goes back to what I said when I first gave him the job; I think he's a great candidate to become a GM someday,'' Walsh told Newsday in a phone interview before last night's game against the Timberwolves.

The speculation is that Houston, 39, one day will be GM of this franchise. Walsh, who currently holds that title along with team president, has one year left on his contract, plus a team option for 2011-12 that must be picked up in April.

Houston had the option to sign for three years but decided to take two years to mirror Walsh's deal. If Walsh retires at the end of his contract, Houston undoubtedly will be a candidate to run the team, but others likely also will be considered.

Houston was involved in many of Walsh's moves during the offseason, including the recruiting of LeBron James and the signing of Amar'e Stoudemire. "He's been here two years now and I think he's made a great jump from being an ex-player to being a guy who is working in the front office,'' Walsh said, "and now I think it'll be easy for him to develop the skill set to be a great GM someday.''


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Another honor for Amar'e

Stoudemire earned his second NBA Eastern Conference player of the week honor after averaging 33.3 points and 11.7 rebounds per game and shooting 58.8 percent from the floor in three victories. Stoudemire, who also earned the honor for the week ending Nov. 21, is the first Knick to win the award more than once in a season since Patrick Ewing was named three times during 1992-93.