New York Knicks guard Allan Houston retired yesterday, unable to recover from knee injuries that kept him out much of the last two seasons.

A two-time all-star and member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team, Houston was one of the NBA's best outside shooters before he was slowed by chronic knee soreness. He was limited to only 70 games over the past two seasons.

"I did everything I possibly could to get back and finish my career the way I would have liked to," Houston said at the Knicks' practice facility. "My injuries just wouldn't let me do it."

The 34-year-old Houston appeared in only 20 games last season and averaged 11.9 points, his worst season since he was a rookie. He did not play in either of the team's two exhibition games.

Houston's retirement leaves Larry Brown without his top outside shooter as he begins his first season as Knicks coach. Houston averaged 17.3 points during his 12 NBA seasons, including a career-high 22.5 in 2002-03, his last full season. He shot 40.2 percent from three-point range.

After spending his first three seasons in Detroit, Houston signed with the Knicks, who hoped he would be the outside shooting complement they needed to center Patrick Ewing.

Houston helped New York to an improbable spot in the 1999 NBA Finals, when his running jumper in the closing seconds of the deciding Game 5 knocked off the top-seeded Miami Heat in the first round.

But ultimately, he became a symbol for why the team couldn't improve in the post-Ewing years.

A favorite of Madison Square Garden President James Dolan, Houston was given a much-criticized $100 million, six-year contract extension in 2001. The deal made him virtually untradeable and crippled the Knicks' ability to make moves because of salary cap woes. A very spiritual person, Houston knew that it was time to give up the efforts to come back. "If it had been what was supposed to happen, it would have happened," Houston said.

-- From News Services

Allan Houston averaged 17.3 points during his 12 NBA seasons, including a career-high 22.5 in 2002-03.