- The Washington Times - Monday, March 8, 2004

Seen and heard yesterday at MCI Center:

HOUSTON SHOWS HIS ‘PASSION’ — The Knicks’ Allan Houston, who, along with former teammate Charlie Ward, was accused of making anti-Semitic remarks during a team Bible study three years ago, says he understands the scrutiny under which “The Passion of the Christ” director Mel Gibson has come.

The film, which depicts the final 12 hours of Jesus’ life in graphic detail, was attacked as being anti-Semitic because it portrayed the Jews as the people who killed Jesus.

“I think the unfortunate thing is they are going to look at the movie and say who killed him,” Houston said in his first public comments about the film. “Certain things were incorrect, but it was very accurate according to the Bible.”

Houston was impressed with Gibson’s work.

“I looked at it as God was really moving in Mel Gibson and allowing him to be as accurate as he could in the making of the movie,” Houston said. “He did his research. I really believe that God allowed him to make the movie the way it was made. Just like [God] inspired people to write the Bible, I believe he inspired the accuracy throughout the movie. I’m sure God was moving in Mel.

“For people who believe in Jesus I think it deepened the meaning and the purpose of their belief and faith because we saw what he had to go through,” Houston said. “They saw who he really was. They saw why he had to do it.”

A SWEET RETURN — Former Georgetown standout Michael Sweetney made the second start of his career for the Knicks and finished with seven points and a career-high 10 rebounds.

— John N. Mitchell

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