HOUSTON — Damyean Dotson, proud Houstonian, is speaking more as fan than professional athlete. He’s a Houston Astros supporter, wearing the Astros’ cap at the Garden during last year’s ALCS.
His hometown team is being vilified across the country — with reported death threats issued against Astros players. Dotson, who attended the University of Houston, admits he doesn’t know all the specifics of Houston’s sign-stealing scandal, but believes it’s gone too far.
“I’m still not too sure about all of [the allegations], but you got to do what you got to do,’’ Dotson told The Post. “I’m not saying they should be cheating. I am an Astros fan. I should read more about [what they did]. All I’ve read about is they were cheating. I feel like a lot teams are cheating — just doing it in different ways. Don’t they say, ‘If you’re not cheating, you’re not competing?’ ’’
The Knicks will face the Rockets at Toyota Center on Monday — maybe Dotson’s last visit to Houston as a Knick. Dotson will be a free agent, and he was drafted by former team president Phil Jackson.
Sources indicate the Knicks were fully prepared to extend Dotson a $2 million qualifying offer to keep him a restricted free agent and try to keep him by matching a reasonable offer. Whether there is a shift in thinking with incoming president Leon Rose is not entirely clear.
An NBA source said about four teams reached out about Dotson at the trade deadline. Orlando, Golden State, the Nets, Detroit and Utah have shown interest in Dotson in the past.
After not playing much at the start of the season, coming off shoulder surgery, Dotson has been more than adequate, continuing his path as a “3-and-D’’ guy off the bench.
Dotson has played in 46 games, averaged 6.7 points and shot 36.1 percent from 3. The Knicks were 4-5 when rookie starting shooting guard RJ Barrett went down with an ankle injury and Dotson’s role increased.
The shooting guard logjam has created a minutes crunch and interim coach Mike Miller hasn’t always shown a penchant for favoring the young guys.
“Am I still considered a young guy my third season?’’ Dotson asked. “I feel I’ve played a decent amount this year. I haven’t been sold short. Maybe I could get a little more time out there. I think we’re still fighting, still trying to win games. And our young guys are playing.
“A lot of teams, young guys don’t play at all. My rookie year, I didn’t play at all. We’re still trying to win some games and get better. Of course we’ll get a little more opportunity if the season keeps going like this.’’
Selected 44th in 2017, Dotson has been on team-friendly contract paying him $1.6 million this season.
“If I consider myself still young, hopefully I’ll get a little more time, and definitely show what I can do,’’ he said. “As far as the minutes, I’ve provided I’ve done pretty well. I can’t get complacent.’’
Reggie Bullock said he wasn’t surprised to see Oklahoma City’s Chris Paul rock his Knicks’ No. 25 jersey entering the arena Friday. They have a special relationship, dating to when Bullock played on the AAU team the superstar point guard runs in Winston Salem, N.C.
“He’s just supporting me,’’ Bullock said
The last time the Knicks were in Houston last April, a handful of Rockets left the team bench midway through the fourth quarter to get a jump on postgame treatment during the 120-96 rout.
It led MSG Network’s Alan Hahn to go on a rant the young players should have stored in their memory banks. Dotson, Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox were the only players on current roster to play in that game.