NEW YORK — Welcome to the NBA where there are more buyouts than sellouts.

Provoked by Pistons owner Bill Davidson and VP Joe Dumars, today’s objective is to stay in vogue; thereby give Pacers coach Rick Carlisle a swift kick while he’s up.

If the Al Gore-act-alike can generate a modicum of minutes for the habitually dunked-on, offensively bankrupt, rebound-delinquent forward Austin Croshere, you would think the chilly coach could at least spare some loose daylight for guard Jamaal Tinsley.

Frankly, I don’t give a hydro-electric damn how many games the Pacers have won, or how much credit can be directly attributed to guards Kenny Anderson and Anthony Johnson; the coach’s decision to bury a two-year starter behind a pair of journeyman is callous and unconscionable.

Especially since Tinsley — fifth last season in assists (7.5 per game) in distinctly fewer minutes than the four players above him, did everything expected last summer; he took 500 jumpers a day and got down to marrying weight by not eating immediately after meals and toeing the treadmill.

If Carlisle wasn’t going to use him it might have been helpful if management knew a couple weeks ago before it exercised next season’s $2 million option; don’t tell Isiah Thomas he’s not communicating regularly with Larry Bird.

Look for Indiana to tag sale Tinsley and forward-center Scott Pollard (did his allure ever wear out fast; demoted after one game from starter to second-hand scrub) any day now, if it hasn’t already.

Conversely, look for Croshere’s responsibilities and allotted time to swell whether or not he produces.

Only the disenfranchised believe guard Jamal Crawford is in danger of being traded, regardless of being reduced in rank to a subcontractor and his less than team-oriented quotes following Chicago’s victory in New Orleans.

All it took was two looks at staggering rookie guard Kirk Hinrich to know that — 1-10 shooting in his first malfunction, nine turnovers,including a five-second inbound violation with 48 seconds left in Chicago’s win over the Hornets. This week’s 3-7 outing, four-turnover, four-assist recital in a third straight home humiliation (Nuggets) was a vast improvement.

Thanks to rookie coach Terry Porter, the Bucks are about a month or two ahead of schedule; everything they do — defend, move the ball, cut — they do hard . . . As fearless as Denver guard Earl Boykins is under deadline, he’s gone wild of late, hopefully not with coach Jeff Bzdelik’s permission. His shot selection at the end of regulation and OT in the Nuggets’ loss to the Clippers was positively squeamish, breaking plays for Jon Barry and Carmelo Anthony that resulted in dry heaves.

The league office has hired a person in every NBA city — retired or washed-out referees and former team executives — to grade each call by each official in every game.

Not a bad gig; the observers get something like $450 every time they leave their house, in addition to two tickets, which they’re allowed to downgrade and keep the difference in cash, as long as they report the found income to the IRS.

Wonder if any of them (or Allen Iverson) have noticed that palming is again being tolerated, if not encouraged,to make it easier to score. From where I’m sitting, it seems physically impossible for the inhabitants of David Stern’s nation to put the ball on the floor without carrying it for a New York minute.

Mavericks-Blazers trade discussions (Rasheed Wallace/Bonzi Wells for Michael Finley/Antawn Jamison) were mere musings of lower level staffers and involved agents.

Portland would move either player but not for exceedingly longer contracts. Wallace is in his last year and Wells has an escape clause after next season, whereas Finley is ridiculously overpaid ($85 million and five years left after this one) and Jamison is owed $56 million for four future years.

Dallas is definitely looking to maneuver. Sources reveal Jamison is not happy coming off the bench and wants out.

It’s astounding how brilliant Baron Davis of the Hornets is playing minus his signature bloated belly.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.