• SHARE

NEW YORK — The healthier Antonio McDyess (not necessarily the Knicks) gets, the more extraneous Kurt Thomas becomes, logic dictates.

The longer it takes the Mavericks to prove they are championship material, the more intolerant owner Mark Cuban grows.

Might there be an Antawn Jamison-Thomas/Charlie Ward swap in the making?

It’s only educated speculation.

Despite 19 months of knee trouble, McDyess finds himself in a win-win situation: If he can stay operative (so to speak) and recaptures his authority, the Knicks will fund his next sumptuous scholarship; if he re-injures himself and needs additional surgery, the Nets will make a large investment in him.

It took the Knicks five straight road games to discover what Joe Lieberman is fated to find out — it’s impossible to win when you can’t carry a single state out West.

I don’t want to say Suns coach Frank Johnson’s pink slip was showing, but even Lieberman saw it coming.

Expectations will jam your frequency every time. This is why Johnson (8-13) had to go in spite of losing Amare Stoudemire and Zarko Cabarkapa to injury and assault, whereas Knicks coach Don Chaney (7-16) is sanitary safe for the duration and free to repeatedly flog Dikembe Mutombo in defense of his substitution tactics.

The Suns’ standards were high coming into this season; the Knicks’ outlook was squat.

Johnson set himself up to get whacked by coaching the overachieving Suns to the playoffs last season where they made the Spurs sweat fully loaded clips for survival . . . refusing to allow Tim Duncan to get off by triple-teaming him.

Legit excuses, not withstanding, when Johnson couldn’t reverse the underachieving, Suns management had to do something significant to resuscitate fan interest.

At least Johnson went out in style by aiding and abetting the Magic (losers of 19 straight) and Heat in back-to-back nightmares.

Rejecting Al Gore’s offer to demand a recount was pretty classy, I thought.

While the Suns’ 24-hour work stoppage cost Johnson his job, it certainly benefited Johnny Davis and Stan Van Gundy; yesterday the NBA named them co-coaches-of-the-week for the state of Florida.

I see where new Suns coach Mike D’Antoni’s goal is to average 100 points a game.

How lofty is that?

I’m not sure the league is ready for another team that runs the court, fills the lanes and gets the ball to the middle (of course, scoring is down, it’s a tad tough getting out of first gear with the whistle blowing every seven seconds).

If this trend continues it will mean the end of control freak coaches who put the emphasis on themselves and themselves alone. Next thing you know, America’s guests will stop lifting weights and become basketball players again.

The Jazz sure are fun to watch now that the dinosaurs have stopped roaming the Salt Lake City plains. Minus last season’s three assist leaders (John Stockton, Karl Malone and Mark Jackson), Jerry Sloan’s crew has captured a delightful dozen victories and is on pace for about 48.

Which reminds me, only the unconscious could be responsible for honoring Phil Jackson as the NBA’s coach of November.

How can this be?

The Lakers have four Hall of Famers and were projected to win 70 games.

The Jazz, Nuggets (12-8) and Warriors (10-10) weren’t picked by anybody to win 70 combined.

It’s like naming Chuck Daly Coach-of-the-1992 Olympics.

How about Shaq!

He’s turning into Bill Russell before our eyes; his board scores are the highest they have been in years, he’s sealing off the air waves, ambushing passing lanes and closing down major arteries.

Think of it, a big man surrounded by Kobe, Malone and Gary Payton and O’Neal is taking only 14 shots per game, down from 18.

Russell, by the way, averaged about 13 shots per game for his career, in case you were wondering.

The Rockets’ Eddie Griffin will be released from the hospital (rehab?) any day now. Any team with cap room or an ample trade exception can have him for a stale six pack . . . The Heat continue to shop Eddie Jones and Brian Grant . . .The Celtics continue to try to move Tony Battie and Eric Williams . . . Report that had the Cavaliers and Grizzlies discussing a three-for-one (Zydrunas Ilgauskas) was completely counterfeit . . .Report that had Portland’s Rasheed Wallace and Ruben Patterson being exchanged for Philadelphia’s Kenny Thomas, Glenn Robinson and Derrick Coleman, if possible, was less credible than that.

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.

SUBSCRIBE NOW