NEW YORK — While many Californians are unemployed, Don Nelson is ordering assorted healthy Warriors to take a night off from work, with pay, while fans pay full price for tickets as their beloved 20-39 sinkhole disappears deeper below the Pacific Rim.

At a time when NBA commissioner David Stern has bank-borrowed $200 million and made it available to 12 cash-poor clubs, I’m not sure this misappropriation of resources makes much sense.

All that’s missing is accompanying bonuses and other undeserved perks to veterans on forced-vacation.

I want to hear Golden State owner Christopher Cohan tell a Senate sub-committee he supports such an overt waste of marquee manpower.

Let me see if we can get inside what’s left of the malfunctioning brain cells belonging to Nelson, whose shanty team hadn’t played since last Monday.

Friday night, Club Med’s director — already without injured Monta Ellis — sat starting backcourt mate Jamal Crawford against the Bobcats. Last time the two teams met in late December he barbecued them for 50 points.

Larry Brown’s conspicuously improved squadron won (despite a brain dead foul by Boris Diaw with 18.8 left, score tied 107-107; the Frenchman confirmed his state of unconsciousness by then draining a decisive deep three) on the frailty of Stephon Jackson.

Physically and mentally frayed, Jackson looked like he could use a day off as he turned over the ball twice in the final moments, the last a wild pitch on an inbound pass with 2.9 seconds to go.

This is where the mad genius of Nelson comes into play, I suppose. According to reports out of the Bay Area, he plans to sit Jackson at home against Utah. Then it’s Andris Biedrins’ turn to become a spectator in Minnesota. Next Corey Maggette gets to dress in business casual.

All on the pretext, mind you, of this acclaimed bench magician creating important daylight for Anthony Randolph, Marco Belinelli and Brandan Wright, prized youngsters Nelson systematically ignored for much of their time under his auspices.

Perhaps Nelson’s logic can be translated by Chris Duhon, whose forgettable February continued with yet another odious performance against Andre Miller in a Garden loss to the 76ers.

Then again, perhaps Nelson is diagramming plays for Duhon on a cocktail napkin. His five turnovers — several inconceivable — and six misses in eight tries cannot be blamed on too many minutes, as suggested by Walt Frazier, or a new running mate, Larry Hughes, as Mike D’Antoni submitted.

* * * * *

The first time Stephon Marbury handled the ball as a Celtic demonstrated why Mike D’Antoni made a massive mistake by erasing him from the blackboard at the start of the season without giving him a chance. He dribbled left off a pick drawing an extra defender and found a cutter with a slick no-look bounce pass for a layup.

Say what we want about Marbury, but D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh blew a flaxen opportunity to transform the certified contrarian (and his $20.8 million expiring contract) into moderately desirable goods . . . rather than settling for a penny ante buyout following the trade deadline.

Considering Walsh dumped Zach Randolph’s toxic contract on the Clippers and fork-lifted Jerome James to Chicago for unwanted/multifaceted Larry Hughes, I’ll always be convinced Marbury could’ve been unloaded somewhere for something of substance.

Meanwhile, Marbury’s debut on admittedly wobbly legs resulted in 4-for-6 shooting night (a couple jumpers, a couple drives), two assists and three turnovers in 13 minutes in a win against the Pacers on Friday.

The bad news is, he hadn’t even joined the team and Marbury was driving the Celtics to drink. Well, Gabe Pruitt, anyway.

I checked Arizona law on this point: Charles Barkley’s discounted sentence was a special, available only on Fat Tuesday.

* * * * *

Always awesome even when subpar or in defeat, Dwyane Wade was out of his Jordan-ary on Saturday night. Drawing first blood — courtesy of a Danilo Gallinari elbow that split Wade’s lip — the Knicks didn’t come close to stopping the Heat’s hyped-up life guard from gushing points the rest of the way.

Down 103-88 when the accident occurred, Wade proceeded to punish defenseless defenders for a preposterously unproblematic two dozen, tagging Miami’s play date with another “worst loss of the season.”

Kobe and LeBron had their way with the Knicks — just as Wilt and Baylor and Jordan took advantage of them in the past — and now it was Wade’s turn to abuse D’Antoni’s non-resistant movement across the stat sheet.

Wade’s 46 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds, four steals and three blocks almost make up for those increasingly annoying cell phone commercials.

Peter Vecsey covers the NBAfor the New York Post.

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