• Here are the New York Knicks, who seven years ago at this time were in the NBA Finals, who in their glory days were a standard of class and excellence in their sport: Their coach conducts roadside interviews outside the team's practice facility three weeks after the first news reports had him fired.

    Their team president, Isiah Thomas, desperately holding on to the last big job he will have in basketball, works out college players with the coach and never discusses whether the coach will be fired.

    The owner, James Dolan? He performs at a midtown club with his silly midlife-crisis of a rock band, his only true fans Garden employees, then is walked to his limousine by a security man. Why wouldn't someone like this, the rich man's son who has Cablevision and the Garden, be singing the blues?

    This is the joke operation of all sports, more of a joke by the minute, a joke operation that could make bizarre news such as this all summer.

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