By Sam Rubenstein

Isiah Thomas was fined $50K yesterday. I didn’t mention that news yesterday because he is the coach and I still believe President of an irrelevant team. The Knicks tricked me into caring about them again, but as soon as James Dolan said he was content with the progress from league disgrace to “We suck, but so do a lot of people” and he took Isiah off the hot seat, the season was over. A valiant effort by Stephon Marbury to keep the fans interested, but that’s over. New York is a basebawl town. The Mets are 2-0, dominating the defending champs. The Yankees are the best off Broadway drama in the city. I had some relatives from Louisiana in town for Passover and they asked if they should try to get Knicks tickets. I told them not to, because I don’t want even their nosebleed money going to Dolan’s pocket. The only good news is that the NBA and hopefully a charity gains $50K from Isiah, through his allowance from Jimblevision. Great season Knicks, and now you will never be in the news ever again.

DENVER 111 LA LAKERS 105
Remember the SLAM ’96 draft issue, calling it the best draft class ever? Iverson and Kobe were at the top, and they were both on the floor in this game. Kobe scored 39 on 31 shots. Iverson had 20 and 10 on 24 shots. But the ’96 Draft star of the game was Marcus Camby with 21 and 20, plus 6 blocks. Lamar Odom had a triple double of 17-14-12 and Melo scored 31, getting to the line 18 times. The Lakers were still in the game after J.R. Smith flagrantly fouled Andrew Bynum, but the Lakers big man missed two free throws and that was it. Kobe becomes the youngest player in history to reach 19,000 points. Denver won with non Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley coaching and beating Hall of Famer Phil Jackson, as George Karl was with his son in Idaho, who was having cancerous lymph nodes removed. Best of luck to you, young Mr. Karl!

BLOWOUTS
San Antonio took care of Seattle 110-91, New Orleans over Miwaukee 119-101, Detroit beat Indy 100-85, Cleveland got 31, 12, 6, and some highlight dunks from LeBron as they handled Minnesota 101-88. Glad that’s all out of the way.

PHOENIX AND DALLAS
We should keep tabs on how fresh these two stay as they fight off the boredom of waiting for the playoffs. They both played close games, Phoenix getting by Memphis 116-111 behind 17 assists from Steve Nash and 13 of 26 shooting from three point land as a team. Memphis made it somewhat interesting with a rally in the second half, and got double doubles from Gasol and Hakim Warrick, but come on now. The Mavericks were without Dirk, who was sick and missed the game, so they had to play some tough D and make a few plays to hold off the Kings 97-93. Josh Howard led the way with 29 and 8. Mavericks, you are supposed to lose games when Dirk doesn’t play to help out his MVP cause. Dirk joins the list of about 150 other NBA players who have missed games with a flu or stomach bug this season.

MIAMI 92 TORONTO 89
The Heat were winning for most of the game, let the lead slip away, but were bailed out by the championship intangibles of James Posey. Yes, on a night where he went 1 of 9 from the field, Posey hit 4 big free throws and grabbed 2 boards at the crucial point in the game. Unlike say, 13 other teams in the East, the Miami Heat just know what they have to do to win games. Chris Bosh had 24 and 11 in the loss. With the win, Miami takes over the 4 seed setting up a rematch with Chicago, because…

CHARLOTTE 122 WASHINGTON 102
The Wizards playing without Caron Butler for the rest of the season, were blown away by the Bobcats. Gerald Wallace had 34 and 14, Felton and Brevin Knight combined for 26 assists, and the Cats shot 57% from the field. Good luck fixing that without your defensive stopper for the playoffs. Eddie Jordan, the pressure is on.