Declaring that coach Larry Brown “is is no different than his players now. Overpaid, underachieving ” stealing Knicks owner James Dolan’s money”, the New York Post’s Marc Berman reveals the club’s biggest transgression to date ; somebody on the roster is spending their meal money on something other than food.

Brown has practiced his players too hard, demeaned them too often and changed their roles too often. Those are not traits of a great coach. Ultimately, that is why he has lost the locker room, why the young players have regressed instead of gotten better, why they are 15-40, the joke of the NBA, the shame of the city.

“We have too many young players right now,” the $40 million defensive genius said as recently as Friday night.

Brown should stop his whine about the Knicks being too young and start doing what he was brought in to do ” get the most out of them, make them a team.

The Knicks’ core group now isn’t as green as Brown wants you to believe. The starting perimeter is Stephon Marbury, 29, Steve Francis, 29, and Quentin Richardson, 26.

The two perimeter players off the bench are Jalen Rose and Jamal Crawford. The starting center, Eddy Curry, has been in the league five years. Brown now starts rookie Channing Frye at power forward, but he’s worthy. Last time we proofed them, Malik Rose and Maurice Taylor weren’t teenagers.

The veterans have shown no leadership and Brown has been incapable of motivating this group. The players want to run. Brown wants to run set plays.

The players don’t seem to care about winning anymore. Two Knicks ” without mentioning names ” munched down on Chicken McNuggets and McDonald’s fries an hour before tip-off Saturday night in Washington.

During the Wizards’ rout, a heckler yelled at new Knick Steve Francis, “Hey Stevie, Where are you going next?” Francis turned to the fan and quipped, “To the bank.” It took only three days for Francis to feel the emptiness of a lost season.

I already wasted the joke about Jerome James and “conduct beneficial to McDonald’s” last week, so it couldn’t have been him.

(it’s hard ’nuff to contend with Tim Duncan, but now Malik Rose has to ignore the scent of those french fries, too)

Tony Parker has 20 points and 12 assists through 3 quarters tonight, with San Antonio leading New York, 100-70. Gilbert Arenas managed to score 46 against NY the other night on a mere 16 shots ; Michael Finley has 22 on only 8 attempts from the floor.

Apparently, Robert Horry’s hips have been realigned. Not at a garage, either.

It was a tough loss for the Nets this evening, falling in overtime to the Hawks, 104-102. Jersey had no answer for Atlanta’s Josh Smith down the stretch, and Vince Carter narrowly missed a 3 at the end of O.T. that would’ve won the game; Nenad Kristic gathered the rebound but blew the lay-up that would’ve forced another extra session.

There’s nothing funny about spousal abuse. Well, usually. Depends on the spouse, I suppose. But based on Maute Bol’s performance on “Celebrity Boxing” a while back, is there any surprise in learning he and his wife filed complaints against each other “after a verbal dispute turned physical”, yet “neither was injured”?