Though ill-treatment in his old workplace probably had little to do with Vince Carter’s poor performance in Toronto Friday night, the Newark Star Ledger’s Dave D’Alessandro, as usual, did a fine job of documenting some extremely awkward moments before the game.

Vince in Toronto. What could be more exhilarating for him, other than a bi-annual prostate exam?

This is getting too predictable. The Nets always drag him out into the corridor for the local TV guys (six or seven cameras at the shoot today), they throw out the same old tedious themes and he looks back at them like they™re a petri dish filled with intestinal parasites.

Today™s exchange “ with the dialogue ping-ponging between chirpy exuberance on one side and a slow burn on the other “ went like this:

Q. It™s been two years since the trade. Your thoughts?
A. Let it go, Jeez. Moving on, that™s what.
Q. You guys are said to have chemistry problems. . . .
A. œWe don™t have any problems. The only problems we have is coming out consistently and closing out games. All that other stuff I couldn™t answer.
Q. It™s been a tough year for you personally. . . .
A. No. (Pause for more discomfort to set in.) What™s the problem.
Q. I mean off the court, the problems, you know, the problems (wink-wink, nudge-nudge).
A. œI™m fine. I don™t know what you™re talking about. Everything™s fine for me.
Q. How often do you see your daughter? (No kidding, somebody asked).
A. (Mumbles, shrugs, etc.).

The interesting thing about this, of course, is that some of these guys actually expected him to say something like, “So nice of you to ask “ let me, in front of all these cameras and old friends, tell you everything that™s going on in my personal life right now. Everybody pull up a chair, you might find this interesting…”

Gilbert Arenas (above) lit up the Lakers to the tune of 60 points in the Wizards’ 147-141 OT win last night, and the ever classy Kobe Bryant is somewhat stingy with his praise, as quoted by the Washington Post’s Ivan Carter and Michael Lee.

“First of all, he shot 27 free throws. We as a team shot 30. Think about that. But him individually, it’s funny, he doesn’t really seem to have that much of a conscience. I really don’t think he does. Some of the shots that he took tonight, you miss those, they’re just terrible shots, awful shots.”

Kobe’s even better with these self-referential gags than Jim Mora Jr.