Amazing as it may seem, the Brooklyn Ratners might want to split up their Big 3, though naturally, they’ll not say as much to the Newark Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Allessandro.

(from Joe

“RJ’s out there,” one GM insists. “He’s been out there for a while.”

Out there? As in wafting in the surf out there on the shores of San Diego?

“They’re quietly shopping him,” a second GM said.

And then there was this one, which had just the right amount of embellishment: “I’ve been hearing that he and Jason aren’t getting on too well,” another said.


The Greek hero who led the Argonauts? The guy from the slasher movies? The nuclear reactor up in Greenwich?

“We talk to everybody,” Nets GM Ed Stefanski said. “And they always bring up his name, I don’t. Everyone likes Richard, for obvious reasons.”

The NBA’s decision to suspend Dallas’ Jerry Stackhouse for tonight’s Game 5  after his full-frontal love-tap on Shaquille O’Neal Thursday evening, has predictably been protested by Stack and Avery Johnson. The New York Post’s Peter Vescey sides with the Mavs, claiming “in the No Autopsy, No Foul Era, players would be held up and congratulated -not held in contempt – for what Jerry Stackhouse did.”

Stackhouse could have taken the easy way out with Dallas down 17 with 6:29 left in the third period and hung over (like Jerome James at a New Year’s Day practice) from its Game 3 collapse two nights earlier.

He could’ve disintegrated into Slackhouse and given up on a fast break initiated by a Jason Williams steal. He could’ve adopted the cowardly Danny Fortson method and pushed the runaway Shaqmobile with two hands and simply sent him sprawling.

Instead, old Schoolhouse graduate that he is, he ran hard and fouled O’Neal the same way, a noble gesture since The Diesel doesn’t derail as easily as Amtrak.

And, for this, a day after three choice referees judged that Stackhouse did nothing to warrant an ejection from that very game, David Stern’s Daycare Center is making him out to be Slaughterhouse.

On the refs’ scale, the foul was measured excessive. How could it not be exceptionally hard, it says here, when Stack had to come across Shaq’s five-bedroom, four-bath chest in an attempt to play the ball!

A ‘Flagrant 1’ was assessed. Correctly, the refs did not toss Stackhouse. In fact, no one on the scene got bent out of shape, exempting Antoine Walker, who renewed his Mensa membership by getting T’d up for trying to instigate a riot.

Not even Pat Riley, who held back any Jeff Van Gundy-esque notion of humping Stackhouse’s leg! And definitely not Shaq, who offered props to the 11-year vet for his hustle . . . before mockingly maintaining his daughter tackles him harder.

The Denver Post’s Thomas George begins a rather gruesome 3-part autopsy of the Nuggets’ 2005-06 season and subsequent playoff collapse. It’s entertaining stuff, but I can’t confirm the rumor George Karl is having “Stop Snitching” t-shirts printed up for next fall’s training camp.

If the Boston Globe’s Chris Snow can land a hockey operations gig with the Minnesota Wild, perhaps the Atlanta Hawks might want to consider the armchair musings of Gatorade Dump’s Pradamaster.  At the very least, a Dominique throwback jersey would be a nice gesture.