The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola reports that while Garden chief James Dolan refuses to talk to his paper, the aspiring blues rocker cannot so easily escape the inquiries of Knicks rooters when he’s strolling the streets of The Big Easy.

A gentleman named Mark Haverly (standing to Dolan™s right) ran into the Knicks™ top decision maker on the street during All-Star Weekend in New Orleans and had an interesting conversation with Dolan.

œI explained I™m a long suffering Knicks fan and made reference to the suffering beginning around when he took over without saying it overtly. I said I appreciated the loyalty he clearly has, but at some point the results have to overrule loyalty, i.e. please fire Isiah.

œHe told me to be patient and said ˜look at the Celtics, where were they a year ago? Look at the Giants, where were they a year ago?™

œI politely explained, ˜Well, the difference with the Giants is they made the playoffs the last few years, you can™t say that. And the Celtics had cap space to acquire Garnett, you didn™t.™

Haverly asked Dolan, who was accompanied by several Garden officials, œ˜would you ever consider bringing back Jeff Van Gundy, a coach that could get these guys to play some defense?™ They all laughed at me. ˜He quit, there™s no coming back from that!™ Dolan said.

œI responded, ˜Well, yeah¦but why did he quit? And why did Marv Albert quit?™ Dolan said in a wink wink kind of way, ˜Marv didn™t quit™ – implying he was fired.

œI then made reference to all the good people that have left under his regime, the continued disgraceful record of both teams – save for the Rangers for one year maybe – and he again brought up the Celtics.

œSo, for all us Knick fans out there I™m here to tell you there™s nothing to worry about¦James Dolan himself told me next year we™ll be this year™s version of the Celtics. So about 40-10 come the break. No worries everybody, he™s got it all under control.”

Andrea Bargnani has 24 points (“pugnacious!” exclaims Clyde, silent thus far on the subject of Isiah’s pink tie) and the Raptors hold an 84-67 advantage on the Knicks with about a minute left in the 3rd quarter in Toronto.

With the Boston Globe’s Marc J. Spears claiming the Celtics and Hornets are showing interest in the currently-suspended Chris Anderson, it seems like an appropriate time to recall The Birdman’s struggles in the 2006 Slam Dunk Contest.