A day after the MSG cameras caught Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry goofing it up on the Knicks bench during a drubbing in Philly, Mitch Lawrence writes that James Dolan was equally amused by last night’s sequel at the Garden. As Newsday’s Alan Hahn explains, there’s no motivation for ownership not to have a laugh at the expense of the paying customers.

James Dolan, who was in attendance for the Sixer blowout, was smiling with Isiah Thomas after the latest disaster.

Smiling. When Forbes values your franchise as the highest in the NBA and your value actually goes UP three percent in a year that includes no playoffs and the public embarrassment of a sexual harassment trial, you have reasons to smile.

You also have no motivation for change. Just keep shoveling out the rhetoric and turn up the volume on the bass machine when the crowd starts chanting “Fire Isiah.”

Sure, the good news is this awful start has only dropped the Knicks 2.5 games out of the final playoff spot with three-quarters of the season still to play. Not much ground to make up in order to make the playoffs. But is that the only goal here? What ever happened to the quest for mediocrity, which used to be a .500 record?

Allan’s right about the standards being lower than low — I can’t even joke about being nostagic for John MacLeod anymore. But on a slightly more pleasant tip, an earlier blog entry of Hahn’s included the following priceless exchange :

I asked Philly native Mardy Collins for his recommendation for the best cheesesteak place in his hometown. In my many years going down to Philly, my personal favorite is Pat’s Steaks, where you circle the block to find a place to park, stand outside in the freezing cold and make sure you get your order right. Provie Without is always my call. Across the street is Genos, made famous in the Boyz II Men video, “Motown Philly” from back in the day. Then a few blocks away is Jim’s. There’s also Steve’s Prince of Steaks. So what does Mardy say? “Max’s in North Philly,” he said. I asked him where it was and he suggested I don’t want to know. Why, I won’t fit in up there? “It’s not about fitting in,” Mardy then said. “It’s about personal safety.”