I’m tempted to say Jason Kidd missing last night’s Nets loss to the Knicks created a level playing field, what with Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry both unavailable for New York. But in fairness to Jersey, Isiah Thomas should’ve given Zach Randolph (25 points, 10 for 15 from the floor) the night off, too.

While the Newark Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Alessandro considered Kidd’s absence legit (“he’s got a migraine. No, that’s not a Vince joke — he’s really aching, and as of now (6:30), he’s not in the building.”), Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski would like to see a doctor’s note.

There was no migraine headache holding Jason Kidd out of the New Jersey Nets’ loss to the New York Knicks Wednesday night, but a superstar sending a message to a floundering franchise that he’s irate with management and teammates.

As the Nets flew back to New Jersey late Tuesday from a victory over Cleveland, sources said Kidd already had decided he would be sitting out against the Knicks in the Meadowlands. Kidd didn’t tell Nets officials until Wednesday afternoon, but several people inside and outside the organization were made aware of the meaning behind his sick day.

Kidd’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, isn’t believed to have formally demanded a trade, but Wednesday’s bold act could be the precursor to starting that process. Two sources said Kidd has been a constant text messaging partner with LeBron James since playing with him this summer on Team USA and that the Cavaliers are his preferred destination.

“They’ve been communicating about the (trade) options that could get them together in Cleveland,” one Eastern Conference official said.

As one Nets official confessed, Kidd’s absence due to a purported migraine was “very suspicious.” No one wanted to believe he would sit out a game in protest, but that’s how bad it has become between Kidd and the longtime laughingstock that he delivered credibility to. He has no history of migraines with the Nets, and with the way he traditionally has loved to destroy the Knicks, the timing of a walkout left Nets officials deeply disturbed.

As Wojnarowski points out later in the column, Kidd’s pitch for a contract extension was rebuffed by the Nets last month. But if LeBron’s really serious about bringing Kidd to Cleveland, he oughta start working on a parking lot video.

I’ll say this much for Bobby Knight and son Pat ; it takes a tremendous father & son tandem to make Bill Belichick seem charming by comparison, but apparently, the Knights are more than up to the task.