Not even the arrival of the blogosphere’s No. 1 Fave Human Being ensured a sellout at big, drafty MSG tonight, a situation that has the New York Daily News’ Mike Lupica reaching for some interesting comparisons.

There is no more expensive top ticket in town than the Knicks. Make any list you want. A premium ticket for The Nutcracker goes for $200. The Metropolitan Opera is $375. “A Chorus Line” is $251 for a weekend show. “Jersey Boys” – not the Nets – is $351 for a weekend show. The Knicks go as high as $2,500 at courtside. A ticket in the second row behind the basket is $240.

Soon Isiah will celebrate his third anniversary having the run of the Garden and unlimited use of James Dolan’s credit cards. And while he has yet to produce a single playoff victory despite spending more money than any other executive in the NBA during his time in New York, he has started to produce a rather impressive number of empty seats for Dolan in a place that had a decade’s worth of sellouts not so long ago.

Once a Knicks playoff ticket, against Riley’s Heat, was as hot as a ticket to Yankee Stadium to watch Torre’s Yankees in October. Now it seems there are good seats available almost every night.

In the Garden’s defense, the cheap seats for tonight’s tilt with the Wizards were lowered to $10. Is Etan Thomas vs. Renaldo Balkman a better entertainment value than a matinee of “Happy Feet”? I’ll tell you when the game is over, but Caron Butler has 8 points in the first quarter, with Washington ahead, 28-27.

If David Stern flip-flops on the new ball issue, does that mean they have to reshoot the terrible commercial where Paul Pierce squeezes a Spaulding like he’s making sure it isn’t a Nerf?

The NBA would like to know more about where Christian Death gets his money. I’m sorry, but the day to day operations of Cleopatra Records are none of the Association’s business.

Basketawful gets a load of the Tru Warior’s latest gripe and delivers the following verdict :

Finally, I was watching NBA Fast Break on ESPN last night and — surprise!! — Ron Artest is starting to complain about not getting enough touches in Sacramento. Just like he did in Indiana. Oh, and also like he did in Chicago. Now mind you, Artest is averaging the most shot attempts on the team (16) while shooting only 39 percent from the field and 23 percent from three-point range. On the other hand, Kevin Martin is getting almost three fewer shot attempts, but he’s shooting 52 percent in twos and 47 percent in threes, and averaging four more points than Artest (21.9 to 17.4). Who do you think should be the offensive focus?

Former Knick Maurice Taylor, currently with the Kings, was today suspended for 5 games for violating the league’s drug policy. This marks just the 3rd time Mo’s been cited in his NBA career. If he ever wants to become another Roy Tarpley, he’ll have to get busy.