Considering James Dolan managed to find fault with Marv Albert, can anyone be surprised the Knicks have yet to retain the services of currently-out-of-contract radio voice Gus Johnson? The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman claims MSG’s Mike Bair and Lydia Murphy-Stephens are “playing hardball” with the melodramatic mouthpiece.

Would these two be bubbleheaded enough not to ink Johnson? The Excitable One has spent 10 seasons as part of MSG’s Knicks radio team – the past five as the Knicks’ No. 1 radiocaster, working with veteran analyst John (Legend) Andariese.

The fact that it’s almost September and MSG has not come to terms with Johnson is a tad strange. Especially considering what’s taking place on the court.

With Mike D’Antoni in place as coach, and Donnie Walsh now the brains of the organization, the fog on 33rd St. has a chance of lifting. The Garden will be selling optimism. It better if it wants anyone to purchase overpriced tickets.

Did Johnson cut Isiah Thomas major slack and spread MSGulag party propaganda? Yep. He, along with all the other MSG Knicks voices who joined him, have been ripped to shreds in this space. A new day may be dawning.

Johnson took the heat. He has thick skin and a unique style. His calls are full of over-the-top passion. The man has a following.

Perhaps this has actually dawned on Bair and Murphy-Stephans. But who knows what these two are thinking? After all, their regime has not made anyone forget about those grand days when MSG was the Rolls-Royce of regional cable sports networks.