The Nets’ improbable playoff drive (and Vince Carter’s unlikely resurrection) isn’t a hot enough story for me this morning, not compared to the Knicks playing out the string, or Spike Lee’s comments to the New York Post’s Marc Berman. Not content with provoking Reggie Miller into one of the greatest clutch performances in NBA history, Lee is now teasing New York fans with the prospect of LeBron James in a Knicks uniform.

Spike Lee pays $1,900 for each of his two celebrity-row seats at the Garden, so he’s got a right to dream.

Lee said the Knicks have a shot at Cleveland’s LeBron James when James becomes a free agent after the summer of 2006. Lee is involved with Nike and knows James’ agent, Aaron Goodwin. Lee claims there’s a clause in James’ Nike contract that would pay him more to play in New York.

That fact makes it not so absurd for James to sign for the $5 million midlevel exception that the capped-out Knicks could offer, although it would seem unlikely. The Knicks probably would need to work a sign-and-trade with the Cavs so they can pay him the maximum.

“There’s no guarantee LeBron is going back to Cleveland,” Lee said several times at his courtside seat, schmoozing with reporters as he geared up for Pacers star Reggie Miller’s final game at the Garden on Tuesday.

Lee also said the Knicks would be wasting their money going after Phil Jackson and believes coach Herb Williams should return.

“I think we have our coach. Herb is going to be a great coach,” the Knicks superfan/filmmaker (above) said. “I don’t think you need to spend a ton of money on Phil Jackson, if he really wants to be here, or Flip Saunders or whoever is out there. Too much turnover already. Keep Herb, give him a training camp.”

Lee sees a future. “Shaq’s not going to play forever, so the East is going to be for grabs,” he said. “What does he have, one, two more years left.”

Dumping on Chuck Dolan is a favored pastime here at CSTB, and I respect anyone and everyone’s right to do so. Except for persons who had their own major role to play in devaluing the Knicks franchise , not to mention the mismanagement of what I believe used to be a hockey team. And don’t even get me started on MSG’s now defunct Arena Football franchise. Dave Checketts’ new MLS team, Real Salt Lake make their debut later today when they face the NJ/NJ Metrostars. Even if you don’t give a hoot about soccer, if you are a Knicks or Rangers fans, you’ve gotta be rooting for Checketts’ latest endeavor to crash and burn.