Though I’m 100% guilty of encouraging the nonsensical apples and oranges debate over who’s the more exciting Tri-State Area franchise presently, the Rangers or Nets, I don’t think there’s any question as to which area beat writer is delivering the goods each time his fingers commence typing.

Dave D’Alessandro’s bloggy “Nets Blast”, found on the Newark Star-Ledger’s website, oughta be required reading, whether or not you have a rooting interest in the Brooklyn Ratners. Following up on the sudden departure of Nets assistant Gordon Chiesa (who offered a curious explanation of his own earlier this week), D’Allessandro sheds more light on the incident.

First, the family thing: Chiesa put his son in a parochial school in the inner city “ we won™t mention which, because it is a fine institution in a not-so-fine area. But it certainly wasn™t the best placement for a kid who grew up in the suburbs of Salt Lake City.

Second, the job duties: Whose fault is it that the top assistant coach didn™t have an understanding of what the job would entail before he accepted it? It would occur to most guys interested in this position to ask, œHow do you structure your practices, what is the game-day routine, what are my responsibilities, etc., etc. But by all accounts, he never even gave Brian Hill “ his predecessor, who liked the job just fine “ a single phone call to get his perspective.

Finally, the departure: We™re told by someone in the organization that Gordie (above, right) literally went AWOL for two days, before dropping this on Frank™s lap a few days before the season began. In their final meeting, he protested that he was the first assistant, and should have the right to address the team at halftime. That™s probably how it works in Utah, where Phil Johnson addresses the team while Jerry Sloan goes off to sneak a Marlboro, but it doesn™t work that way in any of the other 29 NBA locker rooms.

So Gordie decided to throw it all down and split.

œAnd who does that? says an NBA assistant coach, who has known Chiesa since his Manhattan College days. œWho leaves a team a few days before the first game? The thing to do is, let your family go back, meet up with them at the end of the year, and then quit. But this? On one hand, you have to blame Lawrence for not realizing that it wouldn™t work. But on the other, man, you just have to know Gordie.”