Short of Byron Scott returning to New Jersey, could anything be more inspiring to the NY Post’s Peter Vescey than the Stephon Marbury/Larry Brown power struggle, nor Isiah Thomas’ inability to contain it?

Hours before Larry Brown’s flawed Knicks had their winning streak shattered by Phil Jackson’s flawed Lakers Wednesday, Thomas slyly rationalized “every roster is flawed, unless you win a championship.”

Lumping his lumps in with the other 28 non-titlists is a pity party not worth crashing.

That’s not the only silliness Thomas was selling Wednesday night at the Office Supply Store. He came up for oxygen long enough to solemnly swear last week’s report in this space – claiming teams have been advised of Stephon Marbury’s availability – is erroneous.

The media at large, caught up in its customary battle fatigue to differentiate fact from fiction, took a long swig of Thomas’ Kool-Aid. His unflinching denial was merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily (life is but a dream) publicized, as if Thomas is about to acknowledge he’s trying to pawn off his poisonous pet fawn, or admit Brown is instigating the attempted purging. Camp Cablevision’s James Dolan should’ve used his franchise’s one-time luxury tax exception (covering the current collective bargaining agreement) on Marbury instead of Jerome Williams when it had the opportunity to save a fortune and a wealth of aggravation.

Barring a return to the league by Shawn Kemp’s uncle Bob Whitsitt, it appears Marbury (and his $57 million over the next three seasons) isn’t going anywhere soon. Consequently, Brown’s mission is to make Marbury as miserable as possible by insisting he become the best point guard on the Knicks.