Spare a thought tonight for anyone so dazzled by the New York Knicks’ early signs of respectability, they shelled out for full or partial ’08-’09 season tickets.  Following the earlier trade of Jamal “Never Met A Shot He Didn’t Like” Crawford for Golden State’s embattled Al Harrington, Donnie Walsh unloaded the previously unmoveable Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins on the Clippers in exhange for Cutino Mobley and Tim Thomas.

That the Knicks need to free up cap room to make a run at LeBron in 2010 is obvious enough, and I don’t think anyone believed the roster as it was constituted Thursday evening was good enough for anything better than a first-round loss to a no. 1 seed. If that.  But I do wonder if there’s any obligation on the part of ownership to put a semi-competitive team on the floor over the next two seasons — they’ve not managed in ages, granted, but this time they’ll be sucking on purpose.

On the matter of brilliant management, however, let’s hear it for the Clippers who for one day, anyway, now have Marcus Camby, Chris Kamen and Zach Randolph in the fold. Don’t let anyone tell you there’s some redundancy here, Randolph can stop playing defense at any moment if he puts his mind to it.