New Jersey's Jason Kidd asked to be traded, noting, "It's time for us all to move on." Actually, it's past time, with the entire league lowballing the Nets.

Dallas won't even give up Devin Harris, a favorite of owner Mark Cuban.

The Lakers were interested . . . for Kwame Brown and Vlade Radmanovic.

All dressed up but no place to go

Cleveland and Denver have nothing the Nets need.

Meanwhile, Kidd denied that he asked to be traded, then turned around the same night and told ESPN's Ric Bucher he wanted to be traded.

Asked about it after the Nets ended their nine-game losing streak, Kidd said, "It was a good win. It was a good try."

Did he want to stay?

"Strike two," Kidd said.

Meanwhile, Nets President Rod Thorn insists he won't move Kidd unless he gets a good player.

Strike three.

He had better go somewhere

Surprise! Sacramento's not big enough to hold Ron Artest anymore.

Back in kettle-boiling-over mode as steam rises from his ears, Artest said he'll exercise his opt-out and become a free agent this summer.

Artest, who triggered the 2004 Auburn Hills melee by going in the stands, is once more giving off ominous vibes, leveling a tirade at Coach Reggie Theus in a recent game.

In other words, when it's time for Ronnie to go, it's really time for Ronnie to go.

Making little secret of his desire to accommodate Artest, GM Geoff Petrie says he's "not averse to trading anybody if it benefits us in some way."

Like keeping them out of another melee, just to name one.

They've already been to the rodeo

The San Antonio Spurs are used to turning their season around on their annual "Rodeo trip," having gone 30-8 on the last five.

This team just started 1-2, including a loss to the lowly Seattle SuperSonics, as Coach Gregg Popovich sent home Tony Parker, who was playing with a sore heel.

"He wants to play, but I don't care," Popovich said. "It's bothering him too much. He's about 60-70% and that's not good enough."

Who are you calling uptight?

Not that the Cleveland Cavaliers tremble at the thought of displeasing LeBron James . . .

A team publicist interrupted the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Jim Moore, who asked Daniel Gibson about James' speeding ticket for going 101 mph, asserting it was "old news."

Not that publicists normally grade questions for freshness, but it happened a month ago and was hardly a frivolous line of inquiry.

It's all too common to see young players with a heightened sense of invulnerability bomb around in their $100,000 cars. In 2000 the Charlotte Hornets' Bobby Phills was killed racing his Porsche against teammate David Wesley's.

Phills and Wesley, both responsible and popular players, had three speeding tickets between them in the previous three years, just in the Charlotte area.

Moore wrote that a second Cavaliers publicist asked "why I wasn't writing about the good things James was doing with his foundation or the charity work he planned to do at the All-Star break."

Great idea. They could put it on page one with the stories about the charity work the world leaders plan to do.

-- Mark Heisler

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