So what was with

Jason Kidd

missing last week's game against the Knicks with a migraine headache?

The Manhattan-area press was quick to find ulterior motives, claiming that an unhappy Kidd was protesting either his unhappiness at not getting a contract extension from the Nets or their inability to make the team better by staging a one-day sickout.

Everyone, from Kidd to the team to his agent, denied that that was so, as you would expect. But it's equally hard to prove that you aren't doing something, so the denials don't have the feel of finality. Kidd

could

have had a migraine. But would he have played under different circumstances? How on earth can you say?

The problem for Kidd is that his universe of potential teams, headed by the Lakers and Cavaliers, is quite limited in what it can or is willing to offer in return. Nothing has changed in Los Angeles, where the Lakers weren't willing to include

Andrew Bynum

in any proposal for Kidd last spring. And the Cavaliers have next to no tradeable assets to send New Jersey's way.

Atlanta, with several young players on early, easy-to-trade contracts, would be a prime candidate for a third team to help pull off such a deal. But the Hawks' ownership disarray continues to make serious consideration of trades a near-impossibility. . . .

You can cross Pacers CEO

Donnie Walsh

off any prospective lists of potential replacements if

Isiah Thomas

and Company is eventually run out of town.

"I'm not going back to New York," said Walsh, a Gotham native, by telephone. "There are a lot of reasons I'm not going back there, but I'm not a candidate for any of the jobs they have back there because Isiah's there. I don't do things that way. I can tell you without a doubt, that is not a place I'll wind up in, if I wind up anywhere."