T HE GOLDEN STATE Warriors have waited a dozen years to "deal from a position of strength." Turns out, it's not all it's cracked up to be.

Not willing to break up what he considers to be a good thing unless there's a great thing being offered, Chris Mullin basically has done nothing this off-season. And when you're coming off consecutive 34-win seasons with your "good thing," it's no wonder the faithful are grumbling.

Fear not, people. It's not too late ... if Mullin has gotten an inspiration from watching Team USA in the World Championships.

It seems everybody in the world (except NBA coaches) knows how to attack American players — with speed at the point. And if it works for, say, Puerto Rico against American All-Stars, you'd think it might be a nice ploy for the Warriors to try against, say, the Clippers.

Mullin has two such weapons — Baron Davis and Monta Ellis. I suggest a third: Allen Iverson.

Yes, Mullin would have to offer Jason Richardson to get the 76ers' attention. But you know what? In today's game, Iverson is a much more valuable commodity.

It can't happen until Richardson proves his minor knee surgery was indeed minor. But then I'm shipping Richardson, Adonal Foyle and a swap of 2007 first-round picks (the 76ers would see this as a plus, but really it isn't) for the perennial All-Star.


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With Davis attacking from one angle and Iverson from another, the Warriors would dice up every NBA defense and spend half the night at the foul line. Plus, it would get Troy Murphy, the team's best pure shooter, 10 open looks a night, which would produce big-time numbers.

Yeah, the Warriors then would need another pure shooter or two to produce an international-style offense of their own, but Casey Jacobsens and Eric Piatkowskis are a dime a dozen. Acquiring a marksman (especially with Mike Dunleavy to offer) would be a whole lot easier than importing Iverson.

I know what Mullin's thinking: Iverson and Kevin Garnett will be even more desperate to get out of bad situations next summer, so why not wait until the price comes down?

My response: Warriors fans have waited 12 years; isn't that long enough?

DATELINE: Amid bunting. The bar has been set in Bay Area baseball: It's no longer sufficient just to make the playoffs. Advancing past the first round is a must.

With that in mind, I suggest:

- A's fans start rooting for the White Sox to beat out the Red Sox in the wild-card race. That would set up a first-round matchup with the Tigers, the type of young, overachieving club that's bound to shrink up under the bright lights.

- And Giants fans (yeah, yeah) start praying for the Reds (or Cardinals) to win the National League wild card. Avoiding the Mets in Round 1 is imperative.

DATELINE: Center court. Here's what makes the U.S. Open tennis tournament one of the great events annually on the sports calendar: The late-night matches create such a buzz in the stadium, a new American star is born each year. (And then dies shortly thereafter, but that's another matter.)

Here are a couple of matchups (one set, one possible) to anticipate next week:

Round 1: Scoville Jenkins vs. Jonas Bjorkman. Bjorkman, the 20-year-old from Atlanta is ripe for a breakthrough after getting no luck in the draw (Andy Roddick in Round 1 in 2004, Rafael Nadal in Round 2 last year) in his first two Opens. This opener is no cakewalk, either: Bjorkman is seeded 29th.

Round 2: Sam Querrey vs. Gaston Gaudio. The fastest-rising American, a 19-year-old native of San Francisco, would run into Roger Federer in Round 4, so he's going to have to make his mark early. Upsetting the 21st-seeded Argentinian in one of those late-night specials would put him on the map.

Would you trade Jason Richardson to get Allen Iverson? E-mail your thoughts (with full name and hometown) to dave@angnewspapers.com.