For the time being, new Nets guard Rafer Alston content to be in Garden State

Dave D’Alessandro/The Star-Ledger

If he sulks, if he squawks, if he acts as though this isn’t what he signed up for, Rafer Alston promises he’ll have a very good reason.It won’t be about playing time, the Nets point guard vows. He can play behind Devin Harris and Keyon Dooling, and if the team loses, he can live with that — as long as they make progress and play the right way, and accept losing the way professionals do it, by taking the steps to correct themselves.

No, if he loses it — really loses it, like he was still in Toronto or Cardozo High in Bayside, which come to think of it makes him capable of ranting his way out of two countries — it will be because he senses that he’s wasting his time.

"It would not just be a matter of winning and losing, but how we respond to that," Alston said. "That’s always the most frustrating thing for me. That would lead to problems for me — if we ever think it’s okay to lose, or because we get too complacent after winning. And if we don’t stick together, because it’s too easy to separate in this league. But any frustration I feel won’t be about minutes."

You can’t discount the elephant in the locker room, though.

Alston may say that he is comfortably ensconced in East Rutherford — a short drive from his family and friends in Queens — but the pending free agent is not likely to finish the year where he starts it.

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