Micheal Ray Richardson's NBA comeback is over before it started. The former all-star guard yesterday withdrew his threat to break his contract with his Italian club, Knorr Bologna, and jump to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Richardson changed his mind after meeting for 20 minutes with the president of Knorr Bologna, Paolo Gualandi.

"I'm going to stay," Richardson said. "Everything is OK now. I'm happy and they're happy.

"I feel good. I think my future is much, much better here. I have to make the best decision for myself, and I think this is the best."

Less than 24 hours earlier, Richardson had spoken of his eagerness to make a triumphal return to the NBA four years after being banned for using cocaine. But Gualandi apparently came up with the right answer.

Richardson said he would be receiving more money but said he had promised not to give any details. His two-year contract pays him $550,000 per season.


Michael Jordan could have one of his highest-scoring games tonight when he goes against the porous Denver Nuggets defense, which has allowed an average of 144.1 points per game. . . . During their record 34-game road losing streak, the Nets have lost to 20 different teams by an average of 12.47 points, including nine games by 19 or more.