MSG’s pregame blather for yesterday’s Knicks/Cavs summer league contest showed Isiah Thomas running practice and looking as-hands-on as it can get without a lawsuit from Anucha Browne Sanders. The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola picks up on this gym-rat theme.

Wearing a whistle and barking instructions, Thomas looks comfortable being front and center again with the players. He said his style will be different from Brown’s, saying he takes his cue from his college coach and his mother.

“I’m very old school,” he said. “I’m Bob Knight and Mary Thomas. That’s what I try to teach them.”

Players developed bad habits last season – not lacing up their sneakers for practice, showing up for training camp out of shape, showing up to work with a hangover, freelancing on the court – and bad habits aren’t easy to break. Even with a new coach.

Thomas says he wants his players to fall in love again with basketball. He also needs them to be held accountable, act professionally, play hard and win. His future depends on it.

“I’ve always been the guy who has to crawl out of the hole to make it to the top,” Thomas said. “I was born to my mom and the family situation we had and the neighborhood we lived in, I definitely wasn’t supposed to be where I’m standing today.

“So, again, I’m probably a little freakish about (Dolan’s edict), but I’m glad to be on the hot plate. I like being in this situation.”

The Magic are reportedly keeping J.J. Redick out of summer league action, concerned about the condition of his herniated disc.

The $9.95 “Courtside Live” streaming video package on the Summer League site is described as a ripoff by CelticsBlog. Though I’m inclined to take their word for it, that’s pretty much the price of one drink plus the bartender pocketing the $2 tip without asking at Webster Hall.