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Isiah Thomas beat the NBA to the punch and pulled the plug on his return to the Garden.

Thomas has reneged on a consultant’s job with the Knicks that he had originally accepted last week – which lead to an outcry from fans, media and other college coaches – because it violated NBA conflict-of-interest rules.

“After speaking with Commissioner Stern and Knicks executives, it has become apparent that my new agreement violates certain NBA bylaws,” Thomas Wednesday night in a statement. “Because of this, I have decided to rescind my contract with the team. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Jim Dolan, Donnie Walsh, Mike D’Antoni and the entire Knicks organization, and I want to thank them for affording me this opportunity.”

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