PHILADELPHIA — It was Wilt Chamberlain Night at the Wells Fargo Center Wednesday, the 60th anniversary of his record-setting 100-point game against the Knicks in Hershey, Pennsylvania. And the first memory for Doc Rivers was that he believed he could have done it, too — in grade school.
"I had 82 in a grade school game," the 76ers coach said. "They took me out at the end of the third quarter. Could have got a hundred. We were up 132-8 and they thought we were running It up. I was [angry]."
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, who was an assistant coach under Rivers in Boston, joked, "Did Doc play in that game? It’s funny you mention that. God rest his soul, Harvey Pollack, I worked here, he was a great historian and he talked about that game all the time. It’s pretty amazing. That’s one record I don’t see ever being broken. It’s incredible.
"It’s pretty remarkable. You think about the things that he did, what he averaged for a season, the minutes he played, the rebounding. They didn’t keep all the stats that we do today. If they did I think it would be pretty scary."
Chamberlain did have one lesser-known record that Thibodeau really admired — in his third season, Chamberlain averaged 48.5 minutes per game.
"That’s my kind of guy," Thibodeau said, laughing.
Sims vs. Embiid, Round II
Knicks rookie Jericho Sims has seen his opportunities rise of late and that included getting to test himself against MVP favorite Joel Embiid. He fouled out while Embiid scored 39 Sunday in New York and got a rematch Wednesday.
"It was just a nice opportunity as a learning experience on how he plays," Sims said. "I tried to fight him a little too much. I’ll try to take a more tactical approach and listen to the coaches a little bit more."
In the first two games since the All-Star break, Sims has played at least 18 minutes in each as the Knicks try to get a look at him — particularly with the possibility of losing Mitchell Robinson in free agency this summer. He said there was no alert given, just a call to get on the floor.
"I didn’t know," he said. "All I knew is do your best to stay ready and try to stay in shape. I didn’t know I’d be playing a lot more minutes than I was.
"I don’t know why they’re doing that. All I can say is I got to stay ready when my name is called and come produce and play."