76ers

Allen Iverson Top Moment: Scoring 60 at home

Allen Iverson Top Moment: Scoring 60 at home

Editor's note: This series of articles originally ran in 2014, when the Sixers retired Allen Iverson's number.

February 12, 2005

A basketball coach can find fault in any player's performance. For instance, when talking about Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game, former Sixers coach Doug Collins quipped, “He took 63 shots!”

Fair enough. But Wilt also had 25 rebounds and a pair of assists that night in Hershey, Pa.

Certainly it’s easy to understand Collins’ underlying point. If one guy is taking all the shots, the other players might not feel like they are part of the team. Last month Carmelo Anthony scored 62 points against Charlotte to set a Knicks record, but he took 35 shots and had goose eggs under the columns for assists, steals and blocks.

What else did he do besides shoot the ball (and grab defensive rebounds)?

But when Allen Iverson scored 60 points to set a career mark on Feb. 12, 2005 against the Magic at the Wells Fargo Center, there wasn’t much he didn’t do.

Iverson went 17 for 36 in the 112-99 victory over the Magic, but went 24 for 27 from the foul line, led the team with six assists, five steals and a block. And for as much as Iverson had his hands on the ball that night, he committed just three turnovers.

That 60-point game for Iverson was a perfect storm of sorts. When the season began, coach Jim O’Brien moved Iverson from the two-guard spot and let him handle the point. As a result, Iverson led the league in scoring (30.7), steals (180), free-throw attempts (656) and shots (1,818). He scored 30 or more points in 35 games, 40-plus in nine games and had back-to-back 50-point performances as a precursor to the explosion against the Magic.

It wasn’t as if Iverson was going up against a bad Orlando team, either. The Magic had Dwight Howard, Steve Francis, Grant Hill, Doug Christie, Jameer Nelson and Tony Battie. Yes, Howard and Nelson were rookies at the time, but Orlando was a team on the rise.

There is some historical context, too. Over the last 20 years, only six players have scored 60 or more in a game. It’s also the most points scored in a game by a Sixer not named Wilt Chamberlain and the fourth-best output in a game in franchise history.

“When you’re talking to me, and you’re mentioning Wilt Chamberlain in the same sentence with me, I don’t have (any) words after that,” Iverson said after the game. “I mean, what can I say? You mention somebody that’s 6-feet, 165 (pounds) soaking wet, and somebody seven some feet.”

The fun Joel Embiid-Ben Simmons moment you might've missed during All-Star Game in Chicago

The fun Joel Embiid-Ben Simmons moment you might've missed during All-Star Game in Chicago

There’s been a lot made of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons’ fit on the court. In the past, there have been rumblings of the pair not necessarily getting along off it.

During All-Star Weekend in Chicago, the pair seemed to get along swimmingly.

But there was this fun moment we likely all missed initially.

While it’s true that they’re very different people and may not be best friends, it seems like they have a mutual respect and admiration for one another.

Both players shined throughout the night. Simmons (17 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals) put on a show during his first run, dunking everything in sight. Team Giannis basically ran their offense through Embiid (22 points, 10 rebounds, one ridiculous Dream Shake on LeBron) down the stretch.

Their chemistry appears to be growing. That could only help the Sixers as they look to go on a run in the final 27 games after the All-Star break.

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Villanova's Jay Wright reportedly linked to New York Knicks head coaching job

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Villanova's Jay Wright reportedly linked to New York Knicks head coaching job

In the midst of another successful season at Villanova, Jay Wright’s name is yet again surfacing in connection with NBA jobs.

Wright has been linked — again — to the vacant New York Knicks job, per Adam Zagoria for Forbes.com.

The idea of Wright to the Knicks is not new. After New York fired former Sixer Jeff Hornacek in 2018, the Knicks were interested in interviewing Wright, but the Wildcats head coach turned them down. He was also reportedly on the Phoenix Suns’ radar four years ago. Way back in 2009, he spoke with the Sixers about the job that eventually went to Doug Collins.

The interest from NBA teams likely won’t go away any time soon for Wright. He’s won two national championships and his current team is ranked No. 15 in the country. He’s likely destined for the Basketball Hall of Fame and seems to have the personality and demeanor to coach at the next level.

Up until now though, Wright has been inclined to stay at Villanova.

“I’m staying. I love it here,” Jay Wright said to The Athletic in 2018. “I love what we’re doing. I’m just really happy. I said when I was at Hofstra and I didn’t take other jobs, I used that old Jim Valvano line, ‘Don’t mess with happy.’ That seemed appropriate at Hofstra until this job opened. It’s still really appropriate. I’m very happy here. I don’t need another challenge. I like happy better than a new challenge.

“The NBA does intrigue me. That challenge is appealing, but it’s not worth giving up working with these guys.”

Wright recently put his home in Berwyn up for sale, but his broker said that Wright and his wife Patricia are looking to downsize with their kids getting older. It could just be a coincidence, but the timing is a little peculiar.

It does seem like Wright is open to the possibility of coaching in the NBA if the ideal opportunity presented itself.

The Knicks have cleaned house, firing head coach David Fizdale and team president Steve Mills. They’re still owned by the mercurial James Dolan and have an oddly constructed roster. 

Is that the type of job Wright would give up his comfortable position at Villanova for? Does what John Beilein is encountering in Cleveland give him pause? Could the Bucks County native hold out to see if the Sixers’ job becomes available if Brett Brown fails to get the team past the second round again?

There will be NBA jobs out there — if Wright ever wants one.

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