"It's tough when you're a rookie," McKie said. "You have to be careful of the tiredness that comes into your body, and your brain gets fried from all the learning. I just want them to stay sharp, to have fun coming to the gym, to get used to coming to the gym. These two are great. They play hard, they practice hard and they listen to what they're being taught.
"I remember my rookie year how hard it all was. I was fried. I was in the gym with Terry Porter all the time. He would just beat me down. But it makes you a stronger person and a stronger player. It makes you appreciate and love the game. When that all comes, then you love coming to the gym, you can't get enough of it."
New Orleans coach Monty Williams spent 21 games during the 2002-03 season as a member of the Sixers under the tutelage of Larry Brown. He got to know the city well, but was more impressed with a certain teammate - Allen Iverson.
"I valued that time there," said Williams, now in his third season with the Hornets. "It was unfortunate that I blew my knee out and couldn't play the way I wanted to. But the knowledge of that fan base is second to none. Their passion and brashness is also second to none. It's a great city. I met a lot of Eagles. I got to play for Larry Brown, which is something I've valued, and I take a lot of the things that he taught me as a player and emulate them as a coach.
"Allen is the most talented person I've ever met. He could sing, dance, obviously play basketball, he could imitate guys, he could draw and he was really engaging in his conversations. The dynamic between him and coach Brown, it was what it was. But I remember Allen as the most talented person I've ever been around."
Williams found himself in hot water this week as he was fined $25,000 for a comment he made concerning rookie Anthony Davis' not being cleared after suffering a mild concussion. Before Saturday's game in Chicago, Williams said, "Now they treat everybody like they have white gloves and pink drawers, and it's getting old. It's just the way the league is right now."
Wednesday, he offered an apology.
"I work in a business where you just can't say anything you want to say," he said. "What I said was inappropriate, and you have to deal with the consequences."
ESPN televised Wednesday's game. When the schedules came out, it appeared to be an interesting matchup, as the Sixers have a roster filled with new players and the Hornets have the No. 1 overall pick in Anthony Davis and the 10th pick in Austin Rivers.
That didn't work out so well.
"It's sort of the best laid plans of television," Doug Collins joked. "They have us on [ESPN] hoping to see Andrew Bynum and Jrue [Holiday] and Evan [Turner] and Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers and three of them are out. It's just sort of the nature of it."
Bynum is out with a knee bruise, while Davis (concussion) and Rivers (sprained finger) were out for the Hornets.
Contact Bob Cooney at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @BobCooney76. For more Sixers coverage, read his blog at philly.com/Sixerville.