Forget Ben Simmons – rising Australian NBA superstar Josh Giddey is now following in the footsteps of the legendary Wilt Chamberlain.
While Simmons was resting again by the Nets in their game against the LA Lakers, this time with knee pain, Giddey went off the chain for the Oklahoma City Thunder with a triple-double performance in his club’s 145-135 win over the New York knicks.
His 24 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists meant Giddey became the first player since the great Chamberlain to record triple-doubles in their first two games at Madison Square Garden.
Giddey was busy on both sides of the floor, creating chances for his teammates, defending well and shooting at a 71 percent clip
Giddey also recorded a 28-point triple-double in an overtime win over the Knicks in his rookie season with the Thunder.
Chamberlain would play in the NBA for 14 seasons and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport.
Giddey begins to build a great reputation in the best competition in the world.
Simmons was again sidelined for the Brooklyn Nets, this time citing knee pain as his side faced the LA Lakers
The Australian No. 6 draft pick is starting to make his way into the NBA after showing signs of his elite passing game and court vision with the Adelaide 36ers in the Australian NBL.
However, when asked about his triple-double, a lowly Giddey wanted to focus on his side’s defense instead – though they gave up 135 points, including a 48-point first quarter.
Wilt Chamberlain (left) with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Andre the Giant while filming for Conan the Destroyer
“It starts with our defense, of course,” he said.
“We started off slow on that end, we left, I think, about 40 . please  in the first quarter.
“When we got good at that, we went on the run by playing in transition, things opened up for everyone.
“It’s a nice group of guys to play with, it’s selfless, so a good win today.”
Giddey’s back court general Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was also electric in the win, taking 37 points in a performance showing the rebuilding Thunder has great hopes for the future.
“It’s fun to be a part of it, there’s no other place to do it but the Garden,” Giddey said.
“It’s great to play with him, I think our chemistry will continue to grow and hopefully we can be a great rear guard for a long time to come.”
Giddey praised the Thunder’s team-first attitude that is starting to make waves in the NBA with a young, rebuilt roster
However, the Aussie guard was nearly robbed of the award, with a late rebound being snatched from him before finally knocking down the required board with just 14 seconds left.
Giddey blasted out the lights 10-14 from the field with a 71 percent clip, including two three-pointers to go along with his usual sharp pass for teammates.
“Every time you can be mentioned among the names of such greats, it’s special,” he said.
“But basketball is a team game, so if those things contribute to winning and helping my guys around me get better, then it makes it worth it.”
“That’s the best thing about our team – we have such a selfless and willing group that buys into a team for what we do.
‘Nobody is going to try to do it on their own initiative.
“We have five guys out of four, guys on the bench are active and talking and the coaching staff is involved.
“It runs through the whole group… we are always proud and preach that we can pull it off with five guys.
“The more we can do that and get everyone involved and feel good, the more wins it can hopefully bring.”