Tyrese Maxey Recalls Getting a Shocking Demand From Joel Embiid in His First-Ever NBA Game as a Starter: “He Pulled Me to the Side…”

Published 01/15/2024, 1:04 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

While the Sixers haven’t made a roaring impact yet, they have been seeing success at their own pace. With an impressive 24-13 record, they are second in leading the Atlantic Division. Behind their success is the young and veteran duo Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid. Tyrese, for one, has improved by leaps and bounds this season. He is putting up career-high points (26.2), rebounds (3.7) and assists (6.6).

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Before achieving this level of greatness, there was a time when a 20-year-old Tyrese first came to Philly as a rookie. Recalling that year, the now 23-year-old guard looks back on how Embiid motivated and believed in him as he was trying to find his beat.

Embiid asked Tyrese to drop 40 points

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In an exclusive interview with NBA Insider Shams Charania, a grateful Tyrese expresses that Embiid had believed in him since day one. He takes us back to his first time starting a game as a rookie, when Embiid was out of the game due to an injury. However, Tyrese recalls, “He pulled me to the side and was like, ‘Man, can you get 40 tonight?‘” Tyrese was taken aback by the request because he had never started an NBA game before.

Eventually, Embiid’s trust in him would lead him to finish the game with 39 points, just one point shy of the goal, but the point was made. Tyrese further adds, “He pushes me so much to be aggressive every single night, even when he’s not playing.” Being the good leader that he is, Embiid likewise pushes everyone on the team; “That’s how he is, man. You gotta love him for that,” Tyrese says.

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The game that helped Tyrese make a statement

As a rookie, Tyrese’s first time starting a game was more out of necessity than anything else. COVID-19 was at an all-time high and many of the Sixers’ players were out with injuries. As a result, their roster was in a deplorable state. In a shocking turn of events, they had only seven players available. So on 10th January 2021, Tyrese was pushed up to the starting lineup against the Nuggets.

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Draymond Green Responds to Tyrese Maxey Calling Him the “No. 1 S**t Talker” in the NBA

Surprisingly, the rookie stole the show by chipping in the highest points of the night (39) over 44 minutes. He further contributed seven rebounds and six assists. The Sixers ended up losing the game (103-115) but for Tyrese, he had his moment. The guard has only continued to grow and is now an important cornerstone of the Sixers’ roster.

What are your thoughts on Maxey’s performance this season? Do you think he has improved from his previous seasons? Share your thoughts!

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Written by:

Tsuktibenla T Jamir

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Tsuktibenla T Jamir is an NBA author at EssentiallySports. Armed with a Masters in Journalism from the prestigious Delhi School of Journalism, this Nagaland native combines her academic prowess with her passion for the game to craft compelling narratives that bring the NBA to life. She finds immense joy in dissecting the journeys of the athletes who make the game larger than life.
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Edited by:

Ruth John

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