In an interview on “The Young Person Basketball Podcast with RJ Hampton,” which was transcribed by Paul Hudrick of Liberty Ballers, Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey delved into what it was like when he first interacted with Joel Embiid.
Maxey said that Embiid was a big supporter of him from the very start, which gave his confidence a huge boost when he was a rookie.
“I’ll say this, man … it’s funny because Joel was probably one of the first players and people in our organization that really believed in me,” Maxey said. “I just remember him telling me after like the first or second game of my rookie year, me not playing as much, he was like, ‘You’re going to be special. I believe in you …’ I just really appreciate him for that because when the big dog got you under his wing it’s like your confidence goes to another level.”
In that same interview, Maxey gave his candid thoughts on what it was like for him when James Harden was first acquired by the Sixers and the impact Harden’s had on him since.
“A lot of people were in my ear when he got here telling me, ‘don’t worry, you’ll be fine,’ but I think my game took off to another level when he got here just because he’s taken me under his wing and he’s taught me so much in a small time period. He’s like a big brother to me, on and off the court.”
New Sixers Compared Maxey to Tyler Herro
New Sixer Dewayne Dedmon praised Maxey for his offensive abilities, going as far as comparing him to former teammate and Miami Heat scorer Tyler Herro.
“He’s been great, man, I kind of compare him coming off the bench to Tyler last year,” Dedmon said of Maxey, per Justin Grasso of Sports Illustrated. “You know what I’m saying? He comes in, he’s explosive, he gets the offense going, and takes advantage of the other team’s second units. He’s a great talent, so I’m actually looking forward to playing with him.”
Both Maxey and Herro are showing themselves to be scorers this season. Maxey is averaging 19.8 points while shooting 45.5% from the field and 39.4% from three. Herro on the other hand is averaging 20.6 points while shooting 43.7% from the field and 36.9% from three.
Dedmon played with Herro on the Heat from 2021 to 2023 and will play with Maxey for the rest of the season at the very least.
Maxey’s Thoughts on Adapting to New Role
After being placed in his new role as the Sixers’ sixth man, Maxey opened up on how he was adjusting to his role off the bench.
“Yeah, I feel good, I feel better,” Maxey told reporters, per Dave Early of Liberty Ballers. “I had a rough past week, mentally, didn’t play well. I had a conversation with my parents yesterday for about an hour-and-a-half and you know, I kind of got all the emotions out that I needed to get out.”
Maxey then said that his struggles in his new role are due to him being human more than anything.
“Yeah, I mean it’s not [my tough week] because I wasn’t playing well, it’s just ‘cause I’m human,” Maxey said. “I’m human and I want to be able to help my team as much as possible. New roles, different stuff happens. And like I said, I’m human, man. The thoughts go through your mind.”