76ers

Joel Embiid's love of Shirley Temples: The origin

Joel Embiid's love of Shirley Temples: The origin

CAMDEN, N.J. — Joel Embiid remembers the moment it happened, that night back in Kansas when he took a (non-alcoholic) sip and was hooked. It was then that Embiid’s affinity for Shirley Temples began. 

“One night I went out with my teammates,” Embiid explained at shootaround Wednesday. “I don’t drink alcohol so I wasn’t drinking. This girl walked up to me, she was talking to me, she was like, ‘Why aren’t you drinking?’ I was like, ‘I just don’t drink, alcohol is nasty.’ She said, ‘I might have something for you.’ She went and got a Shirley Temple. Then I was like, ‘Ohhh OK.’ Then I fell in love with it and since then, I’ve been drinking it.”

Embiid has been closely tied to his favorite beverage since he entered the NBA in 2014. He has spoken about consuming pitchers of Shirley Temples, which he has been cutting back. Embiid said he still has one drink “almost every day.” His ingredients of choice are grenadine and ginger ale.

“I used to drink a lot of them,” he said. “But I’ve got to keep my diet.”

The Sixers have launched an All-Star voting campaign for Embiid around his drink of choice. On Wednesday, those at the game can purchase 16-ounce Shirley Temples for $5 at all bar locations in the Wells Fargo Center. 

Robert Covington said Embiid is consistent with ordering a Shirley Temple and a water whenever he gets to a restaurant. Even though Embiid’s love for the drink is well known, he still raises eyebrows when requesting one. The reactions of surprise don't faze him.  

“Everybody looks at me like, ‘What do you mean, Shirley Temples?’” Embiid said. “That’s all I drink. That’s the best drink ever.” 

Sixers' Shake Milton is donating meals to local healthcare workers ... and shakes

Sixers' Shake Milton is donating meals to local healthcare workers ... and shakes

Shake Milton is donating 500 meals from plant-based restaurant HipCityVeg to Philadelphia-area healthcare workers helping to fight the coronavirus pandemic. 

In a fun twist, Milton is donating shakes, too. Of course he is.

Milton is also encouraging Philadelphians to “give Shake an assist” by visiting here and donating additional meals to frontline medical staff.

(f you’re curious about the origins of Milton’s unique nickname, Serena Winters detailed it well. His late father Myron had the nickname “Milk Man” when he played basketball at Texas A&M, and instead of Malik, Milton eventually became “Little Milkshake," then just Shake.)

The 23-year-old Milton had been a bright spot on the floor for the Sixers before the season was suspended on March 11, tying an NBA record for consecutive made three-pointers (13) and averaging 17.9 points and 4.4 assists over his last eight games. 

He’s one of several members of the Sixers organization who have made charitable contributions during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Joel Embiid, managing partner Josh Harris and co-managing partner David Blitzer have funded COVID-19 antibody testing for healthcare workers. Al Horford has donated $500,000 to coronavirus relief efforts in the Dominican Republic, as well as in each region of the United States where he’s played for a team.

Ben Simmons launched the “Philly Pledge,” which encourages contributions to local non-profit organizations and has received support from high-profile Philadelphia athletes and celebrities, including Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle. Limited partner Michael Rubin’s company Fanatics plans to produce a million masks and gowns for hospital and emergency healthcare workers. 

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2020 NBA draft profile: Is Kentucky's Tyrese Maxey worth trading up for?

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2020 NBA draft profile: Is Kentucky's Tyrese Maxey worth trading up for?

Tyrese Maxey

Position: Guard
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 198 pounds
School: Kentucky

Tyrese Maxey burst on the college basketball scene in the opening game of the season. Against Michigan State this past November, Maxey took over Madison Square Garden in a way no Knicks player has in over a decade ... or longer. He poured in 26 points on 7 of 12 shooting from the field as the Wildcats rolled to a win. 

Maxey won more than a handful of SEC Player and SEC Freshman of the Week awards throughout the season. Somehow, he missed the First Team All-Conference but was named to the second team and the All-Freshman SEC squad. But his poise on the court, the ability to play both the point and shooting guard postions, and his tendency to take over games late has him in late lottery pick talk.

Strengths

Maxey is strong and rangy for his size. His shooting numbers won't blow you away, but that's also a product of the system he played in during his lone season under John Calipari. With Ashton Hagans as the primary ball handler and scorer in the backcourt, Maxey was not tasked with taking over the offense even though he showed more than enough to prove himself capable.  

He shot a little over 43 percent from the field and just over 29 percent from three. He has excellent form, so making the transition to shooting from the perimeter in the NBA shouldn't be an issue. Maxey shot better than 83 percent from the free throw line, which gives a decent indication of his shooting capabilities. He's a good defender, especially in the pick-and-roll. And his size is a bit deceiving — Maxey can certainly hang with some of the bigger bodies he'll encounter at the next level and can absorb contact as well as create turnovers.

Weaknesses

His handle is average to slightly above average, as evidenced by his 3.2/2.2 assist to turnover ratio. Maxey also isn't as fast as some other guards out there, so there is problem for him creating some space for a shot or to make an uncontested pass. He will sometimes force the ball, especially on lobs, but that can be partly attributed to his age (19) and his youth in the game. 

Fit

Maxey is likely a lottery pick, but if he falls outside of that, there will be several suitors interested in his services, some entertaining the possibility of trading up. His competitiveness was unmatched on both ends of the court on Kentucky's squad this year. He is an all-out player, and not only runs the pick-and-roll well but is an even better defender of it. 

One thing that stood out to me about Maxey was his ability to fit into the system, no matter his role. Calipari tweaks his lineups, his offensive and defensive formations, and his schemes throughout the season. Maxey, whether he was running point, playing off the ball, or moving to the role of primary defender, filled every role he was asked. He plays within himself, knowing his game and not getting caught up in trying to do too much. The Sixers would have to trade up to get him, but in return they’d receive a poised combo guard who is ready to contribute right away.

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