Joel Embiid admits Tarik Black almost made him quit
In a candid piece on The Players’ Tribune, The Process detailed how NBA journeyman Tarik Black almost made him quit during his time at the University of Kansas.
“My very first scrimmage at Kansas, I got dunked on so hard by Tarik Black that I almost quit,” Joel Embiid admitted. “Tarik dunked on me so hard that I was looking at plane tickets home. This guy was a senior. He was a grown man. I didn’t know what was going on. He got his own rebound and dunked over me so hard that everything went in slow motion.”
“He dunked the ball off my head, for real. But I didn’t even tell you the worst part. The worst part was that the entire Kansas women’s hoops team was sitting in the bleachers watching the scrimmage. The whole gym was laughing at me. It was crazy. Seriously, it was like a WORLDSTAR situation.
So I went straight to Bill Self’s office afterward and I said, “I can’t do this. You have to redshirt me. I can’t play with these guys.”
And Bill was like, “What? Are you serious? In two years, you’re going to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.”
The faith in Embiid was high from the onset, given his height and other physical gifts that would make the perfect canvas for the next big man in the league.
Self has sent plenty of players to the big show, and Embiid would be one to have a special place in history after being drafted with the No. 3 pick in 2014.
As fate would have it, Tarik Black, who once dunked in Embiid and made him considered quitting, went undrafted, and has bounced between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers since breaking into the NBA in 2014-15.