Few players have embraced their new city in the way Tyrese Maxey has in Philadelphia. The 22-year-old has been everything the organization has hoped for both on and off the basketball court. Things fell the Sixers’ way during the 2020 draft when Maxey fell to the 21st pick and allowed them to add the Kentucky product. This looks to be a franchise-altering decision as Maxey has rapidly risen to one of the brightest young stars in the NBA beyond what the Sixers (or the rest of the league) expected.
Maxey also seems to be thrilled to be representing the Sixers and the city of Philadelphia as a whole. He recently hosted a free turkey drive in West Philly where he provided families in need with food for the holiday. This is one of the many charity events that Maxey has hosted already in his young career as he has established himself as one of the most active Sixers within the community.
While hosting the event, he was asked about his feelings regarding the city. Maxey was not shy in praising the city and stated, “On the way over here, my mom was asking me.. ‘Do I love Philadelphia, & this entire area?’ And I was like, ‘I’ve adopted it as my new home.,” per Lauren Rosen of the Sixers. This comment was met with applause from Sixers fans in attendance at the event.
Maxey Embracing Philadelphia
Maxey deserves a ton of credit for working to become a part of Philadelphia in the way that he has. This summer he took a trip to just about every sporting event possible including attending at least one game at each of the Phillies, Union, Flyers, and Eagles games. He also participated in the Rumph Classic at La Salle University which is one of the staples of the basketball community within the city. Maxey suited up and played in the event which packed the crowd and was a delight to all in attendance.
During Sixers media day, Maxey also addressed what a seamless fit his relationship with the city of Philadelphia has been. He revealed why he believes this to be the case and stated that his work ethic has what has endeared him to the fans. As he put it, “I think it’s the work ethic. You know, the City of Philadelphia is such a blue-collar city and it’s like everybody here that goes to the games or that I see around town, they work extremely hard for what they have- like extremely hard for what they have. So when you work hard for what you have, you really cherish it. And I really believe that because I worked extremely hard to get where I am today. Nothing was given to them, nothing was given to me. You know, I went out and took everything I got. I never had any handouts.”
Maxey’s On-Court Fit With Sixers
The strong play on the court has also contributed to Maxey being embraced. It has been an interesting career trajectory for the young guard as he faced several hurdles unique to him. This started when he tested positive for Covid before his rookie year and had his first training camp experience delayed. He also saw his greatest on-court opportunity occur following the holdout of Ben Simmons which paved the way for him to be the starting guard.
While he flashed plenty during his first two seasons in the NBA, Maxey looks to have taken another stride forward in year three. Through the opening 15 games of the season, he has averaged 22.9 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game. The 6’2″ guard also is shooting an efficient 42.2% from beyond the three-point arc while attempting 6.8 per game.
For the time being, Maxey will be focused on recovering from the small fracture in his foot which he sustained during the victory over the Bucks. Both Maxey and James Harden are recovering from injuries and will be out for the next few weeks. It will be difficult for the Sixers to navigate without the star guard duo, and the team will not reach its peak until they return to the court.
However, Sixers fans can rest comfortably seeing how fondly Maxey looks at his time with the organization thus far. The Sixers will surely lock him up with a long-term contract when the time comes and he appears on track for a max deal. The warm feelings are reciprocated by the fans due to the joy he plays with and the effective production he can be counted on for. Maxey is essential to the team in the short term and is on the path to being a true building block of the Sixers organization in the future.