Vernon Maxwell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Vernon Maxwell
Personal information
Born (1965-09-12) September 12, 1965 (age 53)
Gainesville, Florida
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High schoolBuchholz (Gainesville, Florida)
CollegeFlorida (1984–1988)
NBA draft1988 / Round: 2 / Pick: 47th overall
Selected by the Denver Nuggets
Playing career1988–2001
PositionShooting guard
Number11, 2, 3
Career history
19881990San Antonio Spurs
19901995Houston Rockets
1995–1996Philadelphia 76ers
1996–1997San Antonio Spurs
1998Orlando Magic
1998Charlotte Hornets
1999Sacramento Kings
1999–2000Seattle SuperSonics
2000Philadelphia 76ers
2001Dallas Mavericks
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points10,912 (12.8 ppg)
Rebounds2,200 (2.6 rpg)
Assists2,912 (3.4 apg)
Stats at

Vernon Maxwell (born September 12, 1965) is an American retired professional basketball player who was a shooting guard in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for thirteen seasons during the late 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. Maxwell played college basketball for the University of Florida, and led the Florida Gators to their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. He was selected by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 1988 NBA Draft and was immediately traded to the San Antonio Spurs. His longest and most successful NBA tenure was with the Houston Rockets. The nickname "Mad Max" was bestowed upon Maxwell by color commentators for his clutch three-point shooting, which reached its pinnacle in the deciding game of the 1994 NBA Finals between Houston and New York. Maxwell is among just nine players in NBA history to amass 30 points in a single quarter, accomplishing that feat en route to a 51-point outing on January 26, 1991, against Cleveland.[1]

Early years[edit]

Maxwell was born in Gainesville, Florida. He attended Buchholz High School in Gainesville, and played for the Buchholz Bobcats high school basketball team. As a senior, Maxwell was the Mr. Basketball of the state of Florida as well as being an all-state defensive back in football.

College career[edit]

Maxwell received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida, where he played for coach Norm Sloan's Florida Gators men's basketball from 1984 to 1988. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 20.2 points as a senior and still holds 15 Gators team records. He left school after four years as the Gators' all-time leading scorer (2,450) and the No. 2 scorer in Southeastern Conference history behind LSU's Pete Maravich. He averaged more than 20 points in both his junior and senior seasons, although Florida would erase all the points Maxwell scored in those seasons due to Maxwell taking money from agents and accepting a free round-trip ticket to go to a basketball camp.[2]


On June 28, 1988, Maxwell was drafted into the NBA by the Denver Nuggets, who traded him the same day to the San Antonio Spurs for a second-round pick the next year. Two years later, his contract was sold to the Houston Rockets where he would become a key member of the franchise's first championship team. Known for his clutch shooting, Maxwell hit several game-winning shots throughout his career. Maxwell held the NBA's record for most 3-pointers made in a season from 1991 to 1993.[3] During the Houston Rockets mid 1990s dynasty era, Maxwell was viewed as the team's second man next to hall of famer Hakeem Olajuwon. Maxwell was so influenced by Olajuwon that he once stated that after just one plane ride to a game, Olajuwon was able to convince Maxwell to consider converting to Islam, Olajuwon's religion.[citation needed] While the Rockets would win two NBA championships during Michael Jordan's first retirement, Maxwell was not a part of the second championship roster quitting the team after its opening first round game loss to Utah in the 1995 playoffs. Clyde Drexler, who Houston had acquired during the beginning of that season, had taken away most of Maxwell's minutes and his starting spot. Still, coach Rudy Tomjanovich relied on Maxwell to take game-winning shots before Maxwell could even warm up.[citation needed] However, the decision to quit the team is something that he has said to regret, and the decision would ruin his career, as he would then become an NBA journeyman for the remainder of his career and never find a true home again.[citation needed] He was the last Rocket to wear #11 before Yao Ming.

Maxwell spoke out against Magic Johnson's NBA comeback in 1996; Johnson had retired in 1991 after contracting HIV.[4]

Behavioral incidents[edit]

  • 1995: In a game at Portland on February 6, he ran into the stands punching a fan due to the fan heckling him. The NBA suspended him for ten games and fined him $20,000.[5]
  • 1995: Feigning a hamstring injury, he was given a leave of absence after the first game of the playoffs. Maxwell later admitted he was frustrated with not playing; the incident was hyped as Maxwell being disgruntled at the team's recent acquisition of Hall-of-Fame guard Clyde Drexler. His actions led to the Rockets ending his tenure with them.[6]
  • 2000: The Seattle SuperSonics fined Maxwell and Gary Payton for a locker-room brawl on March 26, that left two of their teammates, who tried to play peacemakers, hurt.[7]


  1. ^ Goldaper, Sam (January 29, 1991). "PRO BASKETBALL: Notebook; Teams Ravaged By Key Injuries". The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  2. ^ 1990 Florida infractions report
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "PRO BASKETBALL; Maxwell Suspended And Is Fined $20,000". The New York Times. February 9, 1995.
  6. ^ Rhoden, William C. (September 28, 1995). "Sports of The Times; Clean Slate For Maxwell In Philly". The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  7. ^ "Sonics' Payton, Maxwell fined by team". March 29, 2000. Retrieved December 19, 2018.

External links[edit]