|No. 11, 2, 3|
September 12, 1965 |
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Listed weight||180 lb (82 kg)|
|High school||Buchholz (Gainesville, Florida)|
|NBA draft||1988 / Round: 2 / Pick: 47th overall|
|Selected by the Denver Nuggets|
|Pro playing career||1988–2001|
|1988–1990||San Antonio Spurs|
|1996–1997||San Antonio Spurs|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||10,912 (12.8 ppg)|
|Rebounds||2,200 (2.6 rpg)|
|Assists||2,912 (3.4 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Vernon Maxwell (born September 12, 1965) is a former American college and 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 appearances. He was selected by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 1988 NBA Draft, and then immediately traded to the San Antonio Spurs with his longest and most successful NBA tenure being 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 seven players to amass 30 points in a single quarter, accomplishing that feat en route to a 51-point outing January 26, 1991, against Cleveland. Aside from his basketball achievements, he was known for his erratic public behavior and various run-ins with the law.
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 state of Florida's Mr. Basketball, as well as being an all-state defensive back in football.
The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 20.2 points as a senior and still holds 15 Gators 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 Pete Maravich. He averaged more than 20 points in both his junior and senior seasons, although the University of Florida would erase all the points Maxwell scored in those seasons due to Maxwell admitting to taking cash payments from coaches and snorting cocaine prior to at least one tournament game.
After Florida, Vernon Maxwell's career moved to the NBA. He was a key member of the Houston Rockets' first championship team. Known for his clutch shooting, Vernon Maxwell hit several game-winning shots throughout his career. His defense was tenacious. Vernon acquired the reputation of being a feisty player. He earned a mention on the Late Show with David Letterman in 1994. Letterman asked his guest, Spike Lee, if there was a similar player on the Rockets who brandished Reggie Miller's manner, to which Spike replied, "Mad Max". During the 1995-1996 campaign with the 76ers, Maxwell contemplated trying out for NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, harkening back to his exemplary exploits on the high school gridiron. Maxwell's last significant contribution in the NBA was during the 1999 playoffs, playing a pivotal role with the underdog Kings in taking Utah to the series limit. Maxwell held the NBA's record for most 3-pointers made in a season from 1991-1993.
- 1995: In a game at Portland on February 6, he ran into the stands to punch a fan, later claiming the fan had heckled him over his wife's miscarriage (which was denied). The NBA suspended him for 10 games and fined him $20,000.
- 1995: Feigning a hamstring injury, he was given a leave of absence after the 1st 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.
- Goldaper, Sam (January 29, 1991). "PRO BASKETBALL: Notebook; Teams Ravaged By Key Injuries". The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
- Former NBA star Vernon Maxwell jailed in Florida.
- "SI.com". CNN. December 9, 2003. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
- "PRO BASKETBALL; Maxwell Suspended And Is Fined $20,000". The New York Times. February 9, 1995.
- Rhoden, William C. (September 28, 1995). "Sports of The Times; Clean Slate For Maxwell In Philly". The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
- Career stats
- NBA.com player profile
- "'Mad Max' threw away talent and much more" - Column by Hubert Mizell of the St. Petersburg Times