Vernon Maxwell

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Vernon Maxwell
Personal information
Born (1965-09-12) September 12, 1965 (age 52)
Gainesville, Florida
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight 180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High school Buchholz (Gainesville, Florida)
College Florida (1984–1988)
NBA draft 1988 / Round: 2 / Pick: 47th overall
Selected by the Denver Nuggets
Playing career 1988–2001
Position Shooting guard
Number 11, 2, 3
Career history
19881990 San Antonio Spurs
19901995 Houston Rockets
1995–1996 Philadelphia 76ers
1996–1997 San Antonio Spurs
1998 Orlando Magic
1998 Charlotte Hornets
1999 Sacramento Kings
1999–2000 Seattle SuperSonics
2000 Philadelphia 76ers
2001 Dallas Mavericks
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

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 eight players 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

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

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 1990's 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, Hakeem was able to convince Maxwell to consider converting to Islam, Olajuwon's religion. While the Rockets would win an NBA championship during Jordan's first retirement, Maxwell was not a part of the championship roster after quitting minutes after a frustrating loss in the regular season. Since the new addition of Clyde Drexler who Houston had acquired during the beginning of that season, had joined the team, he had taken away most of Maxwell's minutes and had stolen his starting spot. Still, coach Rudy Tomjanovich relied on Maxwell to take game-winning shots before Maxwell could even warm up. 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.

Behavioral incidents

  • 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 for reasons undisclosed. The NBA suspended him for ten games and fined him $20,000.[4]
  • 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.[5]


  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. ^ "PRO BASKETBALL; Maxwell Suspended And Is Fined $20,000". The New York Times. February 9, 1995. 
  5. ^ Rhoden, William C. (September 28, 1995). "Sports of The Times; Clean Slate For Maxwell In Philly". The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 

External links

  • Career stats
  • player profile
  • "'Mad Max' threw away talent and much more" - Column by Hubert Mizell of the St. Petersburg Times
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