Vernon Maxwell

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Vernon Maxwell
Personal information
Born (1965-09-12) September 12, 1965 (age 53)
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] Aside from his basketball achievements, he was known for his erratic public behavior and various run-ins with the law.[2]

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 state of Florida's Mr. Basketball, 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.[3]


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 1995–96 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 to 1993.[4]

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 10 games and fined him $20,000.[5]
  • 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.[6]


  1. Goldaper, Sam (January 29, 1991). "PRO BASKETBALL: Notebook; Teams Ravaged By Key Injuries". The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Former NBA star Vernon Maxwell jailed in Florida.
  3. 1990 Florida infractions report
  5. "PRO BASKETBALL; Maxwell Suspended And Is Fined $20,000". The New York Times. February 9, 1995.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links