NBA

Tyrese Maxey concentrated on reaching his potential this season despite turmoil over James Harden

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Tyrese Maxey still remembers the first words of advice that James Harden ever gave him when he first landed in Philadelphia after an abrupt exit from Brooklyn. Back then, he was 20 years of age and was in awe of learning from the The Beard’s experience, especially as they both share the guard role. 

“I was giving the ball to Joel [Embiid] every play, every play, every play,” the rising star recalled. “He was like, ‘Bro, I’ve seen you play. I know what you can do. You gotta go out there and help Joel by being aggressive and being yourself.’”

Nowadays, Harden has been dealing with the consequences of calling 76ers’ president Daryl Morey a liar to the press, and threatening to never play under his administration ever again. As the ten-time All-Star has failed to get traded out of Philly, Maxey is ready to step up and climb for the stars this 2023/24 NBA campaign.

Problem is, the Sixers front office has postponed offering the 22-year-old a contract extension until the situation with Harden is resolved.

“It can be tough. It can be, you know, when you have expectations. But you’re not obligated to anything. I understand it’s the business aspect of it,” Maxey recognized. “I just look at it as I’m gonna go out there and still play. I’m still on the 76ers. I love it here and I want to help us win. And at the end of the day, that’s my contract and that’s what I’ll fulfill. I love Philly. And we’ll see what happens.”

Despite he’s still trying to “play it by ear with the James situation,” the veteran star has continued to fulfill most of his responsibilities with the Philadelphia squad and remains a close friend with his teammates.

Tyrese revealed how important Harden is for him. “Me and James are still close. He’s like a big brother,” he shared. “As soon as he came in here, he embraced me. He taught me a lot. All he’s done here is elevate my game.”

Sixers coach Nick Nurse knows precisely what Maxey needs to improve to develop into a future star in Philadelphia

There’s a new head coach in Philly, and Nick Nurse is ready to take Joel Embiid and his team into new heights. As for Maxey, the trainer shares Harden’s sentiment that the youngster must improve his agressiveness.

“Just getting him used to that, drilling that, getting his mind set. He is gonna — and you’re gonna hear me say this for a long time — he’s gonna need to continue to be more aggressive,” Nurse explained. “Like, I know he took 17 shots in one game and 18 [in another], and it’s not enough. It’s not enough. He needs to continue.”

“He’s just so good at getting to the basket,” his coach added. “He’s so good at shaking free for wide-open threes. I just want him to be, not a little bit more, a lot more aggressive with the chances that he takes.”

Many of our recommended sport betting sites now consider Philadelphia (+2200) to have the 7th best odds to conquer the league this campaign.

The new NBA season will start this Thursday for two Eastern Conference giants, as the Sixers will face the Milwaukee Bucks at 5:30pm CST.