Tyrese Maxey shared important message to Sixers after trade deadline

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers found themselves in a tough situation when they took on the Atlanta Hawks on Feb. 9. They pulled the trigger on some big deals the day before to bring in new pieces Buddy Hield and Cam Payne and they were dealing with a lot of injuries.

The Sixers entered the contest missing Joel Embiid, De’Anthony Melton, Nic Batum, Robert Covington, and Tyrese Maxey as well. However, before Maxey left the arena, he had a message for his team to step up their effort when considering the rut they were in.

“After the trade deadline, we lost a few games in a row,” said Maxey. “I came in before I had to leave, I was sick, to talk to the team a little bit. I just wanted guys to go out there and seize the moment, seize the opportunity. I talked to Mo (Bamba), I talked to P-Reed (Paul Reed), I just told them Joel’s gonna be out for however long Joel’s out for. This is the time for y’all to go out there and now just showcase what y’all can do for this team and for yourselves, but really help this team win games.”

The Sixers responded. After it seemed that the team laid down in previous games without Embiid and missing so many other key pieces, Philadelphia looked like it would do the same against the Hawks when Atlanta built a 22-point lead that night.

Instead, the Sixers fought back and almost pulled off a stunner before picking up wins in Washington and Cleveland and pushing the Heat to the limit before falling short on Wednesday.

“You see it,” Maxey said of the change in effort. “The past three games—tonight was a very winnable game. We probably could’ve won, should’ve won, but the fight is different. The fight is different. There’s no laying down or just giving up like ‘Ah, we don’t have Joel. There’s no Melt. No Tobias.’ There’s none of that. Guys are going out there and really competing and trying to win games and if you’re gonna do that, you’re gonna win more than you lose.”

When considering that Maxey is now one of the longest-tenured Sixers after Furkan Korkmaz was traded in the Hield move, he wants to take on more responsibility to lead this group right now. He texted Payne and Hield and helped welcome them to Philadelphia.

“I look at it as I think there’s Joel, there’s Tobias, then it’s me,” Maxey explained. “The longest with the Sixers or whatever? I’ve been here four years–me and P-Reed so when I was looking around before the Hawks game…when the trade happened, we traded Furk and I started doing the math like woah I’ve been here for a minute so I just wanted to like make a culture. Create a culture of when guys get traded or guys come here, they feel welcomed.”

Culture. It is a word that gets thrown around in pro sports all the time, but it’s such an important factor in any team’s success and Maxey’s message is to play for each other at this moment in time despite the changes. He wanted to let Hield and Payne know that.

“It’s hard,” Maxey finished. “I’ve never been traded. I’ve never been on a new team, but I just know coming here as a rookie, it’s hard to fit in. It’s hard to make new friends and I just wanted to reach out to him and Buddy and just tell them welcome. That’s why I wanted to come up here when we played the Hawks even though I was sick just to tell them hello. Just to tell them we appreciate them being here and that it’s a brotherhood here. We’re gonna show love and go out there and compete as one.”

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire