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November 19, 2020

Tyrese Maxey

Bristol, Connecticut, USA

Q. I'm wondering what went through your head in that big moment when your name was called tonight.

TYRESE MAXEY: The moment was -- I'm speechless about the moment. I was very thankful for the organization on taking a chance on me, and I just can't wait to get to work.

Q. I know you have a little bit of a connection to a couple Sixers on the current roster. Why don't we start with Ben Simmons. What's it been like to see him working out in this offseason, and what's your connection like?

TYRESE MAXEY: It's been great. It's been great. I've been watching him work out. He works out like right after I was working out. So it's great to watch him and watch him get ready and work on his game. Ben's been doing really well. I feel like shooting the ball well. It's great to meet him. I talked to him just a minute ago, and he just said be ready to get to work.

Q. I know you also come from the same hometown as Zhaire Smith. Is that true?

TYRESE MAXEY: Right, I do.

Q. What's your relationship like with Zhaire?

TYRESE MAXEY: Zhaire is cool. It's crazy, man. His high school was five minutes away from my high school. We were rivals back in the day. It's going to be really cool. I can't wait to talk to him.

Q. Tyrese, welcome to Philly. Tell me a little bit more about the connection you've got in this pre-draft process. I guess you were working out in L.A. I saw a tweet tonight from LeBron James. Clearly, you've been on some of these guys' radar for a while.

TYRESE MAXEY: You know, I think it's because -- I stayed consistent. I've been in the gym since May. I went out to L.A. in May, and I've been there and working every single day. I think everybody stops by, and I think they always see me in there working and grinding. I think that's why we had that connection.

It's been great having guys like LeBron and even Ben Simmons as older brothers and mentors. For someone like me, a rookie coming into the league, it's great to have those guys on your side.

Q. We saw you get emotional after you were drafted, talking about the moment. What's going through your mind in that moment as you're getting emotional? Is it all the hard work? Is it your dream coming true? Is it all of the above?

TYRESE MAXEY: You're right. It's all of the above. All the hard work and all the sacrifice that my parents have made for me. They've had to sacrifice so much in their lives and do different things. My siblings, uncle, my entire family had to sacrifice just so I could do certain things and try to chase my dreams. For them to come true and for me to get an opportunity to show how hard I work and how much I appreciate the game, it means a lot.

Q. A lot of guys say that the dream doesn't end here. What can you bring to Philadelphia? What can you bring to the Sixers?

TYRESE MAXEY: In my opinion, I bring a competitive nature. I feel like I bring a winning spirit, as far as playing competitive on the defensive end, and even on the offensive end, I feel like I can help run a team. I feel like I can score on and off the ball and be a great asset to the team.

Q. So a lot of people had you going higher in this draft. They expected you to at least be a lottery pick. So from your point of view, are you carrying that chip on your shoulder? And also as a follow-up, you have a lot of Kentucky guards that have kind of gone lower in the draft but then have really shown out, like Devin Booker or Tyler Herro. Are you using them as kind of an example as well?

TYRESE MAXEY: Definitely, I use that. I think I always play with a chip on my shoulder just because that's just how I am. I'm extremely grateful for where I ended up. I feel like it's a great opportunity for me, and I'm very thankful for Philly for giving me this shot. I'm going to go out there and give it 110 percent and give it my all and make sure it's not a regret.

Q. John Calipari has had a long string of guards who have successfully made that transition in the NBA. What kind of advice did he give you about what you'll have to do to be successful?

TYRESE MAXEY: He told me just keep being myself. Keep being myself and work extremely hard and show everybody what he already knows. Show everybody that I can do multiple things and even more things than I was able to show at Kentucky.

Q. Which players did you sort of pattern your game around? Or guys that you looked at and said, hey, these are some elements that I want to take and use for my game as well?

TYRESE MAXEY: So when I grew to about 6-3, I started watching guys like CJ McCollum, the Jamal Murrays of the league, the Jrue Holidays. Just because the league has changed so much, so these hybrid guards who were able to do multiple things and run a team and get their teammates involved and facilitate and score while they're playing on the ball, and also while they're off the ball, being able to do different things without having the ball in their hands, that's something I take pride in. That's something I'll be able to do.

Then I like to be competitive on the defensive end. Jrue Holiday, I think, is a great defender, and that's where I get it from.

Q. I want to know, what do you think you'll bring to the city? The city is known for its grit and toughness. What do you think you'll bring to the city?

TYRESE MAXEY: I think that's right up my alley, to be honest. That's what I know. That's how I grew up. I grew up with the grit and toughness, and that's what is in my blood. I think that's going to be a great fit, like you said. I'm going to go in, and like I say, get 1 percent better every single day and try to bring a winning mentality.

Q. I guess over the summer you were working out and everything with the likes of -- or in front of the likes of LeBron James, Ben Simmons. I know you have a good relationship with those two cats, and now you'll actually be a teammate of Ben Simmons. Can you talk to me about the mentorship and LeBron James and then your relationship with Ben Simmons.

TYRESE MAXEY: Yeah, you're right. It is kind of crazy being a teammate of Ben Simmons now after seeing him in the gym and in the shop grinding all summer. It's a dream come true. I really appreciate guys like him and LeBron. They've been telling me to stay with it, keep grinding and stay who I am, man. Keep up the personality. Just because you get drafted, that's not the end goal. It's just a step in the building block. I've been putting in this work. This is for December 22nd, when we step on the court to compete against other teams.

Q. First of all, what are your expectations about your collaboration with Ben Simmons, Doc Rivers. And also what is the biggest motivation for you about next season?

TYRESE MAXEY: I think my biggest motivation for starting with that is just getting 1 percent better and trying to help this team win. This team is in a really good position. They have guys, like you said, like Joel Embiid and Ben, and they're in a winning situation. I feel like I can come in and bring that winning mentality and bring that energy that can help us.

Q. When did you realize during your season at Kentucky that you were ready for the league?

TYRESE MAXEY: While I was at Kentucky, I didn't really focus on being at the league. My thing at Kentucky was, you know, Coach Cal said he had a role for me to play there, and that's what I did. I wanted to win games, and I wanted to try to win a national title. That was the only thing that was on my mind at the University of Kentucky is trying to help your team win a national title, do whatever it takes, do whatever Coach Cal needs you to do, and try to get better and work on your game, your overall game. No matter what you have to do at Kentucky, work on your overall game for the future.

That's what I did. After the year was over, I sat down with him and he said he thought I was ready. And we made that step.

Q. You never know who you're going to see at the Wells Fargo Center on any given night when you're playing. You see the likes of Kevin Hart a lot, you see the likes of Meek Mill in the arena a lot. Philly is known for its hip-hop scene. Do you have a favorite artist out of Philly?

TYRESE MAXEY: If I had to pick anybody out of that group, I'd probably say Meek Mill. I like his flow. He's pretty interesting to me.

I can't wait. That sounds like a great scene. I live for moments like that.

Q. Just to follow up on that one as well, after you were drafted by the Sixers tonight, your new head coach, Doc Rivers, was speaking on how much he likes you and he likes a lot of the potential you bring to the floor. What do you think you can learn from a coach like Doc Rivers?

TYRESE MAXEY: I mean, Coach Doc Rivers is a great coach, a Hall of Fame coach, and that's someone that you listen to. You listen to the coach and you be extremely coachable because he's not trying to hurt you. He's trying to help you. He's trying to help you help the team and be a winning asset to the team. I just can't wait to get started. It's going to be a great experience.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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