Sixers Future Stars Commit to Getting ‘One-Percent Better’

Tyrese Maxey

Getty Sixers rookie Tyrese Maxey talking with Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle.

Ben Simmons hasn’t been the only one putting in extra work this summer. Young guards Tyrese Maxey and Isaiah Joe have been in the gym as they prepare to take the next steps during their sophomore seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers. In fact, Maxey went viral for his physique after posting a shirtless Instagram photo.

Several Reddit users were quick to comment on Maxey’s toned body on a post titled “Built Different.” One woman wrote: “I’m in my 40’s as well and also feel bad looking at this.” And another tongue-in-cheek response stated: “He’s on Kendall Jenners hit-list now.” Jokes aside, it’s great to see a future building block — or trade asset for Damian Lillard — taking his conditioning seriously. Maxey wrote on Instagram: “GET ONE PERCENT BETTER EVERYDAY!!” 🤫

More impressive than Maxey’s new look was his improved jumper. The Kentucky product drilled 24 straight three-pointers in a video released by his trainer Chris Johnson (via Harrison Grimm). Maxey struggled at times with his outside shot last season and finished at 30.1% from beyond the arc. He did show steady improvement from deep, especially in the playoffs.

One other note: Johnson is the same shooting guru who has been working with Simmons for at least three years. He counts LeBron James, Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, Andrew Wiggins, Dwyane Wade all as pupils.

“I look at the player as an individual,” Johnson said of his teaching methods in 2016, via Sports Illustrated. “What’s his strength? What’s his weakness? What can be areas we can focus in on and become great at? The NBA, it’s not about being great at everything. It’s about finding one or two things and becoming a master of it. Each player presents a different challenge.”

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Maxey Throwing Out Ceremonial First Pitch

Meanwhile, Maxey is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Phillies-Braves game on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park. Philadelphia is 2.5 games behind the New York Mets for first place in the National League East after going 6-4 in their last 10 games. Maxey will join the shortlist of Sixers players to earn the honor, including Allen Iverson in 2019.

Allen Iverson threw the first pitch before the Phillies game (2019)Allen Iverson is probably the most beloved athlete to pass through Philadelphia in recent memory. Even though his Sixers teams didn't win a championship like the 2008 Phillies or the 2018 Eagles, his personality and style of play embodied something about the character of the city that fans latched on to. It's not a coincidence…2019-04-10T12:14:10Z

Hopefully, the Philly fans don’t boo Maxey if the pitch comes out crooked. His first impressions of the hometown crowd were great during the NBA playoffs.

“Philly crowd is amazing, very much appreciated,” Maxey said after the season ended. “It was a great ride, can’t wait to do it again.”

Joe Back in the Gym, Too

Joe snapped an Instagram story of himself inside the Sixers’ practice facility the other day (via Ky Carlin). It shows him lounging on the court in red sneakers with a basketball nearby so it’s unclear what the Arkansas product was working on.

However, the commitment from the youngsters on the squad is nice to see. Remember, third-year guard Matisse Thybulle is overseas playing for Team Australia in the delayed 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The future appears bright in Philly no matter what happens to Simmons.

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