If you know the Rockets history, you’re aware that Vernon Maxwell has basically been a ghost in Houston since his NBA playing days. So it was a huge surprise that Maxwell agreed to come to the Toyota Center for the Rockets Championship Reunion Thursday night at halftime of the Rockets game against the Denver Nuggets.
In fact, getting the chance to talk to Maxwell was such a catch that I bailed immediately on a Rudy Tomjanovich interview the moment I saw Maxwell started speaking to the media.
Mad Max didn’t disappoint.
Maxwell spoke openly about his days with the Rockets and the unfortunate end when he and the team parted ways after Game 1 of their first round playoff series against the Utah Jazz in 1995. Maxwell admitted he felt “disrespected” by the trade for Clyde Drexler and said he regrets how he handled it.
“I handled it the wrong way,” said Maxwell. “I shouldn’t have left the way I left. I got upset because they brought Clyde in and nobody ever said anything to me about the trade. I just felt like they disrespected me. Then we went to Utah and played in Utah the first game. I didn’t really play and I felt disrespected again.”
“I overreacted like I normally do,” added Maxwell. “Bad decision. I wish it wouldn’t have happened.”
He also talked about his much-discussed defense on Michael Jordan.
“I wanted to fight him, really,” said Maxwell of Jordan. “That’s what I really wanted to do.”
And the idea that the Rockets won championships because Jordan went to play baseball?
“Google it,” said Maxwell. “I say just Google the times we played them. They couldn’t beat us. Like we couldn’t beat Seattle? If we get past Seattle, we get to the championship and we knock Chicago off. We were a team they couldn’t match up against.”
There’s so much more here to write, but to get you started, check out the full interview: