Tyrese Maxey named as finalist for NBA Sportsmanship Award

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Sixers, Maxey, 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey reacts past Indiana Pacers’ Buddy Hield in the final minute of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The NBA announced on Tuesday that Sixers’ star Tyrese Maxey is one of six finalists for the 2023-24 NBA Sportsmanship Award. The award, which has been given to one player each year since the 1995 season, “recognizes the player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court,” per NBA Communications.

Each team nominates one of its own players for the award every year, which is then brought down to six finalists – one from each division in the league. NBA players then vote on the six finalists in order. Eleven points are given for each first-place vote, nine for each second-place, seven for each third place, five for each fourth place, three for each fifth place, and one for each sixth place. The total number of points overall determines the winner.

Maxey lights up the league

Maxey Sixers
Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey, center, looks on from the bench in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

This is Tyrese Maxey’s first time being named as a finalist, though to Sixers fans, the nod is unsurprising. Maxey is well-known for his glass-half-full optimism and consistent positive attitude – so much so that multiple of his past and present teammates have commented that it often masks his relentless work ethic.

He’s also inadvertently found himself in some high-tension moments recently – like the hit to the face from Charlotte Hornets’ Brandon Miller and a matchup against former teammate James Harden – that he’s laughed off and not taken personally in the slightest. Longtime fans know that Maxey has been a positive force since his Kentucky days, and it seems the league is catching on.

Sixers Maxey
Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey (0) reacts after being fouled by Charlotte Hornets’ Brandon Miller during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 16, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Should Maxey win the award, he’d be the first Sixer to do so since Eric Snow in the 1999-2000 season. The full list of finalists includes:

Atlantic Division: Tyrese Maxey (Philadelphia 76ers)

Central Division: Jarrett Allen (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Southeast Division: Kevin Love (Miami Heat)

Northwest Division: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Pacific Division: Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings)

Southwest Division: Tre Jones (San Antonio Spurs)