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Cedric Maxwell Rumors

The first player to ink a deal with the Celtics using Bird rights was the man starting next to the namesake, NBA Finals MVP Cedric Maxwell. The two sides were working out a deal that would pay him $800,000 a year, which would be a significant chunk of the $3.6 million salary cap right as they were giving All-Star sixth man Kevin McHale $1 million. “I looked it up, and I was like, ‘There I am! The 99th highest-paid athlete in the world,’” Maxwell told The Athletic. “My attorney told me that day they gave Kevin McHale a million dollars a year, so we’re gonna have to hold out for that extra $200,000.
The Celtics legend died Thursday night, and those who knew the 88-year-old remember him most for who he was off the court. “The greatness of the person. I don’t even think about him being a basketball player,” Cedric Maxwell told The Athletic on Friday. “I just think about him being such a great person, and you can’t say that about a lot of people. Sometimes you meet a great athlete and you’re like, ‘He was a great player and blah, blah, blah.’ But he was a great person, and that, to me, was more important.”
Storyline: Sam Jones Death
Though he didn’t get to meet Jones until his rookie year, Maxwell always admired how Jones paved the way for those coming out of North Carolina and loved to puff his chest out about what he achieved in the NBA. “He was fiercely prideful about what he did as a player and what he did in this league,” Maxwell said. “He’d talk about shooting the bank shot. He always made the point that he had more rings than Michael Jordan. Sam had 10 championship rings and he’d say how people would talk about (Bill) Russell, then they would always skip him and K.C. Jones and go right to Michael.”
Jones averaged 4.6 points per game his rookie season, but Auerbach liked his speed, intelligence and team-first approach. When Sharman was sidelined by injuries early in the 1960-61 season, Jones got his shot to start and became a fixture on the championship teams. “Sam was one of the great shooters of all time,” Auerbach once said.  “But he was team-oriented. All he wanted to do was win. … The great athletes, they played for pride.”
Archibald’s storied basketball career started in New York City on the city’s famous playgrounds. Coming out of the Bronx in the 1960s, Archibald displayed skills molded by taking on other streetballers in many of New York’s famous parks, including Rucker Park, where he developed a knack to score and facilitate. “What I remember him always talking about was the New York playground legends,” said Cedric Maxwell, Archibald’s teammate with the Boston Celtics from 1978 to ’83. “Guys that he played with and he always talked about — Joe Hammond ‘The Destroyer’, Pee Wee Kirkland — all those guys out of the city that played down in the Rucker. I kind of lived vicariously through him when it came to New York, because he’d always tell me stories about different places that he’d go to in the summer. In my mind, he took me down 42nd Street so many times, and I had never really been there.”
While Archibald physical gifts weren’t what they used to be from the injuries, he was still capable of getting to the basket despite the shots he’d take when the game was more physical. As other point guards have gone on to do more with less in terms of size, Maxwell said Archibald’s ability to relentlessly get to the basket can still be seen today among the game’s small guards, from Irving to Ja Morant. “Always attacking the rim, getting back up,” Maxwell recalled. “Mind you that was a more physical time when Nate played. Guys would intentionally take you out in the air and tell you not to come back. But he continued to do that, and I think if you look at the Iversons now, the Kyrie Irvings of the world now, guys get toward the hole and get into contact going down.