The other night, Maalik Wayns drove the lane, glided between a pair of defenders and hit a layup for an and-one.
He also slammed his hip on the floor.
“Hit my hip, but I’m fine," Wayns said.
The undrafted rookie out of Villanova, with a so-what attitude and surprisingly sterling play, has played his way into a legitimate shot at a roster spot. On more than one occasion, Sixers coach Doug Collins has called Wayns' performances "terrific."
“I’ve just got a chip on my
shoulder. I’m playing to prove myself," Wayns said. "I felt, really, like I was let down when
I didn’t get drafted. I felt like I was disrespected. Now I’m just trying to prove
myself and make people pay."
Wayns, who has played mostly with the Sixers' second unit, is averaging 11 points, 5.7 assists and 3 rebounds per game in three preseason games with the team, which faces Cleveland tonight at 7 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center.
The more minutes he gets, Wayns said, the more he feels he's earned Collins' trust.
great," he said. "I’ve got a great coach who believes in me and has that much confidence
in me. I get to play. You could be a top-10 pick and not get to play, and I’m
an undrafted rookie playing, having the ball in my hands and making calls on
the floor. It’s a great situation for me.
“I’ve been a worker
my whole life. I never was given nothing in my life, so I’m used to working for
things. When I came into camp, I knew what it was about and it was about
working and trying to earn minutes and earn a place on this team and earn
Labels: Doug Collins, Maalik Wayns