“Being there that night, it’s the Lakers. Hearing my name, it’s surreal,” young Maxwell Lewis recalls being selected in June’s NBA Draft. “My pops is from Inglewood, CA, and I have so many family members in Las Vegas who are Lakers fans. So much about the Lakers — the history, Kobe — it’s surreal to be part of this team.”
Even though the 21-year-old rookie was born in Vegas, he studied at Pepperdine University in California. Two months ago he became only the sixth Waves athlete to be selected in the first two rounds and the fifth-highest pick in program history.
“I’m always in the gym, in and out. At Pepperdine it was a little tough to get into the gym, but I always figured it out,” he said trying to prove a point on why his work ethic set him apart from his teammates. “I think the word around town was I was always in the gym. They noticed that hearing from sources at Pepperdine.”
Check out his college stats before being selected as the 40th overall pick in the past draft:
The six-foot-seven player averaged 14.6 points with 45.3% precision from the field and 35.4% from range, becoming a All-WCC Second Team honoree in his final season, averaging 17.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest.
The young athlete still can’t believe he’s going to be sharing the court alongside one of the best players in basketball history.
“Playing with LeBron James, literally that is all my friends talk about. Me being on the team, me playing with LeBron,” he said, as he also expects to learn from other star veterans like Anthony Davis. “Those big-time veterans can coach me and make me a better player. Getting that feedback, watching what they do, (I’ll) learn from them.”
Lewis revealed he and his father have been Kobe Bryant admirers ever since he can remember
The fact that he’s become a part of the purple and gold squad just makes it so much more special, due to the fact that he’s been a fan of Kobe Bryant ever since he has memory. His father Robert was born in Inglewood, the same city as the LA legend, also close to where a young Kobe started out his career.
“Well, first off, my dad put a Laker Fathead in my room of Kobe, so I always saw that,” he said. “I’ve just always been around just Laker (stuff). He just always took me on the weekends just to go to LA and his old stomping grounds and stuff. Just his mentality. Just how much he works. I watch his motivation videos in the morning sometimes. Just little things like that to keep it installed in my head about how hard he worked.”
Take a look at Lewis’ most memorable moment wearing the Lakers jersey in the past Summer League:
Maxwell Lewis Hammer. 🔨 💥 pic.twitter.com/Iq6dshEtw1
— Lakers Legacy (@LakersLegacyPod) August 17, 2023
Many scouts have agreed that the 21-year-old has a variety of strengths, mostly in the offensive side of the court. The player knows he has a lot to prove defensively in order to be taken in consideration early in his career.
“As a young player, the harder you play, the harder you compete, particularly on the defensive end, those are the ones who get the most (playing) minutes early,” he said. “The offense will catch up, but first it is about establishing a competitive tone along with buying in and knowing what we are doing defensively.”