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July 08, 2024

Sixers hint at return of throwback jerseys returning in emotional Tyrese Maxey celebration

The Sixers posted a touching tribute to Tyrese Maxey on their social media on Sunday, and it included a hint at the return of a uniform fans have long wanted to see a current Sixers team wear.

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Maxey 7.8.24 Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers officially announced Tyrese Maxey's lucrative five-year contract on Sunday night.

Late on Sunday night, the Sixers made official what had been known for months: Tyrese Maxey was signing a five-year contract to remain in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future, and for the first time in the career of Joel Embiid, the former NBA MVP has a sidekick locked in with no questions about that player's desire to be a Sixer.

Minutes after the team announced the contract had been signed, it posted a video of highlights from a celebration of Maxey that the team seemed to put into motion in recent weeks to celebrate his impending deal and four years of excellence since being drafted No. 21 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft. From the standpoints of production and sentimentality, the entire process was flawless. The final product is very much worth your time:

A massive party of supporters -- Maxey's friends and family, Embiid, Sixers icon Julius "Dr. J" Erving, Sixers head coach Nick Nurse and President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey, Sixers majority partner Josh Harris, Klutch Sports mega-agent Rich Paul and many more -- toured an exhibit displaying all of Maxey's crowning basketball achievements during his life. The accomplishments ranged from an AAU National Championship Maxey won in 2012 -- Maxey was born in 2000 -- to his first NBA All-Star appearance just a handful of months ago.

Erving was Maxey's tour guide of sorts, walking him through the "Maxey museum" as the Sixers' star point guard received messages from fans and other basketball legends, including his college coach, John Calipari, and the iconic Philadelphia native, Dawn Staley.

There were three truly eye-opening moments in this video. The first was when Embiid began his comments by saying "Tyrese, I think you're the best teammate I've ever had." Maxey's rise to stardom -- and the manner in which it has taken place -- has been joyful for everybody to witness, but it is hard to imagine it meaning more to anybody than Embiid, who has watched star teammate after star teammate depart Philadelphia in ugly fashion.

Another moment in the video that caught the attention of many was when a mock banner retiring Maxey's No. 0 jersey was unveiled.

"That's a thing that's going to hang in the rafters right there," Erving told him.

Maxey gave an emotional speech in which he thanked Embiid and the organization for believing in him.

The moment that may have drawn the most eyeballs, though, was when Maxey was given a black throwback jersey with his name and number on the back. Sixers fans have clamored for the return of the jerseys famously donned by Allen Iverson for years, and after everybody had watched the video, it became clear that the team is hinting at them finally being reintroduced into the mix. If you pause the video at a particular second in the video, you can see a SLAM Magazine cover with Maxey wearing the jersey that says "THE FANS ASKED, & PHILLY ANSWERED... 76ERS CLASSIC EDITION."

However, as was first reported by CBS News, while the team is planning to reintroduce the jerseys eventually, the Sixers will not wear them on the floor during the upcoming 2024-25 season.

This comes as a crushing blow to long-time proponents of the uniform set who took its inclusion in the Maxey tribute video as an indication the deal was already done. But later is better than never.

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