Everyone seemed to have an opinion about his decision to leave Villanova after his junior season and declare himself eligible for the NBA Draft.
Those opinions still get back to Maalik Wayns. He hears them every day.
And he doesn’t care what people think. In Wayns’ mind, he made the right call.
“I heard it all summer,” Wayns said. “I’m still hearing it now. The season is here now, so I guess we’re really going to see if I made a bad choice or not.”
The Sixers don’t think it was a bad choice. In fact, they signed the point guard to a two-year contract with a partial guarantee. Wayns’ teammates sure are impressed.
“I thought Maalik was terrific in the summer workouts,” said Sixers forward Thaddeus Young. “I thought he did a great job and showed explosive quickness and very good decision-making. I texted Doug [Collins] and told him I thought it was a steal of a pickup. I’m excited to have Maalik as my teammate.”
Wayns starred at Roman Catholic, then had a roller-coaster career on the Main Line. There were flashes of brilliance, including a 39-point outburst at Cincinnati last January.
There was also a lingering knee injury down the stretch and his questionable decision to leave Villanova. But those questions came from the outside. Wayns insists he doesn’t listen.
“I’m a Philly kid and I wanted to follow my dream of playing in the NBA,” Wayns said. “I knew there would be people who didn’t agree and that’s fine. To sign with the Sixers and be here now is an incredible feeling. I’m going to be the first one in the gym and the last one to leave. I’m a Sixers fan to begin with and I will never stop working to keep my dream alive.”