Whether you loved him, hated him, or switched between the two depending on the day (that was me), no one can deny that Jason Maxiell had some of the most jaw-dropping plays that Pistons fans have seen in the past 5 years.
For me, Maxiell was more than just a player, though: he was a conversation starter. Those of us who were around DBB in the pre-SB Nation days might remember a certain t-shirt and logo popularizing a phrase known to many a Pistons fan. That is, "Jason Maxiell eats Babies". Maxiell's bombastic blocks and downright dirty dunks were so electrifying a completely random, yet perfectly describable term was coined of "baby eaten." For someone living in Seattle, trying to explain why you're wearing a classy logo on a white t-shirt that informs you that "Jason Maxiell Eats Babies" allowed me to meet many interesting people while out on the town.
In the pre-SB Nation days, while I was a lonely single man living in a cottage on a lake (insert Walden Pond reference if you know one), my buddy and I decided we'd attempt to complement the far better produced DetroitBadBoys.com and Need4Sheed.com with a blog of our own, which thanks to the magic of the internet is still available today. Babyeater.wordpress.com was just one of numerous blogs I'd start and never really follow through on (do a search for Jim Bob's Beer Blog when you get a chance and you'll see my total of 1 beer reviews ... turns out I love drinking beer more than talking about them on the internet), but it was certainly my favorite. Complete with a terrible MSPaint photoshop job for the header, babyeater's main goal would be to track the number of babies eaten during the regular season. But before we even made it a month, we simply lost track. It wasn't because he had that many babies eaten, but really because we were lazy, and had a better time drinking beer and yelling at the TV screen than we did watching for babies eaten.
All that said, I think I have a good enough memory to recall my top 5 greatest babies eaten in Max's time with the Pistons. While it would be easy to include dunks and blocks, I've opted to focus on his blocks to start and will follow it up with another post on Jason's top 5 dunks of all time. Without further ado ...
No. 5: Jason Maxiell goes Gandalf on Gerald Henderson and tells him, "NONE SHALL PASS!"
While not a particularly memorable game (it was Charlotte and Detroit after all), this was another one that I thought of when starting this article. Gerald Henderson, known to be an athletic swingman, clearly had no idea who he was going up against when attempting a vicious throwdown at the Palace.
No. 4: Jason Maxiell seals the deal with a late game block and dunk against the Raptors
A bonus! A Maxiell block and dunk all in one! While I wish it had been Amir Johnson he'd blocked if for no other reason than to have Buddahfan bring up his favorite player of all time, it was Pops Mensah-Bonsu that he rejected to seal the game.
No. 3: Jason Maxiell just says NO to Shannon Brown
This block was particularly fresh in my memory because it happened that I was heading to the Pistons/Trail Blazers game the very next night and with courtside seats just behind George Blaha and Greg Kelser, I had a chance to ask Mr. Blaha himself what he thought of that block. His single word response, "ELECTRIFYING", before adding a bit of color around just how it felt hearing the Staples Center fans change their tune in mid-play. No doubt George, that baby was eaten in one bite.
No. 2: Jason Maxiell runs down Kevin Garnett and makes him his Bi...
For Pistons fans, I'm not sure it could get much sweeter. Hell, for basketball fans, it might not either. Kevin Garnett, the notorious smack talking, back-pedaling, illegal screen setting power forward who at the time played for the Celtics goes up for an "easy dunk" until Jason Maxiell eats all the babies in the Palace. I think Biz Markie Moon put it best a few years back:
As a gentleman of the less temperate regions of our country, I know that, in the times that I have insulted another man to bring him to the revelation of my distaste for his actions, his top hat, or his fashion that in which he drinks his tea that is unnaturally flavored with the horrible infernal powder peddled at the supermarkets of the nation known as Splenda, I speak from my considerable experience of dueling other gentlemen in the cow pastures where their mammies would teach them about our eternal lord and savior as the bovine creatures glared at them with watery, demure eyes as they thoughtfully bit of their cud and grass, I know that this unpleasant man named Kevin Garnett speaks untruly, without the gumption to back up his slanderous speech, and that if he said that unto me, I would demand great satisfaction from him at the fall twilight using our granddads pistols. Or that he could fellate a monkey.
No. 1: Jason Maxiell single handedly depletes the global population by 15%
OHHHHHHHH HO HO!!!!!!!!!! That's the block of the year. In 2008, Jason Maxiell literally destroyed Tyson Chandler. After this block, it was rumored that Tyson Chandler seriously considered retiring from the NBA to pursue his second true love, Underwater Basketweaving. Lucky for Chandler, Chris Paul needed someone to continue to dish to and Chandler was just about all he had in New Orleans so Chandler stuck around. In the same way that Jordan refused to allow his brand into the NBA Jam arcade games across the country back in the 90s, Tyson Chandler has every single computer, tablet, phone, or other internet connected device that he or any of his family owns custom-built blocking all mentions of this block on the internet. As far as Tyson Chandler's psychiatrist is concerned, this block never happened. His hypno-therapist is still working to break through his inner psyche and convince him that he was in fact home sick with the flu on the day of this game.
There you have it Pistons fans, The Boourns top 5 Jason Maxiell blocks of all time. While there may be some debate over No. 4 and No. 5, I'm not sure there is any debate among the top 3, but I welcome your comments and links to Jason Maxiell blocks on YouTube to prove me otherwise.