Jason Maxiell will head into retirement from his NBA career as a member of the Detroit Pistons.
He spent eight years with the team from 2005-2013, where he averaged 6 points and 4 rebounds per game. But most important was Maxiell’s tough-as-nails presence, particularly off the bench early in his career. He was a key player for the Pistons’ 59 win team in 2008.
Maxiell was the 26th draft pick for the Pistons in the NBA Draft 2005 out of Cincinnati. Despite being undersized at just 6’7, he made the most out of his long wingspan and thick frame to carve out a decade-long career.
He was fan favorite from the earliest days here at DBB, with this haiku from all the way back in 2006 starting one of the site’s earliest memes:
Time for bench to rise
Jason Maxiell eats babies
Put the man in Flip
Which led to this awesome shirt:
Please tell me someone out there still has one of these.
Maxiell’s time with the Pistons ended in 2013 when the team signed Josh Smith as a free agent, which would leave Maxiell without any frontcourt minutes. He signed with the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets the following years, but never found the same fit as with the Pistons.
He had plenty of memorable moments in Detroit, perhaps one of the best was in the Eastern Conference Finals game two where he posted 15 points, 6 rebounds, and a pair of blocks - but most notably squaring off with LeBron James which prompted some classic Rasheed Wallace sideline celebrations.
Speaking of Sheed and Max, the two were also half of the Pistons’ Jingle Bell quartet:
The one play that comes to mind for me with Maxiell was this one from December 19, 2010:
Partly with the way he’s able to out-hustle another tough, hustle-y guy in David West to seal the game, partly because of the eff you dunk to seal the game.
And also, that was a disaster of a season but Maxiell was one of the few guys to bring it every night. Even when teammates literally didn’t show up for work, Maxiell was there eating babies.
After his contract offers in the NBA dried up, Maxiell spent time playing in China, Philippines, and Turkey. Apparently his reputation didn’t precede him initially...but folks learned.
When Jason Maxiell signed his contract extension with the Pistons in 2008 he said, “I feel that, deep inside, I'm a Bad Boy and I fit here.” That was certainly the case.