When several veterans boycotted a Pistons shootaround a couple years ago, no more-tenured player showed up than Jason Maxiell.
Maxiell has spent eight seasons with the Pistons, quietly going about his business. His weight was an issue at times after signing a four-year, $20 million extension, but he got back into shape a couple seasons ago and became a starter until Andre Drummond eventually replaced him.
At 30, Maxiell is at the crossroads between heading to a contender for less money and searching for another high-paying, by the standard’s of his game, contract. He apparently took the money, because it’s difficult to imagine him getting more elsewhere.
For the tanking Magic, this move doesn’t make much on-court sense. Maxiell is too limited – though he’s a capable mid-range jump shooter for his position and a decent defender – to help a team so far from playoff contention, and he’s too old to help the Magic by the time they’re good enough to win.
But he should be a good presence in the locker room, and that does have value. The Magic need someone, apparently Maxiell, to teach their younger players the ropes. If the youngsters grow quickly, Orlando can decline Maxiell’s team option. If they need more tutelage or Maxiell has a slight renaissance to the point he has trade value, the Magic can exercise the option.
When an accused domestic abuser shows up uninvited at a family party to—as a source put it to the New York Post—“beat the shit” out of someone for the offense of dating his ex, that is not a wacky character up to zany shenanigans. It is not reality TV melodrama or a cartoon or celebrities being silly. It is the behavior of a dangerous misogynist lunatic. It is an act of violent aggression. It is a man forcefully asserting personal property rights over a woman’s home, body, and life. It differs from what Ray Rice did in that elevator by degree, not by kind, and not by all that much.