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Jason Maxiell signs with Pistons to retire

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Amar’e Stoudemire signed with the Knicks to retire last year. Paul Pierce followed suit with the Celtics this year.

We might be headed into a full-blown trend – and one not limited to players with legitimate Hall of Fame cases.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has signed Jason Maxiell to a contract, allowing the forward to retire as a member of the Detroit Pistons organization.

“Jason and his representatives reached out to us regarding his desire to sign one last contract with the team in order to retire as a Detroit Piston,” General Manager Jeff Bower said. “Jason made an impact on and off the court with the organization, spending eight seasons in Detroit, many with deep playoff runs. We’re pleased that Jason has chosen to remain connected to our organization and wish him well in the future.”

“The best years of my professional career were spent in Detroit and it’s important to me to retire as a Detroit Piston,” said Maxiell.  “This is a special franchise with great tradition and history.  I want to thank all the fans who supported me during my eight seasons representing Detroit.”

Presumably, Maxiell signed an unguaranteed one-year minimum contract. Then, the Pistons will waive him if they haven’t already.

An undersized and often overweight power forward, Maxiell spent a decade in the NBA, four of those seasons on a $20 million contract extension. That’s a success story.

At his best, Maxiell was an explosive dunker and shot-blocker who played with great effort and toughness. When his weight ballooned higher than usual, Maxiell, who also played for the Magic and Hornets, became ineffective.

Though there were a couple dour years in Detroit, Maxiell’s attitude appeared much more steady. He played with professionalism and a mean streak, and, every so often, outward joy slipped out.

His most memorable highlight came in China last year. Enraged by a hard foul, Maxiell chased a retreating opponent the length of the court – then broke out laughing at the spectacle:

LeBron James’ best play from every game in 2016-17 (VIDEO)

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I’m not sure it’s possible to argue that LeBron James is not the most important player in the NBA, even in 2016-17.

Yes, others have won the MVP award in years past, but each and every postseason you understand just how important LeBron is to every roster he is on. NBA players even voted him as the player they would most secretly want on their team.

That’s why it’s pretty easy to galvanize that opinion when you watch a 20-minute highlight video of LeBron’s best plays from each game of the past season.

Summer is upon us and even preseason seems like a long way off. Thankfully, we will be able to get to see plays like this here in what feels like the near future.

C.J. McCollum’s cab driver had some hilarious opinions on today’s NBA

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I think we’ve all been in the situation that C.J. McCollum found himself in recently.

Whether you are a hardcore NBA fan, a blogger, a professional writer, or a basketball player, when folks interested in the league find out about your passion, they often try to connect with you about it. Which is great! Especially as sometimes you get cats like the one who was driving the Portland Trail Blazers star guard in the video below.

Now, I have to warn you about some NSFW language, but what the guy had to say was pretty great. Hilarious, even.

The topics ranged from superstars being on the same team, to hating the Golden State Warriors, to the future success of the Blazers themselves.

Again, some extremely NSFW language ahead but also some serious laughs to be had.

Via Instagram:

CJ McCollum's drive to the airport was something. 😂 (via @3jmccollum)

A post shared by Sports Videos (@houseofhighlights) on

I’m dying. This guy is the best.

Watch Stephen Curry’s best play from every game last year (VIDEO)

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It was probably damn near impossible to put together at this video.

Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors star point guard/human highlight machine, produces enough good content on a given night for multiple highlight videos. Going through and selecting just the best play from each game must have been a difficult challenge.

But here we are.

The NBA published a video to their YouTube channel this week of the single best play from each game of Curry’s 2016-17 season. The result is a 20-minute video that is well worth the watch.

Summer can seem to drag on, but seeing back-to-back plays like this just makes you thirsty for the winter.

James Harden on recruiting Chris Paul from LA: “He didn’t seem happy”

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One of the most interesting storylines of the first month of this upcoming NBA season will be the Houston Rockets.

The team has paired MVP candidate James Harden with one of the greatest point guards of all time in Chris Paul, but it remains to be seen whether the two will be able to work together with the kind of efficiency that Mike D’Antoni’s team had in 2016-17.

Harden has been the subject of some chatter already this offseason after a photo of him surfaced on Instagram. In it, Harden looked to have added a significant portion of muscle this summer, which may help him as he moves back to a more off-ball style of play with Paul in the fold.

Harden was also the subject of significant scrutiny at the end of last season, where he failed in the playoffs in spectacular fashion against the San Antonio Spurs.

In a recent interview with Sam Amick of USA Today, Harden said his newfound weight gain has been part of his plan to combat late-season fatigue. Harden has also introduced yoga and pilates into his workout routine.

Perhaps more interesting information from Harden’s interview with Amick revealed just how much impact he had recruiting Chris Paul in the trade from Los Angeles Clippers, and Paul’s attitude at the end of the season toward his former team.

Via USA Today:

Harden, who signed a four-year extension this summer and will earn a combined $228 million by the end of the 2022-23 season, had everything to do with the move.

“I just knew that in the summertime obviously (Paul) was a free agent, and I wanted to see where his head was,” Harden said of Paul, who will now be a free agent next summer. “He didn’t seem happy, so after that we just took it from there.

“Obviously Golden State has been in the Finals and won two out of three, so that’s what everybody is trying to build up against. But we’re right there. We’re right there. Obviously, we have a lot of work to do, but it definitely puts us in a better chance.”

It certainly makes sense that after years of perpetual playoff failure by the Clippers that Paul would want to move on. Harden and CP3 seem to enjoy each other at the moment, and a pairing does seem to make sense on paper. We will see how that plays out over the course of next season.