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