Detroit Pistons Summer League legends: #1: Jason Maxiell
If you are not a Pistons fan then I have two questions for you: why did you make it to the end of the list? And do you even know who Jason Maxiell is? Maxiell played six seasons with Detroit alongside Rodney Stuckey, then went to Orlando and Charlotte for a season each. He was never a starter and never averaged more than eight points a game.
He also played in China and Turkey, and almost played in the Philippines, if it weren’t for a 6-foot-5 height limit.
This could very well be the only list ever that has Jason Maxiell at number one. He is not the best player in the University of Cincinnati’s long history, and his NBA career was subpar the entire way. However, he was a menace in the summer for three seasons.
In 14 Summer League games, Maxiell averaged 14.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, was an efficient scorer in the paint, and played solid defense. In fact, his 2006 campaign snagged him 1.8 blocks per game in five appearances, which is the fifth-best in franchise history.
Maxiell never had a summer of the magnitude of Cunningham, Stuckey, Garza, or Acker, but he was named to the All-Summer League first team in 2006 and got second-team honors in 2007. That’s a decent amount of hardware, and no one else in Pistons’ history got those honors in two straight seasons.
Maxiell also appeared in Ice Cube’s Big3 league, although I would hardly rank that on the same level as Summer League or international play. I love the Summer League, mostly because players like Maxiell get the spotlight before they seemingly disappear.