By Matt Dery
Think about what we have been discussing lately in Detroit sports and on 97.1 The Ticket. Titus Young continues to abuse the privilege of playing in the NFL and with the Detroit Lions. First place in the Big Ten, Michigan State, had two starters get into a fight at the team hotel in State College on the morning of a game. Reportedly Jonas Jerebko’s father, Chris, unhappy with his son’s lack of playing time, told a Swedish newspaper that he hopes Lawrence Frank is not here next year. And then there is the Red Wings who three games into the season are having their effort questioned after a 1-2 start. Not good. Not good at all.
We are blessed to live in the greatest sports city in the world.
Detroit has it all when it comes to its teams and also its fans’ passion for their favorite squads. Detroit also has an athlete who keeps his mouth shut and comes to work every single day regardless of the circumstances and performs: Jason Maxiell. No tweets about his lack of touches (Titus). No rumbles with teammates on gameday (Dawson and Payne). No lack of playing time so dad spouts off (Jerebko).
None of that. When it comes to Maxiell, he earns his money and really works hard, day in and day out. The Pistons are not going to win a championship with the engine fueled by Jason anytime soon, but, he sets the tone with his play and his determination to get better.
He does the right things on and off the court. He is never a problem, rather always part of the solution.
Jason Maxiell may not be here next season. He is an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career and should test the waters. He deserves that opportunity. Maxiell is averaging 8 points a game and 6 rebounds a contest for the Pistons in 2012-2013. 8 and 6. Not exactly eye-popping numbers at all, yet, here he is starting every single game for Detroit this season. Fans have asked why for years.
Why is Maxiell playing so much? Why is he still starting over Andre Drummond? Trust me, if L Frank was to bench Jason now, he’d lose his locker room. Maxiell has been a big part of the progress puzzle with this basketball team especially on the defensive end. Last night he carried the team in a sluggish first quarter against the Magic and finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds in the win. No headlines. No fanfare. Just punching the clock.