It's somewhat ironic for a player known for "The Block," but Tayshaun Prince's game doesn't exactly result in many highlights. His defense is consistent without many blocks and steals, and his offense is often methodical to the point of boredom.
But after taking for granted everything that he brings to table for the last decade, we're about to experience life without Prince. What will you miss the most about him? What will you miss the least? DBB's staff of writers weighs in -- and invite you to do the same in the comments.
I will miss how reliable he was. For nearly 500 games, he was a constant in the starting lineup, guaranteed to be healthy and giving the Pistons quality minutes (well, for most of his career anyway). I will miss his bad #buffoonery body language the least. Any time something wasn't going the way Prince wanted it to go, you knew about it because Prince was slumping his shoulders and/or shaking his head with contempt and an ugly look on his face.
The thing I will miss most about Tay is actually the thing that bugged a lot of other fans -- his visible disgust when plays broke down and the other team scored an easy bucket. I'd always love when he would throw his hands up in the air in disbelief and look directly at the person he knew was responsible for the blown assignment, late rotation, etc. Many thought it was just Prince being petulant but I always took it as a sign of a really intelligent player being constantly engaged in everything happening on the floor. It's not always a bad thing to wear your emotions on your sleeve.
What I will miss least are the moments in the past few years, typified by the Isolayshaun offense, where Prince thought he had to put his struggling team on his back. That wasn't his game, he was rarely successful and its just not fun basketball to watch.
Too much of anything is a bad thing, and of late, we Pistons fans have had too much of Tayshaun Prince isolations (Isolayshauns!) on the right block.
However, in just the right amount, Isolayshauns were a very good thing for Detroit's offense, and when the offense was running on all cylinders during the glory days of the previous decade, Prince's sweeping left hand hook in the post was a critical staple. Greg Monroe's been working on his own version of that same move, so we'll still get to see it, but I'll miss it just the same.
What I won't miss is the glimpses of malcontent we've witnessed from Tayshaun in recent years, most notably when younger players make mistakes. In some DBB comment somewhere, I joked that Tayshaun was the franchise leader in exasperated shrugs directed at teammates. To be fair, he's been better about that this year, but I won't miss it just the same.
Nothing, and I really do mean that as respectfully as possible. This is a parting a year and a half overdue. I'll least miss seeing small forwards developed for the future, specifically the 3,544 minutes that we've wasted over the last two seasons at the position where we could have seen what we have legitimate young prospects.
What I will miss most is his ability to keep a man in front of him. What I will miss least is his propensity to pretend he is Adrian Dantley when, in fact, he is not remotely Adrian Dantley.
Prince's basketball IQ is unmatched, and for 10 years you never had to worry about him being in the wrong place on defense or making the wrong pass. I'm not convinced he ever truly deserved his rep as a defensive stopper -- too many losing battles with bigger, stronger players at his position like LeBron James and Paul Pierce had their way too many times -- but he certainly made the most with what he had and then some.
What will I miss the least? There's a difference between the smartest man in the room and being a true leader, and there were too many times that I don't think Prince recognized the difference. His open disgust when things go wrong on the court sets a poor example for young teammates, and his participation in the mutiny against John Kuester suggests that attitude continued behind the scenes. On a contending team with a coach he respects, he should be a good fit. But he's been long overdue a change of scenery.