Tayshuan Prince is a lonely fallen star. He’s never gotten any respect in his entire career and that will never change. I refuse to say he’s the Rodney Dangerfield of the NBA because that tired analogy is so overused that it’s not funny anymore. In fact, it was never funny, but I digress. Prince was just as much of a factor as any other in the Pistons’ title run in at the end of the 2003 season, yet he was left off the All-Star team and he was left behind when the rest of the Detroit Pistons‘ version of the Fab Five split town.
Everybody and their dog was happy to see Detroit beat the Los Angeles Lakers in five games during the 2004 NBA Finals to keep LA from winning four titles in five years after a three-peat at the turn of the century. However, the Pistons’ other four starters got literally all of the credit, while Prince was just the “other guy.”
When the NBA All-Star lineups were announced in 2006, Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace and Richard “Rip” Hamilton were all on the team, but Prince wasn’t. Yet again, he was the only Pistons starter left out. Did he complain then or before that point? Nope. Has he complained since, especially since Detroit is now at the bottom of the NBA barrel instead of the top? Not a chance.
It’s players like Prince, who play their entire careers with one team–win or lose–who keep professional sports halfway credible. No one would have blamed him for leaving the Pistons when the other guys did, but he didn’t. He stuck around and he’s still there, putting up his career average of 12 points per game and he will until he retires. He should have his number retired, but he probably won’t. Know this, Tayshaun: there’s at least one basketball fan who respects you.