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Tayshaun Prince, no longer as frowny, mentors Brandon Knight

When the Pistons re-signed Tayshaun Prince, I doubted his mentorship abilities. Apparently, Lawrence Frank has worked with him on it, and Brandon Knight stands to benefit. Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

As a demonstrative player, the frustration hasn’t been very well concealed, either. When Prince is upset, it there’s to see – for fans, coaches and teammates alike.

“That’s one of the things the coaches have talked to me about, as far as not letting the frustration show on my face and try to help the guys out in situations when things are really down,” he said. “As you can see in games, when we start to get down, then we kind of bury ourselves as opposed to trying to pick ourselves back up.”

In less obvious ways, though, Prince offers advice and encouragement. He’s taken a special mentoring role with Brandon Knight, thrust into the starting role the past week as Rodney Stuckey recovers from a groin injury, with whom he already felt a kinship via their University of Kentucky roots even before Knight’s work ethic won him over.

“I’ve talked to Brandon every time he’s made a mistake,” he said. “I’ve pulled him aside on the bench during a timeout. As we all know, as a vet, when things happen over and over, you get frustrated. Brandon is going to give 100 percent effort every time. We know that. He’s a hard worker. He does it in practice all the time. He works hard afterwards, before. Sometimes he plays a little too fast. When we dig ourselves a hole a little bit, any good player, they try to get it back right away and you end up compounding it and it goes the other way. He’s a hard worker, man. We know he shoots the ball real well. He’ll learn from it, just like everybody else. He’s not the only one making mistakes out there. We’ve just got to get better.”

37 Comments

  • Jan 11, 20125:54 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    eh, I’m not really seeing leadership in games from Tay. And if coaches need to work on Tay’s leadership with him, then what did we pay him $30 mil for? I’d think if a player is garbage on the court like Tay, and you only paid him for leadership, that he’d be one heckuva leader already, and be in position to be teaching other players/ppl how to be a leader. If the coaches need to teach him how to be a leader, then he is/was not a leader, as advertised by Joe when he announced the signing. And its looking like an epic disaster, this signing. Worse than Rip ext, signing BG/CV, or Maxiell.

    At least Rip could still play. At least BG/CV are still young and might be able to trade them. Tay is old, can’t play, and needs to be taught how to be a leader by the coaches, who shouldn’t have to spend any time teaching a player how to be a leader, who was just paid $30 mil to be one. Epic faliure.

    • Jan 11, 201210:05 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Honestly, his body language has been much better this season. He’s constantly talking to Knight, Daye, Jerebko and Monroe on the court and on the bench. Prince is one of the smartest players in the league. He’s a great asset to those young guys. He’s just worth nowhere near his contract at this point in his career.

  • Jan 11, 20128:21 pm
    by Moe

    Reply

    rip was way worse than tay and prince is in a tough mode right now so it would be hard to see leadership in this tough situation no doubt with our lottery pick and summer workouts we’ll be great next year, this is basically just a get-to-know-the-team year in other words rebuilding so not much excitement this year

    • Jan 11, 20129:19 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      We are about five top lottery picks (with five years of development each) from being great.
       
      Keep up this attitude and blind optimism, because you’re sure to have many MANY more “get to know the team” years of rebuilding. Because this team is going absolutely nowhere.

      • Jan 12, 201210:42 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        You have the most blind pessimism of any commenter on this site. What team is ever 5 developed top lottery picks from contention? More to the point, what team has 5 developed top lottery picks? None! OKC was/is the closest. They have three in Durant/Westbrook/Harden. They had 4 (Green), but nobody could argue that all 4 were developed last season. So let’s consider 4 well-developed top lottery picks to be a pile of assets no team in the league can match, that’s gotta make a team a contender with just 4, not 5. Now then, the Pistons already have one in Monroe (he’s not fully developed but getting real close it seems). I also know he was taken mid-lottery, but ultimately talent matters more than selection point. Knight might be a second. Combine the odds of Stuckey, Jerebko, Daye, or Singler being of that talent level with the odds of getting a free agent of that talent level, and the Pistons are over two for sure, probably two and a half. So give them two more years (this one included) of sucking and they have every possibility of having a great core. Three years (just for the extra development, not for another high draft pick) and they could easily be contenders. Now I get that that is true for any team and doesn’t make the Pistons special. But that’s my point, you talk up the Pistons as if they are the record breaking, worst team ever with so little in their present or future that they will need longer than the longest they could theoretically need to turn it around. Come on, they are just a run of the mill bad team, with some exciting young players but in need of a superstar or of early career Dumars-esque magic to turn things around.

        • Jan 12, 20127:15 pm
          by Laser

          Reply

          1) There’s nothing blind about my pessimism.
           
          2) I was exaggerating, albeit just a little.
           
          3) I’ve been hearing this worthless fucking bulllshit about “give them three years” for about four years now. Fuck it. I’m done with it.

          • Jan 13, 20128:17 pm
            by tarsier

            again, nothing special about potentially being 3 years away. that’s true of every bad team in the league. but nothing special about how bad this team is either.

    • Jan 11, 201210:27 pm
      by Mark

      Reply

      yeah… those summer workouts are the solution to all our problems, lol.

  • Jan 11, 20129:12 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    I said it in another thread, but here goes nothing:
     
    The guy is virtually invisible on the court with this roster. I love him, but there’s really no room for him in this system. No room at all. He needs to be on a team that runs half-court sets, and one that’s at least somewhat methodical.
     
    Even though we dumped Rip and Tracy walked, the offense is more guard-oriented now than ever. Guard-dominant, even. Monroe’s getting some touches in the post, and there’s no shortage of offensive rebounds to be had (hell, just look at our opponents’ defensive rebounds) for guys who crash the glass, but if you’re on the perimeter you better be quick and six foot nothin’ to fit the offense.

    • Jan 11, 20129:33 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      The bottom line is that now’s the time to trade him. We’d probably do ourselves a favor to pick up an absolutely ROTTEN contract and some draft picks, since (1) we’re unlikely to have significant cap space any time soon, and (b) there’s nobody to use it on, since no decent free agent is coming here.
       
      There are several things we can flip Tayshaun for that would help position the team for a brighter future. Keeping him just so he can retire here and Joe can put one last feather in his cap would be a selfish, non-basketball, entirely posterity-based decision and would almost certainly be perhaps not his worst, but his most inexcusable and unforgivable move.

      • Jan 11, 201210:03 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        “The bottom line is that now’s the time to trade him.”

        Technically, March 1 or after is the time to trade him.

        “There are several things we can flip Tayshaun for that would help position the team for a brighter future.”

        Really? Dude has been hobbling around on one knee all season, he’s shooting 36 percent, he’s 31 and he’s signed for four years. Who is taking on that contract and giving up anything remotely valuable for it? There are probably teams Prince could help some, but you can find someone reasonably close to his skillset for much, much cheaper these days.

        • Jan 11, 201210:34 pm
          by gmehl1977

          Reply

          Yeah the cheap option that puts up the same numbers is called Damien Wilkins. Seriously its like Joe Dumars has a split personality or something. You have Joe 2000 to 2006 that turned the team around through wise, savvy and ruthless moves into a perennial powerhouse and then Joe from 2007-2012 that hasn’t made a good move since he took a flyer on McDyess. Maybe the passing of Mr Davidson split his personality cause there has got to be some method to his madness. I for one find it very hard cause i was a very big fan of Joe as a player and then when he got us a championship as GM i thought how lucky are we to have this guy sailing our ship. I just want the old Joe back but am afraid he is gone forever. Someone put his face on a milk carton on something please!

          • Jan 12, 20127:25 am
            by Murph

            I think that’s a great point.  I think it’s very clear that Mr. Davidson had much more say in the day-to-day personnel activities of the team than anyone ever knew.  Joe went from genius to dope at almost exactly the same moment that Mr. D fell ill, stopped attending games, and stopped being involved in the day-to-day activities of the team.

            My guess is that Mr. D acted as Joe’s sounding board.  For example,  Joe might have asked, “Mr. D, what do you think of trading Billups for Alan Iverson?”  And Mr. D would have answered, “Billups is a standup guy, Joe.  We’re not making that trade.”  And in an instant, disaster would have been averted.

            BTW, bringing in McDyess was 100% Larry Brown.  Dyess was a favorite of LB’s ever since McDyess offered to give Larry Brown his Olympic Gold Metal in 2000.

        • Jan 11, 201210:40 pm
          by Mark

          Reply

          Thats what makes him signing here so frustrating. We are getting exactly what we thought we’d be getting from Tayshaun out of Damien Wilkins for 750k/yr! And Tayshaun is invisible.

          There’s guys all over the league that will come in for a mil or two and be total professionals/leaders, play some tough defense and hit a few open jumpers.

          Why we had to pay $8 mil/yr for it, when every other team gets those type of players on min contracts, is beyond me.

          And like you said, there’s no way any team takes that contract, mainly because what I just mentioned. You can get those players on vet min deals. And I bet LAC, SA, and DAL, and any other contender that was interested is sending Joe thank-you cards for not getting stuck with Tayshaun.

          We’re so screwed because of this. At least one of BG/CV can be amnestied, and the other maybe traded. But this $8 mil/yr is going to linger on our books for 4 years, preventing us from being players in FA every year. Essentially never being able to add new talent, except rookies through the draft, who will have little impact on improving the team right away.

          The only thing that could make me feel better about this signing is if Joe were fired. At least then I’d know we are moving in the right direction.

          They put that amnesty rule in place mainly with GM’s like Dumars in mind, to help them get out of bad contracts. And not only doesn’t even use it, but he adds another bad contract the day after the CBA is signed. One that you can’t even amnesty. Like he’s spitting in the face of the amnesty rule, and he can sign as many bad contracts as he wants, and no one can stop him.

        • Jan 12, 201212:48 am
          by Laser

          Reply

          @Hayes: 1) Yes, by “now” of course I meant when he’s eligible. Ya nitpicker you.
           
          2) I don’t think this season’s hobbled Tayshaun is more reflective of what he can contribute to a team than what he was doing last season, when he shot a career-high percentage and was a go-to player who reliably made clutch shots (albeit on a piece of shit team). This also happens to be the worst system I could possibly imagine for a player like Tayshaun. He was more useful last year, when we didn’t even have a “system” to speak of, but rather disorganized chaos. He’s almost literally useless on offense with the players on our team and the schemes we run. But either way, I’d rest him to full health and run him out there to show he can still go. This team will get the absolute minimum out of any of its players, so whatever anybody does anywhere they’d go will be better than what they do here.
           
          3) I certainly think he has value. Especially on a team with a championship window somewhere in line with his contract. And in a system with a reasonable half-court offense. A lot of teams have coveted him over the years, his contract isn’t a cap killer, he’s versatile and brings a lot to the table, and a few games this season on a bum knee isn’t going to turn anybody off. Any way you slice it, even on a contract that pays him 8 million bucks when he’s 35, he’s one of the better “touchable” contracts on our books.
           
          4) At this point, in a worst case scenario, with no other offers (and perhaps I’d wait until next season to do this) I would gladly trade him for a far inferior player and a young player or first round pick. It’s not like we have any use for cap space anyways, since no worthwhile free agent would agree to come here. I’m not going to look around the league at bad contracts, but for example: If Charlie V were on another team, he’d be a good match for a trade. He’s similarly paid, absolutely terrible, has one less year on his contract, and basically anybody with ambitions of being competitive/respectable would attach a mid-late first rounder to make that trade. That’s basically a win-win. Maybe the Spurs would take him for Richard Jefferson and a pick, maybe LA would give us Metta World Peace and… uh, a sweetener (though, personally I might just make that trade straight-up).
           
          Looking at it one way, the Pistons are at a disadvantage in trades since they have one of the worst rosters in the history of the sport, so they don’t appear to have very much leverage since they have almost nothing in the way of tradeable assets and should be absolutely desperate to improve their fortunes. But looking at it another way, they have nothing to play for and nothing they could reasonably accomplish in the near future, so they’ve got less impetus to execute a win-win trade (for instance, the Lakers trade above) than LA would. It’s the “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose” philosophy, and the Pistons are at ROCK FUCKING BOTTOM right now, so even lateral moves in terms of talent could play to their favor. Make sense?

          • Jan 12, 20128:44 am
            by neutes

            The Pistons can’t even make a lose-win trade at this point. Prince, in theory, could have value to a contender, if he was any good, and if contenders actually had a need. Look around – Miami, Chicago, Philly, OKC, Dallas, LAL/LAC, Denver, SA, Boston – I can’t think of one single contender with a need at SF. Not one. And especially a need for a washed up one that will be getting paid $8 mil/yr for the next 4 years.

            Just looking around the league at the teams Prince is probably in the bottom 5 in terms of starting SF’s. I can’t see how he has any value whatsoever. He doesn’t even have value on the worst team in the NBA (yes, that’s us).

            And I could say the same for Gordon and CV. The only player we have a reasonable shot at getting rid of is Stuckey, and I’m not even sure anyone would want him. Prince will be dragging himself up and down the Palace court in 2016 as a Piston, and getting paid handsomly to do it. Guaranteed. Dumars screwed us.

          • Jan 12, 201210:06 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            “I don’t think this season’s hobbled Tayshaun is more reflective of what he can contribute to a team than what he was doing last season”

            Maybe, maybe not. But it sure as hell hurts his trade value. People can (and have) made a case that all of Detroit’s big money players who have struggled — Rip, Gordon, V and now Prince — did so simply because of the poor environment/system/way in which they’ve been used. In some cases, I might even think there’s some merit to that. But if you’re an opposing GM right now, are you taking a chance that Prince just needs a new environment and different role and that he’s not just hitting the wall that all players hit at some point post-30? Because if you gamble wrong, you’re paying a lot of money for that gamble on a player who is probably not a huge difference maker on a contender anyway, even if he could certainly be a helpful player.

            The Prince contract isn’t horribly bad. We’ve certainly seen a lot worse around here in recent years. But my problem with it is it is essentially the Hamilton extension all over again. You sign a veteran player to their market value or around their market value at that moment and expect that they’ll still be good enough to either produce at that level or hold their value for the life of that deal. Just like with Hamilton, Prince’s role almost immediately changed and, just like Hamilton, Prince is being nagged by an injury. Those two things made Hamilton’s value plummet immediately after signing and they’re probably going to have the same impact on Prince.

          • Jan 12, 20127:19 pm
            by Laser

            @hayes: I’m all about healing him up and showing he’s healthy before trying to move him.
             
            And his contract isn’t that much like Hamilton’s in that Tayshaun is versatile, his game is not predicated on exceptional athleticism, and it’s for about five million less per year. That’s a full midlevel exception these days.

          • Jan 12, 20129:31 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            “I’m all about healing him up and showing he’s healthy before trying to move him.”

            Hopefully that’s what plays out. But a 31-year-old with a knee injury who doesn’t sit out games and doesn’t play less than 30 minutes most games in a compressed season isn’t a good recipe for ‘healing him up.’ Prince won’t get much rest unless they finally just forcibly sit him for his own good.

            As for his contract, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Hamilton was a year younger when he signed his extension than Prince was when he signed this offseason. If he wouldn’t have been bought out, he also would’ve been a year younger when Prince will when the contract ends. Plus, at the time he signed his deal, Hamilton was a much better player than Prince was when he signed his. We’ll see how it turns out I guess. I personally see that contract as really difficult to move and one that won’t bring much back in return other than a marginal player with a not great contract. I would be shocked if any team gave up a first rounder for Prince at this point, even a late first rounder.

  • Jan 11, 201210:21 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    Way off topic here but i just heard the funniest thing whilst rooting for the Wizards to beat the Bulls. Commentator called Brian Scallabrine ‘the white mamba’. Anyone else heard this nickname before? I thought it was hilarious :-)

    • Jan 11, 201210:24 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Yeah, not positive, but I think Stacy King (the Bulls color commentator) started calling him that. Not 100 percent sure on that though.

      • Jan 11, 201210:41 pm
        by gmehl1977

        Reply

        I thought it was worth the mention to cheer everyone up. I thought the Wizards had them in the 3rd. We were 12 minutes away from being tied for worst in the league. I know you frown upon tanking Patrick but we have done it so well this year i am afraid you and Dan might have to do a post on who we should be drafting with the 1st, 2nd or 3rd pick sooner rather than you would like.

        • Jan 12, 20125:12 pm
          by dandresden

          Reply

          i’m a big fan of the White Mamba moniker.

  • Jan 11, 201210:33 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    Epic failure is right if you’re using to describe Mark’s post or Laser’s analysis of Prince’s trade potential. Patrick already ably answered Mark’s blunder and to some extent Laser’s. So I’m just left to pose a few questions.
    1) Is there anyone on the roster capable of playing small forward full time?
    2) Has Tayshaun Prince been playing hurt?
    3) Is Tayshaun the biggest of our problems? The second biggest? The third?
    4) Do young teams need leaders? Does it take some guys time go grow into leadership?
    My answers to those questions make me glad that Tayshaun Prince is still wearing number 22 for us. I agree whole heartedly with Laser that Prince isn’t too well suited to playing up tempo at this point in his career. I also think he’d be far better at it if he was completely healthy.

    I also agree with Patrick that his being in the ear of our young guys is really valuable though not as valuable as all the money we’re paying him. I glad the man stayed, I’m proud of him for being able to grow and reach out to share his insight. In time the seeds he’s sewing will flower and then people would do well to remember.

    • Jan 12, 201212:55 am
      by Laser

      Reply

      Ugh. Well, we agree and disagree on Prince. Check out the response I wrote just a few minutes ago (a little above this) for a realistic worst-case scenario for trading him. But the bottom line to me is that he’s one of the better big money contracts on our books right now (I mean, shit, we’re paying Rip Hamilton 70% as much to play elsewhere!!) and he just can’t stay on this roster. He’s DEAD FUCKING USELESS in our offense, and I things aren’t going to turn in his favor as we get younger and more athletic through the draft.
       
      You don’t pay a guy 7-8 million bucks a year to coach, and you certainly don’t have him sitting on your cap and fucking it up to the tune of 15%.

      • Jan 12, 20122:25 am
        by ryan

        Reply

        I can see where you’re coming from Laser and I get the idea of moving out dead weight (I 100% advocate that approach with Ben Gordon) I just can’t see too many teams giving us a pick or prospect. Unfortunately all of our guys except Greg Monroe are looking pretty weak right now.

        My number one move would be trying to inflate Ben Gordon’s value to the point we could trade him for a short garbage contract and a high second round/late first round pick that’ll take a huge effort but hopefully some foolish team like New York will come calling.
        I also have to admit that I want to see Tayshaun Prince retire in a Piston’s jersey having only ever worn a Piston’s jersey, hmm maybe he and Ben can retire this summer.

        • Jan 12, 20128:57 am
          by neutes

          Reply

          I’d cry if Prince retired this summer – tears of joy. As far as inflating Gordon’s value – that’s kind of hard to do when he sucks. He’s getting 30+ minutes a night, a starting gig, and as many shots as he wants to take. All he’s proving is how bad he is.

  • Jan 11, 201211:47 pm
    by Domnick

    Reply

    about the consistency…. the only player i’ve seen very not productive is BEN GORDON…

    Prince should talk to this guy coz BG is not giving his ALL!

  • Jan 12, 201212:27 am
    by ryan

    Reply

    Ben Gordon is giving his all he just has very little to give.

  • Jan 12, 201211:06 am
    by Lisa

    Reply

    I can’t even read all of these responses. They are too depressing! I’m beyond bummed-out about my beloved Pistons. I’m mad as hell at Joe Dumars. But the season is young, the guys are young, Prince will help, maybe when things start to run more smoothly. Let’s hope thing improve. They can’t get much worse!

    • Jan 12, 20121:24 pm
      by sebastian

      Reply

      Lisa, sorry but it can get much worst. Remember there are 56 games remaining on the schedule.
      Damn you, Joe!

      • Jan 12, 20127:29 pm
        by Laser

        Reply

        They really can’t and won’t get much worse. But they certainly aren’t going to get much better. Just watch: We’ll endure one more season of misery and add a top prospect lottery pick, and we’re still going to be overhyping the modest potential of our young talent and looking ahead to the NEXT draft by week two.
         
        At the rate this organization is going, they’ll be talking about the modest potential of our young talent when they’re all old, overpaid, underperforming veterans getting in the way of the next batch of overhyped young players with modest potential and everybody reading this blog has already died of boredom.

  • Jan 12, 20121:03 pm
    by apa8ren9

    Reply

    I think that a lot of people are being a bit short sighted.  When you own a team (In my mind I own the Pistons) you have a certain philosophy and that shapes how you run your business.  The CBA requires a floor (min) that needs to be spent.  That is why you have Tayshaun at 7 or 8 mil or whatever it is.  They still have the amnesty(BG or CV) The team sucks and we know that.  But I cannot for one second believe that if the right deal comes along that you cant move these guys.  I mean in the last 2 years, 3 of the worst value contracts have been moved several times.  (Vince Carter, Gilbert Arenas and Rashard Lewis).  All of those who want the lottery picks for the Pistons – we are on our way.  You cant complain that your team sucks every day and the way to fix it is a lottery pick.  Thats the only way you can get a lottery pick is to suck.  I know its theraputic to vent here, hell I do it to because they are so pathetic.  But I think its disengenuous to say or believe that Dumars is not trying to figure out a way to win.  How many championships does the GM in NY have? How many rings does that GM have in OKC or Chicago or Indiana or Phoenix or all of the hot flavored teams of the last 5-6 years.  Not more than Detroit or Dumars.  So it is what it is and I will rant every game they suck until they make some moves.

    • Jan 12, 20122:31 pm
      by neutes

      Reply

      I know it’s bad when if by some miracle the Pistons came to me and wanted me to be the GM I would seriously have to think long and hard about it. It is that scary of a situation. I don’t think any of these guys can be moved. The only thing they have going for them is that they will finish with a top 5 pick for the next 3 years.

    • Jan 12, 20124:51 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jan 12, 20124:50 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    This whole notion of whether Prince fits is silly.  He certainly runs well in terms of moving the ball up the court and on finishing breaks and while the the Pistons should run, they should also run half court sets out of the post through Monroe and Prince when they can’t run.  Every team should be able to run methodical half court sets and to suggest that Prince should be shipped out or can’t fit because that is his skill set seems absolutely ludicrous to me.
    The notion of looking at “the offense we run” is also silly.  They have no set offense yet; nothing is set is stone or even copper.  They are developing an offense and Prince is an extremely bright light who can quickly figure out how to play in any coherent offense.  The problem lately is that he is playing with the worst guards so far this season that he has ever had to in his entire career and everyone is behind and still trying to figure it all out.

  • Jan 12, 20124:52 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    That YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! was @ apa8ren9

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