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Tayshaun Prince losing patience as NBA gets younger

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press on Tayshaun Prince:

He once considered coaching, but he wants to be around his family and has doubts about his patience with the league growing younger.

This line enrages me.

I’m not mad at Prince. I’m mad at Joe Dumars.

When the Pistons re-signed Prince, they clearly considered his leadership ability as a large part of his worth. But, apparently, he’s still not completely on board with that role.

You know what else is growing younger besides the league? The Pistons. If Prince isn’t fully on board – or might lose his patience – with that, it’s a problem.

Look, we all do things we don’t want to do because our job requires it. And Prince has done a better job as a veteran mentor, some details of which are in Ellis’ article. I commend Prince for trying.

But why did the Pistons sign someone to be a leader – a nebulous of a skill that has never actually been proven to help at the NBA level – when it wasn’t even clear he was a good leader? So, far Prince has done an alright job with the younger players so far, but what if he loses his patience with that assignment?

The Pistons are playing with fire here, and the clock is ticking until they get burned.


  • Oct 31, 20123:00 pm
    by Birdman84


    The league isn’t getting younger. Prince is just getting older.

    • Oct 31, 20123:13 pm
      by Matt


      I was thinking the same thing. Maybe someone has proof that the league is getting younger but, with the moratorium on players coming straight from high school, it doesn’t seem like the league could be getting younger, unless coaches are just playing more young players now than they have in the past.

      Somehow, with the vast majority of coaches wanting to avoid mistakes (and young players make a ton of them), that seems unlikely.

      • Oct 31, 20123:16 pm
        by Dan Feldman


        I slightly re-worded the post to clarify, but I think Prince means the league is getting younger relative to him.

        • Oct 31, 20124:06 pm
          by labatts


          The league is getting younger relative to me, too.

  • Oct 31, 20123:10 pm
    by Chabvis


    Prince is by far my least favorite Piston from the old days. I hate watching him play basketball. I hate his attitude. I hate 90% of the comments that he makes. I hate that we insist on playing him big minutes. There is nothing about the current Tayshaun Prince that I really like at this point. All he seems to do is pout and whine about coaches or not getting the ball enough or something along those lines.
    It is astonishing to me that he was resigned to be a “leader” when he was one of the ringleaders in the coaching mayhem that we have had the past few years. Even if it makes our team worse I would love to see Tayshaun’s minutes go completely to JJ, Singler, and Magette.

  • Oct 31, 20123:22 pm
    by Keith


    This comment hurts my heart. All it does is tie together the clusterf**k that has been this team and franchise since we were last relevant. First we let Ben, the soul of the team, walk in free agency. When that doesn’t work, we trade Chauncey (our heart) for cap space. Rather than cutting losses and starting a rebuild, we sign 2 losers unwanted by their own teams – and for well more than anything else they were being offered. Suddenly we are stuck in a 5 year plan of losing and non-development. But we forge forward, we put the team in the hands of malcontents, we resign everyone we can just to keep the status quo of being a bunch of overpaid bums.
    Despite himself, Joe might have another team on his hands. But rather than taking his lumps, letting the team make something of itself, he sells the future to erase past mistakes. He hires slews of new coaches, often bad, out of touch, or set up to fail. Frank might be a good coach, but he’s also a Dumars coach. He doesn’t play rookies if he can help it, he sets the team up to be just as bad as they’ve always been, and he never questions the plan, never tries to do more than he is told.
    Sorry, this is depressing.

  • Oct 31, 20123:24 pm
    by Chris N


    Wait, what?  

    I read that article and I didn’t read anything that suggested that Tayshaun Prince wasn’t on board with being one of the team’s leaders.  In fact, it sounds like he’s put some thought into the role:

    “With five rookies, there will be a lot of teaching this season.  Prince said he tries to set an example like former Pistons Corliss Williamson and Michael Curry.”

    If it turns out he doesn’t want to be a coach, that’s understandable.  Teaching as a player isn’t the same thing as being a coach (or being a television analyst which he learned about during last year’s playoffs).  Its easy to project the things you like about your job onto another one without fully understanding the responsibilities that entail.  

    But the fact of the matter is that Tayshaun Prince is not a coach. He’s a player.  He teaches what he knows, helps to get guys up to speed and he plays basketball.

    If Joe Dumars were to hire Prince after he retires as a coach and things didn’t go so well because Prince didn’t “have the patience for it” then I think he could be rightly criticized.  But until that point, I don’t see a problem on this point.

    • Oct 31, 20123:44 pm
      by tarsier


      Prince’s comments do not prove what a bad resigning he was. They are merely indicative of an attitude that may not go well with what is generally considered his role on the team.

      Evidence for why re-signing Prince was a terrible idea is an old, tired topic on this site. Suffice it to say that Prince will never again be a significant contributing piece of a contending Pistons team (due to where they are in the rebuild process, his attitude, his declining game, and is age). If that is the case for a player and his current team, his only value to the team is what can be fetched for him in trade.

    • Oct 31, 20123:45 pm
      by Keith


      The problem is that he was signed for an intangible (and overrated) concept like leadership. And when you get right down to it, that’s not what he wants to do. If he’s impatient with the youth of the league, how does that not extend to the youth of the team (the only youth he actually interacts with)?
      This is not really an indictment of Prince. It’s not his job to teach, and he’s not obligated to like his teammates in order to play well. If anything, this is an indictment of Dumars, who gave us a bogus reason for a signing most fans didn’t agree with right away. It just sadly proves another one of Joe’s sound bytes was nothing but a face-saving lie.

      • Oct 31, 20124:32 pm
        by bugsygod


        But he agreed to resign!  He knew we were going for full youth movement, it would be his fault if he is not happy with the team. 
        and LEADERSHIP is not overrated, it is very UNDERRATED.  Look at the nba.com surveys, they ask who is best leader in the league.  Every single coach will tell you they need leadership on EVERY team in EVERY sport.  I have heard sooo many coaches, state they cannot lead the team, leadership has to come from the players.  coach hoke at michigan was just talking about this before season started, he needs leaders to step up.  I think you are very wrong about the importance of leadership.  Billups was a great leader for the team, i think that is what was missed most when he was traded, not his on court, but his off court.  Now is Prince a leader??  that is a different story… 

        • Oct 31, 20124:40 pm
          by danny


          yes someone that knows what they are talking about.

        • Oct 31, 20124:50 pm
          by Keith


          The problem is quantifying leadership in any capacity. Billups was a good leader. You can tell good leaders. The problem is that leadership and experience are often equated when they are not at all the same thing. Teams sign experienced vets every year with hope of teaching the young’ns or adding more leadership in the locker-room. This almost always fails. The vet just ends up being the same player he was on a different team. The team doesn’t grow any more with the vet, they either find their own leadership or stay the same. Leadership is highly overrated when it comes to veterans, as most veterans are just old, not leaders.
          And I agree, Prince shouldn’t have re-signed with us if he didn’t want to go through a rebuild. Of course, we don’t really know if other teams offered him more (my guess: no), or what Dumars was selling him on. But at the same time, it’s just compounding the errors Dumars has made. He thought Rip and Tay could be leaders, even though there was no indication to believe so. He thought we would be fine without Ben, he was wrong. He thought we would be fine without Chauncey, he was wrong. Now we’re 3 years into losing and rebuilding, but where is the leadership and direction? Dumars seems fine to let the team go wherever it wants, and hasn’t said anything about actually playing rookies or having any sort of long term direction. Frank as his coach has been resistant to change and has flat out lied about starting spots being an open competition. The most leadership I’ve seen out of our current players was English saying he’d take care of Drummond. After that, what do you have? Stuckey and Prince were part of a walkout, and neither are great players that can simply lead by example. Moose is our best player, but not an exuberant personality.

        • Oct 31, 201211:41 pm
          by tarsier


          “Every single coach will tell you they need leadership on EVERY team in EVERY sport.”

          When everyone is always saying it, it is probably not underrated. This would be like me saying “LeBron is so underrated, every expert says he is the best player in the game today.” I’m contradicting myself with such a statement.

      • Oct 31, 20125:13 pm
        by Chris N


        “…this is an indictment of Dumars, who gave us a bogus reason for a signing that most fans didn’t agree with right away. It just sadly proves another one of Joe’s sound bytes was nothing but a face-saving lie.”

        Those are really harsh words Keith.  Where’s the supporting evidence?  You insinuate that Prince doesn’t want to occupy a position of leadership on the Pistons, and yet I’ve never read a report or a quote supporting that.  I’ve read articles stating that he’s been dissatisfied with the approach some of his coaches have taken and the lack of urgency he feels the team has played with at times, but I don’t see how that equates to his unwillingness to be a leader.  Whether or not he’s been effective in the role is a separate argument.

        As for the motivation behind Joe Dumars re-signing Prince, I haven’t read any articles, reports, interviews or otherwise that suggest that Dumars re-signed Prince for reasons other than the ones he stated.  But maybe I’m missing something.  Can you point me towards the information that led you to make your conclusions?

  • Oct 31, 20123:36 pm
    by Michelob Mike


    ^finally, a reasonable post. Thanks, Chris N.

  • Oct 31, 20123:46 pm
    by Victor


    I don’t care about reason no more:


  • Oct 31, 20123:47 pm
    by bugsygod


    Playing with fire because he doesnt want to be a coach?  Agree w/ chris above, if he resigned knowing that Pistons were going younger why would he have resigned with the team?  I think were trying to make something out of nothing here.  Ben Wallace has said repeatedly that he does not want to coach, but everyone says he will be a good mentor for Drummond.  Whats the difference there?  Now i DO NOT think prince is a good leader or mentor.  He is quiet, thinks he knows it all, aloof and shows frustrations on his face and body when things dont go well.  I understand Joe’s reason for bringing back prince for veteran experience, but i still hope hes traded at the deadline.  But not really concerned because he doesnt want to coach the young nba players.

    • Oct 31, 20123:54 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      “if he resigned knowing that Pistons were going younger why would he have resigned with the team?”

       No other team offered more money.

      • Oct 31, 20124:20 pm
        by bugsygod


        But the reports were that clippers offered more money and made a strong push for him, but he chose less to stay with pistons.  This was reported right after he signed.  Now of course none of that is fact, but if he just signed back with us for the money, then that is a LARGER issue.  Did Joe know he was just signing for money?  What was conversation when he signed, did Joe not tell him we were going with youth and he still signed?  But like i said i believe that vet experience is what joe was looking at, which i have no problem with.  I think prince will come in handy this year if we are contending for playoffs where he can help in late game situations, BUT if just also ran team, GET HM OUT OF HERE!  

        • Oct 31, 20124:46 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          “But the reports were that clippers offered more money.”

          Show me one report that says this.

        • Oct 31, 20129:41 pm
          by tarsier


          If I recall correctly, the Clippers agreed to a contract with Butler before the Pistons with Prince.

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