In ESPN’s Daily Dime for May 23, Rick Bucher writes:
The lip service USA Basketball has paid to selecting more than a glorified All-Star team to represent the country has finally taken a turn with the addition of Pistons small forward Tayshaun Prince. He, of course, never has been an All-Star. He’s simply a winner, which is why it’s no accident that Detroit has won at least 50 games all five seasons he’s been with them.
The national program is expected to officially announce Prince’s addition this week, but his agent, Bill Duffy, confirmed Tuesday that Prince has received and accepted an invitation.
“He’s well deserving of this,” Duffy said. “He may be both the most underrated and versatile player in the league.”
You’d expect a guy’s agent to say that, but Duffy happens to be right. Which is exactly the kind of savvy player essential to success in international competition, where mental tenacity trumps vertical hops and chemistry is more important than individual excellence. Not that Prince, at 6-9 with a 7-foot wingspan, can’t play above the rim or break off electric moves — they’re just way down his priority list.
USA jerseys with Prince’s name on the back may or may not fly out of the souvenir stands, but he has all the ingredients to restore some value to the name on the front. His excellence for the Pistons has hinged on his ability to make whatever adjustments necessary to fit his game around that of his teammates.
That’s why Detroit’s four other starters were All-Stars and you’ve never heard a peep from Prince about respect or touches. Sure, his 14 points and five rebounds a game this season looks rather modest. But need someone to smother LeBron? Check. Need someone to light up Luol Deng? Check. Bury a three, score on the block, reject a sure layup, grab a rally-killing rebound? Check, check, check, check. The NBA brain trust has raised more than a few questionable decisions this season. Prince playing for Team USA is not one of them.
I can’t agree more. Pictures provided by the official web site for Tayshaun Prince, #22 for your Deetroit Pistons (fanboy art by me).
Apropos of nothing in particular, here’s the Pistons Eastern Conference Finals slideshowy thing.