Former Detroit Pistons small forward Tayshaun Prince is one of the most underrated players in recent NBA history.
Prince played 17 seasons in the NBA, and during that time he took on some of the most difficult defensive assignments of any player in the league.
In 2003, Prince was inserted into the starting lineup in place of Michael Curry, and his length and defense on Tracy McGrady helped the Pistons come back from down three games to one to win the series.
In 2004, Prince took on the difficult task of guarding Kobe Bryant in his prime. While Bryant certainly had his moments, he was held to just 38.1% shooting and a low-by-his-standards 22.6 points during the series by the second-year man out of Kentucky.
Later on in his career, Prince went head-to-head with LeBron James in what turned out to be a more difficult matchup, but one in which Prince certainly had his moments.
Recently Prince, who won an NBA championship and made the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team four separate times, took time out to answer a thought-provoking question on guarding both Bryant and James.
Prince Describes Difference in Guarding LeBron James and Kobe Bryant
Speaking with the Instagram account @Pistons_Talk, James shared information on what it was like guarding the two all-time great superstars.
According to Prince, the key to guarding Bryant was to prevent him from getting to his spots on the court.
Prince used this strategy to successfully funnel Bryant into bad shot after bad shot in the 2004 Finals, which ended four games to one in favor of the Pistons.
Prince seems to hint that guarding James was more challenging in the video, which can be seen below.
In it, Prince describes the challenge of going through what he describes as “about 150 screens” set by Cleveland Cavaliers big men Zydrunas Illgauskas and Anderson Varejão during the team’s battles with Detroit in the mid-2000s:
View this post on Instagram
Remembering Tayshaun Prince in the NBA, and Kentucky
Prince was also a dangerous player on offense during his time at Kentucky and in the NBA.
His long-distance shooting, incredible length, and polished post game allowed him to flourish from anywhere on the court.
He finished his NBA career with scoring average of 12.9 points, but could have easily averaged more if he had gotten the ball more often and had more of a scoring responsibility.
Relive one of Tayshaun’s greatest games, a barrage of five three pointers (including one near half-court), by watching the video below.
Related Reading: Kareem Has a Surprising Take on LeBron James Likely Passing Him Soon for the NBA’s All-Time Scoring Record