Slamadamonth, SLAM #114: Tayshaun Prince

Tayshaun Prince

Originally published in SLAM 114

We’re not gonna make excuses for him or anything—way to guard the wrong side of the rim, there, buddy—but Miami Heat “center” Mark Blount probably didn’t see this coming. Tayshaun Durell Prince is 27 years old. He spent four years in college, wasn’t a Lottery pick, has never been an All-Star. He’s got the build of a praying mantis, the wingspan of an A380 and the jumper of a hyperkinetic 8-year-old. He’s known primarily for his work on the other side of the ball, most notably his “FU” block of a Reggie Miller layup attempt during the ’04 Playoffs (that alone should have silenced that comeback stuff, Reg).

That said, Tayshaun has effectively assumed the mantle once worn by current Piston GM Joe Dumars: He’s mentioned so often as the League’s most underrated player that he’s not really underrated anymore. But on a team with All-Stars Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton, he was never gonna see much action on the offensive end.

Then came the start of this season. With Rip off to witness the birth of his son, Tayshaun got the rare chance to create some offense rather than just trying to disrupt it. And he took full advantage. Looking at the opponents on this play, you can see why: Penny Hardaway on the outside, Mark freakin’ Blount on the inside. On second thought, maybe ol’ MB should have seen this coming after all.

Russ Bengtson

At 1:24 in the video below…