NBA Playoffs 2013: Tayshaun Prince Is Familiar with Memphis Grizzlies New Stage

Vinny HardyCorrespondent IMay 18, 2013

May 13, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Tayshaun Prince (21)  in game four of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Memphis defeated Oklahoma 103-97 in overtime and lead the series 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Tayshaun Prince's basketball journey is like that of most big time players—it's full of successes and achievements en route to the NBA.

For him, it all started at national powerhouse Dominguez High School. The Compton, CA native experienced the joy of winning a state championship there.

He was also named Mr. Basketball of the state of California in 1998.

He transitioned smoothly from there right to the winningest basketball program of all time and had a great career at Kentucky.

As a rookie with the Detroit Pistons during the 2002-03 season, Prince began his pro career on a team used to making extended playoff runs.

The Pistons made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in his first season.

It all came together for Detroit the following year, as they won the Eastern Conference and then took down the star-studded favored Los Angeles Lakers (Shaq, Kobe, The Glove, The Mailman) in five games to win the title.

Prince played an integral part in the series, averaging 10 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in the series. Even more impressive than that was the job he did frustrating and harassing Kobe Bryant on the defensive end.

Over the next four seasons, Prince and the Pistons would make another trip to the finals and three more appearances in the conference finals.

For the last four years time, Prince's title winning teammates moved on. He had the misfortune of seeing how the other half live.

The half that toil away haplessly on losing teams. Detroit averaged just 27 wins a season the last four years Tayshaun was there.

On Jan. 20, 2013, he got his reprieve. He was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, which assured he would once again be playing meaningful basketball games.

The Grizzlies are an experienced team. They have gradually gotten better each year, and now, they finally have a trip to the conference finals to show for it.

Zach Randolph has been in the league a long time, a year longer than Prince for that matter. Yet, he must defer to Prince in the playoff experience department.

Prince still has plenty left in the tank, just ask Serge Ibaka. His experience may be just what Memphis needs, as they battle San Antonio and in all likelihood Miami if they make it to the finals.

There is no doubt he's happy to be playing again in May and helping out a title contending team any way he can.