Normally, I do player grades after games. Tonight I can’t. Not that they played bad. I would easily crack Charlie V jokes in a 19 point loss. Most nights I would revel in 14 Drummond rebounds, and be happy about the future. I would then realize Drummond went 2-10 from the free throw, and talk about how I hope one day he works on it. I would give Monroe a D+, not because he was that bad, but because 8-17 isn’t very Greg Monroe like. I would typically wonder why Stuckey shot six threes because there is no surprise he only made one. I would recite my theory of how the Pistons are significantly worse when Knight shoots inefficiently. Tonight I can’t though.
I can’t because Tayshaun got dealt.
Not only did he get dealt, but it broke only about an hour before tip-off. Normally I take on the attitude that these are professionals, and that shouldn’t get too wrapped up in these kinds of things. I usually say that chemistry is overrated, and it is a business. Normally, I say that the team need to suck it up. Had it been Rodney Stuckey, I would probably say they should suck it up.
The big difference is that Tayshaun is the last player of the title team that was still with the orginization. One minute, I am more worried about West than Paul George because of Tayshaun, and the next minute I have no idea who is going to be able to guard Paul George. It isn’t the fact George played that great, it more is the fact Tayshaun was that someone that was always there.
Sort of like that friend who is always there in your life. Maybe not the one you always hung out with the most, but that friend who just always stuck around and checked in on you. You may have rolled around in different clicks growing up, but when you saw them around it was always welcomed with a smile. That friend that you may have never hung out with one on one, but you would get the invite to his house if there was a large group. The friend that would just hang around after a pickup basketball game while you shot jumpers. In that moment you think the conversations would be awkward, but they go smoothly. You might have gone to different colleges than this person, but he still sends you messages from time to time asking what you have been up too. Over time you realize eventually these kinds of friend who spent their care, not their time, mean more to you. He never was considered your best friend, not until you look back on your life and realize that that he has always been there.
My point is, Tayshaun has been that friend for the Pistons. He may have never been the most high profile player on the team, but he had been there for a long 11 years. In the NBA, that is most of a lifetime. I am happy that he is going to a playoff team that will play more meaningful basketball. I also feel like the Pistons made the right move for the team. I wrote about that in my earlier piece here. I just thought if Prince was out the door, it wouldn’t be an hour before the game. I thought it would be an off day. A day where the team could just get over it before seeing the floor. You could tell it hung over a lot of players heads tonight. Not saying the Pacers aren’t better right now. They are. You could just tell the Pistons weren’t fully into this one. Just get ready for some Calderon to Drummond alley oops Detroit, the current era is officially cleansed of the old blood.