When the Memphis Grizzlies traded Rudy Gay, there weren’t too many people happy about the deal in Memphis. Head coach Lionel Hollins voiced his frustration as did some of the players. However, one player that it all works out for is Tayshaun Prince.
The 32-year-old former NBA Champion was stuck in Detroit on one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference with little chance at the playoffs in the next few seasons. Now he gets news life in Memphis. Not only will Prince get another crack at the postseason but he will be asked to play a key role, playing the position previously occupied by the Grizzlies best scorer.
Tayshaun Prince joined ESPN Memphis on the Chris Vernon Show to talk about his reaction when he found out he was traded, playing for the Grizzlies, how the adjustment has been playing for a new team, whether he is looking to prove anything now that he is in Memphis and whether he thinks the Grizzlies are built to go on a playoff run.
On his reaction when he found out he was traded:
“I was shocked, I was completely shocked. The situation that I had been in in Detroit, I thought I would know something was coming. I was pretty shocked. We played a game in Indiana, 45 minutes before the game and they came and grabbed me off and told me the news, so it was pretty shocking.”
On being a member of the Grizzlies now:
“Me being in the position I was in of never being traded before, just hearing trade kind of bothered me. It was just shocking, so at that point it wasn’t a matter of where I was going, I was just surprised that I was not going to be in a Detroit uniform anymore after 10 and a half years. But once I got over the shocking part and understood the situation, obviously we know this is a business, but knowing I was coming to Memphis I was pretty much excited because of the situation and knowing how they play.”
On getting used to his new team in Memphis:
“First of all, let me just say this, these guys have welcomed us into the locker room with open arms and a lot of these guys are down to earth. Some of these guys have been traded and know what it feels like, but just going out there and just trying to have some fun and do what’s best. The guys are great and being welcomed is the most important thing to make you feel comfortable, so my juices had been flowing ever since I put this jersey on, because just being in a losing situation the last three years, to get back in a winning situation your blood gets flowing again and just get a boost of energy out of nowhere. That’s what has been going on the last five games.”
How much he is looking to prove in Memphis since he kind of got lost in Detroit:
“I have a lot left in the tank. People start to write you off when you’ve had a great career and all the sudden losing starts happening. Then you’re not being on TV and nobody is really watching and stuff like that, so I’m not too concerned with trying to prove people wrong. I think that’s been part of what I’ve had to do since before I got to the NBA. I’m not too concerned with trying to prove people wrong but what I’m trying to do is help this team with what my capabilities are.”
If the Grizzlies are built for the playoffs:
“Yes it’s well built for the playoffs. When I first walked in this locker room I could see the chemistry that these guys have. I know that these guys were disappointed in the trade because when you have a team that is well built and has played together for so long, that’s what makes your chemistry stronger and stronger as you continue to progress and get better. At the same time, when the trade happened it takes a while for chemistry to build. What’s important is to build that as quickly as we can, which is a difficult task but we have a lot of guys in that locker room that have been there and know what the experience is about. Me and Tony Allen talk about it a lot as far as teams we’ve been on before we got here, so we try to provide as much knowledge as we can and hopefully it helps.”