The career of Tayshaun Prince came full circle during his 11 years with the Pistons.

Prince was the guy fans wanted more of his rookie season and his career here ended Wednesday with Prince being the guy fans could not wait to get rid of.

Prince is a Piston no more. He became the final piece of the 2004 championship team to leave when the Pistons traded Prince along with Austin Daye to Memphis in a three-way trade that brings point guard Jose Calderon to the Pistons from Toronto, which also dealt forward Ed Davis to Memphis. Forward Rudy Gay and center Hamed Haddadi went from Memphis to Toronto.

Prince's departure makes the Pistons a better team, something Prince fought hard to do but failed to do the last three years. The Pistons desperately needed a point guard because Brandon Knight is not ready to lead a team to the playoffs.

Still, there won't be many tears shed as Prince moves on to the next chapter of his career.

Age, rust and a buildup of losing records do that. It erases memories. Prince, 32, left as a guy who was more appreciated outside of Detroit than he was in Detroit. That is why he made the 2008 U.S. Olympic team. We remember the pump fakes to nowhere, the fading numbers and the sullen face.

What fans forget is the block of Reggie Miller in Game 2 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers that turned that series around and propelled the Pistons to their first NBA championship in 13 years. They forget his defense coupled with Ben Wallace that made the Pistons one of the best defensive teams in the league that season. Prince was a second-team All-Defensive Team pick four times in his career.

His best moments outside of the Miller block came in the 2004 NBA Finals when he frustrated Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant during what is called by many as the Pistons' "five-game sweep" of the Lakers.

And they forget the important role Prince played in two NBA Finals runs. Prince fit in well when he was one of the gang playing alongside Wallace, Richard Hamilton, Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace. He was a great fifth wheel. He was never a true superstar but played a super-important role. At times he was the Pistons' best player, especially in the playoffs.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130131/OPINION03/301310366#ixzz2JZ72UU89