Departed Piston Tayshaun Prince had been the vocal leader of the locker room in recent years.
If the Pistons hadn't played well for a game or several, he'd be the one to speak up, to issue directives about what needed to be done for results to change. Conversely, if they were beginning to show signs of consistency, Prince was the one to point out things weren't as rosy as they appeared to be, nor were the bad times a sign of the apocalypse.
Since there's a void, it'll have to be filled — by actions and by words. Pistons center Greg Monroe was around as a rookie, when he was seen and not heard from, and appears to be taking the next steps toward becoming a leader.
For someone as naturally quiet as Monroe — at least from appearance — it's a transition that takes time and practice.
"(Prince) was definitely one of the leaders on this team," Monroe said. "Losing a guy like that, someone will have to step up, I don't have a problem being more vocal."
Monroe said there was healthy discourse in the locker room when Prince was around, so the natural progression won't be as difficult as it appears from the outside.
"I don't think he prevented anyone from being vocal, he accepted words from other people as much as we accepted it from him," Monroe said. "I don't think anyone felt they had to be quiet or hold stuff in because he was around."
Surprisingly, Jason Maxiell said he's intent on filling the void, having been around when Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess were around, as the young guy who had to take the ribbing — and the lessons that came from being in his mid-20's.
"I mean, somewhat, Tay was an old head," Maxiell said. "Having been here the longest we appreciated his leadership on and off the court. Missing that and me being the old guy, I'll fulfill that some way."
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130207/SPORTS0102/302070399#ixzz2KDxlkpcG
Pistons see leaders stepping forward
Detroit News | Feb 7