The last man standing got a phone call from the former last man standing.
"Tay, I know you've been hearing about the Rudy Gay trade ..." Joe Dumars began.
And Tayshaun Prince knew what was coming. After 10 1/2 seasons, his career as a Detroit Piston was over.
The long, lean, soft-spoken forward already had watched his former championship teammates disappear over the years. Ben Wallace went to Chicago. Chauncey Billups was traded to Denver. Rasheed Wallace signed with the Celtics. Rip Hamilton fell from grace and was waived.
Prince had been the sole survivor, the final guest at a really fun party, the last to remember that sweet celebration over a stunned Lakers team at the Palace in 2004, the last to know how it felt to be Everybody's Underdog and the NBA's Champion.
"He was good on the phone," Dumars recalled Thursday. "It was an hour before the game Wednesday when it came down. I told him if it were up to me it wouldn't have happened at that time, but there were two other teams involved. He said, 'No, no, I understand.' "
Did you think about the fact that you were trading the last of the 2004 team, Dumars was asked?
"Absolutely. Absolutely," he said. "It may be something that scrolls across the bottom of a TV screen to most folks, but these are people's lives here, man. If you don't feel something, it's time for you to be doing something else."
Tayshaun Prince, Joe Dumars now share sole survivor story with Pistons
Detroit Free Press | Feb 1