Shane Battier looks real happy for a guy who forgot his costume. (Via @shanebattier)
Shane Battier's really enjoying his offseason, guys. If he's not golfing and talking about the best part of being a champion, he's out there hanging with some super cool dudes in shark costumes at Jimmy Buffett shows, because "fins up" is apparently a Jimmy Buffett thing, and also because Shane Battier loves Jimmy Buffett, which is, y'know, perfect.
You may remember that Battier invoked Buffett in announcing his decision to join the Miami Heat as a free agent back in December, tweeting that he'd try his hand at "trying to reason with hurricane season," which is a Buffett song that is probably not about being serious and working very hard in a cold, Northeastern climate, which is an assumption I will not fact-check. Less than two months later, Battier met Buffett after a tour stop in Miami, then jokingly asked the singer if he might "let me play a song tonight?"
There was no cameo role in the cards at the late January show, but at Sunday night's concert at Comerica Park in Detroit, Battier got his shot:
Not quite making love to pressure, there, Shane. (Screencap via @shanebattier)
So, how'd he do?
Shockingly, there hasn't been a ton written about Battier's performance — people seem more interested in the fact that Lionel Richie made an appearance — but we did find this note from Gary Graff of the Oakland, Mich., Press:
Buffett also incorporated a couple of local guests into the show as well: guitar hero Earl Klugh for "Jamiaca Mistaica" and "Come Monday" and, more surprisingly, hoopster Shane Battier — the Birmingham-born, Detroit Country Day and University of Michigan grad who now plays for the Miami Heat — to play congas on "Margaritaville," though not well enough for him to think about hanging up the sneakers.
Well, that's good to know. Would hate to find out that Shane-O had decided all that charge-taking and corner-3-shooting was too taxing, and that he'd much rather just slap the skins for good ol' J-Buff, which I assume is what he calls Buffett now that they have shared the stage.
Learning that Battier didn't show the brand of percussive aptitude that would lead him to forsake the remaining $6.4 million he's owed by Heat owner Micky Arison over the next two seasons is probably as comforting to Miami fans as the news that the Comerica show, "more than anything, [...] trafficked in the familiar" is to Parrotheads. Lord knows that, despite doing basically the same thing on stage and on record for, oh, about 40 years now, there's always the chance Buffett could get out there and just go full-on Beefheart.
Oh, well. Our differing tastes aside, Battier appeared to have a blast. He got to hang in the wings, take in the massive Comerica crowd and surreptitiously record then illegally broadcast a portion of the program, which is always fun. And then, of course, it was time to get out there. If you're looking for a reason not watch this, you're in luck — intrepid YouTube cameraperson greeny5391's account of the proceedings is somewhat shaky, so you might get "Blair Witch"-style motion sickness.
Also, I just realized how dated that reference is, and that, combined with this afternoon's note from comedian/actor Kumail Nanjiani that "Aladdin" is now 20 years old, means that I am basically a fossil at this point. Might as well give up and start liking Jimmy Buffett, too. Room for one more on those skins, brah?
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