April 17, 2011
When Shane Battier(notes) was traded from the Rockets to the Grizzlies at this season's deadline in February, he had to leave behind his young son Zeke and pregnant wife Heidi in Houston. It's difficult to move an entire family in the middle of the season, and it's nearly impossible when a wife is seven months pregnant.
So the rest of the Battiers have stayed in Houston while patriarch Shane helped the Grizzlies to their first playoff berth since 2005-06. Sunday, every Battier had a banner day. In San Antonio, Shane hit the game-winning three with 24 seconds left to lift the Grizzlies to a shocking upset over the top-seeded Spurs and the first playoff win in franchise history. In Houston, Heidi gave birth to a baby girl. Shane commented on the day on Twitter:
This win didn't only make it a crazy game for Battier -- it was arguably the craziest day in the history of playoff openers. Along with the Hornets' 109-100 win over the second-seeded Lakers, Sunday marked the first time that the top two seeds in either conference have lost the first game of the opening round. Both series are far from over, but the Grizzlies and Hornets certainly had memorable wins.
Yet no player could have possibly had a more interesting day than Battier, who saw his life change in two important ways. Memphis still has to win three more games against a very good Spurs team that will get considerably better with the likely return of Manu Ginobili(notes) for Game 2. Nevertheless, April 17, 2011 will stand as one of the greatest days of Battier's life, personally and professionally.