December 08, 2011
Shane Battier didn't exactly scoop anyone with the news, Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears had Shane beat on Twitter by 10 minutes, but Battier's Twitter announcement that he was signing with the Miami Heat was novel in its approach. If not expected, at some point, because we're guessing you're going to see a whole lot more of these Twitter announcements from players as the NBA signing season starts on Friday.
It was the way Battier announced it, though, that annoyed a little. Referencing Heat season ticket holder Jimmy Buffett doesn't exactly scan well with the younger crowd (or even the older crowd, if we're snobbish honest), and then to announce plans to join the NBA's least-liked and most-watched (if not in their home arena) team?
Well, as one NBA fan tweeted, "I'm really going to miss liking Shane Battier."
Uneasiness aside, this is far and away the smartest move for perhaps the NBA's smartest player. The Lakers are fading, the Celtics are flailing, the Dallas Mavericks might be raiding their championship core in preparation to build another champion next summer, and the Chicago Bulls ... well, the Bulls could have used Battier. Miami isn't a championship lock, but it's the closest thing this league has to one right now. And his brand of locker room know-how (he actually studies!), sound defense and 3-point shooting will fit right in.
Or, it won't fit. Which will be the point. "Point" also being the position LeBron James will play more often in 2011-12. Battier will be asked by the Heat's coaching staff to help the team's stars shake that sense of martyrdom that they seemed to enjoy so much last year.
He'll also be asked to guard Dirk, we're guessing. Good luck with all that, Shane.
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