Throwback Thursday - Shane Battier
Shane Courtney Battier, born September 9, 1978, retired this week from the Miami Heat .
Battier was born and raised in Birmingham, Michigan, and attended Detroit Country Day School in nearby Beverly Hills, where he won many awards including the 1997 Mr. Basketball award. He went on to play four years of college basketball at Duke, where he captured the 2001 National Championship and swept the major National Player of the Year awards. Battier was selected with the sixth overall pick of the 2001 NBA Draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies (who soon became the Memphis Grizzlies). He was traded five years later to the Houston Rockets, and was then traded back to the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2010–2011 NBA season. He signed with the Miami Heat in 2011. His number has been retired by both Detroit Country Day School and Duke University. He has been recognized for his aggressive defense and has "routinely guarded the league's most dangerous offensive players". He is the only basketball player to have ever won both the Naismith Prep Player of the Year Award (1997) and the Naismith College Player of the Year (2001). Battier went on to win two NBA championships with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013.
On December 8, 2011, Battier announced through his Twitter account that he planned to sign with the Miami Heat when free agency opened the following day. He had met with Heat officials in the first hours of December 5, the first day that teams were allowed to speak with players. Battier officially signed on as a member of the Heat on December 9, 2011. On March 2, 2012, Battier scored a season-high 18 points, going 6–7 from the three-point line, in a one point loss to the Utah Jazz. In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, Battier recorded his first career playoff double-double in a 93–79 win. In the 2012 NBA Finals, Battier scored 58 points in five games, and won his first NBA Championship. His 11.6 points per game exceeded his 4.8 average in the 2011–12 regular season, and he made 15–26 three-point shots. His 57.7 three point shooting percentage in the 2012 NBA Finals is the highest three point shooting percentage ever recorded by a player who made 15 or more three-pointers in an NBA Finals series.
During the 2012–13 regular season, Battier and the Heat won 27 consecutive games, establishing the NBA's second-longest winning streak (behind the 33 consecutive games won by the Lakers in the 1971–72 season). A speech given by Battier following the Super Bowl has been credited with sparking the 27-game win streak. The winning streak was snapped on March 27, 2013, when the Heat lost to the Chicago Bulls. The Heat surpassed the 22-game winning streak recorded by the 2007–08 Rockets, for whom Battier also played. Battier became the only player in NBA history to have been a part of two 20-game winning streaks. Battier struggled with his shooting in the playoffs until scoring 18 points (6 of 8 3-point field goals) in an intense Game 7 against the Spurs to win his second championship. While being awarded the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, Battier was asked to speak about his performance, and concisely said that "it's better to be timely than good".
In March 2014, Battier announced his intentions to retire following the 2013–14 season. Following the Miami Heat's Game 5 loss in the 2014 NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs, Battier officially announced his retirement after 13 seasons in the NBA.