From his Duke background to his 3-point marksmanship to his making the charge call eminently prominent in the game of basketball, Shane Battier is one of the NBA's most polarizing players. Even if the veteran swingman isn't one of the game's elite talents, everyone has a love or loathe opinion on him.
Following Tuesday night's loss to the Wizards at the Verizon Center, the 35-year-old held court inside the Miami Heat locker room. The combination of a minimal stress preseason game and Battier's willingness to talk about seemingly whatever - including fans warming to the Heat, the government shutdown and Duke-Maryland - led to a series of questions having nothing to do with the just completed game.
On the Heat now receiving cheers on the road: "It has come a long ways. I didn't see the full extent of it, obviously, when in 2010 these guys were just VILIFIED. No one likes to get booed. Some guys do thrive off it, but guys enjoy being showmen, putting on a good show for the fans. It's nice that this team is appreciated for good basketball. You don't have to love us, but appreciate us for playing basketball with a team mindset."
Government shutdown: "Well, there needs to be a conciliation. There has to be compromise. The way that our forefathers wrote it up in the Constitution. It might be a good time to re-read the Constitution and just remember what America was founded on. It might be a good refresher course for all of us." (Is it depressing): "It's not depressing. It's the sign of the times, I guess. I think you see in the media, much like in sports, personalities are created now more so than leaders. There are a lot of people trying to improve their cache. I think everyone is sort of losing sight of the main thing and that's let's run our country (inaudible)."
His evolution with the trendy corner 3-point shot (Battier made the most in the NBA last season): "With me it was out of necessity. I played with Pau Gasol in Memphis. Our offense basically consisted of four-out one-in. Pau would get the ball on the left block - he's so good down on the post (the defense) would double-team. He'd kick it out and there would be a swing, swing. In that offense, if I wanted to score, I have to make that shot. That's how it happened, more out of necessity. When I got to Houston, they explained how lethal that shot is because it's closest, most efficient 3-pointer and the rest is history. It was not something where I consciously said 'I want to become a great corner 3-point shooter.' It was my way of staying on the floor."
The former Duke star on Maryland leaving the ACC: "It's sad, it's sad. Some of my finest memories in the ACC were of the Duke-Maryland matchup. It's sad that big college finances, I guess, are shaping the landscape instead of rivalries. It's a sad thing."
Coach K said he won't schedule Maryland in the future: "It loses something, it loses something they way it all goes down. I'll never forget going into Cole Field House my senior year, beating them down 10 with 55 seconds left. The Terrapins fans throwing batteries, spitting on us, throwing pennies and ice chips when we walked off the floor. But, it was a great place to play. It's sad for the ACC."