ESPN's magazine has an article this week on Shane. http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/77...-espn-magazine
It includes many perceptive comments but begins with a discussion of the physical ailments that accompany his continuing to play like, well, Shane Battier. Here are some selections that begin with a discussion of his feet.
"...one toenail is in its infancy, sprouting shyly from a grisly, raw nail bed that looks as if it was scooped out with a melon baller. The other is dead and black, in an advanced stage of necrosis. Pick a spot, any spot. His arthritic ankles need to be professionally massaged and manipulated before every game ...His knees are gnarled and painful, bruised purple... A thigh bruise is from something he can't remember. An obstinate butt contusion, which simply won't heal, is from taking charges... Back pain... Playing defense the way Battier does, which often includes standing motionless while huge, fast men propel their bodies into his chest, is hell on the skeletal system. Pain is background noise. It's a fact of life...."
It also includes the idea that Shane is...
"a Heat oddball, the ultimate team guy on the ultimate individual team, the ultimate fundamental player in the ultimate flash city. He wears Peak shoes, the only NBA player to regularly wear the Chinese brand. He says things like, "Bill Russell once said, 'Hustle is skill.'""
Anyway, hope I didn't quote too much, but it's good to see he's hanging in there (his $55 million in salary, so far, probably reduces the pain somewhat)
It really was a very good read. I love stuff like that where we can kind of get inside someone's life and get a snapshot of it. That's especially true for someone as cerebral and fascinating as Shane is. If anyone hasn't read the NY Times piece referenced in there, I'd highly advise it as well.
David Robinson (very intelligent and articulate), he knows he's smarter than the guys he plays against, and he knows
how to use his smarts to help him play winning basketball. It's one reason why he set the Duke all-time record for
most wins; he really is that much smarter. Hopefully, one day, we'll see him inaugurated as Duke basketball's first
president; and don't think he isn't thinking about it.
Great article, thanks. I would love to see Shane on the staff at Duke one day.
Can any school boast two guys in the NBA right now like Shane Battier and Grant Hill? Two thoughtful, intellectual, multi-talented renaissance men. Both four year college players and college graduates. Both clearly family men. And both with bright, bright futures beyond basketball.
I'm very proud to cite those guys as Duke grads, along with many of our other Dukies in the NBA (Chris Duhon and his charitable work in his hometown comes to mind as another guy who does the Duke name proud).
Brian Zoubek on what was going through his mind walking to the free throw line with 3.6 seconds remaining in the 2010 National Championship game and Duke up by 1: "Fifty percent [of me is] thinking, This is what I've been dreaming of doing my entire life. Fifty percent I'm crapping my pants."
Great article; I wonder how long Shane has been playing in such pain? Did it start this year with the compressed schedule? Or has it been going on for a while? I hope he has a long NBA career, but when he does call it quits I have no doubt he'll do great things in other areas.
Also, a minor quibble on the corner 3: I get that it's closer to the basket than any other point along the three-point arc. But I feel like that's offset by a couple of factors:
1.) You don't have the backboard behind the rim, so you don't get a visual reference for where the basket is.
2.) If the shot is a little bit short or long, the rim isn't going to give very much. You almost have to swish it. A straight-on shot would give you the most room for error because the rim pivots down and this can absorb the most impact.
3.) It's way too easy to defend - because there's no room to dribble between the arc and the sideline, the only possible shot from the corner is a spot-up jump shot off of a feed. And while you're standing there, the defender can play pretty far off of you and still guard the pass to you since you're standing in a corner.
"Give" in the rim is much less of a factor from NBA 3 point range... Jwill tore up the corner 3 pointer in college, especially off of in-bounds plays
I just got my ESPN The Magazine in the mail today and was pleasantly surprised because it also has an article on Carlos Boozer! I've been getting ESPN mags for the last several years and finally have one worth keeping. Wish they had profiled Luol too (I can be greedy with my wishes).
The corner 3 is just about the hardest shot to make, but that wasn't the question. It is the most efficient shot.
Just my two cents,
I would say it is also about self selection...players who shouldn't be taking threes or are marginal % shooters are more likely to take them from the top of the arc (see: Andrew Bynum) whereas only mostly only good 3pt shooters search out those corner threes. But thats just my perception...would love to have some stats...