Shane Battier is known as one of the NBA’s deepest thinkers, which is why it was fun to watch him share the court with Ron Artest during their one season together in Houston. With Battier and Artest locking down opposing players on either wing, the Rockets had the NBA’s version of the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other.
Now a key member of the defending champion Miami Heat, Battier is still a deep thinker. At 34 years old, in fact, he may be an even more cerebral player than ever before. His knowledge of opponents’ offenses and tendencies, as well as his ability to read angles as a defender, is virtually unmatched.
With that in mind, the question to the answer “He would be the runaway favorite in an all-NBA player edition of ‘Jeopardy’” might be, “Who is Shane Battier?”
That is what Battier thinks, anyway.
“I’m undersized every night, but I like to think I’m quicker in the mind,” Battier told ESPN.com. “If we’re playing ‘Jeopardy,’ I like my chances against any power forward in the league. Print that.”
ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh complied, and now power forwards throughout the league might have some motivation next time they face Battier. That is, if they disagree with him.
Battier is the rare defensive menace who is not despised throughout the league. For all we know, maybe the league’s power forwards look at that quote and say, You know what? I wager that Battier is probably correct.
Photo via Flickr/conanzah