Three members of the Miami Heat get the lion’s share of the attention, so it’s easy to forget the important role Shane Battier played in their championship 2011-12 season. The veteran sidekick captured his first title along with LeBron, D-Wade and Chris Bosh, but now he’s even more thirsty for another one. And he says his teammates are feeling the same way.
Shane Battier joined Kup & Crowder on WQAM in Miami to discuss his burning desire to repeat, criticism coming from TNT’s Steve Kerr, LeBron James’ ability to cause jaws to drop in practice and Miami’s determination to keep winning.
On what the next hurdle is now that they’ve come through and won it all:
“Do it again. … Once you taste that champagne and once you raise that trophy, you don’t want anyone else to do that. You don’t want anyone else to have that feeling. And so it was an unbelievable feeling, and we’re selfish. We don’t want anyone else except us to experience that this year.”
On Steve Kerr saying he’s worried Battier will be overwhelmed by a lot of power forwards:
“That’s why they play the games. I’ve been counted out and counted against my entire career, starting back in the seventh grade. And here I am — I’ve found a way to stick around and still start on a world championship team. … The only thing that matters is what I think, and I think given time and given some experience, I’ll figure it out.”
On LeBron James dazzling, even in practice:
“Every now and then No. 6 will turn it on in practice and do something and everyone will turn to each other and be like, ‘You’ve gotta be kidding me. This guy’s a freak.’ So yes, he does a bunch of things that still impresses us.”
On people wondering if they’ll lose drive now that they have a title:
“I don’t think that’s an issue, to be honest with you. We all signed up for this team and this journey and this gong show, sometimes, for multiple runs at this thing, and multiple cracks. This isn’t like 2006 where the Heat were all in for that year and didn’t really have a chance to repeat. … We want to do something that no one else has done, and that’s try to win for a long time.”
On the notion that head coach Erik Spoelstra doesn’t have much control :
“It’s the furthest thing from the inmates running the asylum. It’s a professional organization. We do things the right way. We do them hard, we try to do them together, and I think that shows in the style of basketball that we play. … People are going to be skeptical regardless, so it’s not our job to prove them wrong.”