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July 17, 2013

Shane Battier


THE MODERATOR:テつ Welcome.テつ This is the second consecutive Century Championship, second consecutive that you're a world champion.テつ How does that feel?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ It's a pretty surreal feeling.テつ Surreal feeling.テつ Surreal feeling to walk into the players meeting last year as a champion and be amongst the great champions of every sport.
The fact seemed like yesterday we were just here.テつ Steve Curry and I on the dais.テつ But it was a surreal season for us and an unbelievable ending.
I don't think anyone scripted it like that, but we're glad it all transpired the way it did.

Q.テつ A little bit different pressure in a Game 6 and a Game 7 when you have to win both versus the feeling you have out here, I would imagine.
SHANE BATTIER:テつ Well, yeah.テつ This is fun and games.テつ This is fun and games.テつ Although I'm out here to raise money for my foundation.
I don't think it will quite match the pressure of Game 6 and Game 7.テつ Although, I think I'll be more nervous on the first tee putting the ball on the ground and hearing my name called.テつ At least with basketball I have better control of what's going on.テつ I can't control this little white ball.

Q.テつ Off season now, we have the NBA down in Vegas playing right now, seemed like the season ended seems like yesterday or two weeks ago, and here they are starting up again.テつ Nice break for you.テつ How long do you get off?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ It takes me about a month to decompress.テつ The playoffs are such a pressure‑filled time, emotional time.テつ The hyperbole is great.テつ When you win a game, you figure it out.テつ Lose a game, scrap everything, go back to plan B.テつ And it's an emotional roller coaster, especially the way we finished in Game 7.テつ Takes me a few weeks to finally unwind and decompress.
And I think about the first second week of August I'll get the itch to get back in the gym and the leather smells good and feels good in my hands again and I'll get back at it.
But for now it's time for a lot of bad golf.

Q.テつ On the bad golf topic, because I remember when you did the teleconference a few weeks back, how much have you gotten to go out and sort of get your game ready and smell the cut grass to get ready to come up here?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ I've slapped it around.テつ I've gone as low as 85.テつ I've gone as high as 105.テつ So the true answer is probably in the middle somewhere.
My teammate Ray Allen, he's an absolute nut.テつ I think that's probably the reason why he came to the Miami Heat.テつ Any spare second he had he was out in South Florida on the golf course.
I like his game a lot better than mine right now.テつ But I feel good.テつ I'm hitting the ball a long ways.テつ I'm playing a nice little 50‑yard banana fade, I guess you could call it.テつ But it's out there.テつ As long as we can control that and figure out the speed of the greens a little bit, I'll be all right.

Q.テつ How many times approximately have you gotten to play?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ I've probably‑‑ I've played probably seven rounds.

Q.テつ Now, Ray plays during season, too.テつ Do I recall stating you don't play an awful lot during your season, that's not your thing.

Q.テつ Does it take away from you?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ I'm definitely behind the curve.テつ For me I'd love to play, especially living in Miami, in the off season.テつ I just actually moved to a golf course in Miami.テつ So my game is going to improve appreciably quickly I think.
On an off day in the NBA, I have a five‑year‑old and a two‑year‑old and a great wife who loves me, but when I suggest to her that I'm going to go play four‑hour round of golf, husbands understand that look they get.
I probably have one more year left and that's when the handicap is really going to come down.テつ But for someone who is a spot golfer.テつ I'm dangerous in the skins game because I'm getting a lot of strokes.

Q.テつ Another couple of years left.テつ You're coming off a championship season.テつ How long‑‑ a month to decompress when do you really start getting serious in terms of conditioning going again, because professional sports, especially today is a year‑round deal now.
SHANE BATTIER:テつ It really is.テつ You never really get too out of shape.テつ August1st I'll start getting in the weight room, start to ride the bike a little bit.テつ I'm 34 years old.テつ I can't pound and run the pavement like I used to.テつ My body won't hold up.テつ So a lot of swimming, a lot of biking, a lot of non‑impact stuff.
September1st I'm ramping up towards training camp, feeling pretty good, feeling in good shape, and obviously October1st we hit the ground running and that's when you're at your peak.

Q.テつ Before we go to the next what are you doing swimming‑wise in terms of low impact?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ I do a lot of‑‑ my training is a lot of short distance, high intensity.テつ A lot of Tabata.テつ I live on a lake.テつ So swim until I get tired, take a ten second rest, swim until I get tired.テつ I'm not a great swimmer so I guess my inefficiency gets me in shape a little better.

Q.テつ I'm going to be helping out a colleague who is not here yet, going to be doing something on LeBron, if you'll forgive me.テつ Is he the Michael Jordan of this generation?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ He's LeBron James of the generation.テつ There's only one Michael.テつ I grew up watching Michael.テつ There will never be another Michael.
On the same token, there's never ever going to be another LeBron James.テつ The NBA's never seen a player with his physical skills and his basketball skills combined into one person.
So I think when it's all said and done, you'll be saying the same thing, who is the next LeBron James.テつ But there won't be one just like there won't be another Jordan.

Q.テつ You did get to overlap a little bit with Jordan I think a couple of years.テつ Can you talk a little bit about who is easier to guard, or, if you had to, who would you pick to guard?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ Well, I'd much rather guard No. 45, Michael Jordan from the Washington Wizards.テつ Really wasn't quite the same as the guy who was winning in Chicago.テつ Still, it was a thrill for me, one of the biggest thrills for me in my career.テつ And every player whoever played with Jordan has a picture of them guarding Jordan in their office, in their home somewhere.テつ And I'm no different.テつ That was one of the biggest thrills of my life.
I grew up watching him.テつ I was a Pistons fan.テつ I didn't love MJ, but I respected him.
And his mind was what set him apart.テつ His basketball IQ was unparalleled.テつ And playing with LeBron, LeBron has a very underrated mind.テつ Really, really knows the game, student of the game, is a student of the history of the game, has appreciation.
And he's like having a coach on the floor.テつ And he's not even 30 yet.テつ That's the scary part.テつ His mind is only going to get better.

Q.テつ You didn't love MJ because you were a Pistons fan, not because you're at Duke and he's at North Carolina?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ That didn't help, once I got to Duke.テつ But growing up, that was bad boy era, Mahorn, Laimbeer, Isaiah, Joedee, those were my guys.

Q.テつ Michael and LeBron at their prime, one‑on‑one game, what happens?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ Man, that's hard, because it's hard to say because LeBron hasn't hit his prime yet.

Q.テつ Any fun little background stories.テつ Things about LeBron in the locker room.テつ Idiosyncrasies?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ He's one of my favorite teammates of all time.テつ He keeps the locker room really loose.テつ And I think everyone saw the Harlem Shake video, which was pretty funny.テつ And for a bunch of guys who, A, I don't have very shy teammates but that put themselves out there, in a Harlem Shake video and dress up like a bunch of interesting characters, shows the personality of our team.
And we get a lot of that from LeBron.テつ And we knew from that video we had to back it up from some pretty good basketball play.テつ That was from the streak of 27 straight wins.テつ We worked really hard, but we also had a good time, and I think LeBron embodies it.

Q.テつ I remember when we talked last year about the Take Charge Save Par endeavor.テつ You're doing that again this year.テつ Might have already gone around.テつ But I'm curious, I can't remember when we spoke, how much the pledge got up last year and how much you generated, and do you know what the pledge is up to this year?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ We had a wildly successful year mainly because I decided to bring my A game.
For those that don't know the Battier Take Charge Foundation, it's an education‑based foundation.テつ We award college scholarships to at‑risk youth, mostly in the Houston, Michigan and Miami areas where we have connections.
And we started an initiative called Take Charge Save Par.テつ Most of these guys are grinding for birdies, I'm striving for par.テつ Par is a great score.テつ Every now and then I get a birdie, I'm pumped.テつ We solicit donations for every par that I made during the three‑day tournament.
Last year we raised over $50,000 for college scholarships that went directly towards college scholarships.テつ I wasn't very popular because we did this two years ago, and I only had eight pars.テつ And so people based their donation on my emerging golf game, emerging golf swing.
Last year I hit them over the head with 17 pars and birdies.テつ So I doubled my output.テつ I got hot the second, third days and I played really well.テつ So I was pretty excited.
So if it wasn't going towards some great kids, I would have felt a little worse for my friends, but it was all in good fun.テつ But we're doing the same initiative this year and you can visit our website at takechargefoundation.org and sign up to donate and read all about our foundation and our great kids.

Q.テつ Go par.

Q.テつ Par is always different.テつ I want to go back on the Jordan and LeBron thing for a second.テつ Which do you enjoy watching the most?テつ Have you ever thought about that?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ It's so different.テつ I was 12, 13, 14 watching Jordan.テつ Jordan was‑‑ I'll never forget.テつ I watched a game and I had really good seats.テつ And it was the Pistons/Bulls and the Bulls' heyday.テつ And I saved the ticket.テつ And I wrote on it:テつ Remember where you want to be some day.テつ I put that on my wall and looked at it every single day.テつ That was my motivation to get here.
And so Jordan for me was inspired me to be where I am today.テつ I don't take LeBron's greatness for granted.テつ But you see him every day and I've never‑‑ I'm never‑‑ I never stop getting amazed by what he does.テつ LeBron's my guy.テつ I could call him right now and he'd give me some grief.
So they mean two different things in my life, in my career.

Q.テつ Who would you most like to be paired with playing in this tournament right now?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ Steph Curry.テつ That guy is awesome.テつ I played with him two years ago.テつ He's probably the baddest mofo out there outside of LeBron.テつ So hopefully some of his mojo will rub off on me.テつ And he's got an awesome golf swing.

Q.テつ And then I know this isn't the LeBron show, but rumor has it that the Lakers might be going after him in 2014.テつ Do you think you're going to lose your teammate?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ That's such a long ways away.テつ If you would have told me that a year from now I'd be standing up here you'd be back‑to‑back NBA world champions, but it would take a miracle in Game 6 and a heck of a performance in Game 7 to do it, so much goes on from that point.テつ I know LeBron's going to concentrate this year and we've got a shot to do something special this year.
And that's going to take up all of his focus and concentration.テつ At the end of that, I think he'll look at everything and make a decision.

Q.テつ And one last question.テつ Do you think that Dennis Rodman is worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ Wow.テつ (Laughter) I think it's too early to call.テつ Let's see how relations with North Korea pan out here before we start popping the champagne.

Q.テつ Shane, it's been about a month.テつ What about a threepeat?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ I'm going to enjoy this victory lap.テつ Like I said last year, it's a long road, it's a hard road.テつ Hardest thing you do as a professional to win a championship.テつ I enjoyed last year's victory lap.テつ I'm not even going to start thinking about next season until my victory lap is good and done.

Q.テつ As far as every athlete has some rough times, has some downtimes, you had a little bit this year.テつ And when you were benched and you came back and you fulfilled.テつ How did that feel?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ Well, if nothing else, it was fulfilling personally.テつ And I don't play the game to impress people.テつ I don't play the game for accolades.テつ All I've ever wanted to do in my career is just take my career as far as I could take it.
And the only person that knows how far that can go is myself.テつ So I hold myself to a high standard.テつ And as a competitor, it was tough to have to watch most of the game.テつ Because that's why you play, to compete.
And to have your coach say, you know what, our best chance of winning doesn't involve you.テつ That's tough to swallow as a competitor.テつ But as a teammate you stay the course and support the guys who are playing, and you stay in the present and you keep your head as straight as possible and you keep your routines and that's what I did.
And I knew if I was given a chance, I'd be ready to produce and help my team win games, which is all I ever asked myself to do.テつ And it just happened to be in a Game 6 and Game 7 situation.
The situation is really immaterial to me.テつ I was just happy that I was able to stay in the present and produce when my number was called.
I had a dream I had a scoreboard that looked like this one day.テつ And it's a bunch of 3s, with Steph Curry and Ray Allen it says 3s are good on the golf course, too.テつ So if you don't mind I'm going to keep this.テつ I'm going to put it in my hotel room and I'm going to, this could be my muse for the next four days here.テつ Dare to dream.テつ Dare to dream.

Q.テつ What was your fondest high school memory?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ My first high school state championship, 1996.テつ I was at the Breslin Center, beat East Grand Rapids.テつ I'll never forget it.テつ I was a sophomore at the time.テつ I won three state championships, but the first one was the sweetest, just because I don't think I've ever been part of a group that's been as close as we were that year.
And to finally win a championship with your closest buddies, I'll never forget that feeling.

Q.テつ I heard you were a trumpet player in high school.テつ Would you like to expand on that?
SHANE BATTIER:テつ I played trumpet a long time ago.テつ I picked up the trumpet in fourth grade.テつ I played fourth through about eighth grade.テつ And then basketball sort of took precedence there and my schooling.テつ I still have the trumpet.
I can still play‑‑ I grew up in Michigan.テつ The first song I ever learned to play was Hail to the Victors.テつ You give me a trumpet right now, I can blow, which is a random fact about me.テつ But one day I always say I'm going to take it back up, but I haven't found time yet.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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