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NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: HEAT v PACERS


May 24, 2014


Shane Battier


MIAMI, FLORIDA: Game Three

TWYMAN-STOKES TEAMMATE OF THE YEAR AWARD RECIPIENT

Q.  What is the honor of winning this teammate award?
SHANE BATTIER:¬† It's a huge honor.¬† It's probably one of the biggest honors of my life, the Twyman‑Stokes Teammate Award winner.
If you don't know the story about Maurice Stokes and Jack Twyman, it's an amazing story of brotherhood and being the ultimate teammate.  Jack Twyman basically became Maurice Stokes' guardian after he was paralyzed in a basketball accident and taking the locker room to a whole different level.  So I'm extremely proud to be the 2014 recipient.
The award represents so much.  It's really a huge honor.  It means a lot to me because I've tried to be a good teammate my entire life.

Q.  Do you appreciate the honor is the fact that it was not your current teammates that did the voting?
SHANE BATTIER:¬† Yes.¬† The beauty of it is I'm a 13‑year veteran, 35 years old, I've probably played with 250 of the current players that are in the league.
But for guys that don't know me, who only played against me, to look at me and say, "You know what, he looks like he'd be a great teammate," that means a lot to me.  To be voted on by my peers as a great teammate, it's a tremendous honor.
Although the guys in the locker room couldn't cast any votes for me, I'd like to think that they would have voted for me if they could.  I hope they know that I love them and I appreciate them, and everything I do, I try to make that locker room better and team better.

Q.  How would you characterize what that locker room is like right now?
SHANE BATTIER:  I think we have a strong locker room.  We have a strong locker room, a locker room that's together.  It's like a family.  It's not always champagne and roses.  There's arguments and disagreements, but I think that every last guy in that locker room has each other's back.  They would do anything to make them a better player, a better person.

Q.  How are the arguments and disagreements, in terms of the way they get resolved, different than your earlier career here?
SHANE BATTIER:  I don't think it's any different.  You try to find a resolution.  Don't let things linger.  Just like when you argue with your wife, you try not to go to bed upset.  You try to figure it out.
Same thing for a basketball team.  If you have a disagreement, you figure it out.

Q.  So if the teammates couldn't vote for you, what kind of campaigning did you do around the league?
SHANE BATTIER:¬† I was a little softer on all my block‑outs this year.¬† Less dirty looks.
That's the beauty of this award.  You really can't campaign for it.  You are who you are.  But like I said, I played with so many great guys in this league, so many great teammates.  The Yao Mings to the Mutombos, the Juwan Howards to the Luis Scolas, to Kyle Lowrys, Chuck Hayeses, guys who are amazing teammates.
I've learned so much from the warriors and the great teammates in this league.  It's made the journey.

Q.  Can we glean anything from the fact that 3 of the 12 guys were you, Elton, and Mike?
SHANE BATTIER:¬† I like to think that the Duke guys are a classy group of individuals.¬† We're always up for the sportsmanship award too, but it is good‑‑ Mike Dunleavy is my best friend.¬† So now when we have some Budweisers this summer, I'm going to make him pay.¬† I beat him in this award.¬† That's the good news.¬† That's the good news.

Q.  Shane, how has your role changed this series compared to last year when you guys faced the Pacers?
SHANE BATTIER:  I was thinking about that.  It really hasn't changed much.  I'm just trying to bring energy.  I'm not getting a lot of play calls, obviously, but one thing I can do is I can affect the game just by flying around and trying to get loose balls and set screens and rebound and keep spacing.
So my mindset isn't really different, just to make something happen.

Q.  You've always been known as a pretty good defender in this league.  You know when Paul George says he thinks he can beat you off the dribble and so forth, do you take that as a challenge and tell Coach you want to get another crack at him and so forth?
SHANE BATTIER:  I take that as everything is right in the world, because the second a guy starts saying, you know what, Battier has it all figured out and I'm fearful of him, then I really know it's time to retire.
That's been the story of my career since AAU ball when I was 14 years old, always underestimated.  But that's okay.  I know I can be effective.

Q.  One thing that has changed in this matchup, you're not guarding West much.  Will we see that more?  Are you up for that?  What's your feelings on that?
SHANE BATTIER:¬† I'm up for anything.¬† If Coach says, hey, go out and make a couple half‑courters, I'll try to do the best I can, try to do that.
The matchups are the ultimate chess match that the coaches play.  In their mind, they're trying to get the right matchups for every situation.  I go out there and do my role, whatever that is.

Q.  Shane, because you've been on so many teams with so many organizations, how is it unique to see players on a team sort of make defensive assignments in game, like LeBron did the other day with Norris Cole?
SHANE BATTIER:¬† With veteran guys who understand and have been around the block, they're usually given more leeway to make in‑game adjustments.
Obviously, LeBron is an amazing mind.¬† We have a lot of guys who know the game and are given that leeway to make in‑game adjustments.

Q.  Do you think you guys discovered something that could help you in the series with Cole on Stephenson?
SHANE BATTIER:¬† Well, every game is so different.¬† So I'm sure that they look at the tape, and we'll try to find a way to exploit that matchup, whether it's going to Cole‑‑ in a playoff series, successes and strategies that work really well for a game don't usually last very long.

Q.  Makes you want to be a coach, doesn't it?
SHANE BATTIER:  No.  Unless they're handing out Steve Kerr money.  Then I'll think about it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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