MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Heat forward Shane Battier has pulled off a feat not many athletes can claim in their career.
When the Miami Heat hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy as NBA champions, it marked the end of a long journey for Battier. To win it, he joined arguably the most hated team in the NBA, the Miami Heat. But that’s something Battier is used to dating back to college.
Battier was a star forward at Duke University from 1997-2001. The Blue Devils are loved by their fans, but almost universally loathed by every other college basketball fan. The satirical website Fark.com will usually post a basketball story if the words “Duke Sucks” appears somewhere in the user’s headline.
While at Duke, Battier averaged just fewer than 20 points in his senior season.
Battier won an NCAA Tournament championship in his senior season at Duke in 2001. He hit key shots throughout that season, shooting 42 percent from behind the 3-point line and scoring just fewer than 20 points per game.
In the 2012 NBA Finals, Battier has been a key component of the Miami Heat’s attack both on the offensive and defensive end of the floor. Battier killed Oklahoma City when they double-teamed off of him and is shooting 63 percent from 3-point land.
Defensively, Battier has helped shut down David West in the Eastern Conference semifinals and guarded Brandon Bass in the Eastern Conference finals. In the NBA Finals, Battier has been in the face of Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant among others.
Still, it’s not many players who can say they have played for the most hated college team and the most hated professional team. It’s even rarer that a player who did that has ever walked away with a championship with both teams.
What made it even more impressive was that Battier remained a popular player throughout the process.
Before Battier took the court for Game 5, he, like most athletes, have a routine to go through. Battier’s involves more than just stretching and shooting the basketball.
CBS Local Sports was able to get a look at Battier’s pregame playlist, and as expected, it’s the perfect mix of songs to inspire a veteran playing a for a title.
- Click here to take a look at what Battier listens to before he is ready to play each night.