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Being a part of the NBA for 13 years and one of the smartest players to play for the league, Shane Battier may be close to winning his first championship ever as the Miami Heat tie the series with the Oklahoma City Thunder 1-1, hoping to lead with a win tonight.
Metta World Peace and Battier were teammates when MWP played for the Houston Rockets in the 2008-2009 season. MWP witnessed the qualities Battier had, stating that Battier stands out, calling him a resemblance to Derek Fisher. He is a tough player who, in Metta’s words, “Always was clutch and always hit the big shots”. During that year, due to all the injuries of the star players such as Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, the Rockets were unable to win a championship which is why Metta thinks that Battier’s true excellence and the reflection of his game were not able to be shown.
The 2012 final series against Oklahoma is all that Battier has to conquer to be able to obtain his first championship ring and with the way he has been playing, he may get it. Metta commends Battier’s game, “His 4th quarter clutch shooting is up there with the best but he just doesn’t have a ring to prove it”. Battier is also known for his great defense, “He is one of the toughest players in the NBA, hands down. Defensively, not going to say he’s a better defender than me, you know, I’m the best defensive player ever, but his defense is a work of art, he studies his opponents and then he can flat out shoot and score the ball, you cannot leave him open, (when) he’s on the court –he is a threat”. He really does treat his work like art, studying every opponent he faces before a game and treating basketball more than job.
Battier’s performance is not a surprise to Metta, “He totally is not afraid, and that’s half the battle…some guys are more athletic, yeah, but when it’s that time to shine and your moment has arrived, are you going to back down? Are you going to lay down? Or are you going to step up? Shane is going to step up. I’ve been telling people before the playoffs that Shane is going to step up”. With someone who has as many big shots as Battier, Metta always thought that he would be a champion, “If he wins, I wouldn’t even be surprised. I will not even see him and be that excited for him because I always knew that he was a champion, it’s really that simple”.
Along with Shane Battier, Derek Fisher and Kevin Durant are some of Metta’s favorite clutch shooters in today’s basketball outside his Laker teammates.
“He has more heart than a lot of players and for him it’s black and white, just get it done. Shane reminds me of Derek with his hard work and dedication. Keep doing your work Shane.”