Now, basketball is a completely alien sport to me. I've never really had any major exposure to it, and the whole thing has been a mystery to me.
Today, I was speaking to an American guy in work who's a huge basketball fan, and to make conversation with him, I mentioned that I used to be online acquaintances via AIM about 8 or 9 years ago with a guy who played for Duke. Unfortunately, we've completely lost contact. The online acquaintance was Shane Battier. The guy in work was stunned by this. He then showed me the Houston Rockets website and there's Shane. So I'm curious. Just how big a deal is he? What kind of level would you put him at compared to athletes who play other sports?
He is not the star of the team but a supporting player specializing in defense, drawing offensive fouls, and open perimeter/three-point shots.
He was much more celebrated during his time playing college hoops at Duke. *shudder*
Other athletes in other sports? Hmmm, I don't think he's even the best player in recent times out of the Duke college basketball program (that would be Elton Brand). Your question is extremely difficult to quantify but I would place him in some sort of "middle tier" of athletes who cannot carry a team alone and is not the athlete with the best physical abilities but has high IQ and work ethic in the sport he plays in. Thus he is a supporting player.
Shane Battier, to me, represents the last real college basketball player. He played his four years and graduated. He didn't leave early for the promise of NBA riches at the expense of his personal development.
He's a class guy who will do what is asked of him. He doesn't appear to have an ego or try to do something that's outside his skill level.
By no means am I a Duke fan, but I've always thought of Battier as a top-notch guy. Now that I live in Houston, I get to see him on a regular basis...and the respect I have for him has grown immensely.
I think one of the best things I can say about Shane Battier is if he were to unfortunately blow out his knee tomorrow he'd easily land on his feet doing absolutely anything he wanted. Most NBA players would be completely lost without basketball.
As for Duke players not living up to the hype. I know everybody says it's a Duke thing, but it's not really. It's a college basketball thing. EVERYBODY is overhyped especially ALL of the "top" teams. Sean May has been injured. Marvin Williams is just a nice player. How are Charlie Villanueva and Channing Frye doing? Kirk Hinrich, Drew Gooden and Nick Collison aren't exactly superstars.
All the players on the top college basketball teams are overhyped and picked too high while better players like Brandon Roy and Chris Paul slip. Despite how talented and as much potential as they have even Kevin Durant and Greg Oden were overhyped, it will be at least 3 years before either does anything significant. Heck, Shane Battier might not be a star, but I'd say as a seventh pick in the draft he's a pretty good pick.
There are exceptions of course like Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor, but Duke has their own exceptions as well. Grand Hill was really good before his injuries. Elton Brand and Luol Deng are both good and Jay Williams showed promise before his accident.
(edited by Quezzy on 11.5.08 1841)
(edited by Quezzy on 11.5.08 1857) Lance's Response:
Originally posted by QuezzyAll the players on the top college basketball teams are overhyped and picked too high while better players like Brandon Roy and Chris Paul slip. Despite how talented and as much potential as they have even Kevin Durant and Greg Oden were overhyped, it will be at least 3 years before either does anything significant.
1. Brandon Roy was the national college player of the year, and while they aren't a traditional power, Washington was the Pac-10 champs and a #1 seed in the tourney his junior year, then nearly repeated his senior year. And he was picked #7 - hardly a guy who was passed over.
2. Chris Paul was taken #4 in the draft, and while Atlanta probably should have picked him #2, no one was freaking out TOO much about Marvin Williams going #2 at the time.
3. Kevin Durant averaged over 20 ppg last year - in other words, about the same as LeBron and Carmelo. Just because our unfortunate situation in Seattle means he is on a crappy team, he DID win the ROTY and he was tearing the league up toward the end of the season. The fact that you didn't hear much about it does mean it wasn't "significant".
Holy fuck shit motherfucker shit. Read comics. Fuck shit shit fuck shit I sold out when I did my job. Fuck fuck fuck shit fuck. Sorry had to do it....
Revenge of the Sith = one thumb up from me. Fuck shit. I want to tittie fuck your ass. -- The Guinness. to Cerebus
I happened to find a transcript of AI's Practice Interview from May 2002. It's just as funny reading as it is listening to it. I can't supply a link since I found this via Google and the site it was on is apparently dead right now so....