Battier, 33, tweeted the announcement this morning. Initially, it appeared Battier would be jockeying with Lindsay Lohan’s Playboy cover (see alleged cover here) for top billing on the internet today … but then Albert Pujols happened.
What’s not to love about the signing? With Mike Miller on the shelf until February, Battier will have ample time to steal his job. Battier, who had a memorable career at Duke and is loved by the stat wonks, specializes in defending and 3-point shooting. I expect him to defend the opponent’s best wing player, keeping LeBron and Wade fresh for the 4th quarter. As of now, the Heat appear to be looking at this unit late in games: LeBron, Wade, Battier, Bosh and probably Udonis Haslem. It’s an upgrade over last season when they trotted out Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller, Joel Anthony or Eddie House to join the Big 3 (Haslem missed basically the entire season due to injury).
Battier isn’t a huge loss for the Grizzlies. He was solid in the postseason, but with Rudy Gay back from injury and the emergence of Tony Allen and Sam Young last season, Battier was going to get squeezed out of the rotation. Might as well sign with a contender where you’ll play, right?
The Heat are rumored to be chasing Eddy Curry. Curry, meanwhile, is still chasing bread crumbs. And yes, I had to go all the way back to 2004 to find a photo with both Battier and Curry in it.
Previously: NBA 2011-2012 Preview, A-to-Z
Previously: A 2012 NBA Draft Lottery Prediction, One Year Early