Shane Battier, who said two months ago that he would be retiring after this NBA season barring an “act of God,” has agreed to a multi-year TV deal with ESPN to be a college basketball analyst next season, multiple people told The Big Lead.
It’s unclear yet if ESPN will use Battier, 35, as a game analyst, in the studio, or on the set of College Gameday, which is being revamped. Battier’s agent, Jim Ornstein, didn’t return a call today seeking comment. ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said the network had “no comment.” The deal isn’t expected to be announced until after the Finals are complete. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.
Battier, who starred at Duke, is in his 13th season in the NBA. Thursday, his Miami Heat will attempt to win a third consecutive NBA Championship. Battier’s contract with the team is up in July. In March, he offered his strongest retirement quote so far:
Yes. Shane Battier is retiring after season. No more equivocating. “It would take an act of God to change it & that act of God hasn’t come.”
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) March 28, 2014
Battier reportedly had an offer to run for Senate in his home state of Michigan, but passed.
One source joked that if Battier were to join ESPN’s College Gameday, he could sit alongside Jay Bilas and Jay Williams – two other former Duke stars – in an ironic move that would feed the “ESPN loves Duke” cries from fans.
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