Saying it all came down to "a winning role," veteran small forward Shane Battier announced on Twitter Thursday he intends to sign with the Miami Heat when free agency begins Friday.
"The lockout gave me a lots of time to consider what was important to me at this stage of my life and career. Over the last week, I've played out every scenario in my head over and over. It always came back to one thing for me: a winning role," the 33-year-old wrote.
"I would like to quote the great poet Jimmy Buffett and take my chances 'Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season'...
Indeed. So even with problems at point guard and center, the Heat obviously made Battier a top priority. The Duke alum was a large part of the Memphis Grizzlies' Rudy Gay-less late-season run last year, averaging 7.6 points per game (9.6 career) and shooting 38 percent from 3-point range. With Mike Miller having undergone hernia surgery, James Jones' return to Miami unsure, acquiring Battier is a pretty smooth move for the Heat.
In true Miami style, it's a bit of a bro-fest, too. New Heat CEO Nick Arison, owner Micky Arison's son, served as Duke's team manager when Battier was in college, including during the Blue Devil's national championship in 2001, and the two are said to maintain a close relationship.
Perhaps more importantly, he'll help give the Heat a boost when LeBron James and Dwyane Wade need some rest, and likely start if either is injured. The terms of the deal have yet to be made public, and the Heat aren't likely to confirm or comment on the move until free agency begins Friday -- but that didn't stop one very kingly welcome.