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Friday, June 30, 2006

How Can You Not Love Shane Battier?

From today's Chronicle:

"Shane Battier knows just how you feel.

He doesn't blame you. He takes no offense.

He also is not worried that he will win over the fans that booed their way out of Toyota Center on Wednesday.

'It's completely understandable for fans,' Battier said Thursday, a day after the Rockets agreed to send Stromile Swift and the rights to No. 8 draft pick Rudy Gay to the Memphis Grizzlies for Battier.

'The nice, shiny-red fire engine looks better than the old, shabby teddy bear that's been around the block a few times. But I'm going to do everything I can to earn the city of Houston's respect, to earn Rockets fans' respect.

'It's going to end up a pretty good deal.'"

Screw that shiny-red fire engine. It never had any heart. Bears, on the other hand, have a fully functioning circulatory system. Bears dive after loose balls. Bears play defense. Bears don't disappear in crunch time.

Mark my words--Houston fans will dig Shane Battier. Health permitting, the Rockets are going to be legit.

3 Comments:

Blogger Bert said...

I have to admit that I'm not as excited about this move as some of you are. While I think picking up Battier is an excellent move I also equate it to the Mets picking up Delgado. It’s a move that worked out well (.262 22HR 55RBI) but did you have to give up so much to get him? I agree that he's got heart and plays great defense but his career numbers (10.5ppg, 4.8 boards, & 1.1 blks.) doesn't equal a first round pick and Swift (who was the 2nd pick in the 1st round originally by the Grizzlies) to me. I tend to think we could have picked him up for less. Even with his lackadaisical attitude Swift alone puts up career numbers of 9.0 ppg, 4.9 boards, & 1.3 blks.

Fri Jun 30, 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Great point, but I think you're giving too much credit to Swift. While his career numbers are quasi-respectable, history has shown that the guy is completely worthless. I hate to keep harping on the whole "no heart" angle, but the next time Swift hustles will be the first. I really don't think losing him hurts the team at all. In fact, I look at it from the polar opposite view as you--if I'm the Rockets, I would have MADE the Grizz take Swift before I parted with Rudy Gay (and I don't even like Gay). Addition by subtraction, in my book.

Battier probably isn't going to make the All-NBA 1st team anytime soon, but the Rockets don't need him to. They've already got two superstars. They just need a viable third option who will do all the dirty work. That's what they'd hoped Swift would be. I think that Battier will be that guy, and this trade will be looked back at as an unmitigated success for Houston.

Fri Jun 30, 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

What Tim said, with an emphasis on the leadership, character and toughness that Battier will bring. This team has not been able to find a point guard who could establish an indentity or promote cohesive play, but getting Battier makes that problem much less of a concern.

Also, a quick look at Battier's +/- ratios and a scan of the quotes from coaches and players around the league about his play put any of my doubts at ease. Usually if you give up the most talent in a trade, you lose. However, I think this trade is going to prove an exception to that rule.

Fri Jun 30, 11:23:00 AM  

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