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Battier's long journey nears end; UM makes stadium decision, considers marquee football games; Fins, Marlins

SUNDAY BUZZ COLUMN

Shane Battier, most assuredly, is the only NBA player who draws a charge one minute, cooks portobello mushrooms the next and later references “the Joycean” style of his writings.

As he navigates his final three weeks as an NBA player, the Heat forward is cherishing every moment, the experience heightened now that he has resumed playing after sitting idly in the first round.

Battier, 35, hasn't yet become emotional or nostalgic. But "I've been known to cry on a few occasions. I'm not afraid to shed a tear or two. My wife will say I'm a SAP."

He is chronicling his final season in a journal that he updates regularly. “A Joycian stream of consciousness,” he cracks, a reference to James Joyce, one of the esteemed fiction writers of the early 20th century. He might use it as the basis for a book.

Battier received marriage proposals from fans over the years, to the amusement of his wife, Heidi. This season, some reached out (on social media and through letters) to tell him he shouldn’t retire; others told him they’re all for it.

"More love letters than hate mail," he said, smiling.

So why will this season be his last?

"I'm just ready. Every person knows. Just ready for new adventures. If it were just about games, I'd play forever. The will to prepare to play is what most people don't see: the hours, the ice bags, the treatment, the stitches, not being able to get out of bed in the morning, missing your kid's birthday parties and missing your anniversaries.

"You have to sacrifice in order to prepare at a high level for this job, which I have for a long, long time..... I have no regrets on my run. I've given myself a chance to help my teams win every step of the way. I've done some really cool things."

He said “when I started, I had two goals: Play 10 years and walk away before the game kicked me out. It wasn't to win a championship. It wasn't to earn a certain amount of money."

His final regular season disappointed him personally. "The shooting percentage was down, but I just don't feel I played to my standards. I had a subpar year."

But he has helped in these playoffs, shooting 50 percent both from the field overall and from three-point range.

Last year, The Sporting News named him one of the 10 most intelligent people in sports. After all, who else weaves in the word 'monolithic' during a post-practice interview?

The sixth overall pick of the 2001 draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies, Battier speaks two languages (English and German), had a 3.5 GPA at Duke while majoring in religion, lists finances and sabermetrics among his interests, and once said the nerdiest thing about him is that he has a subscription to Laptop magazine. He taught himself to cook a few years ago and can whip up paella and assorted other dishes.

Unlike many players, the first number he wants to know after the game is not his points, but his plus/minus (the score differential when he was on the court). He’s the first Heat player in the past two decades to ask coaches for a detailed printout on the opponent he’s facing.

NBA players voted him the league’s best teammate this season, and he has left an imprint off the court here, especially with Norris Cole, who sits next to him in the locker-room and now also asks coaches for that same ‘Battier’ printout, while seeking life lessons on “how to save money” and more.

Udonis Haslem calls Battier the "smartest guy" he has played with. "I want to stay in contact with him 10 years from now; he's got some great networking," Toney Douglas said. "People wonder why Shane Battier plays in the league 13 years. He defends, he isn't going to make mistakes, he hits threes and he's a great guy in the locker-room. A great professional."

What Battier has most treasured this season is the quiet moments when he walks on arena floors on the road, long after the game ends, and soaks everything in. He did it in Detroit, New York and Houston.

Battier future’s will involve "a variety of things," including TV analyst work. His vision of leaving the floor for the final time this month doesn't involve hitting a game-winning shot in the Finals because "that's a little too storybook for me."

Instead, it's simply "feeling good about my run. Knowing I gave my team a shot to win every night. I'd be very content with that."

### Please see the last post for a lot more Heat notes from Saturday, including what the Heat is doing better this postseason than any other during the Big Three Era and Erik Spoelstra following the lead of Al Golden on his villian approach....

### The Heat-Spurs Finals rematch begins Thursday night in San Antonio. "We've got four more to win. We'll do it this time," Tim Duncan told TNT.... Charles Barkley picks the Heat to win the Finals, hoping this prediction is more accurate than previous ones.

CHATTER

### After studying the idea for months, David Beckham’s group and UM have mutually decided not to pursue the possibility of having the UM football team play in Beckham’s proposed soccer stadium presuming it’s at the boat slip site next to AmericanAirlines Arena, according to several people with direct knowledge. Voters will need to approve that site as a soccer site in a referendum likely to be held in November.

The idea of a joint football/soccer facility became too complicated, with too many logistical issues such as parking. Plus, UM has 18 years left on its Sun Life lease, and Stephen Ross strongly opposed letting the Hurricanes out of that, though UM never reached the point of asking.

Beckham plans to build a 20,000-seat stadium, pending voter approval. UM told Beckham's group that the stadium would need to be at least 40,000 seats for the Hurricanes to consider playing there. Ultimately, though, feasibility issues beyond capacity caused the sides to decide not to pursue it further.

### UM has been approached about opening the football season against Alabama in 2017 in Atlanta or LSU in 2018 in Arlington, Tx. UM will consider playing in one but not both.

### What a horrible time for UM's first shutout loss of the season: 3-0 to Texas Tech in the NCAA Regional in Coral Gables tonight. That means UM must win three games in the next two days: Bethune Cookman and Texas Tech twice to host a super-regional next weekend.

### Representation for former UM and Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma reached out to the Dolphins, but Miami showed no interest after also passing on two other Canes linebackers in March: Jon Beason (Giants) and Darryl Sharpton (Redskins). 

### Though Jason Taylor is working with Dolphins defensive linemen, associates say he’s not looking to become a coach, preferring instead to explore TV work while spending time with his family and on his charitable foundation.

“He will help young guys with the pass rush [but] I told him there’s no way you are going to help someone on the run game,” cracked Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks, Taylor's former Dolphins teammate.

### ESPN’s Keith Law has the Marlins taking North Carolina State left-hander pitcher Carlos Rodon (6-7, 2.01 ERA) with the second overall pick in Thursday’s draft, adding: “I've heard this comes from the owner: If the Cuban-American lefty [Rodon] is there at No. 2, take him, and we'll have a pair of Cuban aces at the top of our rotation.”

But Jeffrey Loria hasn’t been meddling in recent months, and Baseball America says Loria won’t insist on Rodon.

If the Astros take Rodon No. 1, Miami might opt for one of two elite San Diego high-school players (lefty pitcher Brady Aiken or catcher Alex Jackson) or LSU right-hander Aaron Nola.

ESPN analyst and former Nationals general manager Jim Bowden advocates Aiken, if there at No. 2, adding: “A future rotation of Aiken, Jose Fernandez and Andrew Heaney could be special. Aiken could be the next Cliff Lee.”

Comments

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Lt. Lois Einhorn

Anyone with half a brain knew UM was never interested in Beckham's stadium.

Bob Griese 12

Congratulations on a great career Shane, best wishes for your future endeavors.

Barry Jackson

Lt. Lois: Like your posts, but you should know that the top of the UM administration told Beckham's group months ago that it was interested in sharing a stadium with them if certain requirements could be met, including parking, suites, capacity, traffic issues and more. UM's AD was quoted on the issue weeks ago, discussing UM's interest.

It was ultimately determined to be unfeasible.

Randy Shannons' Agent

Canes should roll the dice and agree to the Bama game. Chances are Saban will be gone by then and hopefully GoldenAl will be too.

get it together right now

20000 will never do it even though the Canes only have 25,000 to 30,000 diehards. Add 15,000 band-wagoners when things are good and add another 15,000 when things are great. I've been around long enough to think that these are "accurate". We loyal Canes want a Campus or close to campus to call our OWN. The "deal" with Sun Life was and is stupid. Come on!!!! I'll pony up some bucks in a good cause like this. But the GOD DAMNED administration has always had a wall of denial and excuses.

Tig

So does tabling the partnership with Beckham mean its dead, or "tabled" until the specs and referendum are drafted, before making the final decision to partner with the MLS team in the stadium project? Can't tell if its dead or tabled.

Johnny C.

I can just picture Morris' pregame speeches the last 8 years being just like in the Wizard of Oz's yellow brick road leading to the opium poppy flower scene heading to the Castle in the Land of Oz.


Posted by: BRING BACK WIZARDBALL ! | May 31, 2014 at 11:07 PM


LOL ! Pay no attention to that dullard dolt in the 3rd. base coaching box. Listening to Morris speak should be a manditory prescription for methheads in rehab going through detox to put them in a coma. There's no sense of urgencey or fire with this team and it starts at the top with "Droopy The Dog" Morris.

Hopefully we can atleast get to play Texas Tech again tonight, but this squads body language mirrors that of it's leader. We'll need both starters to go deep just to even have a shot at a chance for a Monday night 3rd. game in 2 hours. Hell, let's get the BC win today then pray for rain and beat TT on Monday, then pray for rain and finish up on Tuesday with fresh arms. Hey, a Cane can dream can't he?

Just can't believe, well actually I can after what I've seen the last 6 years, that with EVERYTHING set up perfectly for us that we spit the bit to be in total control and command to get back to Omaha.

1 stinkin run in two games is a disgrace. I promise, if every player other than Collins n Thompson would ALL just bunt for base hits everytime up, we'd get basehits, stolen bases, committed opponent errors throwing it all over the field and atleast 5 runs. I'm dead serious. Frazier, back in the day would bunt up to 10 times or more in games starting the runners and would blow other teams minds and score 8-10 runs with hardly ever getting the ball out of the infield. He'd let his 2 or 3 boppers rake, and all the other jack rabbits smallballing like pests.

Oh well, those we're the good ol days when we'd Pitch, Hit, hit for power, Run and play Defense. Not just 1 or 2 of the 5 aspects of the game like these days if we're lucky.



joe r

loria isnt meddling and guess what

mickey arison doesnt meddle and guess what

james dolan doesnt meddle with the rangers and guess what; james dolan meddles iwth the knicks and guess what

AnonymousCane

Just wondering how many critics of Jim Morris have achieved in their chosen professions what this man has in his?

Barry Jackson

Tig: It's not happening. UM won't pursue it.

gacanefan

Beckham is not going to get his stadium unless he & his group pay 100% of the costs. Since thatis not going to happen the new MLS team will play at FIU, FAU, or Marlins ballpark.

Zeski Canes

I would go Arlington or Atlanta to see either of those games..

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Barry, I read everything that came out of UM on this stadium deal, I interpreted the situation differently.

From the outset there was no chance of this happening unless UM got on board, Beckham's group wasn't going to build a stadium twice as big as they need hoping to lure UM in. The only way this stadium could get built is if UM figured out on their end how to guarantee they'll play there.

Far as I can tell UM never even determined what their buyout price from Sunlife would be. There was no chance of this happening without UM knowing that number and agreeing to pay it.

Barry Jackson

Lt. Lois: I agree with you on that. UM would have gone to Sun Life only if MLS came to them and said it's feasible. Ultimately, it was determined to be unfeasible. But make no mistake: UM liked the idea if it could have worked.

rboud

Even a 40,000 seat stadium would hurt UM in the long run if they start getting better. Games against FSU, Ohio State, etc. would draw crowds over 60,000 if the Canes are playing well. That would be forfeiting a lot of $$. This idea never had legs, in my opinion.

mayberd

Thank you Shane Battier for your class and great play for the Miami Heat.Battier and Alonzo Mourning are great examples of first class folks in sports and there are more like those two than the thugs like Aaron Hernandez and Ray Rice.Heat President Pat Riley and Duke University Coach K often are made fun of but both seem to produce class people like Battier and Mourning out of their programs.

Rabblerouser

"People keep talking like we weren't close to winning, but we were ready to win last year. We're happy it's the Heat again. We've got that bad taste in our mouths still."

Tim Duncan

Reality

Thank you captain obvious for confirming that scUM would not be involved with the new soccer stadium. Say as you please (or probably what Herald and/or UM makes you say, you aren't fooling anybody), but UM simply is an afterthought in local and national sports. Why would Beckham want to associate his successful, powerhouse brand with an organization that has become the epitome of mediocrity for more than a decade? This isn't just athletics either, even St. Thomas University has beat UM in law school BAR results.

UM, now state's #4 university, and rapidly declining into complete oblivion.

green

Beckham is not going to get his stadium unless

Posted by: gacanefan | 06/01/2014 at 09:45 AM

Beckham needs revenue in the form of tenants, events & naming rights to pay down debt & turn a profit for his investors ...
he also needs voter approval for his land grab ...
who helps achieve both objectives ...
I want U to humor me ...
for argument's sake ...
ballot prospects appear uncertain ...
and investors can't stand uncertainty ...
and in the wake of the marlins' fiasco -- residents on the hook for $2B over 30 years for a ballpark few attend -- it's not implausible ...
knowing at a moment's notice Donna Shalala can marshal voter turnout en masse among U fans, U employees, U alumni & U students to make or break your life's ambition ...
who needs whom ...

YOO-HOO

Not our rival

Hush nerd, no one cares about your fake internet rivalry, in real life Miami beat your team and we're not scheduled to play again.

Also, UM is the top rated university in Florida academically. Your obsession with your internet rivalry is spilling over from a fake football rivalry to a fake academic rivalry? Some self-assessment might be in order.

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-miami-1536

sec the best!

UM has been approached about opening the football season against Alabama in 2017 in Atlanta or LSU in 2018 in Arlington, Tx. UM will consider playing in one but not both.

Ha..just think if you had to play BOTH in the same season!
See why the u doesn't want to be in the SEC!


Reality

All UM fans are pond scum.

TURD BASEBALL HAS ZERO TITLES

Go play in traffic Reality!

TURD TROLL

IMAWriter

Barry, as you always seem to be on top of things, is there ANY chance UM can find a space for a "near" campus stadium...ever?
If not, my proposal is lose the stupid Sun Life contract, tear down Mark Light...baseball, which loses money, and rebuild a nice cozy football stadium on the site.
A simple bus shuttle service for all those on campus, or in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Have the baseball team pay the same bounty to the Marlins for their stadium.
Yeah, I know, ain't gonna happen. LOL

IMAWriter

BTW, both those games offered are essentially home games for 'Bama and LSU. Like Notre Dame was in Chicago.
The ND game could have been played on UM's practice field, as bad as the Canes were that night.

Both Saban and Les Miles will be there. 'Bama's pro style offense would in some ways might be a slightly better fit for UM, IF UM replaced D'Onofrio.
In fact Al might not be around by 2017, perhaps by choice, or otherwise.

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