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Battier: 'Memphis means a lot to me'

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Champ06, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. Champ06

    Champ06 Member

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    Battier: 'Memphis means a lot to me'

    Soon-to-be-former Griz says trade to Houston is bittersweet
    By Ronald Tillery
    July 12, 2006

    A teardrop punctuated the indelible mark he's made on a professional basketball franchise and city.
    Shane Battier cried as the trade finally sunk into his soul.

    He'll trade Beale Street blue for red today when the Grizzlies' bittersweet decision on draft day becomes official.
    The NBA is expected to finalize the deal that sent Battier to Houston in exchange for Stromile Swift and the rights to the eighth overall pick, Rudy Gay.

    To borrow from a Boyz II Men tune, it's been quite hard for Battier to say goodbye to yesterday.

    "It's sad and sobering to know that I'll have to sell my house and say goodbye to teammates and friends and the people who I've gone through my career with," Battier said Tuesday via telephone. "It hit me at my basketball camp -- the last 10 minutes I was in town (June 30). I lost my emotions addressing my camp in saying goodbye. Various people in the (Grizzlies) organization came up to me and were emotional.

    "I got emotional. Memphis means a lot to me and the people I've met mean a lot to me. ... It's shocking to go through your first trade."

    Battier "had a feeling" this was the year his address would change. There was nothing shocking about when Griz president Jerry West called to deliver the news.

    "He broke it down like an opportunity presented itself and the organization had a chance to get a guy they thought was one of the top two players in the draft," Battier said, characterizing his conversation with West.

    "It's an understandable move by Jerry. He felt this was a position they could upgrade. I hope Rudy Gay has an all-star career. I hope he brings a lot of wins to Memphis. I care about the Grizzlies organization. I'll be cheering for them 78 times a year."

    Of course, the Grizzlies will meet up with Battier and the Rockets four times during the 82-game schedule. Battier said he hasn't had much contact with the Rockets yet.

    He's not concerned about his role, figuring that Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy already owns a scouting report.

    "I think I'll be utilized the same way I was in Memphis," Battier said. "As a guy to play off Tracy (McGrady) and Yao (Ming) -- a guy who'll play defense and be the intangible guy. That'll be my focus."

    Until then, Battier will stay busy packing all the memories.

    "The thing I'll always remember is the first playoff game in The Pyramid. You couldn't breathe because there was so much lint from the rally rags," he said. "I can't remember being in a gym as loud as that. Cameron Indoor was loud, but I don't remember it being as loud as it was that night in The Pyramid.

    "I'm also very proud of the fact that we made the playoffs more than we were in the lottery. I don't think you could have predicted that on draft night 2001. It wasn't always easy or pretty, but we got the job done."

    Battier wasn't always the quickest, most athletic, or explosive scorer in a Grizzly uniform, either.

    But he quickly became the face of the Grizzlies -- something he considered a humbling honor.

    "I never set out to be the guy on the billboards or the guy in the commercials. Through circumstances it came to be that way," Battier said. "I was proud to don a Memphis jersey and be that guy people could look to for a pulse of the Griz.

    "The support I got from the city was overwhelming."

    Battier has found a bit of humor in being traded.

    "I have to remind people," he said. "This isn't my eulogy. I'll be back."

    -- Ronald Tillery: 529-2353

    --------------------

    Shane Battier's parting shots

    On living in Memphis:

    "The greatest part about it is I would go to barbecue fest and the zoo. In Year 1, there was a hubbub, but by Year 5 it was no big deal. Everyone knew I was a Memphian."

    On the Griz using him to improve their roster:

    "I pride myself on being a team guy. I'm a guy who doesn't need a lot to be successful. There aren't a lot of guys in the league who do that willingly. That makes me somewhat valuable to other teams."

    On his family's reaction:

    "On a professional level, they're excited. They think it's a great opportunity to go to a (championship) contending team. It could have been worse had I been dealt to a rebuilding team. Houston is a couple of injuries away from being a contending team. Personally, everyone is sad."

    On his conversation with Pau Gasol:

    "I told Pau I really enjoyed playing with him. We built something special in Memphis. He's grown up to be a special player in all of our eyes. He was sad. We feel we were sort of basketball brothers."
     
  2. Dei

    Dei Member

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    Please God, let him stay in Memphis. Please, please, please, please...
     
  3. dc rock

    dc rock Contributing Member

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    :eek: There were no Bel Biv Devoe lyrics available ?
     
  4. blazer_ben

    blazer_ben Rookie

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    If we're not able to get a 3rd scorer, trading swift and gay is worthless and makes no sense whatsoever. the rockets were banking on james coming here when they did this silly trade. who is gonna be our 3rd scorer?
     
  5. lazybum234

    lazybum234 Member

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    Not so fast Shane.

    -There's still a chance that you'll become a solid third option for us and then the Rockets management will trade you BACK to the Griz for an underachieving Mike Miller or someone else a la MJames. Just you wait.

    -OR there's the option that you will come to the rockets bringing 6 SOLID fouls and no offense to the team like Ryan Bowen; in that case we'll start giving you extensions...
     
  6. TBar

    TBar Contributing Member

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    I would be crying too if I were Shane Battier. This losing decending franchise is a sad destination. He can look forward to wasting his two or three prime years here-as Tracy and Yao will.

    The Rockets are failing to build a team around Yao and Tracy and they will not be young forever-or for long.

    Look at the bright side Shane - in two years you will be dealt for the rights to jake Tschkili or Jake Tsakalidis, or Yinka Dare when the Rockets make another trade.....
     
  7. qrui

    qrui Member

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    as much as i dislike the trade i have to say that battier as a player and persone grows in my everyday. from all the things i read laterly he's a classic guy to say the least - i hadn't followed his career at all. i can see why the rockets want him, for his defense, his maturity, his leadership, etc. and off court he's like by everyone in memphis, and beyound...
     
  8. krocket

    krocket Contributing Member

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    blazer: It must be apparent to almost everyone by now that Mike James jobbed us big-time. Maybe it was revenge, maybe it was just business but he used the Rox and his warm, cuddly statements about coming back to Houston to jack up his salary as high as posible and start a bidding war. Which by-the-way the Rockets should have won easily if the 'win now' crap they handed out was true and they weren't just dumping Stro 'cause he was in JVG's dog-house.

    The Rocket's Front office is a charade, smoke and mirrors, with just a semblance of trying to put a team together while maximizing Les's bottom-line. Sooner or later everyone will recognise the crap they are handing out, but by that time TMac and Yao won't have much of a career left.

    On another general rant, I believe Robert Horry when he says the Rockets can't buy any more players that will play for JVG. Three years ago they could, but there was a different attitude about the Rox/JVG then. Now that last year's debacle exposed JVG for the kind of coach he really is, I don't think quality players exactly are stacking up to come here. That is just IMO.
     
  9. RikQuik

    RikQuik Member

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    I am amazed that people are upset about getting Battier. This guy is the one thing the Rockets were missing for the last 8 years: someone with heart. The guy has the fire of a Mario Elie. When the opportunity to get a player like that comes along, you don't second guess, you just do it.

    I applaud CD and the rest of the Rock's group for having the guts to pull off a trade that was not popular. We shall see how this one plays out.
     
  10. famicom

    famicom Member

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    It's driving me out of my mind,
    that's why it's hard for me to find...
    can't get it out of my head...missed her, kissed her, loved her..
    Memphis is Poison!
     
  11. Manny Ramirez

    Manny Ramirez The Music Man

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    Good post. So Battier says that Memphis means a lot to him? Well Rudy Gay means a lot to me and I would say to many other Rocket fans, so I guess we are even.
     
  12. koopa

    koopa Member

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    What a sensitive man. He should suck it up and don the red jersey instead of having a huge farewell party in memphis with his lovely memphians.
     
  13. dandorotik

    dandorotik Contributing Member

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    You people that criticize him for showing emotion and using the opportunity to criticize the trade are jerks.
     
  14. koopa

    koopa Member

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    I supported this trade actually; but everyone said we could've gotten more than battier. SO i agreed about that too.
     
  15. gifford1967

    gifford1967 Contributing Member
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    Holy Crap- the whining and negativity in here is overwhelming. Battier seems like a stand up guy and a solid addition to the team. I can't believe people are criticizing him for showing loyalty to Memphis. What do you want? Someone who doesn't give a sh_t.
     
  16. dfwrox

    dfwrox Contributing Member

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    With what Yao has done for Rox, I don't think it is fair to classify him in the category of "no heart"...
     
  17. Drewdog

    Drewdog Contributing Member

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    Good gawd - that makes me feel like ****. Talk about pouring salt in the wound.... :mad:
     
  18. GTO

    GTO Member

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    Hey, please do not take Rybo out of heart department.
     
  19. boomboom

    boomboom I GOT '99 PROBLEMS
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    Don't fret too much...Battier is a good guy and he knows the right things to say. We can only hope that deep down, he resents being traded and feels that he has something to prove. I hope he shows up at training camp with a huge chip on his shoulder.
     
  20. rrj_gamz

    rrj_gamz Contributing Member

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    What a baby... There's no crying in basketball...

    In all seriousness, Its good to see loyalty and I'm sure he'll be a stand up guy...Now, only if he can be a beast on the court...
     

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