Not much more than 24 hours ago, the Miami Heat won the NBA crown. With that victory Shane Battier became just the second Duke player of the Coach K regime to get a title. The other is Danny Ferry with the 2002-03 San Antonio Spurs. I am a Duke fan (a polarizing statement, I know), and I couldn’t be happier for Battier.
Am I happy for Lebron, Wade, and Bosh? I guess. Those guys certainly are great players. I don’t like their self-laudatory BS and how they came to be on the same team. Still, they’ve probably taken adequate lumps in the media. If I were in my 20s and making the kind of jack those guys do, I’d likely say equally stupid things.
Regardless, I’m most happy for Battier. It’s hard not to think of another former Duke player who doesn’t have a ring – Grant Hill (shown on his 1994-1995 Ultra rookie card). In his early years, Grant was a triple double machine and seemed destined for greatness. A few ankle injuries later and Grant’s career has been labeled as a disappointment.
The NBA is full of both nice guys and jerks will loads of talent who will never win a title. They are regardless at the top of their profession and competing for the highest honors. That is more than most people can say. With this in mind, I say congratulations to Battier. He may have an NBA ring as a role player, but it’s still a great achievement.