Since opening their training camp a little over a year ago at an air force base in Hurlburt Field, Fla., Miami Heat President Pat Riley was intent to transform the team into a perennial high-powered squad.
Already signing the six-time NBA All-Star, Dwayne wade to a new contract, Riley felt hungry for more stars—going out and acquiring versatile players in LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Mike Miller, Eddie House, Juwan Howard and veteran big men Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
This year, Riley and the rest of the Heat staff are on their recruiting game once again. On Monday Dec. 5 once teams were allowed to talk to free agents, the Heat had Memphis Grizzlies’ small forward, Shane Battier at the top of their radar to add to their array of players.
Riley and Head Coach Erik Spoelstra see Battier as a strong defender with an ability to hit the open shots that’ll come his way playing with James, Wade and Chris Bosh.
Six-foot- eight, 220lbs Battier, who averaged 4.0 RPG and 0.7 SPG in last year’s regular season, has proven to be a playoff playmaker, and possesses the professionalism and maturity to navigate within the harsh glare of the Heat’s existence. All of which will come in handy as the Heat prepares for their season opener against the defending champions Dallas Mavericks on Christmas Day.
Battier announced the unofficcial signing on Twitter:
“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. I am appreciative of all the kind words and recruiting pitches over the last week, thank you!!”