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DBR Talks To Battier

We dropped by Duke recently and asked if we could do a Q&A with Shane
Battier. They were nice enough to say yes. So here are some things we
asked Shane about, and his
responses. Our PC had a hissy fit and we lost the original questions, but
most of the answers speak well enough for themselves. If something is out
of context, we've tried to give it context again. A special thanks to SID
Jon Jackson and Shane Battier for allowing us the privilege, and also a big
thank you to Elliot Bloom for his very kind assistance.  We are in
your debt.

On  the Student Basketball Congress and unions (Shane has been quoted as
saying union was kind of a dirty word):

"First of all, I don't think that union's a dirty word. I think it gets
associated with less than positive things. We have a considerable amount of
power as the NCAA because without the players there is no NCAA, there is no
six billion-dollar contract. Hopefully we get that point across without
striking. The strike, from what I've seen in past sports, has really
damaged the integrity of the game. Hopefully we're going to do everything
we can avoid that but I believe it's a potent tool to have in your back
pocket if all else fails. But I would highly doubt that we'd go that far."

On the fact that kids are compensated with an education (we asked if it was a
fair exchange and whether education was being emphasized enough):

"My suggestion is to take that question up with the universities. Ideally,
what was just described should be the goal of all colleges - to educate the
students. Unfortunately, that's not the case with most colleges today - look
at the graduation rates, look at the programs - the priority is on
basketball, not on education. If the schools are truly concerned with
educating their athletes, I think there'd be less of an issue on finding
other ways to compensate players - in the sense that education has become
less of a focus. I think there needs to be a time to reevaluate how players
are compensated for their work."

On Wojo coaching big men (we posed the popular question of whether big men
should coach big men):

"Great basketball players should be coached by great basketball players,
regardless of size, stature, or careers. Wojo's doing an excellent job. He's
definitely infused new blood into the big guys. I think you'll see some
great improvements from the big guys this year."

On Chris Collins:

"He's doing pretty well. He's been through the system not too long ago and
he knows pretty much everything that's going on with our program. He's doing
a great job thus far."

On the new basketball facilities:

"The facilities make life a whole lot easier. Compared to our old weight
rooms, our old training rooms - there's a lot less complaining and a lot
more focus on basketball."

On biggest improvements on team:

"I think the two biggest improvements have been in Mike Dunleavy and Nick

On toughest opponent:

"Toughest opponent had to be [UNC's] Antawn Jamison my freshman year. He's
very quick, very skilled. On my team it had to be Elton Brand - he's too

Shane'sTake On his Duke and ACC career:

"It's been a great time. It's been a great four years for me. By the end of
the year I'll be ready to move on but I'll never forget the memories that I'
ve had in the ACC and at Duke."

On a possible political career - Democrat or Republican?

"I would represent the people the best way I can. Just like I'm not a power
forward or a small forward - I'm a basketball player. If I ever get into
that ring, I'm not going to be a Democrat or Republican - I'm going to be a

Word association: 

  • Bob Knight - red

  • Kenny Inge - sharp elbows
  • Shaolin Monks - cool
  • Maryland fans - batteries
  • State fans - howling noise
  • Scalping - unfortunate
  • Tark - the Shark
  • Sendek - hard-nosed
  • Coach G - program-builder
  • Coach K - trend-setter
  • Air-conditioning in Cameron - against it
  • Team most like to play for in the NBA - any team that signs the paycheck
  • Favorite website - and Duke Basketball