Battier to interview NBA draftees
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
Miami Heat forward Shane Battier will be welcomed to ESPN’s NBA draft coverage tonight as a “sideline” reporter, interviewing players after they’re selected.
USA TODAY Sports caught up with the NBA champion to discuss his major national television announcing debut.
How did this opportunity come about?
“Well, I enjoy my interactions with the media. A lot of people don’t like it. I try to keep it. When the NBA and ESPN approached me for the NBA draft coverage, I figured it was a great opportunity to sit in front of the camera.”
Do your teammates know about this?
“Yep. LeBron (James) said he was going to live-tweet me and harass me the entire time. That’s fine. I might do a live Twitter chat with him and my Twitter followers. It’ll be good.”
Do you anticipate this being a challenge?
“Look, it’s basketball. Will I be the most polished guy on the mic? No. But I hope to capture the passion and the enthusiasm of the night. Because this is the biggest night in all these mens’ lives. I’m here to try to share that and relay that to America.”
What do you remember about your NBA draft day?
“It was a nerve-racking day. It was probably the most nerve-racking day of my life outside of my children being born. Just the uncertainty and the nerves were something that I’ll never forget.”
Does it help that you’ve been here before?
“I think so. I told the (lottery) picks that you’re going to be in the NBA, you just don’t know where. Try to enjoy it.”
What do you think of the draft class this year?
“It’s a treat. Most people are lamenting that there’s no ‘surefire thing’ in this draft, I think it boils down to opportunity in the NBA. If you get a chance to grow and learn as a young player, that’s the most important thing.”
What type of training goes into this type of endeavor?
“Well I fired up the web browser and tried to research as much as I could on the personal lives of the guys. I want to make it comfortable for them so … [For more on Battier to interview NBA draftees, LeBron plans to troll him, click here.]