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Is Miami Heat’s Shane Battier a dirty player?
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On May 30, 2013 @ 5:24 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI – Is Shane Battier a dirty player?
The question came up after Game 1, when Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert called out Miami Heat forward Shane Battier for kneeing him in the groin area on a layup attempt. The next day, Hibbert said he had “no problem putting my nuts in the line of fire,” because it’s his job to defend Miami, and Battier never addressed the accusations that he kneed Hibbert on purpose.
Those accusations of dirty play have returned on the doorstep of Game 5 of these Eastern Conference finals. Pacers forward David West said his approach to facing Battier is to protect his knees. “He’s got this funny way of moving into your knees,” West said. “We’re very conscious of that.”
“I protect myself at all times when I come on the floor,” Hibbert said Thursday after the Pacers’ shootaround. “I know what (Battier) brings to the game, and it’s worked for him in the past. He has to do whatever he has to do to make sure his team wins, and that’s fine. I’m just always going to protect myself.”
So what does that mean?
“Watch my knees, watch my groin,” Hibbert continued. “It’s not just Battier, everybody in the league at this point will do whatever it takes to win … To tell you the truth, I don’t care. I’m in there, I’m playing tough, and if he has to hit below the belt or whatever like that, he has to do what he has to do to win like that. That’s fine. I’m going to keep playing hard and aggressive.”
If it wasn’t clear by his comments, Hibbert flat-out said he doesn’t like what Battier is doing.
“I don’t like it but it’s a part of the game,” he said. “I don’t want to look back and say, ‘I gave in to a dirty player.’ Whatever you have to do, you do. I don’t personally do it, but I’m a different player.”
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