Jun 3 2014, 3:21am CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
This is what The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre discussed in his June 2 article:
"Shane Battier, who said two months ago that he would be retiring after this NBA season barring an 'act of God,' has agreed to a multi-year TV deal with ESPN to be a college basketball analyst next season, multiple people told The Big Lead.
"It's unclear yet if ESPN will use Battier, 35, as a game analyst, in the studio, or on the set of College Gameday, which is being revamped. Battier's agent, Jim Ornstein, didn't return a call today seeking comment.
"ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said the network had 'no comment.' The deal isn't expected to be announced until after the Finals are complete. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.
"One source joked that if Battier were to join ESPN's College Gameday, he could sit alongside Jay Bilas and Jay Williams -- two other former Duke stars -- in an ironic move that would feed the 'ESPN loves Duke' cries from fans."
McIntyre also referred to a piece from Grantland.com's Zach Lowe, who reported on May 27 that Battier turned down an offer to run for office in his home state of Michigan. Lowe made the revelation at a time when the Heat were tussling with the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
"Battier is nearing retirement now, and he can no longer shoot, dribble, or defend like he once did. The Michigan Democratic Party recently called him to see if he might consider running to replace U.S. Senator Carl Levin, Battier said. He declined, but he's closer to retirement than he is to the player who helped Miami unlock its identity.
"He has enjoyed the rivalry, which has produced an intensity so serious that Battier said he has never discussed it even in quiet moments with any of Indiana's players. 'No, no, no,' he said. 'The way the games have gone, that just wouldn't be a possibility.'"
Battier had no comment on The Big Lead report, per The South Florida Sun Sentinel.
"Battier didn't comment on the report, saying only that he'll address his future when the season is finished and that right now, his focus remains helping the Heat win a third consecutive championship.
"'The only job I have right now involves the San Antonio Spurs,' said the 13-year NBA veteran whose contract with the Heat expires after this season. 'When it's all said and done, I'll address that. My focus is on finishing strong and playing a good series against the Spurs."
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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