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The "Quiet" Man: The "Kobe-Stopper" Is Forced Into The Spotlight Agan

HOUSTON - MAY 14:  Guard Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers takes a shot against Shane Battier #31 of the Houston Rockets in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on May 14, 2009 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
JAMES E KING IIIContributor IMay 16, 2009

Shane Battier has once again been thrust into the "spotlight", not a place this this quiet, "cerebral" athlete neither relishes, or embraces.  Certainly, not what most fans think of, o are used to hearing everyday, when we have headlines involving our sports gladiators. 

Since being the only DIFFERENT kid in school, Shane's "spotlight" moments have not always proven to be his liking, or his choosing. Even though he has accomplished the same accolades in Michigan, as his fellow Detroit Country Day School alumnus, Chris Webber: 3-State Championships, Michigan's "Mr. Basketball, and a Naismith Award, his style of play hasn't gained him the same "celebrity"/"scorer" recognition. If, Houston had lost either Game,  Battier's "importance", would again have gone "unnoticed" by the average fan.

The versatility of his defense,  being able to defend three (3) positions-point guard, small forward, or power forward,  has not only been an integral part of his game but, is rewarded this year by his being voted to the NBA's 2nd Defense Team.  Shane's motto: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance ( try saying that 3 time fast), is the foundation of the "Kobe Stopper" philosophy.  His analysis, plus the team's analysis of "tendencies", is to make Kobe "less effective"  and take him out off his "comfort zone". No great player, like Kobe or Lebron, is going to be "shutdown", controlling his "impact" has the key to Houston's victories.  It's likely that Shane will be home with his high school sweetheart Heidi Ufer, now wife, on 2 of June to celebrate his son, Zeke Edward's first birthday, but thanks for giving the fans' such a great diplay of sportsmanship.

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