Shane Battier Hits 30,000 Minutes in Last Regular-Season Game Before Retiring

Matthew SchmidtFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2014

Shane Battier has hit 30,000 career minutes.
Shane Battier has hit 30,000 career minutes.USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat forward Shane Battier may not be a household name. He may not be what one would call an exciting player. And no, he was never one to score a lot of points or contribute much to the box score, but you know what? He has been able to stick around and serve a role everywhere he has been since his rookie season in 2001-02, and now, he has hit 30,000 career minutes.

The two-time NBA champion is retiring this summer, so it's pretty awesome that he was able to hit this milestone during the final regular-season game of his career.

"It would take an act of God to change (Battier's plans to retire), and that act of God hasn't come," Battier told Bleacher Report's Ethan Skolnick back in March.

The wiley veteran has played bigger minutes throughout his career than you would have expected.

In his first season with the Memphis Grizzlies, Battier averaged 39.7 minutes per game. He also posted a career-high 14.4 points a night that year.

He would proceed to hit 30 or more minutes a contest eight times throughout the remainder of his career, averaging double figures in points thrice.

As a matter of fact, the 2013-14 season is the only year in which Battier has not averaged at least 20 minutes, as he came into Wednesday night's game recording 19.8. His next-lowest total was during 2011-12, when he averaged 23.1.

Again, Battier's contributions have often gone beyond the traditional box score.

Throughout his 12-year career, he has tallied a solid .121 WS/48, a bit above the approximate league average of .100. He has also compiled a true shooting percentage of 55.8 percent and an effective field-goal percentage of 52.9 percent. Not bad at all.

But sometimes, he did make a mark in terms of flat out putting the ball in the hoop.

Let's not forget Game 7 of the 2013 Finals, when Battier buried six triples en route to 18 points, helping the Heat raise their third championship banner. Had it not been for Battier's hot shooting that night, Miami may not have had enough to overcome the San Antonio Spurs in that tight contest down the stretch.

A lifetime 38.4 percent three-point shooter, it's no surprise that the Duke product would put forth such a performance.

So here's to a tough, gritty player who managed to carve out a superb niche for himself during his 12-year tenure in the NBA.

We'll miss you, Shane. Even the flops.