Miami Heat

Miami Heat's Shane Battier Wins NBA's Teammate of the Year Award

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 26:  Shane Battier #31 of the Miami Heat gets ready before the game against the Indiana Pacers on March 26, 2014 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN.  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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images
Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 24, 2014

Shane Battier might not have made too many contributions to the Miami Heat on the court during the 2013-14 season, but he was certainly an excellent teammate. Just like always. 

This year, he was rewarded for his efforts by other NBA players, as announced by the Heat's official Twitter feed: 

The team also celebrated his achievement on Instagram

Quite frankly, the voting wasn't even close, per Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Battier's 67 first-place nominations were well ahead of Chris Paul's 40, and Pau Gasol was the only other player on the right side of 30. But not only first-place votes count, and that allowed the Miami small forward to increase his margin of victory. 

Here were the final standings, excluding those who didn't finish in the top five. First-place votes are in parentheses:

  1. Shane Battier, 1,322 points (67)
  2. Al Jefferson, 798 points (29)
  3. Dirk Nowitzki, 784 points (28)
  4. Chris Paul, 754 points (40)
  5. Pau Gasol, 753 points (36)

As Vivlamore writes, "It [the award] recognizes the player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players, and his commitment and dedication to his team."

Anyone who's interacted with Battier shouldn't be too surprised by this result. He's a model teammate during games and practices, and he spends plenty of off-court time serving as a quality example for every player in the Association. I mean, this was his most recent tweet when the award was announced: 

This type of attitude is in no way disingenuous. Erik Spoelstra, the Miami head coach, certainly doesn't think so: 

And as for Battier himself, he had nothing but gratitude after he was made aware of the honor: 

Love or hate the Heat, you have to acknowledge that Battier, who now joins Chauncey Billups as one of only two recipients of the young award, is a worthy winner. 

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