UPDATE on Wednesday, July 2 at 2:30 pm ET by Adam Fromal
Shane Battier officially has a new job.
According to a release from ESPN.com, the small forward who finished up his playing career with the Miami Heat will be joining ESPN as a men's college basketball analyst. And it's a transition that Battier is apparently quite happy about:
After a fulfilling run on the basketball court, I am absolutely thrilled to join the 'Worldwide Leader in Sports' in ESPN. I hope my experiences as a successful collegiate and professional basketball player will add meaningful insight into the dynamic arena of the sports world. I am looking forward to bringing a sense of candor, humor and perspective to all of ESPN's listeners, readers and viewers.
"Shane's championship caliber of play at every level of the game adds a distinctive element to our college basketball coverage," explained Mark Gross, the network's senior vice president of production & remote events. "His passion for—and extensive knowledge of—the game enhances our deep roster of talented analysts."
When you watch NCAA teams take the court next season, get ready for some analytics headed in your direction.
--End of Update--
The Miami Heat's road to a third straight title will continue in the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs starting June 5. While his playing days are not yet over, veteran forward Shane Battier—who plans to retire at season's end—is wasting no time deciding his next career move.
Per a tweet from The Big Lead, the former Duke Blue Devil has agreed to a multiyear contract with ESPN to become a college basketball analyst starting next season:
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz declined to comment on behalf of the network because the deal isn't expected to be announced until after the Finals conclude, per The Big Lead.
Battier confirmed back in March that he'd retire after the season, per a tweet from Bleacher Report's Ethan Skolnick:
At 35 years old, it may seem a bit surprising that the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year would call it a career. With a contract that's set to expire, nearly 3,000 postseason minutes on the odometer and other opportunities on the horizon, though, Battier is making the best individual decision.
The two-time champion has seen his minutes and overall effectiveness dwindle during his final campaign. Although he started 56 games during the regular season, he averaged just 4.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per game while shooting 38.2 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from three-point range. All of those numbers were career lows.
Depending upon your viewpoint, Battier can be seen as a consummate professional or a dirty player and a flopper. Regardless of your stance, nobody can doubt the veteran's reputation as a hard-nosed competitor.
His contributions in the Finals in 2012 (back-to-back 17-point games against the Oklahoma City Thunder) and 2013 (an 18-point outburst in Game 7 against the Spurs) helped ensure that Miami would win its two titles.
Battier played for Mike Krzyzewski, Jeff Van Gundy and Erik Spoelstra during his playing days, so it will be interesting to see the insight he'll bring to the broadcast booth.
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