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With the conference finals well under way, I still find myself mulling over the choice of which of the 4 remaining teams I’d like to see win the title. The Spurs are an intriguing choice because of the way they tore the Clippers apart, and because they’re just fun to watch. The Thunder are a team of likeable young guys who are looking for the first title, which is always interesting. Finally, the Celtics are the exact opposite: a team of older dudes looking to eek out one more championship before being split up. Any of these teams would be a good choice. What to do, what to do…..

Wait, what’s that? There’s a 4th team? Surely, you don’t mean the Miami Heat, the most reviled team in the league. Oh, there’s no way I could pull for them!

Except for two things: Mike Miller and Shane Battier.

Two of the greatest players to ever put on a Grizzlies uniform. Two of the key components to the early to mid 00s Grizzlies teams. Before those teams came around, the Grizzlies had been perpetually trapped in the sewer of the NBA, never even approaching respectability. Miller and Battier played enormous roles on teams that won games, reached the playoffs, and told everyone in the NBA that the Memphis Grizzlies were not a laughingstock. Taking all of those things into consideration, it would be nice to see them get a ring, especially considering how late in their careers they both are.

Of course, while Miller and Battier were big parts of those teams, the leader was Pau Gasol. We’ve already seen him get two rings with the Lakers. I’m not sure how the 3SOB community feels about the Lakers, but I can’t stand them. I was happy for Pau when he got his two rings, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t rooting for the Magic in 2009 and the Celtics in 2010. His success made the proceedings slightly more bearable, but not enough actually pull for the Lakers.

Miller and Battier are different cases however. They aren’t star players anymore; they’re both past their prime and contribute strictly as role players. Additionally, they didn’t leave Memphis in one of the most controversial, highly questionable trades ever made. Yes, it worked out pretty well, with Marc Gasol becoming an All-Star, but no one knew that at the time, and it felt the Grizzlies had just been badly burned. It wasn’t like that for Miller or Battier – their time in Memphis was up, and they went elsewhere, without any effect on their fine Grizzlies careers.

They’re both likeable, hardworking guys, the type of players who you want to see win a ring, regardless of what team it’s with. I’m guessing there are plenty of Heat haters who read this site, as well as a few who don’t mind them and don’t see what the big deal is. To the former group, I’ll simply say this: if Lebron, Wade, and Bosh (assuming he gets healthy) end up hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy in a few weeks, try not to think about The Decision, or The Welcome Party or any aggravating factor that may have made the Heat more loathsome in your mind. Just think about two of the most dedicated players to ever put on a Memphis Grizzlies’ uniform finally getting some glory. That wouldn’t be so bad, now would it?

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10 Responses to Mike Miller and Shane Battier: Worth Rooting For The Heat?

  1. OinkyNo Gravatar says:

    I will always love Shane and mighty mike, but the only way I would root for the Heat would be if Big Country dusted of the ole # 50

  2. AttNo Gravatar says:

    Shane was big in that Spurs series last year, but he was one of the primary reasons we lost to the Thunder. He was too old and slow to keep up with the run & gun Thunder. He got blown past on defense all series long. If we had a more athletic SF last year we definitely beat OKC and possibly find ourselves in the NBA finals. Enough of the cheers for Shane. I’m rooting for the Celtics of the four remaining. Rondo is a beast, and I love the dirty, competitive way Garnett dominates.

  3. Lee Eric SmithNo Gravatar says:

    I still don’t quite understand the visceral hatred of the Heat. Sure, it seems unfair, putting three superstars on one team, but nobody has a hissyfit when the franchise arranges it. Why the hatred now, because the players arranged it?

    All that said, I expect the Spurs to meet the Heat in the Finals, and defeat them in a classic series that we’ll look back on and say it could have gone either way. If it DOES go the other way, I’d be absolutely fine with Shane and Mike joining the list of Hubieball veterans to win a title:

    J-Will Heat (2006)
    Posey Heat (2006), Celtics (2008)
    Pau Lakers (2009, 2010)

    Did I miss anybody?

  4. Michael NelsonNo Gravatar says:

    Brian Cardinal (2011, Dallas)

  5. Chris FaulknerNo Gravatar says:

    The idea that I would cheer for another team because ex-Grizz players play on the team is moderately absurd to my brain. It literally means nothing to me… I just don’t care … the same way I don’t care what Elliot Williams, Tyreke Evans, Derrick Rose, Joey Dorsey or CDR does in the NBA after playing at U of M. The same way I don’t cheer for the Carolina Panthers because of Deangelo Williams and I certainly don’t cheer for the NE Pats because of Stephen Gostkowski.

    If and when OJ Mayo goes elsewhere … I won’t be cheering for him … because he no longer represents my city and fandom.

    I don’t need a “consolation” to having the Grizz go out in the first round of the playoffs this year. We lost. I’m getting over it and my city pride is not destroyed because of it.

    I just want to see competitive, quality games the rest of the way out. I want good officiating and good effort, with an absence of dirty, flagrant play.

    I didn’t cheer for the Spurs, Thunder, Heat or Celtics during the regular season … why would that change now? I just want some good entertainment for 3 hours a night until the Olympics start.

    • stevedNo Gravatar says:

      So to quote Bill Simmons, you are ‘rooting for laundry’. The players/people mean nothing, it is all about the team.

      I too would love to see Miami win it all. LeBron is a magnificent player and deserves a ring. All the revulsion towards him and the heat is a bizarre response to a FA leaving town. I revile the Cavaliers for their owner’s petulant and child-like ‘wah-wah’ response.

  6. Andy WatersNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s a thought: Heat fans suck ass? LeBron can deserve all the rings in the world, but it doesn’t change the fact that Miami is bandwagon central and that town does NOT deserve a parade.

  7. Andy WatersNo Gravatar says:

    Watching Shane Battier bring the Heat back from an 18 point deficit. It’s like watching my ex girlfriend show up to my birthday party with Ryan Gosling.. I should be happy for her, but why the fuck does he get to have such a great time with her while I don’t???

  8. presidentjoeNo Gravatar says:

    Watching the heat series, I am amazed how bad Mike Miller is now. He is awful! Major liability for that team.

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