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NBA Finals: Heat's Shane Battier has secret to stopping Kevin Durant

One of the NBA's best defenders said: “You start out Sunday morning in church. Say three Hail Marys. You pray to all the gods.”
BY JASON KERSEY Published: June 13, 2012

Is there a similarity between playing for Duke and the Miami Heat, both teams people love to hate?

“It's very similar. I go back to the thing that Coach K always told us: ‘When you're evoking emotion, whether it's hatred, love, whatever, you're doing something.' You have to worry when people are apathetic about you and your teams. You're probably on your way out. So I'd much rather be in a position where people care about what I do, whether it's good or bad.”

Can you characterize the interest you had in joining the Thunder before this season, and their interest in you?

“It was strong, but it didn't work out logistically. I really wanted a three-year deal and because of their commitments they have coming up in a very short time period, they were not able to commit to that. That really was a deal breaker. I didn't want to go somewhere where I played half a season, and then I'm getting ready for free agency again and moving my family across the country. Miami was the only team that offered me a three-year deal.”

What's it feel like to be in your first NBA Finals?

“It's surreal. I was explaining to my family and friends, I was wandering around through the NBA wilderness for about a decade, and the Finals becomes this esoteric, almost mystical place that you never know if you're going to reach. ... Now that I'm here, it's a great feeling. Surprisingly, I'm excited, but I'm ready to play games. I'm ready to see what the next level feels like.”


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