Deep in Zach Lowe's latest piece, which covers the Heat-Pacers series and Shane Battier's role in past and present contending squads, is this casual aside about Battier in the twilight of his career:
Battier is nearing retirement now, and he can no longer shoot, dribble, or defend like he once did. The Michigan Democratic Party recently called him to see if he might consider running to replace U.S. Senator Carl Levin, Battier said. He declined, but he’s closer to retirement than he is to the player who helped Miami unlock its identity.
Can you imagine being the kind of person who:
1. Gets asked to run for the Senate.
2. Says no, then returns to his job of being a key contributor on a championship contender?
That's a whole other level of existence.
Battier does foresee a future in politics, by the way, or at least he did:
I don't know what I will end up doing post-basketball. I've always been intrigued by politics. I may be a bit too idealistic to run for office. We'll see.
... just not yet. In the meantime, Battier can get his political fix by being a member of the National Basketball Players Association and an important locker room presence for the Heat, and Michigan can look elsewhere for a senatorial candidate. If the state really wants a former NBA player as a senator, there's always this man:
(Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Well, maybe not for the Democrats.