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“When DWade And LeBron Took The Night Off”: Shane Battier Fondly Reminisces Playing Without Heat’s 2 Superstars

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

"When DWade And LeBron Took The Night Off": Shane Battier Fondly Reminisces Playing Without Heat's 2 Superstars

The Miami Heat’s role players in the LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh era had the privilege of enjoying the glory and champagne showers when the team won and receiving none of the flak when they lost. However, playing alongside three All-NBA, MVP-caliber players meant they also had to be content with a limited role on offense. But when the Big 3 took nights off, players like Shane Battier, Udonis Haslem, and Mike Miller knew it was their time to shine.

On the latest episode of The OGs podcast, the trio reminisced how excited they’d get when James and Wade, the primary ball handlers on that Heat roster, would sit out. Battier said,

“You know what was fun, though? When D-Wade (Dwyane Wade) and Bron (LeBron James) took the night off. How badly did we want to win those games? Just stick it to those guys.”

Haslem added that Chris Bosh, who also had to focus primarily on defense when James and Wade played, would take over as the team’s first option on offense and score 30 points with ease. Battier recalled a game between the Heat and the Atlanta Hawks in January 2012 where the center scored 33 points and led the James and Wade-less Heat to a triple-overtime victory.

Miller added that the team would be most excited when they won games without two of their three superstars, but when the playoffs rolled around, they’d check up on them and hope they’d play to ensure they didn’t have to fill their massive shoes when the heat is on.

Playing alongside James and Wade, who took the bulk of the shots, could’ve been a frustrating experience for the Heat’s role players like Battier, Miller, and Haslem. However, that was the price they had to pay to be on a championship-caliber roster, and winning two rings is a decent trade-off for being content with a diminished role on offense, especially for Battier, who was chasing a title at that point in his career.

Shane Battier’s time with the Heat

Shane Battier was the prototype 3-and-D player who’d be on every team’s wishlist if he was in his prime today. The 6-foot-8 forward spent the first five seasons of his career with the Memphis Grizzlies before joining the Houston Rockets, where he played for four seasons. He earned two All-Defensive Team nods and even got some votes for the Defensive Player of the Year award, while also shooting almost 39% from beyond the arc.

Battier had a rough year in the 2010-11 campaign as he bounced around on three teams before hitting free agency in the offseason. Several contenders wanted the 10-year veteran on their roster, but he opted to sign for the Heat, hoping to win an NBA title. He became a critical part of Miami’s rotation and helped them win back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013. He spent another season with the franchise and retired in 2014 after the Heat lost the NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs. Battier averaged 5.1 points, 2.2 rebounds, and one assist in his three years in Miami.

He returned to the Heat in 2017 as director of basketball development and analytics and spent four years in that role. The veteran still works as a consultant for the franchise, but the fans will forever remember him for being a vital role player on the back-to-back title-winning Heat teams.

Post Edited By:Sameen Nawathe

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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