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The Early Lead
Posted at 10:33 AM ET, 12/08/2011

Shane Battier tweets he’ll sign with the Heat

Shane Battier is no LeBron James.
Shane Battier (left) instantly upgrades the Miami Heat’s defense and three-point shooting. (Andy Lyons - Getty Images)

He’s a reliable veteran on the downside of an NBA career that never demanded the spotlight in a league full of more flashy, marketable stars.

But the 33-year-old free agent forward did his best to build a bit of drama before announcing where he’ll play this season.

In a series of four tweets on Thursday morning, Battier announced he will join James and the Miami Heat, stopping short of saying “taking his talents to South Beach.”

Give him credit for being a bit more... shall we say, measured (?), with his remarks.

The Lockout gave me a lots of time to consider what was important to me at this stage of my life and career. Over the last week, I've played out every scenario in my head over and over. It always came back to one thing for me: a winning role. I am appreciative of all the kind words and recruiting pitches over the last week, thank you!!”
This was a exciting process and after much deliberation, I would like to quote the great poet Jimmy Buffett and take my chances "Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season”

For the first time since 2006-07, Battier played all 82 games last year, averaging 7.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

He instantly gives the Heat a boost on the defensive end and on the boards and his outside shooting (38.5 percent for his career) will give James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh another threat for kick-outs to the perimeter. If the NBA and its players complete their labor agreement as expected, Battier should be signed and an in camp when the Heat hold their first formal practice on Friday.

By  |  10:33 AM ET, 12/08/2011

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