13 years of Duke University. . . . A 6-foot-8-inch forward. . . .
He admitted to me more or less that this part of his work made him feel cold.
He says that the same thing happens every day and he tries to explain how a person who accepts 18,557 crazy love in the dark arena doesn't feel anything.
"If you had filet steak every night, you wouldn't have tasted it again.
These sounds are the only pleasure for him
The name of his beloved alma mater, the roar of the crowd
They marked the end of the worst part of his game: 11 minutes from the warm end to the end
Ups and introduction.
Eleven minutes of nonsense, chatting with another team of players.
All these players make exaggerated emotional gestures to each other before the game, and they actually don't know each other or even want.
"I hate to waste time on the floor," he said . ".
"I used to try to talk to people, but then I found out that no one really liked me very much.
"Instead of pretending that these other professional basketball players actually knew and liked him, he slipped into the locker room. Shane Battier!
Shane Battier jumped up, and in the howling of the biggest crowd watching basketball at the Houston Toyota Center, he jumped in interestingly to Yao Ming (
"Out of China" Center).
Now, finally, the best time of his day, the strange thing is that he will be most carefully reviewed and least understood.
Season at the United NationsB. A.
It's easy to work.
Yesterday Battier couldn't tell me who the team played with three days ago. (“The Knicks!
A minute later, he said loudly.
"We played the Knicks! ”)
Although tonight is the mid-week match on January, the situation is different.
The Rockets will play the Los Angeles Lakers tonight, and Battier will defend Kobe Bryant, who he says is the best player to humiliate him.
Battier and the front desk of the rockets are familiar with the story.
"I'm sure Kobe is ready to destroy Shane," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey told me . ".
"Because there's already a story about how Shane closed Kobe last time.
The last time was in March 16, 2008, the Houston Rockets beat the Lakers and won 22 games in a row. the second-
The longest winning streakB. A. history.
The game attracted a lot of national television viewers, and Kobe Bryant did badly in the next 47 minutes: he scored 11 out of 33 points on the court and scored 24 points.
"A lot of people are watching," Morey said . "
"Everyone was watching Kobe during the Lakers game.
So everyone saw Kobe struggling.
So they saw what we saw for the first time.
Battier often defends the most dangerous offensive player in the league.
LeBron James, Chris Paul, Paul Pierce
And usually try to make them, if not completely ineffective, so much worse than the usual effect.
He did so quietly that no one really noticed what he was doing.
Last season, in order to attract some attention to Battier's defense, the Rockets public-
The relationship department will send a staff member to the opponent's locker room to ask the main question that any superstar Battier has just been shackled: "Why are you having so much trouble tonight?
"What did he do to destroy your game ? "
According to Battier: "They usually say they have a night off.
They think I'm a fool.
He felt that some players were looking forward to his protection.
"No one is afraid of being protected by me," he said . "
Morey also confirmed this: "This is actually true.
But there are two reasons:a)
They think no one can protect them. b)
They really scoffed at the idea that Battier could protect them.
They all think that his reputation is more than his ability.
Just as Battier was introduced to the arena, Ahmed rathard finished his pre-game coverage on NBA television, saying: "Battier will stop Kobe Bryant.
This led to cooperation.
Host Gary Peyton replied with a smile, "it won't happen," another colleague
Host Chris Webb added, "I think Kobe will get 50 points and they will win when they leave at 19.
An early ad in basketball Scoop magazine called Shane Battier fourth.
The best seventh grade students in America.
After graduating from Detroit country school in 1997, he won the Naismith Award for Best High School
Basketball players in American schools.
When he graduated from Duke University in 2001, he got a record there --
The basketball game, including the N of that year. C. A. A.
As the best college basketball player in the country, he won the Naismith Award.
He was chosen by the bad Memphis Grizzlies in the first round, not just a bad basketball team, but also the worst winning team in New York. B. A. history —
So he was fired almost immediately, even with his own franchise, as a smaller talent.
One year after Battier joined the Grizzlies, the general manager of the team was fired. B. A.
Legendary Jerry West because his silhouette is the official symbol of North KoreaB. A.
Took over the team.
"From the moment Jerry West arrived there, he tried to trade me," Battier said . ".
If West doesn't have any pick-up guys, it's partly because Battier seems limited: most of the other players on the pitch, and some of the players on the bench, are obviously more talented than he is.
"He's just an edge N at best. B. A.
"Athletes," said Morey.
Grizzlies from 23-
Battier's rookie year is 59 to 50-
32 in his third year, when they did N. B. A.
The playoffs are like his last three seasons in the team.
7 Season, Battier was traded to the Rockets, who had just finished 34-48.
In the first season of the rockets, they finished 52-
30, then, last year, went 55-27 —
Including 22 consecutive victories. Only the 1971-
The Los Angeles Lakers have won more games in New York in a row. B. A.
Due to injuries, the Rockets have played 11 of these 22 games without their recognized two stars, McGrady and Yao Ming, at the same time.
Rockets player Shane Battier is the most effective player for the Rockets during the winning streak.
Battier recovered from off-site this year
Season surgery to remove bone spurs on the ankle, only played more than half of the rockets in the game.
This only emphasizes his importance.
"This year," Morey said, "We are a Champions team with him. without him, we are a bubble playoff team.
"Here, we have a basketball mystery: a player is widely regarded as a player in the nba. B. A.
In the best case, replaceable gears on machines powered by superstars.
However, every team he has played for has some magical ability to win.
Solving the mystery is near the center of Daryl Morey's work.
During the 2005 season, Houston Rockets boss Leslie Alexander decided to hire new management for his lost team and specifically look for someone willing to rethink the game.
"We have all this data now," Alexander told me . ".
"We have computers that can analyze this data.
I want to use this data in a gradual way.
When I hired Daryl, it was because I wanted someone who wasn't just looking at the players in a normal way.
I mean, I'm not even sure if the way we play is right.
"The virus that infected professional baseball in the 1990 s, using statistics to find new and better ways to evaluate players and strategies, has penetrated into every major sport.
Not only basketball and football, but also football, cricket and rugby, as far as I know, snooker and darts --
Everyone now supports a subculture of smart people who think it's not just a game, it's a problem to be solved.
In hindsight, all the results are inevitable --
Of course, LeBron James played that game and of course the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl.
On the contrary, it is considered a set of probabilities even after the facts.
Games are odds games.
Like a professional card counter, modern thinkers want to take advantage as efficiently as possible;
Of course, in order to effectively play the game, they must first know the game.
So, new statistics, and the pursuit of acquiring new data, and a strong interest in measuring the impact of every little thing a player does on the team's chances of winning.
In the spirit of inquiry, this subculture within professional basketball is no different from that within baseball, football or darts.
What makes basketball different is that it happens to be the most life-like sport.
When Wall Street investor Alexander bought the Rockets in 1993, no one thought basketball was waiting for some statistical reforms.
At that time, Daryl Morey was at Northwestern University trying to find a job in professional sports and considering applying for a business school.
He is very tall. he plays very well.
But in addition to that, he also sent out strange, eccentric aura.
"A lot of people who like the new game are trying to hide it," he said . ".
"It doesn't make sense to me.
In the third grade, he stumbled upon the work of baseball writer Bill James --
The person who has the greatest responsibility for the current turmoil in professional sports --
And decided that what he really wanted to do was put the jammesia principle into practice.
He developed this ambition in a rather traditional academic career, and eventually he got a master's degreeI. T.
It's from Sloan School of Management.
There he chose the startup track not because he really wanted to be an entrepreneur but because he thought he was the only way to be allowed to run a professional
Sports franchises are owned by one, and the only way he can imagine having enough money to buy one is to create some huge business.
"This is 1990 s.
Morey refers to Theo Epstein in the statistics, saying: "There is no Theo
The general manager of the Boston Red Sox
"Sandy Alderson is progressive, but no one knows.
"Sandy Alderson, then general manager of track and field in Auckland, also read Bill James and began to usher in a new era of baseball statistical analysis.
"So," Morey continued, "I just think getting rich is the only way out.
In addition to using it to get pro-
The sports team, Morey, has no particular interest in money.
It turns out that he does not need huge wealth.
After graduating from business school, he went to work at a consulting firm in Boston called Parthenon, where he was appointed in 2001 to advise a group trying to buy Red Sox.
The offer failed, but a related group went to buy the Celtics-
And hired Morey to help restructure the business.
In addition to figuring out where to determine the fare, Morey has helped find a new general manager and new people who are looking for better ways to evaluate basketball players.
The Celtics have improved.
Leslie Alexander has heard rumors that 33-year-old Morey is in front of people who are trying to rethink the game, so he hired him to remake the Houston Rockets.
When Morey came to the rockets, there was a big part of the salary the team assigned him-the N. B. A.
Exceed their salary and tax team cap-
McGrady and Yao Ming are two superstars for many years to come.
Morey had to find a way to improve the rocket without spending money.
"We couldn't afford another superstar, so we went looking for non-superstars that we thought were undervalued," he said.
"Basically, he's looking for players with low pay.
"This is a scarce resource for the United Nations. B. A. ,” he says.
"Not a superstar, but an underrated player.
Screening the population of middle-level N. B. A.
He has listed 15 players, the most important of which is the Memphis Grizzlies striker Battier.
It even confuses people who hire Morey to rethink basketball.
Alexander said: "I only know the statistics of Shane, which is obviously not very good.
He had to sell me.
It's hard for me to see it.
Alexander is not alone.
It is much easier to find that what Battier does than what he does.
His traditional data is not notable: he doesn't score much, he has more rebounds, more shots, more goals and more assists.
On top of that, it is easy to see what he will never do: his score often comes from the jump shots shot immediately after receiving the pass.
"This is a sign that a person can't step up his attack," Morey said . ".
"Because you can defend that shot with a player.
Before you can't defend someone with a player, you really didn't create an offensive situation.
Shane can't make an attack.
He needs to open his heart.
"For fun, Morey showed me a rare video of Battier scoring when he wasn't fully open yet.
A large part of it was when he was guarded by a low-level defender.
So, Battier took him back and jumped on the left --hook.
"To be honest, this may be his only offensive move," Morey said . ".
"But you see, look at how he did it.
"Battier did fake a few times before shooting a defender.
"He did this because he was worried that his shot was blocked.
Battier's weakness stems from physical limitations.
Or, as Morey said, "he won't dribble, he is slow and he has little physical control.
"Battier's game is a strange combination of obvious weaknesses and almost invisible advantages.
When he's on the pitch, his teammates get better, usually better, and his opponents get worse --
He may not have grabbed a lot of rebounds, but he has an amazing ability to improve the rebounds of his teammates.
He didn't take much, but when he did, he only took the most efficient picture.
He also has a trick to pass on the ball to his teammates who can do it, and he has few mistakes.
In defense, although he often defended the United Nations. B. A.
He was the player who scored the most and he greatly reduced their shooting percentage.
At the same time, he somehow improved the defensive efficiency of his teammates --
Morey speculated to help them in a variety of subtle ways.
"I call him Lego," Morey said . "
"When he was on the court, everything began to blend together.
What Shane is good at is that you can win everything through intelligence rather than innate abilities.
I bet he's a hundred percent in every category.
"Morey noticed other things too, but refused to discuss because now the real value of professional basketball for new information, the Rockets feel they have some.
However, what he is saying is that the biggest challenge on any basketball court is to measure the right things.
The five players of any basketball team are far more than the sum of their parts;
The Rockets put a lot of effort into unlocking the subtle interactions between team members.
To do this, they need something that has not been provided in basketball history: meaningful statistics.
Basketball for most of its history does not measure what is important, but what is easy to measure --
Points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks
These measurements distort how people think about the game. (
"Someone created the box office and he should be shot and killed," Morey said. ”)
For example, what a player's score is, does not really mean how much he has helped the team.
Another example: if you want to know the value of a player as a rebounding player, you don't need to know if he gets a bounce, but when the missed shot enters the player's area, the team is likely to rebound.
There is a tension between the interests of the team and the interests of the individual, which is unique to basketball.
This game is constantly tempting people who play it to do things that are not in the interests of the group.
On the baseball field, it is difficult for players to sacrifice the interests of the team for their own benefit.
Baseball is a personal Sport disguised as a team: by doing the best for yourself, players are almost always doing the best for their own team.
As Morey said, "there is no way to cross the family line selfishly . ".
"If there is not a lineup, I can exert my power every time I hit the ball and damage the efficiency of the team --
This is the analogy.
Manny Lester can't accept it-
Away from the bat of David Ortiz
We have a point guard in Boston who refuses to pass the ball to someone.
"In football, the coach has so much control over who takes the ball that selfishness ends up being selfdefeating.
The players who are known for their selfishness
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, for example, Terrell Owens
Usually not as selfish as seeking attention.
Their sins often take place off the counter.
In basketball, the problem is most likely to appear in the game --
In his game, players are faced with the choice to maximize their sense of self.
Interest and victory.
The choices were so complicated that he probably did not fully understand the choices he was making.
Taking a bad picture when you don't need it is just the most obvious example.
A point guard may selfishly give up public shooting for assists.
You can see that this happens every night, and when he is on the pitch, he doesn't catch it, but passes it on to a backward teammate.
Teammates usually end the game with a dunk, but the chances of scoring are down.
"Marginal assists are more valuable for point guards than marginal assists," Morey said . ". Blocked shots —
They look great, but unless you get the ball after that, you don't help your team much.
The players love the sight of the ball being kicked into the fifth row, and the other team still takes the ball back, which becomes a matter of personal indifference.
Dikembe Mutombo, 42, Houstonyear-
Morey said that the old back-up center known for capping "has always been the best in the league in the ball recovery after capping," when he began to defend Mutombo's selflessness before stopping to laugh.
"But even Dikembe has a selfish component.
He raised his name with his fingers.
"Finger swing: Mutombo patted the ball, grabbed it, put it on the hips, and swayed to the opponent with his fingers.
Not at my house!
Morey said: "He can't shake his fingers if he doesn't catch the ball.
He likes to shake his fingers.
"If Mutombo didn't catch the ball long enough to shake his fingers, his team would certainly be better.
"We had to yell at him: start the break, start the break --
Shake your fingers then!
"When I asked Morey if he could think of any basketball stats that hurt the interests of the team, he had to think seriously.
"Offensive rebounds," he said, and then he lost.
"But if your job is to go back to defense, even that will backfire on the team.
"It turns out that there is no statistics to show that basketball players have accumulated things that cannot be accumulated selfishly.
"Whenever we talk about contract incentives, we think deeply about that," he said . ".
"We don't want to incite a person to do something that hurts the team "-
The magic of basketball is how easy it is.
"They all maximize the rewards they think they are getting," he said . ". He laughs.
"Now it's a tough environment for a player because you have a lot of teams starting to have different ideas.
They must reconsider how to get paid.
"Over the past two and a half years, advertising has watched Battier play passionately, and Morey has seen him as an exception: the most abnormal selfless basketball player he has ever seen.
Or rather, the player who seems to be one step ahead of the analyst, helping the team in a variety of subtle, difficult situationsto-
Measures seem to infringe upon his personal interests.
"Our last Coach dragged him into a meeting and told him he needed to shoot more," Morey said . ".
"I'm not sure if this has actually happened.
Last season, when the Rockets played the Spurs, Battier was assigned to defend their most dangerous scorer, Manu.
However, Ginobili came off the bench and his playing time was out of sync with the starting time like Battier.
Battier went privately to coach Adelman and told him to put him on the bench when he played Ginobili.
"No one at the United Nations. B. A.
Do so, "Morey said.
"No one said to put me on the bench so I can always protect their best shooter. ”One well-
The known statistics of the rocket front desk are plus-
Negative, simply measure what happens when any given player is on the pitch.
In its original form, plus-
Negative is not perfect: a player who finds himself in the same team as the best four basketball players in the world and only plays when they do, will have a plus sign --
Even if it had no effect on his play, it looked good.
Morey says he and his employees can adapt to these potential distortions --
Although he was shy about how they did it.
And render plus-
Subtract useful indicators to measure the player's impact on basketball matches.
A good player could be a plus 3-
That is to say, when he is on the pitch, his team averaged 3 points more per game than his opponent.
In his best season, superstar point guard Steve Nash was a 14-plus. 5.
Battier was a 10-year-old player during the Lakers game, which put him with Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett, who were all perennial playersStars.
He is a plus 6 in his career.
"Plus 6 is huge," Morey said . ".
"This is the difference between 41 wins and 60 wins.
"He also mentioned several other 6-point players last season: Carter, Anthony, McGrady.
At the start of the Lakers game, Morey sat in the nine-row aisle behind the Rockets bench.
The odds are not high this evening.
Houston has no injured superstar McGrady (
Who watches TV at the club)
Ron Artest, the injured Best Supporting Actor (
Cheering in street clothes on benches).
The staff of the Lakers are household names.
The only Rockets player with a striking contract on the court is center Yao Ming.
Who tilted the ball back to open the game.
Shane Battier caught it at the start of the game.
Before the Rockets traded Battier, the front-
The Office analyst apparently studied his value.
They know all kinds of details about his efficiency and his ability to reduce the efficiency of his opponent.
For example, they know that the stars guarded by Battier suddenly lost their ability to shoot.
What they don't know is why.
Morey admits the effect of Battier, but he doesn't know how he did it.
After about 200 basketball games, he became an expert in basketball in the world.
He studied again tonight.
He pointed out that, for example, instead of grabbing rebounds with uncertainty, Battier will pass the ball to his teammates with more certainty.
When the ball is in the air, Battier will defend a smaller rebounding player, leave his own man and block the best rebounds in the other team.
"Look at him" at the Houston front"
The Office analyst told me before the game.
"When shooting, he will sit on Gasol's knee. ” (
Gasol often plays center for the Lakers. )
On defense, Battier seems to have begun to minimize Bryant's pain when shooting, without recording his presence in any penalty score.
For example, when Kobe takes the ball from the waist to the chin, he blocks the ball instead of when the ball is much higher and Kobe is shooting.
"When you look at him," Morey said, "you will see that his whole purpose is to stand in front of the player and try to stop the player's sight when he shoots.
It was not until he came here that we noticed what he was doing.
I hope we can say we did it, but we didn't.
It is often said that Kobe has no weaknesses in the game, but this is not the case.
Before the game, Battier got his special information package.
"He's our only player," Morey said . ".
"We can give him this data hose and let him screen.
Most players are like golfers.
You don't want them to swing when they think.
"These data basically divide the floor into many different areas and calculate Bryant's chances of shooting from different places on the court under different levels of defensive pressure, and have different relationships with other players.
How did he score on the screen? and-
Battier learned a lot from studying the data of the superstars he's usually assigned to defend.
For example, data show Iverson is one of the most efficient scorers in the nba. B. A.
When he got to the right
He killed his team when he went to the left.
This is especially true of Golden State Warriors striker Stephen Jackson.
Battier said: "Steve Jackson, the right side is going better statistically, but he likes to go on the left --
Almost double his left.
Spurs Manu Ginobili is a statistical freak: he has no imbalance in the game --
There is no better way to play him than another.
Whether it's dribbling or passing, he's equally efficient, whether it's from the left or right or from anywhere on the floor.
That's not the case with Kobe.
He did better than others in almost every way, but there were places on the court and his shooting starting point was also high, making it unlikely that he would help his team.
When he drives to the basket, his left side is exactly the same as the right side, but when he goes to the left, he is less efficient.
When he shoots directly after receiving the pass, he is more efficient than shooting after dribbling.
If he enters the lane, he is fatal if he reaches the bottom line;
Between the two, less.
Battier said: "The worst thing is a foul.
Kobe is not a very good free agent.
But as Morey said, "foul is the worst result of a defensive game.
One way the Rockets can see which teams look at the game like they do is to identify those teams that "try to dramatically not foul.
"From the statistical point of view of the rockets, the ideal result is that Kobe dribbling to the left and 18-foot jump shot;
Forcing this to happen often, you must be happy with your night.
"If he gets 40 points in 40 shots, I can take it," Battier said . ".
"My job is not to stop him from scoring, but to make him as inefficient as possible.
"There are no small squares everywhere on the pitch to tell him the percentage of shots Kobe might have shot from any given position, but that's also possible.
The Rockets insist that Battier defender Kobe Bryant is a gift for him to encourage him to enter the area with the lowest efficiency.
The effect of doing so is amazing: When Battier is defending Kobe, Kobe is not just helping his team less than when others defend him.
When Kobe Bryant was in the game and Battier was in him, the Lakers were attacking worse than the nba. B. A.
The best player had a rest that night.
Morey said: "Obviously the Lakers should be better than Bryant . "
"But if Shane was on him, it wouldn't be.
The player Morey calls "edge N"B. A.
Not only guard one of the greatest athletesand smartest —
Offensive threats to play games.
He is against his team.
If you don't know this, you will never guess it from watching the game.
Kobe is faster than Battier, So Battier spent a lot of time chasing him, Keystone Cops-like.
Kobe Bryant shot early and often, but he looks good from anywhere.
On defense, Battier and his teammates are more than anyone else on the field, but it's hard to see that from the stands.
However, he swears that almost all of this is for a reason: when he decides where and where to look in court, he keeps reminding himself that an hour ago, when his feet were soaked in the Whirlpool, the odds on a stack of files he read were high.
He said: "These numbers either refute my ideas or support my ideas and I believe them when there is any problem.
Numbers don't lie.
Even if these numbers are consistent with his intuition, they will have an impact.
"It's a subtle difference," Morey said, "but it has a big impact.
If you have an intuition about something, but there is no hard evidence to support it, you may put that intuition into practice because if it is right or wrong, there is still some uncertainty.
"Knowing the advertising of odds, Battier can pursue an inherently uncertain strategy with complete certainty.
He can focus on a process and ignore the outcome of any particular encounter.
This is crucial because luck is important in basketball and Battier can't let luck distract him.
In the Lakers game, we only saw a clear and satisfactory comparison between efficient strategy and inefficient strategy --
This is the result of reflecting the odds.
10 feet away from the basket, Kobe got the ball by the basket;
As Battier put pressure on him, he fell back and missed 12-
The foot shoots down from the front of the rim.
Earlier, Battier reclined on a soft chair disguised as N. B. A.
His teammate Brent Barry found himself in a similar position.
Kobe leaned over Barry and scored six points.
A foul on the foot.
But this is an exception.
Usually you don't get the perfect comparison.
You can't see that Kobe's odds will subtly shift from the Lakers to the Rockets, because Kobe is forced from 6 feet to 12 feet under the basket, or when he has Battier's hand in his eyes.
All you see is the statistics on the board and over time the game takes 54-
With 54 points, Bryant leads all scorers with 16 points.
Please click on the box to verify that you are not a robot.
The email address is invalid. Please re-enter.
You must select the newsletter you want to subscribe.
View all New York Times newsletters.
But he needs 20 things to get it.
He began to complain to the referee.
Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in nba history. B. A. A major-
Baseball League players once showed me.
Yankees third baseman Alex rodgetz plays back the action in the batsman's box.
Looking back, the settings of the catcher do not strictly violate the rules of baseball, but violate the rules.
The batsman who does this will most likely find that the next ball is aimed at the general direction of his eyes. A-
Stick, the best batsman in baseball, mastered the art of moving at the right time instead of his head, but his eyes to look back.
It's like watching 0. 1 billion millionaires find some insignificant, questionable deductions to bear his tax returns. Why bother?
I thought about it and realized: this is-
Great from the stars.
Kobe has the same instinct.
Kobe Bryant complained tonight that Battier robbed his jersey and was pushing when no one saw it. Battier was guilty of crimes against humanity.
Just before the end of the half, Battier pulled the referee aside and said, "You and I know Kobe has always done this.
I'm honest with him.
Don't dump his stuff.
A moment later, after not receiving the call, Bryant threw the ball, screamed at the referee and was blown a technical foul.
After that, the half was over, but it wasn't over until Battier was tempted by the selfish act of basketball.
The front desk of the rockets found a glitch in Battier's charitable attitude towards the game: In the last second of any quarter, he found himself holding the ball and standing on the wrong side of the half-time --
On the pitch line, Battier refused to lift it honestly under the basket, an impossible but not impossible scoring attempt.
He held it up insincerely after the buzzer rang for a millisecond.
Morey can only think of one explanation: a mistake reduced Battier's shooting percentage.
Morey said: "I told him that there is no paradise in our statistics, but Shane is smart enough to know that his next team may not be smart enough to take heaven out.
Tonight, a few milliseconds before the end of the half, the ball falls in Battier's hands.
He moves slowly enough that the buzzer can make a sound, push the ball to the length of the floor and sprint to the dressing room --
In 1996, a young basketball Times writer named Dan Wetzel thought that entering a star's life could be neat and tidy.
School basketball players and close-up viewing-
He was recruited by the Basketball Academy.
He chose Shane Battier and then spent five months following him with an increasingly less confident mood.
"I'm already high.
Eight years of school basketball, talking to hundreds of children
Really high every prominent
School basketball players in this country, "Wetzel said.
"The public thinks they are all thugs.
But they are not.
Many of them are very nice people, some of them are very, very smart.
Kobe is very smart.
LeBron is very smart.
But there's absolutely no one like Battier.
Wetzel looked at the child who was overwhelmed by various proposals and was responsible for a non-principled process.
Battier narrowed the selection to six schools
Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Michigan and Michigan
Tell others politely to let him go.
He then began to minimize the extent to which the chosen school might interfere with his studies; he had a 3. 96 G. P. A.
And prepare for the best results of the Detroit Country Day School Principal's Cup-around student.
He gives each coach 15-a week-
Time window to call him.
These people happen to be one of the most famous basketball coaches and persistent recruiters in the world, but Battier is no exception.
When Kentucky coach Rick pittino, who just won the national championship, tried to call Battier outside of his designated time, Battier just removed Kentucky from his list. “What 17-year-
Do you always have stones for that? ” Wetzel asks.
"Because Rick Pitino called outside the window, he cut off his contact?
Wetzel answered his own question: "It's not like, 'This is a very interesting 17-year-old.
"This is not true ".
Battier, even in his teens, was as savvy as he was trained.
When he knew where he was going, he said it was a hit.
Peekskill, N's school strikerY.
Named Elton Brand.
Convince him to go to Duke with him. (
Brand is now playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. )
"I thought he would be the first black president," Wetzel said . ".
"Before Barack Obama, he was Barack Obama.
"On Last July, when we were sitting in the library of Detroit Country Day School, watching or trying to watch his game against Kobe Bryant on March 2008, Battier was more than happy to talk about Obama, he has read two books. (
"The first one is better than the second one," he said . ". )
He said he hated watching his game and then refused to watch his game to prove it.
Every time I try to draw his attention to the action on the video monitor, I get some interference.
I pointed in his footsteps,
He pointed to a beautiful woman in Battier's jersey in the stands. (
"You don't see much good --
"It looks like the girl in the Battier jersey," he said . ".
"It's usually under 12 or over 60.
This is my demographics. ”)
I noticed the incredible way he put his hand in front of Kobe before shooting;
He motioned to his former high school library.
"I come here every day before class ").
I'm sure he used my excessive interest in this game as some kind of proof of lack of imagination.
"I 've been doing the same thing for seven years," he said. "It's the only game anyone wants to talk about.
Like, oh, can you defend?
"It's clear that one reason he doesn't particularly like to watch himself play games other than being bored is that he's too self-conscious to play this game. consciously.
He can't rely on the game to measure his performance, and he has learned to do so himself.
In a sense, he has seen the video.
When I finally forced him to watch, when Kobe lifted the ball from his waist to his chin, he was knocking the ball out of Kobe's hands.
"If I become a commissioner, this will be treated as a blocked shot," Battier said . ".
They don't think it's a blocked shot.
I do it at least 30 times a season.
"Advertising is in a statistically insignificant sample of professional athletes, and I already know a little bit that there are two patterns.
First of all, only when you talk to them outside of their training to answer questions will they tell you what makes sense.
For example, it doesn't make sense to ask a basketball player in his locker room.
First of all, he is naked;
On the other hand, he is surrounded by people he learns not to trust, his own teammates.
The second model is that the seemingly insignificant events of their childhood have had a huge impact on their careers.
A clean-up batsman lives and dies in the swing he completed at the age of 7;
A quarterback had a problem throwing his father.
In the Detroit Country Day School library, a few yards from the gym, Battier returned to where he became a basketball player.
He was far less interested in what happened between him and Kobe four months ago when he was 12.
When he entered Detroit Country Day in seventh grade, he was already in 6-foot-
A year later, he will be 6 years old. foot-7.
"I'm used to being tall," he said . "
"They always say, 'Check his birth certificate.
He is also the only child in the school with black fathers and white mothers.
Strangely, Chris Webb, a black basketball player who has just graduated from school.
Weber won three state titles and won the highest national honor.
School Player of the year.
"Chris is a man --
Says Kurt Keena, his high school basketball coach.
"Everyone wants Shane to be the next Chris Webb, but that's not how Shane is.
"Battier has never heard of Weber and does not understand why, when he is on the amateur track and field League tour, he plays with the black inside --
The children of the city, he found himself displeasing compared to Webb: "I have always heard that 'He is too soft' or 'He is not an athlete '. ’ ” His high-
The school coach realized the problems he had when he graduated from white high school.
School Games for Black. A. U. circuit.
Keener said: "I remember trying to add some talent to his game, but it's like teaching classical dancers to do hip movements --hop.
I have come to the conclusion that he does not have this self.
Battier is half. white and half-
It looks like basketball is either black or white.
A small Ph Library. D.
These papers may help explain this.
For example, is it a coincidence that a player does many things in white basketball to prove his character?
Responsible for a loose ball-
Doing on polished wood floor is more enjoyable than doing on the insidecity asphalt?
When the team is part of a larger organization, is it easier to "play for the team?
In any case, inside
The city kid he played on. A. U.
Circuits treat Battier like a suburban child with a white game, he plays with suburban children during the regular season, just like tourists from the planet they keep black.
"At Martin Luther King Day, everyone in the class will look at me like I should know who he is and why he matters," Battier said . ".
"When we got a picture of the official school, the other kids got a comb.
I'm the only one selected.
He was embarrassed and shy, or as he said, "I'm not doing well.
But I'm in grade eight!
I just want to fit in!
Here, however, he shuttled between a black world that saw him as white and a white world that saw him as black.
"Everything I 've done since then is because I 've been through it," he said . ".
"What I do is alienate everyone.
I have lunch myself.
I will learn by myself.
I was a little lost in the game.
"Losing self in the game means getting into the game, and getting into the game means that the grid is so well divided that it's hard for him to see.
In high school, he is almost always the best player on the field, but even then he doesn't like to star.
"He has a tendency to postpone," Keener said . ".
"He has the ability to make the people around him better.
But I must tell him to be more confident.
We lost a game in our freshman year because he obeyed the senior students.
"Even if he is clearly the best player and can hit the ball at will, he is more interested in his role in a bigger team.
But it is a mistake from the point of view that he is detached from himself, without self, ambition, or even eager to pay attention.
When Battier told me the story of this unpleasant period of his life, he said: "Chris Webb won three state titles,
The basketball Award and the neismith award.
I won three state championships.
The basketball and neismith awards.
When I was in the eighth grade, they said everything I couldn't do. ”“Who’s they? ” I asked.
"Almost everyone," he said . "“White people? ”“No,” he said. “The street.
At the beginning of section 3, Battier's face appeared on Jumbotron above his head, where he closed it up and exhorted the crowd.
Throughout the game, he likes this thing better than any other player: pulling out his teeth --
Whitening formula, praise local jewelers, open-
Service announcement, telling fans to make noise.
When I mentioned to one of the rockets staff members that Battier seems to have a far larger share than he deserves --
He said, "probably because he's the only one who does these things.
"In the second half, I spent time with Sam Hinkey, vice president of basketball operations and head of basketball analysis at the Rockets front desk.
The game goes back and forth.
Kobe has been shooting higher than him.
Neither team is ahead.
More notable than the game is Hinkie's reaction
Soon he understood that while he obviously wanted the Rockets to win, his reaction on the pitch was different from the typical rockets (or N. B. A. )fan was.
"I care more about what should happen than what actually happens," says Hinkie, who owns M . "B. A. from Stanford. The routine N. B. A.
He explained that the game was determined by a fraction of the total score.
A team scored about 100 points per game on average, but 2/3. B. A.
The game is determined by less than 6 points-
Two or three properties.
In his view, the effect of this is to greatly improve the importance of every little thing that happens.
Lakers Trevor Ariza, his 3-29%
Point shots, hit Crazy 3-
Hinkie was almost upset when the crowd complained.
"Ariza's shooting was really painful," he said . "
"Because it's a nearrandom event. And it’s a 3-point swing.
When Kobe drove to the basket, he was not forced to jump, but said, "That's three-
One of eight points.
These things accumulate.
"In this spirit of probability, we watched the battle between Battier and Kobe.
From Hinkie's point of view, the situation is very good: "For most people, Shane can kick them from the good area to the bad area, but for Kobe, you're just picking you up
This is the epitome of how you want to die?
Only rockets did not die.
Battier once again turned Kobe into
Efficient death machine
Even when the footage falls, they come from the place on the pitch, and the front desk of the rocket doesn't mind seeing them fall.
"That's all you can do," said Shin Ki after Kobe sank an 18-year-old. footer.
"Take him to an inefficient place to play.
And then all of a sudden, it's 97-
95, the Lakers, played a little more than 3 minutes, someone called the timeout.
"We are inside," Hinkie said happily . ".
"Some of the things that happen from here will be random.
"Team with NB. A.
Yao and a group of respected players brought the best records online.
After a while, I looked up at the scoreboard: Kobe: 30. Battier: 0.
Hey smiled with my eyes.
"I know it doesn't look very good," he said . " He refers to the total number of points each player has.
But if Battier wasn't there, he went on to say, "We lost at 12.
No matter what happens now, our coach will not say, 'If we can get more from Battier.
"A statistical rule of thumb for basketball is that teams with a leading score exceeding the remaining few minutes at the end of the game have a 80% win.
If your team is more than 6 points behind in the middle of the last section and you are in a hurry to beat traffic, you can leave because you know that you are slightly less likely to miss victory than 20%;
On the other hand, if you miss a victory, it will be an impossible one and therefore a sensational one.
This evening neither the team nor the Rockets management had enough lead to calculate their confidence intervals --
But at 2: 27, the Lakers took the lead at 4: 99. 95.
Then they brought the ball back.
The ball was passed on to Kobe, and Battier made a cover on his left. into Yao Ming.
From Battier's point of view, Kobe dribble and do his best: 2-
While moving to the left, jump from the dribble.
He missed it, the rocket ran back from another direction, and Alstom crashed into a float in the drive Lane: 99-
97, and 1: 13 minutes.
The Lakers missed another chance.
Alstom grabbed the rebound and called for a pause when there were 59 seconds left.
No matter the Rockets plan went wrong immediately, the Lakers beat the Rockets out when Carl Landry grabbed the entry pass.
The ball fell apart and bodies were everywhere. 55 . . . 54 . . . 53 . . .
On the side of the stadium opposite the melee, Battier froze.
When he saw that the loose ball was probably fixed by his teammates --
But before it was protected
He sprinted towards the corner. 50 . . . 49 . . . 48 . . . The 3-
Corner ball is the most efficient one in N. B. A.
One way the Rockets can tell if their opponents have analyzed basketball in a similar way as they do is their attitude towards corner 3: The smart team will take a lot of people away, and try to stop their opponents from taking them away.
However, you can only plan so much in basketball, especially on the street --
Ball moments like this
It happens that Houston's Alstom is one of the most legendary streets.
Players of All Time
Known as skipping 2 my building, this is the nickname he got after a spectacular move at Rucker Park in Harlem.
Alstom told me earlier that "Shane won't stick to the street because no one wants to watch" in the street ball.
"You 'd better give us something about the outdoors and the outdoors.
No one cares about the people who charge.
"The attack of the rocket has collapsed and Alstom does not have the usual position and is still near half-time
Take the ball away.
The Lakers 'defense was also broken.
No player is where he should go.
The only place he should go.
Open and stand on the floor at the most effective shooting location --
When Daryl Morey talked about basketball intelligence, a sentence slipped out: "I. Q. of where to be.
"It takes me to integrate into the basketball court in Battier's way. Q. of where to be.
Bang: Alstom hit Battier with a long pass.
Bang: Battier shot three people perfectly.
Nothing but the internet.
The Rockets 100, the Lakers 99. 43 . . . 42 . . . 41 . . .
At this time, the front desk of the rockets will calculate that the team's chances of winning from the age of 19 have increased. 2% to 726 percent.
One day, some smart people will look at the correlation between the change in probability and the level of noise, but now the crowd is ignored: It does sound like the largest population in the history of the Houston Toyota Center.
Kobe got the ball at half time.
Court and rafting, looking for his opening.
It's his moment and it's said that there's only one great player alive and he still does when everyone knows he will.
At the other end of the floor, the important thing is not the shooter, but the shooter.
Shooting is nothing now, the shooter is nothing.
Advertising 33. . . 32 . . . 31 . . . Bryant —
At 12: 31 p. m-
After taking off, he drove to the right in the middle of the lane, which is his strength.
Battier cut him off.
Bryant threw the ball back outside of Fisher's shooting range. 30 . . . 29 . . .
Like everyone else, Battier believes the game is still in Kobe's hands.
If he gives up the ball, it's just for him to get the ball back.
Kobe suddenly appeared.
He's 4 feet better now than 3-
Point the line, nearly 30 feet from the basket. 28 . . .
Bryant caught the ball at the age of 27.
4 feet away from the basket, the rocket's front office later decided to jump.
Battier's hand immediately blocked his sight.
This is not the original situation. Since the 2002-
Three seasons, Kobe took 51 3-
Pointer at the end of a closed game with a distance of more than 26.
75 feet from the basket
He missed 86 times.
Of them 3%.
More than a year ago, Bryant lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers from 28 to 3. 4 feet.
Three nights from now, Bryant missed 27 shots and the Lakers will lose to the Orlando Magic.
5 feet, this will tie the game.
This is an acceptable shot by Battier, even if it turns out to be good.
Battier looked back and the ball fell from the basket and hit the floor.
At that short moment, he was a detached picture, not so much of a traffic accident as a curious passer-by --by.
Then he smiled.
The process took place as he had hoped.
The result he could never control.
Michael Lewis is the author of Money Ball and a special editor of Vanity Fair.
His next book, family games, will be published in June, a memoir of Father status.
A version of this article appears on the MM26 page of Sunday magazine with the title: No-Stats All-Star.
Today's newspaper | subscribe we are interested in your feedback on this page.
Tell us what you think.