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NBA Draft 2001: Wednesday, June 27
Shane Battier

Shane Battier
No. 6 pick, Vancouver Grizzlies

Q: Is this a tough crowd?

Battier: Tough crowd, but I'm so thrilled. I'm so excited to be playing for the Grizzlies. I was very impressed in my interviews with them. I got to meet the owner, Michael Heisley, a very intelligent man who's very excited about building a winner in Vancouver or Memphis or wherever we're playing. I'm so excited to get to work and help this team.

Q: Have you ever been to Memphis?

Battier: Yes, I've been to Memphis my senior year in high school. We won a high school summer league tournament there, so I think that was a good omen.

Q: What do you think about being drafted where you were?



Battier: There are so many talented players in this draft. It just happens to be that most of them are coming out of high school or coming out of school before their senior year. And hopefully, I can serve as an example for others, that by staying in school for four years and getting that degree, it won't hurt you in terms of the NBA.

Q: Were you ever close to deciding to come out early?

Battier: I was never really close. It sounds kind of archaic, but I actually enjoyed college, and I didn't want to give up my senior experience for anything. I haven't regretted that decision since.

Q: Did you expect to be booed by anybody here?

Battier: A couple of St. John's fans. We beat them pretty good up here, so I expected a few boos.

Q: What are your impressions of Pau Gasol?

Battier: Just from seeing the tapes, Pau's a great player. He's a real nice guy. I got to meet him the last couple days and spend some time with him, and it's exciting to go through this process with someone else, and Pau and I will be in the same boat. There will be a lot of people to share with the carrying of the veterans' luggage. And that makes me as happy as anything.

Q: What's the biggest adjustment you'll have to make?

Battier: I think the NBA game is obviously faster, more physical than the college game. The court almost seems much smaller when you throw guys like Shaq and Mutombo in with great athletes like Vince Carter and Kobe Bryant. But every rookie that goes on this night has to make that adjustment, and I feel confident with the great coaches in Vancouver-slash-Memphis, I'll be able to do that.

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