Chat Transcript: Tony Battie

In his second season with the Orlando Magic, former first round Draft pick Tony Battie (No.5 overall by Denver in 1997) has played an important role in the team's new defensive mentality. By helping second-year player Dwight Howard clog up the middle, Battie and the Magic have been able to establish more of the front court presence that was missing one year ago.

Through the first 14 games of the season, Battie has averaged 5.6 ppg and 5.5 rpg and has scored in double figures three times - including a 12 point performance against Washington on Nov. 23. He also recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 boards against Charlotte on Nov. 15.

On Tuesday, Tony stopped by to answer your questions about this year's Magic team. Check out what Tony had to say about Dwight Howard, his favorite movies and much more.




Michael, Orlando: Toni, with all the injuries on the team how has morale been?

Tony Battie: I think our morale is pretty good. The injuries have been tough, but we're still competing. We understand every team goes through injuries during the course of the year, and we're having ours now and that should even out with the pack later in the year when other teams suffer some injuries.


Graham (Winter Park): Hey Tony! Dwight has said that he thinks he is learning some things from you as you guys are rooming together on the road. What kinds of things do you think you have taught the young fella and what other things can you teach him down the road?

Tony Battie: We're not rooming on the road, but Dwight is a great athletic talent who is playing purely on ability. Once he keeps playing and getting those repetitions based on just doing things again and again, he will gain that mental edge. He has a great ability to get into games and that will just improve with experience. He's not even near his peak of becoming a complete player, but as he plays more and more, that will come.


Matt: i live in australia. wats your fav position? Centre or power forward?

Tony Battie: I prefer either position, it doesn't matter to me. Whichever spot gets me on the court. I look at that as a positive, that I'm a multifaceted player who can be used at both spots. Wherever I'm needed, that's fine with me, whether it's starting along with Dwight or backing him up.


Robert (DeBary): I noticed that you have a Batman tattoo on your arm. Is he your favorite superhero? Any other significance?

Tony Battie: I did that in college. All the guys used to call me "Bat" or "Big Bat". I was a leading shotblocker in college, so I was battin' down those shots, so the Batman thing just came with that.


Brandon (Flint): How do you feel about the progression you've seen of Jameer Nelson?

Tony Battie: Jameer is one of those guys, he's a tremendous talent, hardnosed and he knows the game. He is the definition of a true point guard, he looks for the open guy, but he is also a scorer.


charllote: why do you wear #4?

Tony Battie: I wear No. 4 in honor of my mother, her birthday is March 4. I took that No. 4 from her birthday, that's it.


William (Rockville, MD): Tony, What are your top 5 favorite movies?

Tony Battie: Top Five Favorite Movies....hmmm...in no particular order, Tombstone, The Green Mile, Scarface, Casino and.....hmmnm.....lemme think....last one....drawing a blank.....let's go with....Ray.


Gilbert (Manila, Phils): Hi there Tony! Hope you're doing fine. Who's the player you admired the most growing up?

Tony Battie: When I came up I remember watching on Sunday's NBC basketball..it was the Magic Johnson show....I was mostly a Magic fan and a Scottie Pippen fan. Michael, of course, was great, but I never felt I could pattern my game on his, so I went with Magic and Scottie.


Jenn(Clermont): Hey Tony, Great to have you on the team! I was just wondering how Grant Hill looked in practice and when you think he will return to the lineup? Also, you are a great player and I hope you stay on as a member of the Magic! Go Magic!!!!

Tony Battie: Today was Grant's first day of contact, since his hernia surgery and he looked great. He has some fine-tuning to do, and I'm not sure how close he is to returning, but he was out there today playing with passion and I'm sure that he misses playing as much as we miss him playing with us.


Tom (London): How does playing for Orlando compare to playing for your former teams?

Tony Battie: The weather is great here, I can tell you that! (Laughing) I don't have to get up early in the morning and scrape snow off my car like I did in Boston and Cleveland.


Paul (Orlando): Hey Battie, I'm a big fan of yours. What do you think it would take for you guys to make the playoffs this year? And do you think you can make it?

Tony Battie: Yes, I do think we have the talent to compete in this division. We just need to keep working hard and get playing well together and then we can go out and compete with the other teams and make a good run.

Tony Battie: I'd like to thank all the fans and Magic supporters for their time and their questions. Hopefully, you liked my answers and you got some insight from a player's perspective.