This article originally appeared in the February/March 2011 issue of Memphisport.
One of the most beloved players to ever wear a Grizzlies uniform, Battier played in Memphis’ for five years before being traded to the Houston Rockets.
There was a time when you said you wanted to be an NBA general manager. Do you still?
Oh, heck yeah. Being a GM of a major sports franchise is arguably one of my biggest dreams.
If you could be the GM of the Grizzlies, what would be the first thing you would do?
(Laughing) Man, it’s hard to say, really. Let me get back to you on that one…
So, how is your chess game?
You just keep the hard questions coming, I see. Well, my chess game has progressed considerably over, I’d say, the past three or four years. But there’s always room for improvement.
Who in the NBA can you beat at chess?
(Laughing) Coach (Rick) Adelman.
Does chess in any way prepare you for a game?
Well, that’s hard to say, really. You know, maybe that’s something I ought to take time to assess for the rest of this season.
Are you still the tech editor for HOOP Magazine?
Yeah, I’m still very much active with the magazine and I plan to do a lot more hands-on stuff with it in the offseason.
Who do you stay in touch with the most from the Grizzlies 50-win team?
Well, I speak with Pau (Gasol) on a regular basis. Of couse, a lot of that comes from playing in the same conference.
How often do you talk to Coach K?
Oh, man, Coach K is like a dad. And children with a tight
bond with their dad talk to their dad all the time. Even
after years of being in the NBA, I still reach out to Coach K
for wisdom and guidance. That’s priceless, man.
How long do you anticipate playing professional basketball?
As long as the league and teams enjoy having me. Basically, no one knows how long they will play professional ball. Me, on the other hand? I’m just enjoying the ride while the car is still in motion.