Shane Battier officially retires from NBA and Miami Heat

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Shane Battier, in typically calm and measured style, called time on his NBA career Thursday, confirming previous reports that he would leave the Miami Heat in pursuit of a new chapter in an illustrious career.

After 13 years as a pro, Battier will put his knowledge of the game to good use after he confirmed that he will join ESPN as a college analyst:

"After fulfilling run on the basketball court, I am absolutely thrilled to join the 'Worldwide Leader in Sports' in ESPN," Battier said in an official statement Thursday.

"I hope my experiences as a successful collegiate and professional basketball player will add meaningful insight into the dynamic arena of the sports world. I am looking forward to bringing a sense of candor, humor and perspective to all of ESPN's listeners, readers and viewers," the veteran continued.

Illustrious career

Entering the NBA after a successful college career with Duke which culminated with an NCAA Championship, Shane Battier was selected sixth overall in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies.

After five years with the Grizzlies, a period in which he was selected to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, Battier moved on to the Houston Rockets where he reaffirmed his position as one of the league's most clutch shooters of the corner three and as an intense player on the defensive end.

Respected around the league as a player who always put the team philosophy first, it was no surprise that the Miami Heat came calling in 2011 as they looked to supplement the arrival of the 'Big Three', LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

And it was in Florida where Battier achieved most success, winning two consecutive titles between 2012-13. His six three-pointers in the historic Game Three of the '13 Finals were integral in helping the Heat turn around the series.

While his minutes decreased in what proved to be his final season with the franchise, his position as a role player and steady voice were integral.

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Battier likely to retire after NBA Finals

What next for Battier?

As mentioned above, Battier will now put his experience to good use in the college game as he links up with ESPN to analyse the future stars who could replace him in the NBA.

Having played four years with Duke there are few better to perform the role than Battier. There are suggestions however that the 35-year-old could actually end up in politics somewhere down the line.

Recent reports revealed that he recently turned down an offer from  the Democratic Party to run for their Michigan Senate seat. 

And for the Heat?

Battier leaves behind a Miami Heat franchise in flux. With the likes of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade all having opted to test free agency this offseason, and just two players currently under contract in Miami at present, it is certainly going to be an anxious few weeks for Heat fans.

And while the absence of Battier had been expected, it will still take a fine player to replace him in Eric Spoelstra's roster come the start of the 2014-15 season.

Miami Heat

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