SPORTS ADDICT: Rockets land Battier as Houston prepares for liftoff…

by dentonramsey

SPORTS ADDICT: Rockets land Battier as Houston prepares for liftoff…


In just a matter of seconds, the Houston Rockets went from taking Rudy Gay as the number eight pick in the 2006 NBA Draft to landing one of the backbones of the 2001 National Championship Duke Basketball team in forward Shane Battier.

And now, the Houston Rockets are finally beginning to make some strides towards improvement as my hometown heroes aim to repeat what they did back in 1994 and 1995 when they won back-to-backs under Rudy Tomjonavich.

Finally, my Rockets have landed a Dukie.

My entire life, as a fan of both Duke and Houston, I have dreamed of the Rockets pursuing a Duke favorite.

Now that dream is a reality as Battier appears to be heading to Houston.

According to ESPN’s ‘analysts,’ Houston is making a mistake.

But these are the same ‘analysts’ that claim Duke is overrated.

These are the same ‘analysts’ that claim the Blue Devils continually have players drafted into the NBA that are nothing more than a fluke.

My question to those ‘analysts’ is ‘how in the world do you call yourself an analyst? Especially an analyst for a network like ESPN?’


I believe so.

Favor UNC? U-Conn?


You bet.

ESPN claims they are not biased towards certain colleges and they claim to actually analyze what’s going on.

However, these guys are doing nothing more than stating what they believe as far as their hatred against the success of the Duke Basketball program.

Coach K is the epitome of what coaching means.

Coach K is the best of the bests.

And in my opinion, Coach K could probably run this country better than any president we have ever had.

However, I digress.

So what makes a championship team?

The Fist.

Five players, five fingers, working as one to make the impossible happen.

So many sports casters and analysts out their claim that Duke is “decent” year-in and year-out because they recruit the best.

It’s more than that, though.

When Coach K first arrived at Duke, things were not exactly easy.

Fans, students and alumni were calling for his head.

People had never heard of Krzyzewski, let alone knew how to pronounce it.

Now, 26 years after being hired by once A.D. Tom Butters, Coach K is a household name.

But in the sports world, it’s also a hated name.

Personally though, I believe the name ‘Dean Smith’ is just as bad as dropping a few ‘F-bombs’.

Then again, nothing can be worse than the three letters draped across the fronts of those jerseys just eight miles down the road from Durham.

The worst word in the history of sports?


As a Duke fan for life, I can only praise Coach K and company.

For those that hate Duke, for those that compare Duke to the likes of the Yankees n don’t forget we’re talking about a bunch of teenagers compared to a bunch of billionaires.

Professional sports are a business.

College sports are a relationship.

And Coach K and Duke University represent that idea to a T.

For those out there that want to know what it takes to be a champion, look no further than North Carolina’s finest in Durham, Duke.

You want to know the difference between North Carolina and Duke University, two schools located a stones-throw away from each other down Tobacco Road?

North Carolina is eight miles down the road from a great university.

The greatest university in the history of college basketball.

Hands down.

When I first began getting involved in sports writing, I fell in love with Duke Hoops.

My best friend, Marco Merino, graduated with me from Memorial High in Houston and went on to attend Duke.

In 1997, our freshman year, I was able to go visit Marco in Durham.

And that’s when my love for Duke grew to a passion and now simmers on an addiction.

I don’t think there’s anything better in the world than college basketball.

NCAA Hoops, in my opinion, is what sports in general is all about.

To steal a line from my favorite band, Sister Hazel, ‘it’s all about the love.’

Coach K knows that.

Every player that has ever worn a Duke uniform knows that.

Our wonderful sports writer, Kevin Hageland, knows that (it also helps knowing he too is a die-hard Dukie).

The point is clear and present: Duke brings out the best in everyone and everything.

Tom Butters is a genius for hiring the guy whose name no one knew or recognized.

And Coach K gives me hope for my future, and he should give you hope for yours as well.

It’s just a matter of believing in yourself, believing in one another, and working as a team to make dreams a reality.

Shelden Williams and J.J. Redick are just examples from this year’s squad and are another reason why Duke is the greatest basketball school ever.

Like Coach K says, “every season is a lifetime.”

And every year, there’s a new team and a new family.

Meaning every year, he will coach differently.

That’s what makes him THE BEST.

You learn from the best, you become your best.

Want a life-changing book from the man himself?

Next time you get a chance, pick up Coach K’s “Leading with the Heart.”

It will change your life forever.

It did for me, and Coach K continues to be a daily role model in my life and will continue to be from here to eternity.

Until we speak again, just remember ‘it’s not about me.’

A season is a lifetime…