LeBron James: Shane Battier the Smartest Player and Person in Basketball

Shane Battier’s basketball skills may not impress all that much, but his mind is something to behold. Just ask teammate LeBron James. From Fox Sports: “If Miami Heat players need a question answered, they turn to Battier, their versatile forward — versatile, that is, with his knowledge. ‘He’s probably the No. 1 smartest basketball player and person I’ve been around,’ said Heat forward LeBron James. ‘He knows everything.’ The savvy Battier obviously knows basketball. He can dabble quite well in history, math, finance and religion. After all, Battier was a religion major at Duke. […] It’s no wonder, then, when the Sporting News in 2010 did a list of the top 20 smartest athletes, Battier ranked No. 7. That was tops among NBA players … But does Battier believe he’s the smartest guy in the NBA? ‘Intelligence is an esoteric measurement,’ he said. ‘I don’t know. I’m smart, but I don’t know about the smartest.’ Well, James thinks so. So does Miami center Joel Anthony. ‘That is no surprise,’ Anthony said of Battier’s ranking. ‘His basketball IQ is off the charts in terms of understanding situations and being able to analyze all the different situations on the court. Even off the court. If there’s like a general question, everybody will look to Shane like, ‘You know the answer to this? ‘ Battier usually does. On the court, Battier is one of the NBA’s top defenders, even though he says, ‘There have been numerous articles sort of degrading my athletic ability.'”