Shane Battier Says LeBron is ‘One of the Few’ Who Could’ve Played at Duke

by October 23, 2012

In a story about the relationship between LeBron James and his Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski, former Dookie Shane Battier claims that James is one of the few NBA All-Stars who could have thrived on Coach K’s squad. Per the Miami Herald: “You know what? LeBron could have played at Duke, and I don’t say that about a lot of guys,’ Battier said. ‘There are a lot of All-Stars who couldn’t have played at Duke. LeBron is one of the few All-Stars who could have played there and survived. You have to be mentally tough. You have to know the game — you can’t be some idiot out there, some dummy running around. You have to play for the team and be selfless. Those are all of LeBron James’ qualities.’ On Tuesday, the Heat plays the Charlotte Bobcats in a preseason game at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. It is the closest the Heat gets to Krzyzewski’s campus in Durham — just a few miles away. Krzyzewski hasn’t confirmed whether he will be attending the game, but James said on Monday that it would ‘be awesome’ if he did. ‘We have a great relationship,’ James said. ‘We’ve been together since ’05, and our relationship has grown every year. I’ve grown from a young man into a man into a leader of that team. He’s helped me develop that. I give a lot of credit to him.’ Krzyzewski has said that the Blue Devils scouted James back in high school, although it was a foregone conclusion that he would be skipping college and going straight to the NBA. Krzyzewski said he never saw James play live until his rookie year with the Cavaliers. Yet when the two met with Team USA, James gravitated to the successful coach. Perhaps it was Krzyzewski’s sense of humor. Krzyzewski recalls seeing James in the locker room one day. He noticed the huge ‘Chosen 1’ tattoo on James’ back and went up him. ‘He is a massive human being. And a gifted athlete. Those guys all have tattoos like crazy,’ Krzyzewski said. ‘In one light moment, he had his shirt off in the locker room, and I said, ‘chosen one?’ And he said ‘yep.’ And I said, ‘I think I’m going to get one of those.’ And he look at me and leaned over and says ‘No, coach, there’s only one chosen one.'”