Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Shane Battier said he will sign with the Miami Heat, joining All-Stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on a team that reached the National Basketball Association Finals last season.
Battier is the first prominent free agent to disclose his plans following a work stoppage that shortened the NBA’s season -- scheduled to begin Dec. 25 -- to 66 games from 82.
“This was a exciting process and after much deliberation, I would like to quote the great poet Jimmy Buffett and take my chances ‘Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season,’” Battier said in a post on Twitter.
The 33-year-old forward followed that with another post on the social networking website: “Let’s Go #Heat!!!!!”
Battier, a 10-year NBA veteran, finished last season with the Memphis Grizzlies after beginning the campaign with the Houston Rockets. He played his first five years in Memphis before joining the Rockets for the 2006-07 season.
“The lockout gave me lots of time to consider what was important to me at this stage of my life and career,” Battier said in another Twitter post. “Over the last week, I’ve played out every scenario in my head over and over. It always came back to one thing for me: a winning role.”
The Heat, led by James, Wade and All-Star Chris Bosh, were beaten in six games by the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals in June.
Tim Donovan, a spokesman for the Heat, declined to comment on Battier’s posts in an e-mail. Jim Tanner, Battier’s agent, didn’t immediately respond to a telephone message left at his office.
Battier has averaged 9.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and two assists per game in his career and is known as a strong defender.
After completing terms of a 10-year collective bargaining agreement yesterday, the players and owners are expected to ratify the deal today in time for training camps to open tomorrow.
Other unrestricted free agents on the market include Tyson Chandler, David West, Caron Butler, Kris Humphries, Nene, Jason Richardson and Glen Davis.
All-Stars Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets and Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic both will be free agents after the 2011-12 season, meaning their teams may look to work trades before then if re-signing isn’t possible.
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