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Shane Battier understands this could be his last NBA season

Sep 10, 2013, 9:42 AM EST

Miami Heat's Shane Battier screams after scoring against the Memphis Grizzlies in the second half of their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida Reuters

Shane Battier is 35 years old. And in the last year of his contract. And went through a terrible shooting slump (5-of-31) through the playoffs and NBA Finals last season that saw his role shrink (although he exploded for six threes in the Heat’s Game 7 win).

Combined, those are all signs that retirement is around the corner. This could well be his last NBA season.

As you would expect, Battier is taking a measured approach to it, something he told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. He might still play in 2014, in Miami or elsewhere if a contract is offered, but if not he is ready to move on.

“I’m realistic to where I am at this point in my life,” he said… “I’d like to finish my contract strong with the Miami Heat, and then we’ll see where we go….

“This door is always open,” he said. “This is not a farewell tour, no. But if it is, it is. And I’ll enjoy this year and try to make the most of it.”

It is possible that next summer, as a free agent, Miami or some other contending team looking for a veteran “3 and D” guy could offer Battier a one year minimum contract. It’s going to depend on how he performs this season.

Battier is self aware enough to know one way or another his time in the league is winding down. And he’s going to try and savor it.

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