When Shane Battier retires from the NBA, he'll have no shortage of job opportunities.
Grantland's Zach Lowe writes in his most recent column that Battier, who is nearing retirement, was approached by Democratic officials in his home state about the possibility of replacing retiring Senator Carl Levin.
"Battier is nearing retirement now, and he can no longer shoot, dribble, or defend like he once did. The Michigan Democratic Party recently called him to see if he might consider running to replace U.S. Senator Carl Levin, Battier said. He declined, but he’s closer to retirement than he is to the player who helped Miami unlock its identity."
Battier, widely regarded as one of the most intelligent and well-spoken professional athletes, has discussed running for office before and been pegged as an athlete who could make a run at the White House.
"I don't know what I will end up doing post-basketball," Battier once told ESPN the Magazine. "I've always been intrigued by politics. I may be a bit too idealistic to run for office. We'll see."
Democratic officials in Michigan, however, downplayed the story.
"Like many fans of basketball and politics, we at the Michigan Democratic Party were surprised to hear Shane Battier mentioned for the first time this afternoon as a possible candidate for U.S. Senate," said Josh Pugh, communications director for the Michigan Democratic Party. "Michigan Democrats are united behind a great candidate in Congressman Gary Peters, and we wish Battier the best in his impending retirement from professional basketball."
Matt Canter, a top official at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, also denied to the Huffington Post that officials reached out to Battier about running for office.
However a Democratic official in Michigan, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Post he could not "categorically rule out" that someone tied to the party had contacted Battier about running.
We may never know exactly when and if he was contacted, but Battier seemingly has no reason to lie about the whole thing.
While a lot could change depending on how the rest of the playoffs play out for the Heat, as recently as March Battier was set on retiring after the 2014 season.
Yes. Shane Battier is retiring after season. No more equivocating. "It would take an act of God to change it & that act of God hasn't come."
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) March 28, 2014