The trade was one that came as no surprise to anyone. When Rockets GM Daryl Morey shipped Shane Battier to the Grizzlies in exchange for Hasheem Thabeet, most fans could have seen it coming from a mile away. Battier was a starter on this team, and arguably its best three-point shooter and defender, but Houston needed to open up some playing time for the younger players on the roster.
Since the deal, the Rockets played pretty well down the stretch of the season, but ended up falling short of the playoffs. Battier made a successful return to Memphis, and he’ll be in the playoffs. Right now, the Grizzlies sit in the 8th seed in the Western Conference, where they will go on to play San Antonio.
Will Rockets fans root for Battier in the postseason? It’s an interesting question for this reason: he’s certainly a beloved former member of the Rockets, but also helped a team keep Houston out of the playoffs.
I think since the Grizzlies aren’t really a big rival of the Rockets, a lot of fans will be pulling for Battier once the playoffs start. Plus, Memphis will face the Spurs, a team that I’m sure many Rockets fans would like seeing crash out of the postseason.