Nicolas Batum

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Nicolas Batum
Nicolas Batum 2012.jpg
Nicolas Batum in 2012
No. 88 – Portland Trail Blazers
Position Small forward
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1988-12-14) December 14, 1988 (age 25)
Lisieux, France
Nationality French
Listed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
NBA draft 2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 25th overall
Selected by the Houston Rockets
Pro career 2006–present
Career history
2006–2008 Le Mans (France)
2008–present Portland Trail Blazers
2011 Nancy (France)
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Nicolas Batum (born December 14, 1988)[1] is a French professional basketball player who currently plays for the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Blazers acquired his rights during the 2008 NBA Draft for the rights to Darrell Arthur and Joey Dorsey. A French Olympian in 2012, the defensively skilled Batum signed a $46 million contract with the Blazers that same summer which keeps him under contract with the team through the 2015–16 campaign.

European career[edit]

Early years[edit]

As a youngster, Nicolas Batum was considered one of the most talented young players in Europe, as he was ranked #17 among international players born in 1988, by the scouting website DraftExpress.com at the time he entered the 2008 NBA draft.[2] Batum was part of the junior French national team that won the 2004 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship.[1] He was named the MVP of the 2006 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship, as France won the gold medal at that tournament.

In 2006, Batum was named the most valuable player of the Under-18 Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Mannheim, Germany, as part of the tournament-winning French national team.[1] Batum averaged 19 points, over 5 rebounds, and over 2 steals per game, during the seven game tournament.

French League[edit]

Batum (pictured here in 2007) began his professional career in France.

While playing for Le Mans, Batum averaged 3.4 points (65.9% FG), 2.5 rebounds, 0.5 assist per game in 13 minutes for the 2006–2007 French league season,[3] and 12.3 points (52.3%), 5.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game in 28 minutes for the 2007–2008 season.[4]

He delivered an impressive performance[5] at the 2007 Nike Hoop Summit[6] scoring 23 points (9/13 FG, 3/5 for 3 pointers) in 28 minutes. He also grabbed four rebounds and recorded four steals.

In August 2011, during the 2011 NBA lockout, he signed a one-year contract with SLUC Nancy in French Basketball League which was valid until the NBA lockout ended.[7][8]

NBA career[edit]

Portland Trail Blazers (2008–present)[edit]

Batum with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2011.

After coming off the bench for the first three games of his NBA career, Batum moved into the starting lineup in place of Travis Outlaw in Portland's fourth game of the 2008–09 season, a 103–96 loss to the Utah Jazz. On March 13, 2009, Batum recorded a season-high 20 points to go along with a clutch three-pointer with 29.9 seconds left, en route to a 109–100 victory over the New Jersey Nets.[9]

Batum missed the first 45 games of the 2009–10 season due to torn cartilage in his right shoulder. He played in his first game of the season on January 25, 2010.[10]

Batum scored more than 30 points for the first time with a 31 point performance (including 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals) on February 27, 2010 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.[11]

On June 25, 2012, the Portland Trail Blazers extended a qualifying offer to Batum, making him a restricted free agent.[12] Less than three weeks later Batum signed a $46 million/4 year offer sheet with the Minnesota Timberwolves.[13] On July 18, 2012, the Trail Blazers elected to match the Timberwolves' offer, signing Batum to the team through the 2015–16 campaign.[14]

On November 16, 2012, Batum tied a career-high of 35 points in a 119–117 overtime win against the Houston Rockets.[15] This was followed exactly one month later by a game in which Batum recorded the 15th "five-by-five" in the NBA since the 1985–86 season, and the first since Andrei Kirilenko in January 2006.[16] In this effort Batum scored 11 points while racking up 10 assists, 5 rebounds, 5 blocks and 5 steals in a 95–94 win against the New Orleans Hornets.[16]

On January 21, 2013, Batum recorded his first triple-double in a 98–95 loss to the Washington Wizards, scoring 12 points and adding 10 rebounds, and 11 assists, in addition to 3 steals and 2 blocks.[17]

Batum had a career year in 2012–13, as he finished with career-highs in nearly every statistic. His biggest improvement was his passing; he averaged 4.9 assists, more than triple his previous career-high (1.5 assists per game during the 2010–11 season).

Defensive prowess[edit]

The lengthy and agile Batum is regarded as a highly skilled defensive player and one of the NBA's best executors of the chase-down block.[18] Growing up in Pont-l'Évêque, Normandy, the lanky Batum had been among the tallest boys of his age group and had begun his basketball career as a Center.[18] Inspiration had been drawn from NBA shot-blocking specialist Dikembe Mutombo, known for theatrically wagging his finger after rejections — an affectation which Batum had emulated.[18]

Batum noted in a 2013 interview with the Portland Oregonian that has he got older he was moved from the low post to the wing, where he was no longer able to make the face-up block a signature component of his game.[18]

"I couldn't block it like I used to when I played inside," Batum noted, "so when I would see a guy going down the court on a fast break, I used to run behind him and get the block."[18]

The chase-down block thus became a fundamental part of Batum's game and was a superior skill brought with him to the NBA. Through March only two players in the NBA's 2012–13 season who did not play Center or Power Forward had more blocks than Batum — Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks and Kevin Durant.[18]

International career[edit]

2012 Summer Olympic Games[edit]

Batum played for the senior men's French national basketball team at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Late in a 66–59 quarterfinal loss to Spain, a frustrated Batum punched Spanish player Juan Carlos Navarro in the groin. After the game, Batum said, "I wanted to give him a good reason to flop." Batum later apologized on Twitter, writing, "I showed a bad image of France and myself. Congrats to team Spain."[19]

2014 FIBA World Cup[edit]

Batón was a member of the French national team that finished third-place in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, becoming the first French team to win a medal in a FIBA Basketball World Cup competition. In the final two games he averaged 31.0 points and was subsequently named to the all-tournament team.[20]

International stats[edit]

Tournament Games played Points per game Rebounds per game Assists per game Steals per game Blocks per game
2009 EuroBasket 9 9.6 4.9 1.8 0.6 1.0
2010 FIBA World Championship 6 12.5 3.2 2.2 1.3 0.7
2011 EuroBasket 11 13.8 3.2 1.4 2.0 0.6
2012 Olympics 6 15.5 5.7 1.2 0.8 1.5
2013 EuroBasket 10 11.6 5.1 2.3 1.0 1.1
2014 FIBA World Cup 9 14.6 3.1 1.3 1.3 0.4

French National Team Individual Awards & Honors[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold  Career high

Euroleague[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2006–07 Le Mans 12 2 13.5 .500 .273 .769 1.7 .7 .8 .4 4.3 4.6
2007–08 Le Mans 13 13 26.6 .453 .290 .667 3.5 2.7 1.5 .5 8.5 9.6
2011–12 Nancy 6 6 37.6 .415 .333 .818 6.7 5.2 1.7 .7 15.8 23.2
Career 31 21 23.6 .449 .298 .765 3.4 2.4 1.2 .5 8.3 10.3

NBA regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2008–09 Portland 79 76 18.4 .446 .369 .808 2.8 .9 .6 .5 5.4
2009–10 Portland 37 25 24.8 .519 .409 .843 3.8 1.2 .6 .7 10.1
2010–11 Portland 80 67 31.5 .455 .345 .841 4.5 1.5 .9 .6 12.4
2011–12 Portland 59 34 30.4 .451 .391 .836 4.6 1.4 1.0 1.0 13.9
2012–13 Portland 73 73 38.5 .423 .372 .848 5.6 4.9 1.2 1.1 14.3
2013–14 Portland 82 82 36.0 .465 .361 .803 7.5 5.1 .9 .7 13.0
Career 410 357 30.4 .453 .369 .831 4.9 2.7 .9 .8 11.5

NBA Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2009 Portland 6 5 10.5 .556 .500 .000 .5 .2 .2 .3 2.0
2010 Portland 6 6 23.2 .459 .429 .750 3.2 .8 .3 .0 8.2
2011 Portland 6 0 25.2 .413 .269 .750 1.7 1.3 .8 .8 8.0
2014 Portland 11 11 41.7 .472 .350 .800 7.6 4.8 1.3 .5 15.2
Career 29 22 28.0 .462 .351 .778 4.0 2.3 .8 .4 9.5

Triple-Doubles[edit]

Number Date Opponent Box Score Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks Notes
1 January 21, 2013 Washington Wizards L 98-95 12 10 11 3 2
2 January 26, 2013 Los Angeles Clippers w 100-101 26 10 12 1 1
3 November 2, 2013 San Antonio Spurs W 105-115 11 12 11 0 1 He obtained the triple-double with a 3-point in the last second, when his team were winning by 7 and he had scored eight points.
4 January 8, 2014 Orlando Magic W 94-110 14 10 14 1 1 He made his career-high in assists, with 14.

Personal life[edit]

His father, Richard, was a professional basketball player in France. Richard died during a game in 1991 after suffering an aneurysm. Batum has a younger sister named Pauline.[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Nicolas Batum at the Nike Hoop Summit, lequipe.fr
  2. ^ "Nicolas Batum," DraftExpress.com.
  3. ^ Nicolas Batum statistics in the French League, lequipe.fr
  4. ^ "Nicolas Batum stats". Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  5. ^ 2007 Nike Hoops Summit recap, usabasketball.com
  6. ^ 2007 Nike Hoop Summit, usabasketball.com
  7. ^ SLUC Nancy announces Nicolas Batum
  8. ^ SLUC NANCY lands Batum
  9. ^ "Trail Blazers cut down the Nets". OregonLive.com. March 13, 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Nicolas Batum's Shoulder Surgery – TrueHoop Blog – ESPN". Espn.go.com. 
  11. ^ "Trail Blazers 110 Timberwolves 91". ESPN.com. February 27, 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Trail Blazers Extend Qualifying Offer To Nicolas Batum". iamatrailblazersfan.com. June 25, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Wolves Sign Free Agent Nicolas Batum To Offer Sheet". NBA.com. July 15, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Blazers match Timberwolves' offer for Batum". NBA.com. July 18, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  15. ^ Blazers outlast Rockets for 119–117 OT victory
  16. ^ a b Lillard's last-second 3 lifts Blazers over Hornets
  17. ^ Crawford's 3 gives Wizards 98–95 win over Blazers
  18. ^ a b c d e f Joe Freeman, "A Lifelong Fondness for Rejection: Nicolas Batum's Signature Chase-Down Block Has Its Roots in his Youthful Appreciation of an All-Star's Prowess," The Oregonian, March 27, 2013, pp. D1, D4.
  19. ^ Blazers' Nicolas Batum punches Juan Carlos Navarro in groin in France's loss to Spain.
  20. ^ "Irving named MVP of 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, headlines All-Star Five". FIBA.com. September 14, 2014. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  21. ^ Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum expands his game in France

External links[edit]