Nicolas Batum in 2011.
|No. 88 – Portland Trail Blazers|
|Position||Small forward / Shooting guard|
December 14, 1988 |
|Listed height||6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)|
|Listed weight||200 lb (91 kg)|
|NBA draft||2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 25th overall|
|Selected by the Houston Rockets|
|Pro playing career||2006–present|
|2006–2008||Le Mans (France)|
|2008–present||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Nicolas Batum (born December 14, 1988) 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. He attributes much of his development as a player due to his mentor, Shane Mathew.
- 1 European career
- 2 NBA career
- 3 French national team
- 4 Career statistics
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Footnotes
- 7 External links
Born of Cameroonian parents, 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. Batum was part of the junior French national team that won the 2004 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship. 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. Batum averaged 19 points, over 5 rebounds, and over 2 steals per game, during the seven game tournament.
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, and 12.3 points (52.3%), 5.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game in 28 minutes for the 2007–2008 season.
Portland Trail Blazers (2008–present)
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.
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.
On June 25, 2012, the Portland Trail Blazers extended a qualifying offer to Batum, making him a restricted free agent. Less than three week later Batum signed a $46 million/4 year offer sheet with the Minnesota Timberwolves. On July 18, 2012, the Trail Blazers elected to match the Timberwolves' offer, signing Batum to the team through the 2015–16 campaign.
On November 16, 2012, Batum tied a career-high of 35 points in a 119–117 overtime win against the Houston Rockets. 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. 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.
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.
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).
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. 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. 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.
Batum noted in a 2013 interview with the Portland Oregonian that as 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.
"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."
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.
French national team
2012 Summer Olympic Games
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."
|Tournament||Games played||Points per game||Rebounds per game||Assists per game|
|2010 FIBA World Championship||6||12.5||3.2||2.2|
|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|
NBA regular season
- Nicolas Batum at the Nike Hoop Summit, lequipe.fr
- "Nicolas Batum," DraftExpress.com.
- Nicolas Batum statistics in the French League, lequipe.fr
- "Nicolas Batum stats". Retrieved January 19, 2009.
- 2007 Nike Hoops Summit recap, usabasketball.com
- 2007 Nike Hoop Summit, usabasketball.com
- SLUC Nancy announces Nicolas Batum
- SLUC NANCY lands Batum
- "Trail Blazers cut down the Nets". OregonLive.com. March 13, 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
- "Nicolas Batum's Shoulder Surgery – TrueHoop Blog – ESPN". Espn.go.com.
- "Trail Blazers 110 Timberwolves 91". ESPN.com. February 27, 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2010.
- "Trail Blazers Extend Qualifying Offer To Nicolas Batum". iamatrailblazersfan.com. June 25, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- "Wolves Sign Free Agent Nicolas Batum To Offer Sheet". NBA.com. July 15, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- "Blazers match Timberwolves' offer for Batum". NBA.com. July 18, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- Blazers outlast Rockets for 119–117 OT victory
- Lillard's last-second 3 lifts Blazers over Hornets
- Crawford's 3 gives Wizards 98–95 win over Blazers
- 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.
- Blazers' Nicolas Batum punches Juan Carlos Navarro in groin in France's loss to Spain.
- Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum expands his game in France
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nicolas Batum.|
- NBA Profile
- Euroleague.net Profile
- FIBA Profile
- ESPN.com Profile
- Nicolas Batum Bio & Profile – Interbasket.net
- Video interview with Nicolas Batum
- MSB France