Batum with the Hornets in 2015
|No. 5 – Charlotte Hornets|
|Position||Small forward / Shooting guard|
|Born||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|
|2006–2008||Le Mans Sarthe|
|2008–2015||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
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 (2008–2015)Edit
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 weeks 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).
Charlotte Hornets (2015–present)Edit
On June 24, 2015, Batum was traded to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Gerald Henderson, Jr. and Noah Vonleh. On August 1, 2015, Batum played for Team Africa at the 2015 NBA Africa exhibition game. He made his debut for the Hornets in the team's season opener against the Miami Heat on October 28, recording 9 points and 6 rebounds in a 104–94 loss. On November 15, he scored a season-high 33 points in a 106–94 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. The following day, he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, November 9 through Sunday, November 15. It was the first career Player of the Week award for Batum, who led the Hornets to a 3–1 record on the week. On December 9, he recorded his fifth career triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a 99–81 win over the Miami Heat. In early January, he missed four games with a right toe injury. Later that month, he missed three more games with the same injury. On March 29, he recorded his second triple-double of the season with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in a 100–85 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. On April 20, Batum's first season with the Hornets came to an end after he suffered another injury, this time a sprained left ankle in Game 2 of the Hornets' first-round playoff series with the Miami Heat.
On July 7, 2016, Batum re-signed with the Hornets on a five-year, $120 million contract. On December 23, 2016, he recorded his first triple-double of the season with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a 103–91 win over the Chicago Bulls.
On October 5, 2017, Batum was ruled out for six to eight weeks with a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. Batum made his season debut on November 15, 2017, scoring 16 points in 32 minutes as a starter in a 115–107 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. A week later, Batum left the Hornets' game against the Washington Wizards in the second quarter with a left elbow contusion and did not return. On January 31, 2018, he had 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a 123–110 win over the Atlanta Hawks. On March 10, 2018, he recorded 29 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in a 122–115 win over the Phoenix Suns. Five days later, he recorded a career-high 16 assists to go with 10 points and 10 rebounds in a 129–117 win over the Hawks.
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, 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 2013, only two players in the 2012–13 season who did not play center or power forward had more blocks than Batum — Josh Smith and Kevin Durant.
National team careerEdit
2012 Summer Olympic GamesEdit
Batum played for the senior men's French national basketball team at the 2012 Summer Olympics. 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."
2014 FIBA World CupEdit
Batum 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.
French national team individual awards & honorsEdit
- FIBA Basketball World Cup: Bronze (2014)
- FIBA EuroBasket: Gold (2013)
- FIBA EuroBasket: Silver (2011)
- FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship: Gold (2006)
- FIBA Under-19 World Cup: Bronze (2007)
- FIBA World Cup All-Tournament Team: (2014)
- FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship MVP: (2006)
- FIBA Europe Under-18 All-Tournament Team: (2006)
|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|
Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.
French national teamEdit
|Tournament||Games played||Points per game||Rebounds per game||Assists per game||Steals per game||Blocks per game|
|2010 FIBA World Championship||6||12.5||3.2||2.2||1.3||0.7|
|2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup||9||14.6||3.1||1.3||1.3||0.4|
His father, Richard, of Cameroonian origin, 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.
In March 2017, Batum became a shareholder in Infinity Nine Sports, the company owned by Tony Parker, which runs French basketball club ASVEL Basket, and took over the position as director of basketball operations at ASVEL.
- Nicolas Batum at the Nike Hoop Summit, lequipe.fr Archived May 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- "Nicolas Batum," Archived April 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine 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". Sportando.com. August 1, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
- "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. Archived from the original on June 29, 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". NBA.com. November 16, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
- "Lillard's last-second 3 lifts Blazers over Hornets". NBA.com. January 22, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
- "Crawford's 3 gives Wizards 98–95 win over Blazers". NBA.com. January 22, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
- "Hornets Acquire Nicolas Batum from Portland for Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh". NBA.com. June 24, 2015. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
- NBA stars, legends shine as Team World rallies to beat Team Africa
- "Bosh returns, Heat top Hornets 104-94 in season opener". NBA.com. October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
- "Hornets hold off Trail Blazers 106-94". NBA.com. November 15, 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
- "Hornets Guard Nicolas Batum Named Eastern Conference Player of the Week". NBA.com. November 16, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
- "Hornets beat Heat 99-81 for third straight victory". NBA.com. December 9, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
- "Hornets' Nicolas Batum: Will try to play Sunday". CBSSports.com. January 10, 2016. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
- "Nicolas Batum (toe) will not play Monday against the Kings". TheScore.com. January 25, 2016. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
- "Batum's triple-double leads Hornets past 76ers, 100-85". NBA.com. March 29, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
- "Wade scores 28 to lead Heat past Hornets, 115-103 in Game 2". NBA.com. April 20, 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
- "Charlotte Hornets Re-Sign Guard/Forward Nicolas Batum". NBA.com. July 7, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
- MacMahon, Tim (July 1, 2016). "Nicolas Batum agrees to 5-year, $120M deal to stay with Hornets". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
- "Batum has triple-double, Hornets top frustrated Bulls 103-91". ESPN.com. December 23, 2016. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
- "Hornets Injury Update - 10/5/17". NBA.com. October 5, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
- "LeBron James scores 31 points, Cavaliers top Hornets 115-107". ESPN.com. November 15, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
- "Howard, Hornets rally to beat Wizards 129-124 in overtime". ESPN.com. November 22, 2017. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
- "Walker's 38 points, career-high 9 3s lift Hornets past Hawks". ESPN.com. January 31, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
- "Hornets hold off Suns 122-115 to snap 5-game skid". ESPN.com. March 10, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
- "Howard dominates inside as Hornets beat Hawks 129-117". ESPN.com. March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- 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". Yahoo.com. August 8, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
- "Irving named MVP of 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, headlines All-Star Five". FIBA.com. September 14, 2014. Retrieved September 15, 2014.
- "Canzano blog: Nic Batum says he may swap France for Cameroon 'someday'". OregonLive.com. January 10, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- "Batum Ready to Represent Team Africa". Charlotte Hornets. July 31, 2015. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- "Thomsen: Blazers F Nicolas Batum Reflects On His Father". SB Nation. December 6, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- "Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum expands his game in France". OregonLive.com. November 24, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
- "Nicolas BATUM, nouvel actionnaire de l'ASVEL Basket - Asvel Basket". Asvel Basket (in French). March 29, 2017. Retrieved March 31, 2017.