Shane Battier in Hangover IV? How He Came to Connect with Ken Jeong

USA Today
Ethan SkolnickNBA Senior WriterNovember 14, 2013

MIAMI — Shane Battier, for all of his talents, may not be the most interesting man in the world.

But he certainly knows some who come close.

The Heat forward has recently struck up a surprising friendship with Ken Jeong, known best for his recurring, rather eccentric role as Leslie Chow in The Hangover movie series.

Which led to a question:

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 26:  Actor Ken Jeong laughs from his courtside seat in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Hornets on April 26, 2011 at Staples Center in Los
Harry How/Getty Images


Battier has an eclectic mix of pals, including bond king Bill Gross, former Morgan Stanley chief John Mack, former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, and musical performer Darius Rucker (nee Hootie).

"I went to a Hootie concert back when I was in college; we had really good seats," Battier said. "After the concert, the manager was like, 'The band saw you with your wife. You want to come hang out?' So I went and drank beer with the boys."

Another example: Battier spent some of his summer drinking "Hall of Fame wines" in Napa Valley with a guy who apparently had something to do with inventing bubble wrap.

Who else? "I'd put LeBron on that list," Battier said. "He's sort of out of the box."

OK, but back to Jeong.

How did that connection come about, other than the fact that both were Duke undergraduates—with Jeong attending the school a few years prior, on his way to attending medical school at Chapel Hill and becoming a practicing doctor?

"I think his first role was in a Judd Apatow movie," Battier said.

Jeong's first major one was Knocked Up.

"I was thought he was hilarious," Battier said. "Just on Twitter, he responded to something I said. So I direct messaged him. And now he's my buddy."

Ah, but it has been a rocky road for the two Dukies at times. In July, Jeong tweeted this photo of himself "stylin' and profilin' with @TheRealMattKemp":

Battier tweeted his own photo, from Comerica Park:

To which, Jeong replied:

They have since smoothed things over. Earlier this month, Jeong, while serving as a guest host on ESPN's SportsCenter, called himself "the Shane Battier of The Hangover."

They have become close enough that Battier hinted at "a special guest at Battioke this year."

That's his charity karaoke event, at which Cabrera, Christian Slater and other celebrities have appeared the past couple of years—and where Chris Bosh has become Barry White.

"Very special," Battier said. "A once-in-a-lifetime performance. I'm not going to say by who, but buy your tickets early."

Don't be surprised if someone sings this:


Ethan Skolnick covers the Heat for Bleacher Report.

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