What's it like watching professional basketball players step completely out of their comfort zone? No one would know better than legendary basketball guru and Miami Heat president Pat Riley.
"Tomorrow is probably going to be the funnest day of the year at practice," the 68-year-old Riley said at the Fillmore Monday night before the third-annual South Beach Battioke, which benefits Miami Heat forward Shane Battier's Take Charge Foundation. "They will spend the entire practice poking fun at each other, but you'd be surprised -- a lot of them are pretty good."
The back-to-back NBA champions are obviously pretty good at basketball. Singing, however, not so much. Save for James Jones -- who belted out an impressive rendition of Justin Timberlake's lines in Jay Z's "Holy Grail" -- Heat players should clearly stick to basketball.
See also: Interview With Heat's Shane Battier
The Heat's entire roster of 15 players showed up for Monday's event at the Fillmore, joining head coach Erik Spoelstra and owner Micky Arison. The show, hosted by Heat floor reporter Jason Jackson, began with a comical rendition of the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way," performed by Shane Battier, Greg Oden, and The Hangover's Ken Jeong. Next came Norris Cole and Jones playing Jay Z and Timberlake in the 2013 hit "Holy Grail." Though Cole did a decent job rapping Jay Z's lines, it was Jones who stole the show with a near-perfect flow and pitch.
LeBron James picked the classy "Back That Azz Up" by Juvenile to tear into pieces. Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem then joined King James onstage wearing charmingly corny "Heatles" shirts for a massacre of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." Chris Bosh did a hilarious rendition of Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual," chosen by fans through a Twitter poll, and followed that with "The Humpty Dance."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Jeong also contributed a rendition of a Guns N' Roses song. The mayor of Margaritvaville, Jimmy Buffet, bought a $25,000 autographed champagne bottle from the 2013 championship and hit the stage with Riley for a pretty pitiful attempt at singing a Marvin Gaye song. Union looked drop-dead gorgeous while leading players' wives in a rendition of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back."
The event ran until 11 p.m. and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Take Charge Foundation, which provides scholarships to at-risk youths looking to turn their lives around.
"Its just such a huge honor to have been able to raise so much and fill up a legendary venue like the Fillmore," Battier said in closing. "Thanks to all my teammates and everyone who has supported the Take Charge Foundation from the beginning. We have made such a huge difference in the lives of so many young people. Can't wait for Battioke 2015!"