Former NBA Star Shane Battier Throws Charity 'Battioke' Event With Pitbull Lookalike & Springsteen-Loving Pat Riley
“Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to be titillated, hoodwinked, baffled, and entertained,” longtime Miami Heat sideline reporter Jason Jackson opened, as he introduced retired Heat champion Shane Battier's charity karaoke event, "Battioke" on Thursday night (Sept. 22). For five years, the former NBA star has been running the Miami event, in which various basketball players and celebrities gleefully humiliate themselves and make offerings to the karaoke gods for the sake of Battier and wife Heidi Battier's Take Charge Foundation.
This year’s Battioke took place in the pineapple-shaped bandshell of Miami’s historic Ball & Chain nightclub, a staple of the vibrant South Beach neighborhood Little Havana. The night opened with Battier introducing a Pitbull impersonator as Mr. 786, a remix of the hit rapper's Mr. 305 persona. Shane and the white suit-clad Mr. Worldwide ringer stumbled through the Miami pop star's 2011 hit "Give Me Everything," with the impersonator struggling to remember the verses and Battier aggressively and tunelessly hollering over the choruses. A festively dressed Cuban dancer tried to shimmy to the awkward beat as Mr. 786 kept losing track of the teleprompter and punctuating screw-ups with "Dale!" and "Let’s go!" The Pitbull imitator then did a solo rendition of 2014's “Fireball."
Shane Battier opening Battioke with a Pitbull lookalike. pic.twitter.com/di9HC3ToyI— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) September 23, 2016
When it came to Battier's personal musical tastes, he told Billboard at the event that his favorite song is "Don’t Look Back in Anger" by Oasis: "That’s one of the songs that if I ever hear in the car, I will never turn off." He continued: "I wasn’t a big rap guy, but I knew every underground rap song, because that’s all that gets played in NBA locker rooms. We used to have "White Boy Wednesday," which was our chance to put on something a little heavier -- some Pearl Jam or some Metallica -- and everyone appreciated the diversity of music.”
The karaoke song selection also varied in taste. Jay Williams, Battier's former Duke teammate and a current college basketball analyst, nailed his performance of LL Cool J's sexy 1996 throwback joint, "Doin' It". "I thought everyone else would be doing karaoke and I would be the guy watching," Williams explained to Billboard. "When they kept calling my name, my knees were shaking. It’s amazing I could be on TV or host a show or do a TED talk for a thousand people and not feel uncomfortable at all. Something about [singing] when you’re not singing in the shower by yourself is intimidating to me."
When Pat Riley, the basketball executive also known as the NBA's "Godfather," arrived at the venue, he gave dap to Battier. Jackson also gave Riley a shout-out from the stage, "That man never ages! He must have some African in him." Heat coach Erik Spoelstra also took the stage with his wife Nikki (a former Heat dancer), and performed a duet of the 1978 Grease smash “You’re the One That I Want." Nikki was a natural, while Spoelstra grinded awkwardly through his verses. They both even did push-ups on the floor at one point, displaying their athletic prowess.
Erik Spoelsta and his better half and Grease at Battioke. pic.twitter.com/H5lzVgBBzm— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) September 23, 2016
After doing a couple numbers herself, Heidi Battier introduced "Baby and the hot guy that taught her to dance." Baby ended up being Shane Battier in a pink dress and blonde curly -- chest hair and calves on display -- with Jackson appearing in a terrible wig. They hammed their way through Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes' 1987 classic "(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life" from Dirty Dancing. Like in the movie's epic dance number, Jackson sneaked up behind Battier at one point and grabbed him by the waist. Battier than tried to leap into Jackson’s arms, but Jackson hilariously jumped away at the last moment. "This might either be a new high or low in Battioke," Battier joked.
Shane Battier than held another auction in his dress, warning that if the money wasn’t raised, he would not change out of the dress. "The things we do for our kids," he commented.
Riley then made a few brief statements the current state of the Heat team, offering, "I’m about to do some coaching." He then led Heat general manager Andy Elisburg, newly signed Heat player Rodney McGruder and Battier through Bruce Springsteen’s 2002 cut “The Rising.” Riley, a passionate devotee of The Boss, did an old-man dance with a thumbs up, while Elisburg cut in a few times. Still, they nailed the performance, with Riley cleverly calling his group "the Heat Street Band."
The night ended with retired NFL offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie somberly and effectively belting R. Kelly's 1996 power balled "I Believe I Can Fly." Battier quipped in closing: "I’m sorry I put you all through that. But it was for a good cause."