A man makes good on his bets.
If it’s not Rule 1 in the Guy Code, it’s certainly in the top five — even if that means stripping down to nothing but a Speedo in front of hundreds of people, friends and family, a bank of TV cameras and one of the best basketball players of all time.
Miami Herald columnist and sports talk radio host Dan Le Batard chose honor over modesty Wednesday. He publicly bared all but his swim trunks (and a bit of body paint) at the South Beach Clevelander, a debt he’s owed NBA legend Charles Barkley since wrongly taking the Heat over the Mavericks in an on-air bet last year.
The Heat ultimately lost to the Mavs in 2011 (although Miami does stand a win away from making amends against the Thunder). Barkley, a TNT analyst who loves to tweak Heat fans, was finally in town to collect.
“Got to pay off the bet,” Barkley said shortly before the unveiling, which occurred at the end of Le Batard’s drive-time radio show on 790 The Ticket. “Dan’s a really good friend of mine, and we’re going to have a little fun with it.”
Quipped Le Batard’s on-air sidekick, Jon “Stugotz” Weiner: “I’m more excited for this than I am for the Heat to win a championship.”
After retreating to the changing room to primp, Le Batard emerged like a prize fighter, cloaked in a robe as he followed four showgirls — who were (more appropriately) also scantly clad — into the bar.
Finally, the moment arrived. The loveably doughy Le Batard dropped the robe, and showed the goods: His Adonis physique, a Speedo with Barkley’s mug on his backside, and body paint all over his torso that was painstakingly applied by his brother David, a prominent local artist.
Scrawled on Le Batard’s front: “I Love Miami.” On his back: “Yo Miami” and “This Is Turrible” (one of Barkley’s favorite sayings).
“Growing up in Miami, I wanted to express it all in one piece,” David Le Batard said after the peep show. “I channeled all my thoughts of growing up here and projected it onto that fleshy canvas.”
Le Batard played it up for the cameras, took a couple of bows, and then made a beeline for the door. But before leaving, he pulled out a matching Speedo for Barkley, and challenged him to double-or-nothing for Game 5 of the Heat-Thunder series.
Sir Charles declined.