Step aside, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.
Last month, Cooper and Gaga captivated the nation with their performance of “Shallow” at the Oscars. Shane Battier and Jason Jackson may have one-upped them at Ball & Chain in Miami.
“I usually try to pick a song that energizes the crowd,” Battier said.
He didn’t even need to sing a word Wednesday to get the crowd primed for his annual South Beach Battioke charity event. As soon as he stepped on stage in a black dress and wig, and Jackson joined him in his own Cooper-style wig, the cheers were near deafening. For the next four minutes, the former Miami Heat forward and the current Heat television host performed a perfectly flawed rendition of the award-winning single from “A Star Is Born.”
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There are a few legendary performances Battier always thinks about when his annual karaoke event comes around. There was the time former Miami post player Chris Bosh sang Barry White’s “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” while dressed like a lounge singer in Las Vegas, Nevada. There was the time former Heat wing James Jones spraypainted his hair silver and sang Sisqo’s “Thong Song.” And there was the time LeBron James and Dwyane Wade pulled a random woman out of the crowd to serenade her in front of a packed house.
Battier can now add his costume-clad performance to the list.
“I drew the short straw,” Battier said before taking the stage, “and I’m Gaga.”
The event has been a staple in Miami since Battier joined the Heat in 2011. Now the vice president of basketball development and analytics, Battier has hosted the event for the eighth time since he joined the Heat on Thursday, although the roots trace back to when he played for the Houston Rockets and hosted Clutch City Battioke and even further back to Seattle — Battier said he “borrowed” the idea from Ray Allen, who ran a similar event with the now-relocated Seattle SuperSonics.
As always, proceeds from Battioke went to benefit The Battier Take Charge Foundation, which provides educational resources to underprivileged children. One of his biggest current initiatives is a scholarship program at Miami Central High School.
“This year we are graduating 22 kids,” Battier said, “who will receive help in the form of a scholarship when they graduate.”