Where would a Suns fan head to watch forward Lou Amundson recite “Ice, Ice, Baby?” Well, the annual Suns & Stars Gala of course.
Once a year, Phoenix Suns Charities and event sponsor Toyota give Valley residents an opportunity to mingle and rub elbows with the Suns players. The gala, which was held Friday at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, saw guests provided with dinner, a silent auction and oodles of entertainment.
Not only did Grant Hill’s wife, the Grammy-nominated artist Tamia, headline the festivities, but so did a number of the players. Amundson delighted the crowd with a rendition of Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice, Baby,” while Shaq and Alando Tucker functioned as his backup dancers.
Reports from the event claimed that rookie point guard Goran Dragic stole the show with his solo version of “Greatest American Hero.” He had never heard of the song in his life before rehearsing the song four times with a band and Tamia.
“At first I was really nervous and then when I came on the stage but then I saw the crowd cheering for me,” the Slovenian guard said. “It was a little funny because of my accent.”
But then he added, “Grant Hill thinks that when I finish my basketball career I can sing.”
Hill, standing next to Dragic, made himself unavailable for comment.
A stellar performer in his own right, O’Neal and the rest of the Suns were pretty unanimous in stating that Dragic stole the show, but questioned another rookie’s talents.
“He’s (Dragic) a good-looking guy, he worked the crowd, his suit was good and he really did it at the end,” the Big Cactus noted.”Robin (Lopez) was terrible though. Awful.”
Lopez, who received rave reviews from teammates other than Shaq, was asked to cover the theme from “Cheers.” Dragic was complementary of his fellow first-year man.
“Everyone thought that Robin and I stole the show,” Dragic said.”I think because were rookies and we had funny songs.”
As much as Gentry was pleased with his players’ efforts, he asks that everyone keep it all in perspective.
“If I was Tamia, I would be appalled that I was up there with five Grammy nominations, singing like crazy and then Robin and Goran come up and they get a standing ovation,” he said. “I don’t quite understand that one.”
Dudley concurs that Dragic was the best entertainer that was a player, but there’s no doubt that Tamia deserves top-billing.
“Goran’s show surprised me because I didn’t know that he had courage like that,” Dudley said. “I think Tamia by far stole the show.
“I knew she could sing, but not that well. I saw Alicia Keys in performance and she was better than her.”
Other players also contributed. Part-time filmmaker Steve Nash created a humorous video, while Amundson and assistant coach Bill Cartwright played the guitar together.
But at the end of the night, everyone won. Proceeds from the event went to Phoenix Suns Charities.