The Playboy Mansion, golf and more
Where else can you start the day on the links and finish it with a high-powered, celeb-filled auction while squeezing a fight at the Playboy Mansion in between?
That was the Tuesday itenerary for the athletes and celebs on hand for The ESPY Awards on Wednesday in Los Angeles. The day started out with The ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic at Lost Canyons Golf Club in Simi Valley. The golf outing was followed by a trip to the Playboy Mansion for Tuesday Night Fights and the day wrapped up at the Mondrian Hotel Sky Bar for the ESPY Collection Auction.
Before the tournament started, the Bionic Man himself -- Lee Majors -- admitted that even he was no match for Garner.
"Garner's a ringer from the Riviera. Or is it Bel Aire? It's Bel Aire," Majors said. "He's the toast of Bel Aire."
Garner claimed the praise from his competitors was all hype.
"I'm old and crippled and I don't have a lot of drive," he claimed before the action began.
But by the time the dust had settled, Garner had led his team to victory.
Across the lawn, hanging with John Salley, D.L. Hughley wasn't looking at the fights. "Right here is the highlight of my career," he said. "All these women and my wife can't say nothing about it?! Are you kidding me?!"
Over by the pool, Marshall Faulk was just soaking up the atmosphere. "It's good to have us all together in one place," he said. "I get to meet people I idolize and people get to meet me, too, and we get to mix and mingle."
The thing that united them? They all held Hef in awe. "I just want to know how he does it," Faulk said.
Numerous athletes were milling about the posh surroundings, including Julius Erving, James Worthy, Eddie George, Shane Battier and Tom Brady.
When the auction began, the enthusiastic crowd jumped at the opportunity to bid on photographs of Cal Ripken, Shaquille O'Neal, Lance Armstrong and Muhammad Ali just to name a few.
The event raised more than $68,000 for the Jimmy V Foundation to fund cancer research. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was the big spender on the evening, bidding $25,000 for an entire set of photographs.
Showtime vs. Bling Bling
When asked how his Lakers teams that won five titles in the 1980s would compare with the current three-time champions of Shaq and Kobe, Worthy pondered a second and unleashed a sly smile.
"As far as what they’re accomplishing, they compare very similarly right now. They have a dominant center and another superstar player in Kobe Bryant. But it’s a different game now," said the forward who was recently elected to the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame. "I think in seven games, I think we could beat 'em -- but obviously I’m a little biased."
While the "Bling Bling" Lakers might currently boast the NBA's two best players, Worthy said the biggest edge for the "Showtime" Lakers would be their depth.
"I don’t think they’d have enough people to match up with me and Magic or our bench. We had Bob McAdoo coming off the bench, plus we had a great defensive player in Michael Cooper. I don’t think anybody can stop Kobe, but with Coop, it would have been different for him. Shaq’s unstoppable, and Kareem wasn’t a physical player. But we’d put them in a position where they’d have to play a much different game. It wouldn’t be as easy for them at all."
On Meeting Hef
When asked what his one burning question for Hef would be, Patriots safety Lawyer Milloy said it had to do with his ... um, personal life.
"How many? How many do you think ... just a guestimate is all I'm looking for."
When Memphis Grizzlies forward Shane Battier was asked if he'd be uncomfortable if Hef greeted him in his bathrobe, he was quick to reply with a smile.
"No, not at all. I would consider it an honor especially if he's with his six or seven beautiful friends."
When the same question was put to Olympian Jim Shea, he took a different approach.
"I'd just ask him if I could have a bathrobe, too, so we could both be more comfortable."