SI: Do you blackmail your teammates? What's your pitch to get guys involved?
SB: We appeal to the altruistic bone in everybody: Don't think of this as exposing your lack of vocal talents. Think of this as doing something great for some amazing kids in a way that's fun and slightly embarrassing.
SI: When did the idea for Battioke first pop into your head?
SB: I actually borrowed the idea from an old teammate, Ray Allen, when he played in Seattle. His was more of a concert. He had Brian McKnight coming in, and guys singing karaoke. And I thought, "Wait a minute, that should be the headliner!"
The funny part about Battioke is, no one wants to sing first. "I don't want to do a song, and I just want to sit, and watch and laugh." All of a sudden, someone goes up and breaks the ice. Then they want to see the songbook. By the end, we have guys literally fighting for the mike. It's like going to a sixth-grade dance. No one wants to dance, but once someone gets on the dance floor, everyone wants to boogie.
SI: Do you have a karaoke strategy?
SB: My strategy is, I always sing the first song, to set the bar so low, so no one feels bad about singing after me.
SI: What are some of the most memorable performances?
SB: Chris Bosh doing "You're the First, the Last, My Everything," by Barry White. CB is hilarious, so he stuffs a pillow under his shirt, he's wearing a Jheri curl wig and some kind of fu manchu mustache, so he looks like an over-the-hill lounge singer. And he just absolutely crushes it.
James Jones—who actually can sing, he's got an amazing set of pipes—did the "Thong Song" by Sisqo and actually colored his hair silver and went all out.
SI: I always look forward to the videos. Has the social media aspect changed anything about Battioke?
SB: Athletes now, they know every public move is more or less broadcast. Which is good or bad. No one is going to go up there and sing a song that would make their grandmother blush. But it's a chance for the players and celebrities to go up there and show people that they're human and real. It shows they are as bad at karaoke as everyone else.
SI: Do you have a white whale?
SB: Let's see. I've had LeBron, D-Wade, Chris Bosh. I had Yao Ming come, but he never sang. I love Darius Rucker; I would love to do a duet with him. I've had Jimmy Buffet onstage. I've been pretty blessed to have some big names. I would love to do a duet with Beyoncé, like every other red-blooded male in the world. Beyoncé, if you're reading this, you have an open invitation to Battioke whenever you want.