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Shaq to Pay Bartender $1,000 for Getting Tattoo of Charles Barkley Kissing Referee


What's one more tattoo if it gives you the chance to meet former NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal, make $1,000, and have your 15 minutes of fame?

Already inked-up Santa Barbara bartender Emmet Bentley heard now TNT analyst Shaq say on-air that he would give $1,000 to the first person who gets a tattoo of fellow TNT analyst Charles Barkley kissing referee Dick Bavetta during the 2007 NBA All-Star Weekend. Without thinking twice, Bentley accepted Shaq's challenge:

"Yeah, I'm hoping Shaq sees it, at least responds and if I get the one thousand dollars great, but if I don't it's cool, just get my name out there, get my 15 minutes, you know," Bentley told KEYT when he first got the tattoo two weeks ago. At the time, Bentley did not even know if Shaq would follow through on the bet, and signed up for Twitter after getting the tattoo in order to specifically post the picture.

Shaq has responded and now two weeks later Bentley is set to meet with the TNT analyst in person Monday night in Los Angeles. KEYT reports:

"The bartender at the James Joyce on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara has received a flurry of media requests and national attention since the tattoo picture was released and has even appeared on NBA TV.

Bentley is in Los Angeles to meet O'Neal at a hotel to show him the tattoo and to presumably get his $1,000."



During a TNT panel discussion since the photo of the tattoo went viral Shaq reluctantly admitted that he had to pay anyone who took him up on the bet, but noted that the figure in the tattoo did not look much like Barkley.

"Somebody got it (the tattoo) and now I gotta pay them a thousand dollars," said Shaq. "But hold on, however, that doesn't look like Charles or Dick."

"I may not have to pay," said Shaq over laughs from the rest of the panel.

"You know what, I'm a man of my word, so, I'll see you soon," said a softening Shaq, before doubling-down on his wager.  "If he gets all four of the analysts," from an NBA TV panel that Shaq was on the night prior, "if you get that on your back, I'll give you another thousand."

Bentley spoke with Shaq and an NBA TV panel via Skype on January 5 where o'Neil said he would pay the $1,000 upon an in person verification of the tattoo in Los Angeles.

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