Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley have long been known for their flair on the court and off. In Orlando for the NBA All Star game, the guys enjoyed a lighthearted night out to celebrate Sir Charles’ birthday.
These photos were taken at the Orlando outpost of Buca di Beppo, a chain of Italian restaurants where meals are served “family style.” (The metro Atlanta location is in Alpharetta).
Barkley, who spends a good deal of time in Atlanta as an NBA commentator, is now a prominent spokesperson for Weight Watchers and credits the program for helping him maintain a healthy lifestyle. (Note these photos do not actually show him eating anything!)
By the way, AJC NBA writer Michael Cunningham is in Orlando reporting on the All Star Game. Here’s a link to a Q&A with several players that he posted on Friday. They discussed a number of topics including the NBA lockout and of course, Jeremy Lin. In related news, “Linsanity” has been great for local Atlanta Haws TV ratings. Here’s a link to a story AJC sports writer Tim Tucker posted about that the other day.
But back to Sir Charles.
When in Atlanta he has been spotted at restaurants including the Midtown Melting Pot, Hobnob at Piedmont and Monroe, and the South City Kitchen in Midtown on Crescent Avenue, which is something of a magnet for visiting celebs (perhaps because it’s just around the corner from the Four Seasons, which does a brisk business housing stars when they’re in town).
The South City folks have told us that while some notable guests prefer to dine in privacy (Usher has been known to take a quiet table upstairs), Barkley enjoys holding court when he visits. Looks like he was in his usual high spirits during his birthday feast, too.
We’re told the guys celebrated at the Orlando Buca di Beppo on Wednesday night. Barkley’s birthday was Feb. 20, and he certainly turned 49 in style.
Happy Birthday Mr. Barkley!
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzfirstname.lastname@example.org