It’s that time of the season, the time in which you’re given a $25 or so limit to try and come up with an anonymous gift for a co-worker that you may or may not admire enough to bequeath with any gift, however modest. Typically, “Secret Santa” gift hauls can usually be sourced out by a quick trip to the local drug store, picking up an iTunes gift card, a seasonal novelty tchotchke, or perhaps a small bottle of coffee-flavored spirits for Linda, who has had a really tough year.
If you’re the Miami Heat, though, you don’t stop with a desk-sized bottle of Bailey’s. When Heat players looked under the tree for their “Secret Santa” showdown the other day, they found some pretty impressive booty had shook out from Santa’s sleigh. Like telescopes.
Seriously, telescopes. Shane Battier bought Chris Bosh a telescope. From Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post:
Shane Battier picked up a telescope for Chris Bosh and received at least two exceptional bottles of wine from Mario Chalmers.
“For one of the most introspective and intellectual teammates I’ve ever had, I thought hard about the gift and got him a telescope,” Battier said. “Not a gift that many NBA players have. I think he appreciated it.
“Mario actually came very, very strong. I was very impressed. He knows my love for the red stuff. He got me some very, very nice bottles of wine. Opus One and a Joseph Phelps Insignia. He came very, very strong.”
A quick look around the internet reveals that Opus One wines usually retail for hundreds of dollars, same as Joseph Phelps Insignia brand. It’s reasonable to guess that Mario Chalmers may have gifted Shane Battier with a thousand dollars’ worth of “the red stuff.”
That potentially pales in comparison to a telescope, or the Louie Vuitton bag that Rashard Lewis bought Michael Beasley. Beasley bought an American flag painting for art-lovin’ Roger Mason Jr., who in turn picked up some high end speakers for Heat center Greg Oden. From Ethan Skolnick at Bleacher Report:
"I'm a tech guy and I had a hunch that he was," said Mason, who bought Bang & Olufsen speakers for the big man. "My hunch was right."
This sort of generosity launches well beyond the typical Secret Santa limits, which James and Dwyane Wade confirmed in his description of the team’s event:
"There was a limit on price," James said. "You couldn't go below a certain number."
"It was a pretty reasonable minimum," Dwyane Wade said. "Some people went to the minimum. Some people went above."
Considering that the 2013-14 Miami Heat player payroll, including luxury taxes, will near the $100 million mark, I suppose these sorts of gifts could be termed as “reasonable.”
And it’s worth it for us, if only for the mental image of an excited Chris Bosh setting up his very own telescope.
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