By Dan Devine: The Heat drank on the house after winning Game 7. (Seth Browarnik/WorldRedEye.com)
After LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the world champion Miami Heat — including owner Micky Arison, team president Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra — cut loose at the Miami nightclub Story following their Game 7 win over the San Antonio Spurs, there was no question that the back-to-back-championship celebration would be a big, loud, colorful, bottle-popping spectacle. The only real question was whether the victors would top the $200,000 bar tab they rolled up at LIV in June 2012 after beating the Oklahoma City Thunder for their first NBA championship.
The answer, it seems, is no. According to ESPN.com's Darren Rovell, the team only managed to ring up a paltry $100,000 in champagne cost. (File this under "acting like you've been there before," I guess.)
While still obviously staggeringly high, the halved bar tab is sort of surprising considering, for the second straight year, the owner of the club hosting the party ensured that the Heat didn't actually have to pay for their drinks. More from Rovell:
Well, that's nice of you, Mr. Grutman![Club owner] David Grutman [...] said the players ordered 100 bottles of Dom Perignon and three 3-liter bottles of champagne. Grutman said the club sells the standard 750-milliliter bottles of Dom Perignon for $850 each and the club sells 3-liter bottles, called Jeroboams, for $5,000."I'm not going to charge the Heat," Grutman said of the $100,000 value of comped alcohol.
As a couple of readers have noted, the six-figure retail price tag likely represents something closer to $10,000 in actual outlay by the bar itself, given the markup on stuff like top-shelf booze. And while that's still quite a chunk of change, there's value in Grutman doing whatever he can to treat high-rollers like the Heat like kings to make sure they speak kindly of Story and LIV. You've got to spend money to make money, as the saying goes, and I'm betting a Story packed with non-comped fans, partiers and onlookers did a fairly bustling business on Thursday night and Friday morning. (Plus, if you didn't know what Story was before, now you do, which is worth something, right?)
While the Heat's (at least) $100,000 bar bill didn't top last year's model, it does fall in the ballpark of the bash Mark Cuban threw after his Dallas Mavericks beat the Heat in six games to win the 2011 NBA title. After that game, the Mavs' owner and his championship squad rolled through LIV and started splashing cash, with Dirk Nowitzki and company taking down a massive bottle of Ace of Spades that, by itself, cost nearly six figures. And as Rovell notes, Grutman didn't comp these Heat-beating guests:
LIV charged Cuban $90,000 for a 15-liter bottle of Arnaud de Brignac champagne, also known as Ace of Spades. Cuban didn't seem to mind; he still left a 22 percent tip.Cuban later said the expense, and the $20,000 tip, was "worth every penny." As, I'm sure, was the Heat's $100,000-plus night at Story, for all involved.
"We were in the back because his credit card was denied," Grutman recalled. "So he called up the people at the Centurion Card and said, 'This is Mark Cuban. We just won the championship. Can I please spend some money?'"
Grutman said the purchase by the billionaire then was authorized.
Now that we've nailed down the Heat's party bar tab, just one mystery remains — how much did Shane Battier drop at Denny's? If it's anything less than $100,000, I'm going to be so bummed out.