Watch Michael Phelps' 'Curtain of Distraction' Strip Show - Rolling Stone
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Watch Michael Phelps’ ‘Curtain of Distraction’ Strip Show

Arizona State students had a secret weapon during Thursday’s game: The most decorated Olympian ever, wearing breakaway pants

If you don’t know about Arizona State’s Curtain of Distraction, you’re doing it wrong.

Here’s how it works: A few years back, ASU students took it upon themselves to help the Sun Devils basketball team – and freak out free throw shooters on the opposing squad – by erecting a curtain in the student section of the Wells Fargo Arena. Whenever a member of the visiting team steps to the free-throw line at a crucial part of the game, said Curtain is opened to reveal something incredibly weird. Over the last 12 months alone, that’s included a pair of unicorns making out, a group of tutu-wearing twerkers and assorted nightmare fuel like this.

The Curtain has quickly become one of the greatest, uh, traditions in college basketball, though ASU students may have topped themselves during Thursday night’s rout of Oregon State, when the drapes were pulled back to reveal 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps dressed like a Chippendales’ dancer.

The swimmer, who is currently training at Arizona State in preparation for the Rio Olympics, wore a bowtie and cufflinks (plus a bright yellow swimcap and approximately 25 pounds of gold) and flashed his washboard abs while Oregon State’s Stephen Thompson Jr. prepared to shoot his first free throw. He missed, of course, and then, to ensure he’d also clank the second attempt, Phelps broke out the big guns, ripping off his track pants and gyrating in a Speedo. And, yes, Thompson bricked his second shot, too.

“That’s the first time I’ve seen the ‘Curtain of Distraction’ this year,” Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see that. He made a major contribution to the game.”

Forget the fact that Arizona State was already up 51-28 at that point and went on to win by 18, because Phelps deserves all the credit.

In This Article: Basketball, Michael Phelps, sports


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