The man behind the curtain wore a skimpy swimsuit and cap, a bow tie and several gold medals.
On Thursday night, Michael Phelps dressed to dive in the pool but instead joined the Arizona State basketball fan base’s “Curtain of Distraction,” a tradition of attempting to psych out opposing teams’ free-throw shooters.
Arizona State won 86-68 over Oregon State, with the Beavers free-throw shooter missing both shots with Phelps in his sight line.
Minutes later, Phelps joined the Pac-12 Network broadcast team to discuss his antics.
“That’s the first time that 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 tonight. … We really appreciate him helping take two points off the board for us.”
Phelps, a 22-time Olympic medalist, moved to Arizona last year with his longtime Baltimore-based coach, Bob Bowman, who took over as the school’s swim coach.