It was something

If you weren't in Las Vegas for NBA All Star weekend, let me offer a few comparisons just so you have an idea of what you missed: take the most crowded DC nightclub you can imagine, remove the dress code, add gambling, the strip, ridiculous traffic, a smattering of celebrities both current and over the hill, tons of booze, blunts and music and then times it all by 10 and you may some inkling of what went on. It was crazy. For the record, I heard about one stabbing, one shooting and at least one closing (the Palms shut down last night after a brawl). To my knowledge, none of this involved Stephen Jackson. NBA basketball, it's fantastic!

Getting a cab from my hotel, the MGM Grand, to anywhere else was impossible on Friday and Saturday night so the only way to get around was to walk but that was nearly impossible as well because the streets were clogged with people. On Saturday night, my goal was to get off the strip to Old Vegas for a little more chilled out scene but after two hours of hunting for a cab at three different hotels, I gave up, ate at some Chinese joint and soon called it a night.

I managed to get into one of the "parties" on Friday night. I say "parties" that way because in reality, they were all a bunch of semi-private gatherings where people crammed together and stood around trying to spot celebs while getting their holla, holla, holla on. Seriously, some of these cats would have more game if they just clubbed a female over the head and took her home caveman style. I felt bad for some of the uh, young ladies even if they were wearing next to nothing. My favorite female t-shirt of the weekend read "Open 24 hours" Classy.

One of the funniest sights for me happened at New York, New York on Saturday night. Now, keep in mind that Vegas was about two-thirds black folks this weekend and the MGM, Palms and other spots were more than that. So anyway, I'm walking through New York, New York desperately trying to find a place to suck down a beer when I rolled past an Irish pub that doubled as a piano bar. I think every caucasian in the city flocked to this place to drink Harp, listen to bad 80's music and cheesy bar songs like "Sweet Caroline" and uh, dance. If you can call it that. The joint was whiter than the NHL. A few black folks walking by took a look, didn't know what to make of it and kept rolling. Funny stuff.

A few of the highlights from my All Star weekend:
-Gilbert Arenas was the star of media day. Though the big stars - Kobe, D-Wade, Shaq and Yao - had their usual huge media swarms, Gilbert was not far behind. Obviously, everyone who makes a living with a pen and a pad or a TV camera knows about Gil's quotable nature and they couldn't wait to hear what he had to say. The general consensus is that yes, Gilbert is quirky but compared to other "stars" he's approachable and his unfiltered takes are refreshing. I had one reporter who regularly deals with LeBron James tell me that he'd trade LeBron for Gilbert in a second.

-Caron Butler on his first All Star game: "I was nervous. I'm not going to even lie to you. I got out there and all that tough juice stuff went out the window. The only thing I was worried about was scoring. For a while there Mehmo (Okur) and myself were the only two guys who hadn't scored yet but then he scored so I was like: I got to get a rebound and a putback or something."

-The game itself was a joke. I know it's an All Star game but man, would it have killed the East guys to have competed just a little bit? That was bad. The most popular press joke about the game: "Looks like Eddie Jordan finally found a team that plays worse defense than the Wizards." Ouch.

-My favorite moment from the game was when Eva Longoria, who was sitting across from the East bench next to Ludacris, Prince, Dave Chapelle and Chris Tucker, moved two seats over and started chatting up Prince. Now, I know Tony Parker is rich and has that French thing going on but wouldn't it make you just a little bit nervous to see your lady rapping to Prince? Couldn't Prince just drop a little "Purple Rain" on her and that's that?

-I walked away up $90 from my lone gambling run of the weekend. I followed my tried and true "system" for playing blackjack and came out on top. I'm happy.

-I swear this just happened. I'm sitting in the airport waiting for my flight and the PA guy just announced: "Attention, will the passenger who left their hearing aid and false teeth in the men's bathroom please report to airport personnel?" First of all, who is this person, Scottie Pippen? Second, if the cat left his hearing aid, how would he hear such an announcement?

See you back in DC. I'm tired.

By Ivan Carter |  February 19, 2007; 10:06 AM ET
Previous: All-Star Saturday: Dunk of the Night | Next: Billups: Fix the All-Star Game Now

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



"Couldn't Prince just drop a little "Purple Rain" on her and that's that?"

Dudes like 50 years old, that ain't gonna happen. :) Eva would have to be out of her mind to leave Parker for him.

Now saying that if I had my choice of someone to talk with out of those guys I'd probably pick Prince also. :)

I mean com'on, Chris Tucker and Dave Chappelle? What's Chappelle going to do? Go up to Even and say."I'm Rick James b*tch!" and slap her? ;)

"Second, if the cat left his hearing aid, how would he hear such an announcement?"

Aw man, don't pick on Mike Lee like that Ivan. ;)

I've never been to Vegas, I'd love to go. :(

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 19, 2007 11:50 AM

errr "Eva" :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 19, 2007 11:52 AM

Ivan, If everybody that came home from Vegas saying the won really did they would have boarded up the place a long time ago. Gamblers are kind of like the old story about the guy who sold bait at a dock on an honor system. When asked if he was afraid of someone stealing his bait he responded,"Oh no, Fishermen lie, they don't steal!"
I just wish I had a buck for everyone that told me they came back from Vegas a winner and they had a "sure fire system"!

Posted by: GM | February 19, 2007 1:20 PM

Ivan have you even been to vegas before? Sounds like you haven't. Ive been to Vegas and all that which you experienced is nothing special, especially what Ive seen there.

Posted by: Joel | February 19, 2007 3:15 PM

Ivan have you even been to vegas before? Sounds like you haven't. Ive been to Vegas and all that which you experienced is nothing special, especially what Ive seen there.

Posted by: Joel | February 19, 2007 3:17 PM

Ivan, loved your post....one of the best of the season. I seem to remember Wilbon a few years ago on Kornheiser's radio show referring to All Star weeknd as "Black Thanksgiving" (his quote not mine). Sounds like an experience about everything except basketball.

Posted by: amg | February 19, 2007 4:30 PM

Ivan, loved your post....one of the best of the season. I seem to remember Wilbon a few years ago on Kornheiser's radio show referring to All Star weeknd as "Black Thanksgiving" (his quote not mine). Sounds like an experience about everything except basketball.

Posted by: amg | February 19, 2007 4:32 PM

Joel, even though you supposedly are an Las Vegas "expert" I do believe this weekend was much bigger than usual. Lots of people have stated as much.

Posted by: Lisa | February 19, 2007 4:45 PM

"tried and true 'system'"?!?!?!?!?!

please do elaborate....i would like to win some money too.

Posted by: k-man | February 19, 2007 5:06 PM

How did Arenas do at the poker tables?

Posted by: George Templeton | February 19, 2007 5:31 PM

Tru comment about Eddie "Joke" Jordan. When are the Wiz going to get a real coach to take them somewhere.

Posted by: erregun | February 19, 2007 5:51 PM

"So anyway, I'm walking through New York, New York desperately trying to find a place to suck down a beer when I rolled past an Irish pub that doubled as a piano bar. I think every caucasian in the city flocked to this place to drink Harp, listen to bad 80's music and cheesy bar songs like "Sweet Caroline" and uh, dance. If you can call it that. The joint was whiter than the NHL. A few black folks "walking by took a look, didn't know what to make of it and kept rolling. Funny stuff."

If a white columnist wrote something like "I was strolling through Caesar's and saw a congregation of black folk shooting dice, smoking l's, drinking 40's and break-dancing. Place was as dark as charcoal."

Do you think that would fly?

Posted by: GZA/Genius | February 19, 2007 6:07 PM

"So anyway, I'm walking through New York, New York desperately trying to find a place to suck down a beer when I rolled past an Irish pub that doubled as a piano bar. I think every caucasian in the city flocked to this place to drink Harp, listen to bad 80's music and cheesy bar songs like "Sweet Caroline" and uh, dance. If you can call it that. The joint was whiter than the NHL. A few black folks "walking by took a look, didn't know what to make of it and kept rolling. Funny stuff."

If a white columnist wrote something like "I was strolling through Caesar's and saw a congregation of black folk shooting dice, smoking l's, drinking 40's and break-dancing. Place was as dark as charcoal."

Do you think that would fly?

Posted by: GZA/Genius | February 19, 2007 6:08 PM

great post ivan!

those were my false teeth

Posted by: ct fan | February 19, 2007 6:19 PM

To amg -
The correct reference is " The black Superbowl". I remember the 2000 Allstar game in DC. Ivan, Did you happen to see every car known to man stretched into a Limo? A stretched Mini Cooper Limo? How about a Stretched Segway Limo? I'm sure all the freaks were out!!

Posted by: baby arm | February 19, 2007 6:25 PM

""If a white columnist wrote something like "I was strolling through Caesar's and saw a congregation of black folk shooting dice, smoking l's, drinking 40's and break-dancing. Place was as dark as charcoal."

Do you think that would fly?""

My first thought when I read what Ivan wrote was,"That place would scare me also!" :)

I'm a 37 year old white guy who as a kid used to listen to cheesy 80's music. I sometimes watch VH-1 Classic and wonder what the heck I was listening to. Terrible, terrible, music....especially "Sweet Child o' Mine" I think is what Ivan meant to say. If you're actually trying to dance to that then you're screwed up anyway. ;)

Saying that I also listened to Full Force and Cameo...."Word up!"

Owww! ;)

And Beasties before anyone knew who they were.

You know, I went to a "go-go" once when the Capital Center was still around back in the 80's. That's before all of that crap got out of control and they stopped doing them.

I'm as white as they come but I also love basketball a lot. :)

Who cares? Lighten up, you'll live longer. :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | February 19, 2007 7:13 PM

I think every caucasian in the city flocked to this place to drink Harp, listen to bad 80's music and cheesy bar songs like "Sweet Caroline" and uh, dance. If you can call it that.

It's true, it's true! We're so lame!

Posted by: Homer Simpson | February 19, 2007 8:30 PM

Eva was probably asking Prince about his shoes. She and Prince are about the same size, so maybe she wanted to borrow them.

Posted by: Sean | February 19, 2007 9:11 PM

Great read

Posted by: John | February 20, 2007 1:54 PM

Hey GZA, the scene you described actually did take place. Believe it or not, I did see some cats shooting dice while passing a bottle of cognac in a corner of the Casino. I looked at one cagt and said: "I guess the house always doesn't win" and he started cracking up. That's why the Irish joint was so funny to me. Observing the different ways different races hang is free humor.

Posted by: Ivan | February 20, 2007 7:54 PM

First off, I'll admit I'm from Cleveland. I just wondered who the writer was said they'd trade LeBron for Gilbert in a second. They must have lost their mind. I like Gilbert's game and all but you'd have to be insane to do so. When LeBron's having a down year averaging 26, 6, and 6 that tells you something. I'm pretty sure Gilbert has never put up those sort of numbers at the same time. Finally, that writer must have missed the playoffs last year, at least the first round. I'm pretty sure LeBron had a couple of game winners (when it actually counts) and Gilbert choked at the line with the series on the line. I used to have all the respect in the world for Gilbert but after the comments he made about LeBron and the whole Sam Cassell ordeal, its made me think of him as a joke. Where does he have the place to make any comment like that? I'm pretty sure it was "If you miss these, you're going home." And then.....brick, brick.

Posted by: Jack | February 21, 2007 1:25 AM

Gza nailed it with his comparison. You been hangin' with Scoop Jackson lately?

Posted by: rza/razor/rza/razor/rza/sharp | February 21, 2007 5:27 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2007 The Washington Post Company