Vegas -- Here's an idea for the next time the NBA comes to LVNV for the All-Star Game, and we all know it will happen. Play the game on Friday. After three days in Vegas, the players didn't seem to have much energy left to actually play the game tonight. After all this flash and dash, the turnoverfest/blowout was a letdown. Most All-Star Games are, this one especially so since it was supposed to be "special."
LeBron James had a good game. He had 28 points, six and six. He made 4-of-6 3s and you want to know why? Because he wasn't double-teamed shooting a fallaway at the end of the shot clock. He took 20 shots and played 32 minutes, which is an awful lot. But he got the most votes so I guess people want to see him play a lot.
Kobe Bryant wanted the MVP bad, after all this is after all his "restoration year" as he's "showing he's a team player" and doing a bunch of positive PR gigs. But it would've been nice to yield to Amare Stoudemire and let him win, that's a real comeback story. Instead Kobe was all about getting his down the stretch. Oh well.
Here's what I was paying attention to:
--Wayne Newton is made of plastic. I haven't seen so much cosmetic surgery since I saw Chubby Checker earlier this year doing the twist at some game. Somewhere backstage there had to be a can of orange paint (head), a can of black spray paint (hair), and a table full of those teeth-whitening strips.
--The Pistons' announcer John "Mace" Mason should be signed to a long-term contract to do the PA at these things. I know some people hate his style, but I think he's great.
--LeBron has always flashed that Jay-Z "Dynasty" symbol when being introduced at All-Star Games. This time he tossed in holding up four fingers for the "Four Horsemen." Even though they don't want to be called that anymore. They all wear suits now and want to be known as a corporation.
--Speaking of, when LeBron first did the Jay-Z thing a few years ago in Denver and I wrote about it, a guy e-mailed me all upset and said he was making an "A" for Akron. Um, no.
--I feel bad for all those people who paid all that cash to go to LeBron's parties this week. His bump-and-grind with Shaq at practice Saturday was more entertaining than anything you'd see at a club. Plus, it was free to the fans.
--Damon Jones was crestfallen he didn't win the 3-Point contest. He acted like his dog had died afterward on Saturday. I was hanging out with Donyell Marshall and he told me he hadn't seen Damon so nervous since before Game 7 of the Pistons series last year. It showed, instead of being all flashy and funny, he was all serious before. Hey, no one was beating Jason Kapono. I knew it a week ago.
--Hey, there was a scandal in the 3-point contest that no one noticed. The colored "money ball" they used for last shot in each rack the was one of those discarded synthetic balls! If I were Damon, I'd demand a re-shoot on those grounds alone.
--So I'm checking out all the celebs sitting courtside. There's Adam Sandler, Eva Longoria, the chick from Grey's Anatomy, the Governator, Steve Carell from The Office, Jay-Z himself, Beyonce herself, Jeremy Piven from Entourage, and...Harold Ramis? I mean, listen, I was a Ghostbusters fan as a kid. Well, Ghostbusters I. And the cartoon when they made "Slimer" a friendly ghost was an after school staple. And who doesn't love Egon in general, but even he was shocked he was down there. I mean, next year in New Orleans is Rick Moranis going to be rubbing elbows with Cedric the Entertainer?
--On that subject, how is Chris Tucker down there every year. He hasn't made a movie in like five years. I guess he's making Rush Hour 3 now, or at least that's what he said when they interviewed him during one of the timeouts. I hope they send Jackie Chan to Wayne Newton's guy before the filming starts.
--Ludacris was sitting next to Prince. What do you suppose those guys were talking about? Their selection process for going to one name. (By the way, English comic Eddie Izzard's rendition of how Englebert Humperdink picked his name is priceless if you've ever seen it). Or perhaps Prince was avoiding Carlos Boozer, who was across the court. In case you don't remember, Boozy and wife weren't too pleased with Prince the tenant. Maybe that's why Prince left early.
--There were so many private jets at McCarron Airport today that they were almost parked in the street.
--E-mail from close friend at halftime..."Wasn't Toni Braxton popular like 12 years ago." Ouch.
--How many times do I have to hear the question asked to a player/coach/NBA official/celeb: "Do you think Las Vegas could be an NBA city? Heard enough of that politically correct stuff already. Someone asked Kobe after he won the MVP. It's like these rock-headed TV folks who hustle up to an All-Star and ask: Are you excited to be here? No, they're not excited, they'd rather be in Mexico, where everything, and I mean everything, is cheaper.
OK, it's almost time to get out of here. I am a fan of Vegas, but this weekend it hasn't been much fun because of all the people jammed in. That and a blackjack dealer who beat my 20s three straight times. Are you kidding me!