Vegas -- Let me start with this: I haven't seen so many skintight, short pieces of clothing since I was forced to cover two days of the state wrestling tournament as a newbie sportswriter.
This is only the start of the All-Star Weekend here and it is already living up to its billing. Overcrowded, over-hyped and overpriced. Which is the American way of saying a great time, I guess. The casinos are jammed, wall-to-wall people in some areas. You can't get a cab to save your life but the city planners did smartly install a huge new parking lot to handle all the traffic. It is called Las Vegas Blvd.
There are parties going on everywhere. There must be dozens of them and most have an All-Star's or other player's name attached. LeBron James has like three going on at once, Dwyane Wade had one Thursday night where there was apparently a fight between a rap star's posse and security guards. Shaq has one, Allen Iverson, and so on and and so on. From what I can tell, you have to pay between $100-$300 to to be seen, get your ears blown out and wave to the NBA guy when he decides to walk through for 15 minutes. No wonder these players love the All-Star Game here, it's a license to print money.
But there's no shortage of takers and no shortage of fakers. The people watching here is unreal. Women by the gross are walking gingerly all over the Strip. Wearing skirts and jeans two sizes too small and four-inch heels, they have no choice. The guys are all wearing sunglasses and sparkly stuff and trying to run game.
Then there's the general freak show. Some very interesting fashion decisions being made. I even saw an Elvis impersonator who was a dead ringer for Roy Orbision. And folks, I've only been here for one night.
The tables are full and the stakes up. If you wanted to roll dice at the mid-Strip casinos around midnight Friday, it was going to be a minimum of $100. A hand of blackjack? $50 if you were lucky. Those were at the riff raff tables, too. The casinos are going to have a big weekend. Over at Wynn and The Palms, where the players are staying, the 1k and 5k chips are flowing like nickels and dimes.
What a scene. And it's only going to get more crazy over the next couple of days. Basketball? I'm sorry, no one can be bothered with it right now.