Friday Feb. 16, 202007

I have never seen the line for a security checkpoint so long in my life! I began to panic that I might miss my flight. Thankfully they redirect the hundreds of people to the west security check point.

Saturday night was party night at All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas.
(NBAE Photos)

As I finally get through, I stop at the magazine store to pick up the latest celebrity magazines. After all, I do need to be caught up on all the current celebrity gossip so I know what I am dealing with when I get to Vegas..

As I finally get to my gate C8, people are already lined up for the flight (40 minutes before departure). Yes, I am flying Southwest Airlines. The people behind me are talking about my beloved Phoenix Suns. How they can’t win without Nash, yadda yadda. Everyone thinks they are coaches, EVERYONE! I say leave it to the 2004-05 Coach of the Year. And the people sitting next to me are going out to Vegas in hopes to get their hands on All Star tickets. GOOD LUCK!

I love the quick flight from Phoenix to Vegas! MGM Grand here I come. I have about an hour and a half before we have to go to Elaine Marion’s house (Shawn’s mom). We are shooting an edition of Phoenix Suns Home Court with Shawn at his home away from home.

We arrive to the Marion household at 10 a.m. She and her family greeted us (Suns.com staffers Jeramie, Steve and Josh) with open arms! We had a great time at her home and learned some great things about Shawn and his family. Then she insisted we stay for breakfast. How could we resist?

Next, we were off to the Palms Hotel for All Star media availability. It was a total zoo but very interesting to see how the media mob the players and fire questions at them..

As the day went on more and more people arrived in the city. Not only is it All-Star here this weekend but it is also the Chinese New Year. So, you can only image how many people are in this city! Some people waited 2 hours for a cab.

Saturday Feb. 17

Our Suns.com crew stayed up until 6:30 a.m. editing all the footage that you see the website, which turned out awesome!

At 11:30 a.m. we head to Mandalay Bay where the All-Star practice is being held as well as Jam Session.

We watch the West All-Stars practice for about an hour then walked around Jam Session. Coach D’Antoni and Phil Weber was hosting a clinic for 20 lucky kids, Amaré was judging a slam dunk contest and Shawn left to play in 50 Cent’s Celebrity Poker Tournament.

As Steve Koek and I are standing in the long line for a cab, we meet a very nice couple who we shared a ride with to the MGM Grand and they turned out to be the parents of Jason Collins (Nets) and Jeren Collins (Jazz). Very sweet people.

We were rushing to get back for the poker tournament, but we missed most of the red carpet arrivals because of the traffic again.

We talked with rapper Akon on the red carpet, but missed most of the others. When you are sharing the red carpet with CNN, US Weekly, People Magazine, Extra, and many other celebrity publications, Suns.com is not the celebrities’ first priority. But that didn’t stop us from trying.. I was up there with the best of them trying to get my questions in!

Since I made friends with PR Director at the MGM he managed to get us an exclusive sneak peak inside where the action was going down.

There were about 100 people in the room, most of them playing poker, and some just watching. Loud music playing, lots of giveaway items like watches, luggage and Vitamin water, which 50 Cent owns. The room was filled with celebrities like 50 Cent, his brother 30 Cent. Ok, just kidding. The Matrix, wearing a white Nike sweat suit, Queen Latifah, wearing a hat and sunglasses, Jamie Lynn Sigler, sitting at the poker table counting her chips, DJ AM, Eva Longoria, wearing all black and sunglasses, Tony Parker, wearing a nice tan suit, Danny Masterson, with a full beard and a plaid shirt on, Akon, with sunglasses on and a watch with so much bling! Ellen Pompeo was wearing jeans and a black shirt (she is so SKINNY, her pants were falling off her) I guess wearing sunglasses inside is the thing to do.

Those were just a few of the celebrities that I saw. As we walked in, Shawn had gone all in with his hand of poker and lost to DJ AM. After all the practice he gets on the team flights, he still lost.

Up next was the Steve Nash/GQ party at the V Bar and Lebron/Jay Z at Tao, both inside the Venetian Hotel.

We stopped by the red carpet for the Lebron/Jay Z party where we chatted with DJ Clue, Jason Kidd and Al Sharpton. And also saw Mary J. Blige & Lebron.

Then, we headed downstairs to the V Bar where GQ was hosting a party for Steve Nash. The party was great! There were a number of Suns executives, owners and sponsors at the party. Along, with guests of GQ magazine and Steve’s friends, including Kevin Garnett and Kerry Washington from the movie Ray (she played Jamie Foxx’s love interest).

Other celebrities that I saw last night included Scottie Pippen, Lil Jon, Dennis Rodman, DJ Skribble and David Stern.

I am beginning to know why they call this sin city and the entertainment capital of the world. Next stop, the red carpet arrivals at the All Star game!