Try working with that going on outside your window.
(Daniel Banks/

After declaring to my five loyal readers that I’d never work in Vegas again last year, I find myself once again typing away from the 30th floor of the Palms Hotel and Resort in Sin City. I guess that’s the masochist in me.

Ok. Who am I kidding? I watched “Ocean’s 11” three times yesterday… and “Swingers” once. Why? Because “the house always wins, but every once in a while, a hand will come along and if you bet big, you can take the house… Did I rush that? I felt like I rushed that.”

You get the picture. So how did I find myself in this predicament again?

Well, the best executives in the history of sports (I’m so above brownnosing), understood how imperative it was that we have coverage of our team entered into the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League, so sent two of its most professional representatives to man the helm. See photo below.

Brad (right) and I (left) will never let Vegas take us alive.
(Daniel Banks/

As we all know, in this town, you’re down huge one minute and then you’ve retired early the next. And only five hours into it, this trip has already reminded me of that.

Here’s a quick summary of Day 1 thus far:

11:50 am: With my 12:10 flight looming I get hassled at security for trying to board with too much liquid in my bag so I’m forced to pour them into small bottles that I buy at the airport’s pharmacy for $6. What a deal. After re-entering through security of the second time, I see on the monitor that my plane is boarding and I make a mad dash to my gate.

12:00 pm: My plane is delayed so my 200 meter sprinting record will officially be rescinded, not to mention, I’m now sweating profusely. After they tell us they’re done “working on the airplane” (seriously, make something up), we take off an hour late.

1:00 pm: Proving that this whole recession talk is a sham, a full flight of Phoenicians lift off towards Las Vegas for the weekend. I make that remark not only because it’s a full flight, but because they’re flying somewhere they can easily drive and because they’re going somewhere that’s going to be 115 degrees. It’s not like it’s a seasonal get-away to the Pacific Northwest.

1:05 pm: I realize that “Vegetable Lasagna” from Seinfeld is sitting right next to me and “Borat” is sitting in front of me. If you really think about it, those two could be cousins… with their other cousin being Balki from “Perfect Strangers.” But I digress.

1:10 pm: After giving up on the idea that my buddy Borat is going to blurt out, “I like!” I glance up and notice that my flight attendant is Lloyd from “Entourage” 20 years from now. I notice that he too is sweating profusely as he hustles down items for the passengers. Nice work Lloyd!

1:20 pm: Our plane is getting thrown around like a rag doll, I request the assistance of every higher being I can think of for a good two minutes.

1:22 pm: The turbulence is over and I resume taking my life for granted as I turn to my esteemed colleague to discuss what our plan of action will be once we land. We agree on heading to the Palms pool.

2:00 pm: Hello Las Vegas! As we land I’m welcomed by slot machines and bad carpet, I know I’m home again. We head to the Palms to check-in.

2:30 pm: After battling traffic I try to check in but they tell me I have no reservation. Is this the way I find out I’ve been let go by the organization? Nope, they just misspelled my name incorrectly. Whew. That was a close one.

2:40 pm: They tell us that we’re at the other tower over at Palm Place, which worries me because we were so centrally located at the other tower last year.

2:45 pm: I arrive at the room. I’ve got one word for you: upgrade. Last summer we stayed at the Palms as well, but this year the Suns’ brass have really outdone themselves (did I mention I love every executive at the Suns?). Think the suite in “Rain Man” crossed with the dapper pad in “21.” Ok, maybe not quite, but the TV in the bathroom was the clincher. Honestly, I think the front desk made a mistake.

3:00 pm: We need to eat so we think, “Where can we find some good grub right about now?” We head towards the pool. It’s not so much the DJ-fueled Hawaiian Tropic-like bikini contest that has perked our interest. Actually, it was our desire to see if any of our media counterparts from around the league had gathered there for a bull session. Oddly enough, none of them were there so we decided to eat overlooking the pool and finalize our work schedule for the night. It’s always better to work with without any distractions.

4:00 pm: Head back to the room and get to work. I guess this trip won’t be so bad…

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