by Maurice Bobb / @reesereport
Here’s the thing: I’m an unapologetic basketball fanatic. Scratch that. I’m an unapologetic basketball junkie. Junkie. NBA, NCAA, AAU, high school, doesn’t matter. Basketball. Junkie. I’m so much of a junkie that I’d have white, crusty-lips from tweakin’ due to withdrawal like Chris Rock’s “Pookie” in New Jack City if I couldn’t get my basketball fix. Knowing this, it’s not a stretch to imagine that getting unfettered, glorious access to all things basketball for the 2010 NBA All Star Weekend in Dallas was 10 times better than a Zoe Saldana-induced wet dream for the kid.
That being said, even I wanted to table the whole damn weekend after learning that Dallas would be blanketed under eight inches of flight-cancelling, accident-causing, event-damaging snow. But then I thought about Zach Galifianakis’ Alan, who ate sofa pizza like it was as natural as a bodily function. Sure it’s cold pizza that might have been sat on by someone with plumber’s crack, but it’s still pizza, right? The L’s version of basketball nirvana would be cold, wet and covered with fresh powder, but it’s still basketball, right? So I soldiered on.
Not surprisingly, there were a lot of people who didn’t make it to the DFW area on Thursday because of the bad weather, which is why I went to the EA Sports invite-only event at the W Hotel’s Ghost Bar last night with lowered expectations.
The verdict? Simply put, the good folks at EA did the damn thing.
After riding the elevator up to the top floor with the Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan, who confirmed that Brandon “Young Money” Jennings will be assisting him with his dunks at the Slam Dunk-In contest against the Clippers’ Eric Gordon, I was surprised by the number of people who had braved the icy roads to get their party on.
I made a beeline to the back, where Kevin Durant and Deron Williams were in a heated battle, playing NBA Live 10, flanked by the glitterati, industry peeps, hangers on and assorted groupies who cheered them on.
KD gave D-Will a convincing spankin’ on the sticks, to which the Jazz PG chalked up to the Former UT standout’s youth.
“He got me, he got me,” Williams admitted. “He’s a young buck. He single. He doesn’t have any kids. I don’t have time to play video games, man.”
“I do this all day, everyday,” Durant said. “This is what I do.”
After the showdown, I took full advantage of the complimentary food and drinks and even designed my own commemorative All Star sneeks, which was a collabo between Adidas, EA and the NBA.
In between crab cake bites, I spied the most unlikely “invited” guest of the evening: embattled and recently ousted former Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick. I thought dude was like MC Hammer broke. How’d he manage an All Star getaway?
The party was better than I’d expected up until that point, but then The Chocolate Boy Wonder Pete Rock happened.
It was just after midnight when the record spinnin’ half of the duo known for the classic, “They Reminisce Over You,” jumped on the 1s and 2s, taking the music to a shrieking crescendo. Almost immediately, the party went from comfortable to rugby scrum, notable to epic. Next thing you knew, you were squeezing by celebs and standing next to some of the League’s best players, head-noddin’ to Biggie, Pac, Snoop, MJ and The Artist Formerly Known As.
Seen: Tyreke Evans (jeweled and blinging like Christmas tree tinsel), Paul Pierce (low key), Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin (gettin’ some groupie) Love, Stuart Scott (dancing?), Brian McKnight, Bruce Bowen, Chamillionaire, George Hill (heading into bathroom, me stopping in tracks, Hill exiting bathroom, me then entering bathroom), Comedian Mark Curry and Pat O’Brien (dancing to Tupac—yes, Tupac).
Heard: Me “You trying to take home the All Star MVP or what?” Dirk “They don’t want to see a jump shooter win the MVP.” Me “Take it strong to the hole then.” Dirk “Ok. I’m takin’ it strong to the hole.” Me “GTFOH.”
I was enjoying the festivities with Global Grind EIC Datwon Thomas, Kuhvet EIC Branden Peters and RIDES EIC Willie G, who pointed out that all the women at the party were hovering near ball players hoping for a meal ticket, while we were hovering near the Brand Jordan reps hoping for sneaker hookups. I guess we all have our priorities.
Check out video of KD and DWill doing battle: