by Maurice Bobb / @reesereport
It goes without saying that basketball arenas are SLAM Mag’s natural habitat, but don’t get it twisted, all of us at your source for the best in basketball know how to blow off some steam after we push send on a feature or blog post. And since we were in Vegas, where parties are a necessity and not an option, well, we decided to be the masters of our own debauchery. So after keeping up with the unrelenting pace of the daily hoops schedule of the burgeoning NBA Summer League, your favorite hoops mag dove headfirst into celebratory lore by hosting an epic Cover Release/SL Wrap-Up party with G3 Jewelry and The V Firm PR (shouts to Rochelle Brown!) at Eve, Eva Longoria and Tony Parker’s posh nightclub in the newest and overwhelmingly luxe hotel on the Vegas strip, Aria.
Sure, one is bound to suspect a certain level of bias when I say this, but there is no conceit when I tell you that our shindig was kind of a big deal (cue the Kanye West track). Despite the crippling heat, scores of celebs like R&B songstress Chrisette Michele, pro footballers like former Superbowl MVP Santonio Holmes and summer leaguers like Marcus Banks and Hasheem Thabeet poured into our VIP sections draped in bling, surrounded by waves of eye candy—with bottles popped—all while relished in the fact that their relentless pursuit of all things basketball paid off in a big way.
The whole place was teeming with party-goers by midnight, to where you could barely move without stepping on crispy Jordans and Gucci’s or spilling someone’s drink. Jermaine O’Neal, newly signed to the Boston Celtics, had a whole wall on one side of the club for himself. Unfortunately, he didn’t want to be in any pics, a request we gladly obliged because, well, it is Sin City and the “rule” must be obeyed when called upon.
I spied patrons reading or perusing SLAM while at their tables. The DJ shouted us out—to rapturous cheers, I might add—more times than I can count and the overhead flat screens flashed our logo and newest cover on a loop. Drinks flowed like the Nile and there were numerous comments from long-time readers about how they loved the mag and how they’d always loved the mag.
NBA and Summer League employees showed up in droves, doling out “attaboys” on the great party and thanked us for the invites. There was even a section of known video vixens, like Sakara Ross (featured in the newest KING magazine), raising champagne glasses, grooving to the beat of SLAM’s unmatched party sensibilities.
One of the unexpected highlights of the evening was the impromptu performance of a Michael Jackson impersonator. The whole club cheered him on as he proceeded to reenact some of the King of Pop’s most famous moves to a medley of his biggest hits. It was, in a word, a complete thriller.
By that next morning, the event likely produced countless hangovers, hookups and other phenomena we dare not mention here, but it was a raging success and in the annals of blockbuster jamborees, this was an affair Vegas won’t soon forget.