ASG Live at the game blog

By Sam Rubenstein

Here we are. It’s time for me to earn the money being spent on me on this trip. All-Star live blog from the Thomas and Mack. Scroll down for the latest update. I’ll keep re-saving this thing. Hope it’s not a huge disaster.

The Wayne Newton performance is still going on. We are in the presence of greatness. He’s got the bowtie undone and everything and singing Viva Las Vegas. Kobe and Wade got the loudest applause. Maybe Shaq too. FIREWORKS!!! HOT!

Danny Gans! In person? Wow! Did you know he’s the entertainer of the year and man of 350 voices? I did not, but I have seen 350 billboards advertising him so far. Allen Iverson wore sunglasses during the whole thing. Sunglasses indoors is the official look of this trip.

Celeb watch early on, Harold Ramis, Steve Carrell, Ludacris, a million more… Jay-Z and Jeezy next to each other. Beyonce. First play of the game GIlbert is way off on jumper. You are watching.

It’s eerily silent here because the arena thankfully does not play music. Love it. Also everyone here is a media member or celebrity. The play has been a little choppy. Wade ignored a wide open Bron for three and took it to the hoop on his own. The first player subbed out was Dirk for Marion. KOBE delivers the up and under dunk for the furst highlight. Dwight responds. We’ve got some noise.

The first break and the performance is um… guys in tuxes and girls in polka dot blouses or something like that. Lang wonders if they were working in the food services portion of the program earlier. This is very very random. They were the world famous Folies Bergerie dancers. CARROT TOP on the JUMBOTRON! Then Prince next to DAVE CHAPPELLE!!

LeBron puts down a nasty reverse. Melo checks in. Arenas feeds Dwight for the thunder and Amare fouls him. In comes Vince and Jermaine O’Neal. And Chauncey. Dwight’s got to have a big game. Marion pads his rebounding stats and dunks one home. Melo hits on his first jumper off the Parker feed. The announcer has a weird way of emphasizing the wrong syllable. LeBron tries sort of the T-Mac off the backbaord dunk or something. No luck. LeBron gets pulled for Rip. VInce has a weird look going. High socks. He looks older.

Dwight is beasting already. All-Star dancers come out. Johnny Mann where are you? They perform to the Jay-Z beer commerical which segways into something else. They are wearing very high heels. VEGAS baby! The song is a remake of Maneater. And now here come the cheerleaders and mascots throwing free stuff. Like anyone here hasn’t just been going from company to company scoring free tshirts all weekend. Seriously, I think the media and celebs make up 40% of the crowd.

Arnold is here, seated next to Wayne Newton. Vince lob to Dwight. BEAST. Rip shoots the first airball. And finally the music starts during a play. VINCE. Banger. The crowd enjoys. Lang just had a post he was working on die, much like what has been happening to many of mine this wekeend. The technological problems have been very frustrating. The first quarter ends and it’s 39-31 West. Time for the Red Auerbach tribute. Hushed respect.

Second quarter. It’s so quiet you can hear the ball hit Ray Allen’s palm when he mishandles one. Then he drains the three and you hear nothing, not even the net, cause it’s Ray Allen shooting. Vince and Chauncey pull of a sick back and forth. Vince finishes with fire. Caron Butler enters his first ASG. Shaq blows a dunk, gets it bac and does it again. Kisses McGrady on the head. Tim Hardaway is rolling in his grave or from his secret bunker. The Nets drumline steps onto the floor. The leading scorer in the first quarter was Amare with 9. I didn’t want to mention that cause he is my MVP pick on the other post I wrote.

More celebs: Adam Sandler. Kevin James. The girl from Grey’s Anatomy. DANNY GANS!!! DANNY GANS’S SON!!!!! Craig Sager’s jacket caught my eye because it is Joker purple. LeBron, who the announcer calls “LeBreezy” has another dunk, they the West is up by 15. Amare returns. Let’s go. I sense a buzz in the crowd, but I’m not sure why. KG and KOBE return to the game. Khalid points out that all of the point guards are hurt and that’s kind of hurting the game. Wade crosses up Marion and the play ends with Shaq cleaning up his own miss. Tha dance team returns. I need to focus.

Kobe eplodes into the lane for his second monster dunk of the game. Getting a little sloppy, but Melo has a steal and breakway dunk. The SLAM crew is still discussing Shannon Booher’s amazing luck, except for having Paris Hilton spill her drink on him. Wade and LeBron combine on a play with about 15 total spin moves. SPIN CITY! Kobe is starting to assert his will. KG gets the crowd warmed again with an emphatic block. Kids dancing. It’s 70-50 with 2:42 left in the half.

They interview Hasselhoff who brings up the Dirk thing again. Get over it. Then they show a video of Dwyane Wade singing “It’s not unusual” by Tom Jones. They show Paris on the jumboltron and everyone boos. Then they show Barry Bonds and boos aren’t as loud. Tony Parker and Melo combine on a 2 and 1 and oop. Kobe bumps Wade off with his shoulder and drains a three in his face. LeBron shoots an airball the other way… leading to a Kobe layup. Kobe has 17 already. Joe Johnson scored. First half ends with Dwight Howard getting fouled on the end of a sloppy play. Halftime score 79-59. Toni Braxton is here for the halftime entertainment. As is Christina Aguilera.

Christina’s kept her jacket on for the first song. Then the show began. It’s crazy to think that Christina is performing at the ASG while Britney shaved her head a few days ago. I predict many Vegas performances for Christina in the future. She does have a great voice.

Second half. The last few moments of halftime featured a lot of players milling around and all kinds of unsual interaction between star athlete and star something else. Puffy’s here. There are new lineups on the floor for the second half. Chris Bosh gets his first points on a layup. The East is now shooting in our direction. We are sitting behind the basket. Dwight Howard is a menace to backboards and everything attached to them. I had a long conversation with someone from the NBA office about blogs and why I’m writing this now. It was the most corporateish thing I’ve done since a brunch we went to this morning to pay homage to a power agent with the strongest handshake ever. I also met the legendary Henry Abbott of True Hoop there. He’s liveblogging this game from the press box as well. I can’t see him from where I am because the press box is bigger than most NBA arenas.

An impromptu dunk off starts to take shape. LeBron, Amare, Bosh. My MVP pick Amare is getting lots of cheap buckets. And now that Lang has posted his story from last night, I can say that I picked Amare cause I figured KG would be worn out and dead tired. He was going hard on the dance floor, and was covered in sweat. This is like the second day of a back to back for him. Amare should take some of his minutes. Marion is part of the dunk contest too. Khalid, Lang, and Ben start grilling me about my conversation with the guy from the NBA.

Chris Tucker is the latest celeb to be forced to play “what movie is this line read by an NBA superstar from?” Or as they choose to label it “Reel Talk.” Shaq quotes Braveheart, which is awesome and hilarious. The organist is playing Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir after playing “How We Do.” Eva Longoria is sitting next to someone that looks like Tony Parker, but it’s not him. Melo throws one down, but who doesn’t in this game? The East has a lineup of Chauncey, Rip, Vince, Caron Butler and Jermaine O’Neal. They are also losing by 30. Young Jeezy looks bored. Tark the Shark is shown on the jumbotron. Ben applauds.

Now the organist is playing a song by The Killers. I don’t listen to indie rock, just to be even more ironic, so I might be wrong about the song. Dirk is firing away but shooting blanks. After I wrote that he drained a baseline J. Chauncey misses at the buzzer. The score is 119-88 and it doesn’t feel that close. I think people are leaving and heading out to tonight’s parties. Yes, it’s like that. Lang spots Al Sharpton. Is Obama here? He was promised. There is a charity presentation going on at center court. The NBA cares. People have left the seats next to Beyonce. Those are empty chairs worth like, I don’t know, a million dollars? Tribute to Magic Johnson. He hosted a party with Flavor Flav last night. Two 80’s legends. The fans applaud Steve Carrell on the scoreboard.

Memo hits what has to be his first shot. KG, deep J, but MEMO is getting HOT. Whatch out. There’s a raucous ovation as Shaq plays point and tries to cross up Memo. The jumper somehow doesn’t go down. Now “The comedy juggling star” of some hotel is out there. I made a new friend just now. Some random guy sat down next to me inquiring about what I was doing and how Jay-Z got such a good seat. He said he was a barber from Vegas and wanted to give Jay his business card. Best of luck to you sir. The comedian is BOMBING out. Someone yelled “BASURA!” and Khalid reacts like this is the funniest thing he’s ever heard in his life. He crawls under the table he’s laughing so hard.

Jeremy Piven on the jumbotron. You got gold. Kobe comes back in and promptly knocks down a three. Amare is chilling on the bench. Kobe goes baseline with a serious up and under throwdown. Amare gets up and walks to the scorer’s table. Seriously.

My last update was erased because of tech problem. It was abouthow Kobe was freezing out Amare to lock up the MVP. I guess going against Kobe crashed my browser. Kob really is gunning now. He is on the precipice of 30 points. Boozer and Yao seem to be chatting it up on the bench in their suits. Boozer is dressed like Tony Montana. There is a very amusing montage on the jumbotron of various All-Stars wearing Elvis wigs and glases mixed in with highlights from the weekend. The All-Star dancers are back. I think I see Johnny Mann.

Amare scores two quick baskets. Hold on there Mr. MVP. He now has 27 points. The players on the West bench are passing around shoes to have them autographed by each other. Kobe misses an aggressive try and Amare can’t put it back. Tony throws the lob to Amare, which ties him with Kob at 29 points. Kobe does something to LeBron that was not right. One possession left for the West, Kobe with the ball and the “Ko-BE” chant. Pases to Amare for a pity attempt at a three. Time to save for a final time then hit the press room.

POSTGAME: Getting into the interview room was like getting into just about any club in this city. I felt like an animal in a herd. Then there were some famous people in there. Everybody saw who they needed to see. Including the first up close look at Eva Longoria for some of us. Lots of makeup, but… YES! The working part of this trip is over. Time to build the Rubenstein fortune at the casino.