GOD: O.K., catch me up. I've been swamped with this thing on Zolar-147. How'd the NBA All-Star Game go?
Joseph: Lord, you don't want to know.
God: What's the problem? It's guys dribbling bags of air, right?
Joseph: It was about everything but basketball. See, they held it in Las Vegas for the first time. You remember the clambakes that guy Caligula used to throw? This made those look like a Shriners' bake sale.
Joseph: Charles Barkley said it was "like 100,000 vegans having their first steak." It was so far over the top it dripped down the sides and flooded your shoes. Dwyane Wade's head on the side of Mandalay Bay casino was eight stories high.
God: Ooh. False gods.
Joseph: That's nothing. At the Elton John concert on Friday night, with NBA commissioner David Stern sitting front and center, they rolled out a pair of 50-foot-high inflatable breasts. Kind of set the tone for the weekend.
God: Uh-oh. Lust. One of the Big Seven.
Joseph: Gilbert Arenas of the Wizards had a 180-foot high Adidas ad on the MGM Grand. Said he was going to just stand there all day, point up to it, and go, "Ohhh, yeah! That's me!"
God: Hmm. Pride.
Joseph: The whole weekend was one barely clothed parade of hoochies, hookers, pimps, poseurs, haves, have mores, ballers and crawlers getting drunk, high and smashed until sunup. I mean, look at some of these J-pegs!
God: Hey, nice day, huh? Look at all the sunglasses!
Joseph: These people are inside. At 3 a.m.
God: Looks like it was loud. They're all holding their ears.
Joseph: Those are cellphones. You were a loser if you only had one going.
God: Wow! Some of these women! Are we really making them that large nowadays?
Joseph: We aren't. But plastic surgeons are. Not much was real on a lot of the women, except the diamonds. At Gary Payton's party at OPM on Sunday, a jeweler was out front checking if your diamonds were real. The night before, they kept 100 people out for the sin of zirconium.
God: Let me get this straight. You didn't have to be real, but your diamonds did?
Joseph: You got it. At Tryst one night....
God: Excuse me? Tryst?
Joseph: Yeah, that's the name of a club, Almighty. There's also Sin, Tab√∫, Pure.
God: Well, Pure sounds like a place I'd like.
Joseph: Girls do shows in bathtubs there, Sir. Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Cameron Diaz were all at Eva Longoria and Tony Parker's party in the VIP area there on Saturday night, lying around on mattresses. The Pussycat Dolls danced. O.K.?
God: Oh. Well, it was nice somebody threw a party. Did they have sandwiches?
Joseph: (sigh) Boss, these aren't the kind of parties you'd like. Take Paris Hilton's birthday party. There were billboards advertising it. Not exactly a tough invite. The parties are just scams anyway. Nightclubs pay hundreds of thousands to get a celebrity to "host," which means the celebrity's friends come, too, which means paparazzi take photos that run all over the world, meaning more pub for the club. Take the party the Rockets' Tracy McGrady "hosted" with Diddy at the Mirage on Friday night.
God: Who's Diddy again?
Joseph: Used to be Puff Daddy?
God: Hit me again.
Joseph: Used to be Sean Combs?
Joseph: So even the invited guests had to wait up to two hours to get in. Once inside, drinks were $15 each. If you wanted to sit down, you had to buy "bottle service"—minimum four bottles of liquor, and the cheapest bottle was $375. So, with tip, it was close to $2,000 if you felt like sitting. And the "hosts" didn't show until two.
Joseph: Yeah. Anyway, people were on each other's nerves. There were 150,000 wedged into Vegas for the game and only about 19,000 tickets. Sort of like sticking a marching band in a Starbucks. Not enough cabs. No room to drive them. Police made twice their usual number of arrests for a weekend. One woman was so mad she shot her car.
God: Wrath. So how was the game?
Joseph: It was like the whole weekend itself. There was no defense for either.
Joseph: But I saved the most revolting development for last. David Hasselhoff is in Vegas starring in The Producers.
God: Get the locusts.
If you have a comment for Rick Reilly, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the Elton John concert on Friday during the NBA's All-Star festivities, they rolled out a pair of 50-foot-high inflatable breasts. Kind of set the tone for the weekend.
RIFFS of REILLY
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PETER READ MILLER