Davis, Pierce and co. flood L.A. for charity weekend
Posted: Friday August 10, 2007 10:06PM; Updated: Monday August 13, 2007 11:57PM
Baron Davis and Paul Pierce are walking down one of the most expensive pieces of real estate on the planet. With high-end shops such as Louis Vuitton, Bulgari and Chanel around them, Davis looks up at the famous "N. Rodeo Dr". sign above him and says, "We own this town."
Well, at least for one night they do.
Davis and Pierce are throwing their second annual L.A. Stars Celebrity All-Star Charity Weekend after taking over the event formerly known as A Midsummer Night's Magic from Magic Johnson last year.
"This is an upgrade," says Johnson, who held the event for 20 years before passing the torch to Davis and Pierce. "They're taking it to a whole nother level and that's what I think they both represent. Both of them are taking their games and their teams to another level."
Shutting down Rodeo Drive to throw a block party complete with a red carpet entrance, a stage suitable for Angie Stone and Stevie Wonder, roulette wheels, poker tables and enough open bars to keep a street full of NBA players happy is no small feat, but much like the way he finished last season with the Warriors, Davis knew he had to make a strong showing.
"We wanted to up the ante and put as much pressure on ourselves as we possibly could and what better way than to bring it to Rodeo Drive," says Davis. "We already did the most incredible shopping at all stores like Versace and Gucci. It's been awesome."
The most expensive item on Rodeo Drive on this night isn't on any store front but in an envelope held by Bill Bellemy on the makeshift stage set up on the famed street. It is for a custom made wax figure of the highest bidder valued at $500,000 by Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in London.
Despite the size of the egos of the prospective bidders roaming around, no one seems interested in becoming the first private owner of a personally commissioned Madme Tussaud wax figure in the U.S.
As the price begins to drop, Pierce gets up and whispers in the ear of Davis and the two begin to discuss a strategy. Finally when the price drops to $100,000, Davis raises his hand and wins the wax figure. Davis and Pierce, who will split the cost, then make their way to the stage to make an announcement. They are giving the prize to Magic Johnson, who smiles as he hears the news from his seat next to the stage.
"We want to honor Magic," says Davis. "If you can build a wax statue or a monument of anybody it should be Magic Johnson."
Fishing for Answers
Derek Fisher is back where he belongs as he walks the red carpet while the bright lights of Hollywood's cameras snap pictures of him and his wife Candace. After leaving the Lakers in 2004, Fisher has returned to the city he called home when he was drafted over a decade ago.
"It's nice to be back, this is home for us," says Fisher. "It's good to be back and see a lot of familiar faces."
While Fisher's return has excited the Laker faithful, it seems to have done little to appease Kobe Bryant, who has hardly gone out of his way to welcome his friend and former teammate.
"I have not spoken with him," said Fisher, who signed with the Lakers over a month ago. "We've been doing the Black Berry text messaging thing for a few weeks."
So, has Fisher gotten any insights as to Kobe's future with the Lakers from their text message exchanges?
"No, I don't have any insights into the future," he says. "I know [Kobe's] going back to Vegas for USA Basketball but we have birthdays coming up so we'll find an opportunity to get together soon."