WHY HE'S INVITED: How relevant has the Miami big man made the Magic, Lakers and Heat? Those teams improved their win total by an average of 13 in Shaq's first year with the clubs. CONVERSATION STARTER: Shaq recently was sworn in as a U.S. deputy marshal and got his MBA.WATCH HIM MIX WITH: The Hollywood crew. With six feature films to his credit, he's the party's fourth-most-accomplished actor.
WHY HE'S INVITED: Yeah, he's always got something to yak about--or cry about--on TV, but his Super Bowl performance (nine catches, 122 yards on one good leg) ranked with the best of all time. CONVERSATION STARTER: What else? His holdout over the seven-year, $49 million contract he signed last year. CONVERSATION ENDER: His inevitable cave-in. MOST LIKELY TO: Leave and not come back until he gets a better lawn chair.
WHY SHE'S INVITED: Indy-Go-Girl was the first woman to lead at the Brickyard, the first to finish in the top five and the first woman race car driver to make the cover of SI. CONVERSATION STARTER: Formula One CEO Bernie Eccelstone, who keeps saying women should get their buns out of the driver's seat and back in the kitchen. WATCH HER MIX WITH: Swank, who would be a decent choice to play Patrick in her inevitable biopic.
WHY HE'S INVITED: Forget Freddy Adu. Manchester United's temperamental 19-year-old superstar is the best teen soccer player in the world. And forget David Beckham, too. England's dream of its first World Cup since 1966 rests with Rooney's feet, not those of Mr. Spice, who's, like, so 2003. JUST DON'T BRING UP: Man U's failure to win a major trophy this year. MOST LIKELY TO: Go for a dip in the punch bowl.
WHY SHE'S INVITED: With 10 titles and a No. 2 world ranking, she's no Kourna-clone-a. Her total earnings in '04: $23 million. CONVERSATION STARTER: Her 18th-birthday party for 500 pals (including Lindsay Lohan) at a Manhattan nightclub in April, which featured a concert from Maroon 5.