Shaq: "Not basketballs, guns!"
It's not every day a hotel is full of some of the wealthiest people in the world. On Friday the hotel's director of security was eating a ham sandwich in his office, when he noticed an odd sight outside his window-- Kevin Garnett trying on fur coats off a rack in the hallway. Turns out the furs were for P. Diddy's Diamonds and Fur party the next night.
Those furs were free loaners to players, but in the women's bathroom at The Palm, the price was higher. "A woman was in there selling her fur!" a waitress said on Saturday. "She was negotiating with a woman for it. I think she needs some money to keep up appearances."
It was a hellish week to be a Westin concierge. "The players all want limos," said Jessica, "but they want to know the year and the model. And they refuse to ride in a Town Car. They would rather not go than be seen climbing into the back of a Town Car."
Which made you feel a little sorry for the Charlotte Bobcats' Emeka Okafor, who was seen getting into a cab. Rookie.
The concierges couldn't do anything for poor Manute Bol, the 7'7" former NBA center, who wandered around the lobby all afternoon on Saturday and most of Sunday waiting for his lost luggage. "It's not like he can go down to Nordstrom and buy off the rack," said a front-desk clerk.
Outside the Westin there were hordes of people watching every move the stars made. All day, all night, hundreds watched from behind barricades, craning their necks to see which monster celeb would walk by next, even if they weren't sure who it was they were ogling. "Hey," one middle-aged man at the barricade was heard to say, "is that Sixty Cent?"
In prime position most of the three days were four people Stern knew well. " eBay hawks," he said. "They're here for every team, every sport, every season. They're very polite, but whatever gets signed, they sell on eBay. It's how they make their living."
But one of the men is with a toddler!
"Bait," Stern said.