Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NBA All-Star Nike Party ~ Q-Tip, Kanye West, Kobe Bryant, etc.

Tickets and parking pass
Every year there are one or two parties that are special during the NBA All-Star weekend. I was fortunate enough to be given two tickets to the Nike Party. **** Thank you to Q-Tip and the Insideplaya!!! The Nike party was supposed to be held at Drai’s which from what I hear is an outdoor spot at the W Hollywood. When I arrived to pick-up the tickets, I was happy to see that the party was being set up in the lobby area (i.e. Living Room) of the hotel. The weather had been unpredictable with rain and wind, so an outdoor setting wouldn’t work.

I invited my friend Teri to join me at the party. There are very few occasions when I can take care of friends who take care of me for basketball, and this was one occasion where I could return the favor. **** If I offer you a ticket and you don’t accept it, because you think you can get a better offer ~ recognize that you’re going to the bottom of my list or will possibly unlisted in the future. I don’t deal well with people who think they can get a better offer, when I’m already offering you the BEST.

I knew Q-Tip would be spinning at the Nike party and that Kobe Bryant would be there. I had no idea that Kanye West would be performing. Talk about a surprise!

As we headed to the party, we passed the Music Box where Kenny “The Jet” Smith was holding his annual NBA All-Star party. There was a large group of people standing outside the venue trying to gain entry. As we approached the W Hollywood, Teri and I traded our tickets for wristbands and went to enter the party. There were 2 tents set-up outside. The first tent was more the metal detectors, and Teri and I skipped that line. The second tent was to get in, and there was a large crowd trying to get in. Teri went straight to the front of that line and I followed her. We passed, Suzy , from the TV show Basketball Wives. She too was trying to get in and skip the line. While waiting a few minutes, I saw Ne-Yo and what looked like 15 of his friends go in.

Dirk Nowitzki
As we went into the party, Teri went in one entrance and I went through another. I ended up going upstairs in an elevator and going across the floor and down the stairs to the main floor. This route gave me a very good lay of the land. As I went down the stairs, I saw Q-Tip, Dirk Nowitzki, Russell Westbrook, Ne-Yo, World Wide Wes, Brandy, Deron Williams and Ron Harper. Finally re-uniting with Teri, we went to the bar and I saw Rick Fox, Eliza Dushku, and Scottie Pippen (i.e. and his wife, Larsa, who will star on Real Housewives of Miami).

With Spike Lee
Spike Lee was in the house as well.

After I got my drink, I went over to see Q-Tip to thank him for giving me the tickets. I patiently waited for him to “break”, but the man was WORKING/WIRKING! He was killing it. Finally, I had my chance to say “Thank you” and formally introduce myself. I’ll never forget his big, warm smile. Of course he went back to work, and I went back to the party,

If you’ve never been to a Nike party, you need to go. Make no mistake, Nike knows how to throw a party. There were passed burgers, sushi, etc. in addition to the open bar. Food is hard to come by when you’re always on the go, so it was great to be able to eat a little bit at the party.

Jalen Rose
I’m not sure what time it was, but my friend Teri who was also planned to hit the ESPN party was sent a text that the ESPN party had ended. Too bad for those folks. The Nike party was just kicking into another gear. For the ESPN folks that could get in to the Nike party, it looks like decided to come on over. 

Kobe Bryant
Eventually Kobe Bryant (i.e. and his wife et al) showed up and took the table next to where I was near Q-Tip. Kobe’s Nike film played and Dirk Nowitzki flashed the “big L” (i.e. loser sign towards Kobe, but it was all in good fun). After that, Kanye West took the stage and performed. Kanye’s set was great. However, I must admit that I’m a huge Kanye West fan and I love watching him perform.
Kanye West performing

I saw the party as it was being set up and as the party ended I realized I would also be closing it down. I saw Kevin Durant again this year, and told him “Thunder Up”. He smiled. The last person I saw was Rajon Rondo, so I just reminded him that I saw him in the Bahamas over the summer.

Finally around 4AM, it was time to sleep.

**** Forgive the pictures. I read that no cameras would be allowed, so I left it in my hotel room. Had I known that I wouldn’t have to go through the metal detector, I would’ve brought it in. This is the best that my iPhone could do.

What a FANTASTIC party!


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