As I sit in the New Orleans airport, nursing my coffee ("sir, do you have anything larger than a large?"), I am surrounded by people with tired faces, struggling to exist. It feels like the Vegas airport on a Monday morning, with slightly less glitter and sadness. Everyone is exhausted. Worn down. When All-Star Weekend is held in a city that literally never stops, the days all blur into one, and suddenly you've just lived a 72 hour Friday.
At least All-Star Weekend provides memorable experiences, even through the blur of the weekend. The momentary terror of being in an elevator with Yao Ming, who is probably the size of three or four of me combined. Accidentally, but quite literally, running into Mark Cuban. Diddy trying to steal Trey Burke's trophy in the media workroom. Vanilla Ice? Seeing how awful the new Pierre the Pelican looks, and suddenly, somehow missing the older, scarier, less Jay Leno-y Pierre.
Even though the All-Star Game is...well...the finest in exhibition basketball (I guess), the halftime show and pre-game show were decidedly amazing. The basketball wasn't as awful as it could have been. The real star of the show was the organist, who apparently took twitter requests, and played every song you would want to hear on an organ. Well, he didn't take my request to play "Pony" for the entire game, so it wasn't a total win, but "Whistle While You Twerk" was a suitable substitute at the time.
Possibly my favorite moment was when Chris Tucker, who had been left out of the "hey check out what celebrities are here" moment at the beginning of the game, finally found a way to get the cameras to notice him. He danced to Michael Jackson for a solid five minutes with the Dance Cam on him. Seriously no one knew he was there prior to this, which is amazing. I assume a movie starring Chris Tucker, Kevin Hart, and Nick Cannon will be headed our way within a few months.
Whether it's going to a Mardi Gras parade, or the All-Star Game, or people watching at Harrah's at 4am, there was no shortage of weird shit to see. Apparently everyone owns hot pants, and passing out in the street at 1pm is a cool thing to do. But time does not exist in New Orleans, and neither does dignity. It's quite possibly the perfect location for All-Star Weekend. It's the perfect place to make your mind go numb before you watch Nick Cannon attempt to explain the dunk competition.
I will probably miss the food the most. And the people I guess. But mostly the food. I miss it already. Why aren't there beignets in this airport? Would it be wrong to take a whole king cake home? I don't know what to do. Let me out of this airport, I'm going back.
Most importantly, Pau was finally located. By Serge Ibaka. In Los Angeles. Although I am saddened he never made it out to New Orleans, I am comforted in the knowledge of his location. Not that I am stalking him. Pau, I swear I'm not stalking you. Let's hang out.
PS. I can't believe I put Smash Mouth's "All Star" on my phone for nothing. I didn't play it once. What a waste.