By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Saturday, February 13
8 a.m.—There's a Newsmaker Breakfast with Christiane Amanpour at the Sheraton and a celebration of the Chinese New Year at the Anatole. At least that was the rumor. Some slept in.
11:30 a.m.—News of the Mavericks' blockbuster trade swirls through All-Star practice at the Convention Center. Dallas has picked up Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood from the Washington Wizards essentially for Josh Howard. Folks are impressed. "They're bigger and better than they were yesterday," says TNT analyst and noted Mavs critic Charles Barkley. "I love it for the Mavs." Adds Kobe Bryant, "Caron is tough as nails. Dallas got a great player."
12:15 p.m.—Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard makes a shot from 52 feet (almost to midcourt) from his butt. Just for grins.
6 p.m.—Hours after announcing his league will open satellite offices in India and South Africa, Stern claims the NBA will lose $400 million this season. Hmm.
9 p.m.—At a relatively mundane All-Star Saturday Night at American Airlines Center, Nowitzki hits a half-court shot to help Team Texas win some lame competition, and the New York Knicks' Nate Robinson throws down a ho-hum dunk to win his third consecutive slam dunk title. Let's admit it: Boring. Most exciting part of the event was seeing Spike Lee and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Paul Simon and, oh yeah, the Chicago Bulls' mascot dancing to Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" right in front of obviously irritated rap icons Diddy and Jay-Z.
2:40 a.m.—After a two-hour concert, Dallas' Erykah Badu reluctantly stops, and Nelson's party at Palladium Club ends because of a city ordinance. Never thought I would say this but South Lamar was busier than Times Square.
Sunday, February 14
9:50 p.m.—Nowitzki doesn't get the Most Valuable Player award in the All-Star Game, but Cuban, Jerry Jones, Shakira and Dallas got a record: 108,713. The largest crowd to ever attend a basketball game.
"This is just the appetizer," former Dallas Cowboys star Deion Sanders reminded during the week. "The real dish is the Super Bowl."
Better get some sleep.