Hey, Now, You're An All-Star

Gee, wonder why the NBA's having its All-Star Game in Las Vegas this season. Nothing to do with the fantasy suites at the hotel run by the Kings' owners, surely.

I will definitely be in attendance when the NHL All-Star Game rolls through town in January. Continuing that theme of blanket civic service, I herby suggest I also attend the NBA All-Star Game in February. Memo to editor: Get me the best deals on flights--to Las Vegas! Sports gambling is illegal. A pro franchise will never be based in Sin City. Yeah, right--and Oswald acted alone. Yadda and more yadda.

This season's hoops gala will be February 18 at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas' Thomas & Mack Center. Don't think for a second the players won't sashay over to the strip for $25,000-a-hand blackjack or to the Palms Casino, where Sacramento Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof offer a suite complete with stripper pole and hardwood basketball court. And, two more words that might just show up on some out-of-towners' itineraries: Bunny. Ranch. Point is, voting started last week, and if you want me to send back riveting items and columns from Vegas on your Dallas Mavericks you'd best go here and give Dirk Nowitzki, Jerry Stackhouse Jason Terry, Josh Howard and even Erick Dampier some multi-click love.

Voting also began last week for hockey's star-studded event; ballot-casting's being done entirely online. Stars Mike Modano, Brenden Morrow, Sergei Zubov and Marty Turco are on the ballot for the game, which will be played January 24 at American Airlines Center. Yes, that's a Wednesday. And, yes, the game will broadcast only on Versus and satellite radio. To which I retort: Vegas, baby! --Richie Whitt