ESPN benches story on LeBron's LV trip


ESPN has some explaining to do after pulling a story off its ESPNLosAngeles.com site about LeBron James' long weekend in Las Vegas.

It wasn't that James' behavior appeared to be all that out of hand.

The mystery is why and where did the pressure come from to spike the story?

ESPN staffer Arash Markazi portrayed James as immature, saying the 25-year-old walked through casinos pretending he was dribbling a basketball, taking imaginary jumpers over slot machines and performing "dunks."

In a number of photos taken by Las Vegas freelance photographer Denise Truscello, James flashed hand signals.

After a Tao staffer dropped down from the ceiling to dramatically deliver one of many bottles of champagne, James was quoted by Markazi as saying, "I wish they'd have one of these girls with no panties do that instead of the guy."

LOUIE'S NEXT CHAPTER

Louie Anderson can't wait to open up his new "home" to his comedy brethren.

Starting Sept. 7, he's headlining at the Louie Anderson Theater at Palace Station, formerly Bonkerz Comedy Club, and he's counting on a little help from his friends.

Speaking from the stage during a media luncheon on Wednesday, Anderson explained that back in November 1984, he made his Las Vegas debut at the Dunes with a group of aspiring young comedians.

Each got eight minutes, he recalled, and the lineup included Jim Carrey, Andrew "Dice" Clay, Bob Saget and three others.

"It cost $15 for all us," he said.

Last week, he ran into Carrey and Clay while attending the 80th birthday party for Mitzi Shore, who has been operating The Comedy Store in Los Angeles since 1973. He invited them to join him in Las Vegas. He mentioned old friend Roseanne Barr as well.

After 4½ years at Excalibur, he said the motto for his new show will be "nobody will be offended and everyone will be entertained," although he said he couldn't promise it will be clean on the nights his pals share the stage.

Anderson, 57, said he's got several irons in the fire. He's doing a Showtime special with a group of young comedians, and he's working on his fourth book which will deal with "the journey of being comfortable with yourself."

In late fall, he's planning to bring in many of his comedy pals for a five-day Stand-Up Boot Camp seminar at Palace Station.

FAST FRIENDS

The close bond between former Nevada governor Kenny Guinn and Bill Raggio came up during Raggio's eulogy Tuesday.

They became fast friends in 1973 when Guinn, then superintendent of Clark County schools, arranged a meeting with Raggio, a freshman senator from Reno.

Thirty years later, when Raggio decided to remarry, Guinn and his wife Dema insisted they have the ceremony in the governor's mansion.

During a chat at the beer-and-hot dog reception at Palace Station after the funeral, Raggio, 83, and his wife, Dale, completed the story.

The plan, said Raggio, was to have his longtime friend, the Rev. Frank Murphy, do the honors but he was too ill.

So Raggio made other arrangements for the ceremony at the base of the mansion staircase. Guinn and Dema stood up for the couple.

After the April 2003 ceremony in front of 125 friends and guests, the governor had a special surprise for the longtime state Senate majority leader and his bride, who decades earlier had hired Raggio as her divorce attorney.

Guinn emerged from the kitchen pushing Murphy, a Catholic priest, in a wheelchair.

"It meant so much to Bill," said Dale Raggio, "it left him in tears."

THE PUNCH LINE

"The heat in Washington D.C. was so bad today that the Supreme Court had to wear their emergency sleeveless robes." -- Jimmy Kimmel

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

 

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