Members of Team USA are keeping an age-old tradition of celebrity aliases alive.
Spies tell me that one of the star players goes by the alias "Bruce Wayne," the alter ego of "Batman," and another has taken the name "SpongeBob SquarePants," the animated cartoon character from the hit TV show of the same name.
Several Team USA players have been using their favorite aliases during their stay at Wynn Las Vegas this week.
In the stands, when the U.S. Olympic squad faces Canada's Olympic men's basketball team tonight at the Thomas & Mack Center, could be Michael Jordan, who has been known to use the name "Clark Kent" and "Mr. Sterling" at Las Vegas hotels and restaurants.
Kid Rock has for years, I'm told, checked in under the name Dick Grayson, the given name of Batman's crime-fighting sidekick, Robin.
A top chef in town tells me rocker Sammy Hagar has often called in reservations under the name "Joe Money."
A casino executive with deep ties to entertainment -- he's used "Art Deco" and "Marc Chagall" as code names -- said Michael Jackson went by "Dr. Doolittle."
Many of Sir Elton John's names are too blue to mention in a family newspaper, but he's clearly in the Hall of Fame for creative and colorful aliases. Among the cleaner ones: "Sir Humphrey Handbag" and "Lord Elpus."
When Madonna's tour stopped at the MGM Grand in 2001, a spy told me she changed her alias from Caresse Norman to Caresse Henry. Why? Because Caresse Norman, her manager, had gotten married and changed her name to Caresse Henry.
GORDIE BROWN JOINING CELINE
Singing impressionist Gordie Brown has landed a five-month gig as the opening act for Celine Dion's North American leg of her "Taking Chances" tour.
He's closing Aug. 9 at the V Theatre (Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood Resort) and joins her a week later in Montreal, the starting point.
The tours ends in Sunrise, Fla., on Jan. 30.
When Brown returns to Las Vegas, he has a long-term deal waiting, said his manager, Bernie Yuman.
Meanwhile, there's buzz in the dance community that Dion has signed several of her former dancers from her "A New Day" show, which ended a 41/2-year run at Caesars Palace in December. That would fit with the rumors of her return to Caesars for a long-term show starting in 2010.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
So what's the story behind actress/singer Mandy Moore's frequent presence at UFC events? There have been rumblings that she was involved with one of the top fighters, but her people are shooting that down. "She's a massive UFC fan," said one of her reps.
MAY I RECOMMEND
KBAD-AM 1100 is holding its third annual 24-hour radiothon benefit for The Caring Place today and Saturday. It begins at 6 a.m. today with longtime boxing analyst and radio personality Al Bernstein, a co-creator of the cancer support center with his wife, Connie, hosting the first hour. Other celebrity hosts include UNLV basketball coach Lon Kruger (8 a.m.), Lance Burton and Clint Holmes (2 p.m.), NBC sports analyst Jim Gray (3 p.m.), HBO boxing commentator Jim Lampley (5 p.m.) and former UNLV basketball coach Charlie Spoonhour (7 p.m.). The phone bank number for donations: 953-7650. For more information: www.thecaring placenv.org.
Eva Longoria of "Desperate Housewives," having lunch at Spago (Forum Shops at Caesars) on Thursday. ... Denzel Washington, at Blush (Wynn) on Tuesday. ... Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, among a large turnout of musicians at Slash's all-star birthday party at Bare pool lounge at The Mirage on Wednesday night. They included Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction and Porno for Pyros, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Royston Langdon (Spacehog), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains), Sen Dog (Cypress Hill), will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and ventriloquist Terry Fator.
THE PUNCH LINE
"At one point, things got dangerous. The fight spilled into the stands and almost injured the fan." -- Jimmy Kimmel, on the first-ever brawl in the Women's National Basketball Association