Now we know. President Barack Obama wasn’t just rooting for Harry Reid when he came to town last month to help raise money for his upcoming re-election campaign.
Here’s what Reid was whispering to the president when they embraced on stage after the Las Vegas political fundraiser on May 26:
"I told him, ‘Orlando won,’" said Reid, the Senate majority leader, during an interview in his office at the U.S. Capitol last week.
Before going on stage at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Reid and the president were in a waiting room, caught up in the final seconds of an NBA thriller between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic.
With 40 seconds left in regulation and Reid overdue to introduce the president, staffers finally gingerly pried them away from the TV.
"They were like a couple buddies watching a great game," said Jon Summers, Reid’s communications director.
Reid disclosed that Obama, a passionate basketball fan, was pulling for the Cavs "because Cleveland has had such bad luck, with the auto industry and all. He wanted them to win something for a change," Reid said.
Reid returned to the stage after the president’s address and delivered the news: Orlando won 116-114 in overtime for a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Orlando went on to eliminate the Cavaliers in six games, moving on to the NBA Finals.
Game 2 against the Lakers in Los Angeles is today.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
The National Hockey League’s three-year deal to have Las Vegas host the NHL Awards at the Palms, starting June 18, may be just the beginning. There are rumblings that the NHL is exploring the possibility of holding its annual player draft in Las Vegas as well. …
David Carradine was on KKLZ-FM, 96.3, not long before going to Thailand to start filming his latest movie "Stretch."
"He was very upbeat, had several movies in the can and more on the way," recalled Jim Tofte of the morning show team that includes Mike O’Brian and Charly Kayle. Carradine, who gained prominence for his starring role in the hit show "Kung Fu" in the early 1970s, told the deejays that martial arts film star Bruce Lee auditioned for the lead role but Carradine later learned he got the role because producer Jerry Thorpe "had seen me on Broadway in ‘The Emperor of the Incas.’" Carradine, 72, was found dead in a Bangkok hotel last week. …
ESPN’S Jamie Little switches from NASCAR pit reporter to food critic on June 14. She’s one of three judges taking part in the Food Network’s "Iron Chef" show, which was taped almost a year ago. The Green Valley High graduate isn’t giving away any secrets, other than confessing that she had her fill of the episode’s "secret ingredient." After having to taste 10 different dishes made with the ingredient, Little said she’s "over it." …
Our tram tour of Arlington National Cemetery was just wrapping up Friday when the guide pointed out the rose-covered tomb of World War II Gen. Omar Bradley. "I couldn’t figure out why all those roses were showing up," said the elderly guide, "until I realized what Saturday was," he said. Saturday, of course, was the 65th anniversary of D-Day, when Allied forces began the breakthrough on the Normandy beaches. Bradley commanded and planned much of the American involvement in the invasion.
THE PUNCH LINE
"(Heidi and Spencer Pratt) quit the show after the first day and then quit again on the second day. Last night they returned to the jungle, and I think that’s good… The jungle gave us malaria and yellow fever. We gave it Heidi and Spencer. It’s a draw." — Jimmy Kimmel
Norm Clarke can be reached at 383-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.