Paris Hilton’s cell phone yields celebrity numbers.
Jimmy Kimmel satisfies his appetite at N9NE.
George Maloof recalls Steve Wynn’s curiosity about NBA prospects.
Steve Wynn approached the Maloof family about four years ago to discuss moving an NBA team to Las Vegas, Palms owner George Maloof disclosed Sunday.
“He was curious not just about the (Sacramento) Kings but, if it was feasible, even an expansion team,” Maloof said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles.
“We were real upfront that we didn’t want to move the team. At that time we were happy (in Sacramento),” said Maloof, whose family owns the Kings in addition to the Palms hotel and casino.
Wynn wanted to know whether NBA Commissioner David Stern would be amenable to having a team in Las Vegas, Maloof said.
“Stern wasn’t hot on the idea. He wanted the NBA (bets) taken off the board.”
Today, getting an NBA team here “goes back to Stern and the (league) owners and their appetite for it,” Maloof said.
The Kings are working with a Sacramento developer with hopes of getting a new arena. Arco Arena, the Kings’ home for the last 17 seasons, “has become dated,” Maloof said.
There were rumblings at the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday that the league has been exploring the possibility of moving a distressed franchise to Las Vegas, and the league has at least one potential local owner “in its sights,” a source said.
Former Michael Jackson attorney David LeGrand, who moved to Las Vegas two years ago, responded Sunday to a former Jackson rep’s allegations.
Ann Gabriel, hired briefly by LeGrand to handle crisis management and public relations for Jackson, told a California grand jury investigating child molestation charges against the pop singer that LeGrand indicated the mother of the accuser would be portrayed as a “crack whore.”
“Some people are incredibly creative at reinventing reality to suit their own needs and make themselves feel important, especially people who have failed at various careers,” LeGrand said in an e-mail Sunday.
“Just because someone interprets an event does not make that interpretation the truth or an accurate reflection of what occurred.”
He said Gabriel was fired from the Jackson team “within days of being engaged to assist with PR strategy because she wanted to go on live television nationwide as the spokeswoman for Mr. Jackson.
“Even though she was specifically instructed not to do so, she was ready to proceed until legal counsel in L.A. stopped her. As a result her role in assisting with PR matters was terminated. Perhaps her interpretation of events is tainted by her abrupt termination?”
Gabriel, who is listed as a Las Vegas businesswoman, could not be reached for comment.
The Scene and Heard
The FBI is investigating an apparent hacking into Paris Hilton’s cell phone that resulted in dozens of private bandarqq celebrity telephone numbers ending up on the Internet. Among them: Maloof and Harry Morton of the Hard Rock Hotel.
Maloof said Sunday that he has changed the number of his cell phone after receiving thousands of calls.
“I was getting hit up for tickets to the Kings, rooms at the Palms,” Maloof said. “I was getting advice on who to trade and who to keep.”
Dining at N9NE steakhouse at the Palms on Saturday: ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, director-producer Michael Bay, Michael Vartan of “Alias” and Javon Walker of the Green Bay Packers. … At Rain nightclub (Palms) on Saturday: David Hasselhoff and pro athletes Tony Parker, Joey Porter, Baron Davis, Walker, Shawn Dawkins, D’Angelo Hall, Troy Murphy, Adrian Ross, Bryant McKinnie and Mason Unck. … Members of Korn at Body English (Hard Rock Hotel).
The Punch Line
“He who would leap high must take a long run.” — Danish proverb