NBA superstars led by new Miami Heat signee LeBron James, Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers and Shawn Marion of the Dallas Mavericks ruled The Strip last weekend, but the athletes were given a run for their money by a 16-year-old Canadian heartthrob named Justin Bieber (a photo gallery from his sold-out Planet Hollywood concert was posted yesterday).
James hosted an all-star party Friday at Lavo in the Palazzo and was joined by, among many others, Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets (a photo gallery was posted Saturday). UNLV alumnus Marion and Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child fame hosted a celebrity poker tournament kick-off party at Tao in The Venetian. Celebrities, athletes and poker pros joined Marion to raise public awareness and funds to support UNLV single parents at the first Shawn Marion Foundation Celebrity Poker Tournament at the Palms on Saturday. The duo also celebrated her 30th birthday with birthday cakes at the restaurant and nightspot.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse wolf pack Alex Meraz, Tinsel Korey and Julia Jones dined at Tao after hosting the day at Tao Beach, then hit the nightclub to enjoy the sounds of DJ Crooked. Also spotted at Tao: Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat; Drew Gooden (Milwaukee Bucks); Jason Maxiell (Detroit Pistons) and his wife, Brandy; Mekhi Phifer; Omarosa; Bob Guiney; Tiffany Michelle; Maria Ho; Joe Reitman; and Claudia Jordan. Jill Marie Jones, LaToya Luckett and Natasha Alam also walked the red carpet before hitting the club.
James continued his weekend-long celebration Saturday at Tao Beach and Tao. King James arrived to cheers and was joined in the grand cabana by buddies, including Wade and Paul. At one point, fans chanted his name, and he snapped a photo of the moment. Nearby, former NBA player Alan Henderson and Glen Davis of the Boston Celtics also had fun in the sun. Singer Williams returned for a second day at Tao Beach and later dined with friends at Lavo before going to Tao, where James hosted for the night.
James and nearly 30 friends, including Paul, dined at Tao before clubbing, and James took a time out from his meal to greet a 5-year-old girl and her mother. After dinner, they headed upstairs, where cocktail waitresses were dressed in Miami Heat jerseys. He was surprised by a cake in the shape of a king's crown by Gimme Some Sugar and partied to the sounds of DJ Vice.
At Lavo, Eclipse's Jones, Korey and Meraz played hosts for the night and danced and posed for photos with fans. Also at Lavo: Ethan Embry, his wife, Sunny, and NBA free agent Rafer Alston, who was celebrating his 34th birthday with Grey Goose cocktails and Patron.
SURRENDER, TRYST AND XS
Matthew Perry was spotted at Surrender at Encore on Saturday night. The former Friends star arrived at the new hotspot shortly after midnight with two friends, drank Fiji Water and gambled at the outdoor gaming area and mingled with fans. Kevin Jonas of the Jonas Brothers and his wife, Danielle, partied at Tryst in the Wynn and were joined by friends at one of the VIP tables.
NBA all-stars took over sister nightclub XS in the Encore, among them Wade; Odom with new wife, Khloe Kardashian; Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant; Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry; Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose; Memphis Grizzlies' O.J. Mayo; and the Philadelphia 76ers' Andre Iguodala. Rapper Wale grabbed the mic and performed a concert for the crowd, which also included Cuba Gooding Jr. and Jerry Bruckheimer.
PARTYING AT THE PALMS
Houston Texans' Brian Cushing dined with a friend at N9NE Steakhouse in the Palms on Saturday. Also at N9NE: Marion and Gooden in a group of 10; Atlanta Hawks' Mike Bibby in a group of 20; and former MLB player and manager Pete Rose with a friend. At Moon, Durant partied with 20 friends at a table, Marion was with 14 friends, Phifer was with a friend, and Wale, with seven friends, performed for the crowd.
WHITNEY PORT AT PLANET HOLLYWOOD
The Hills star Whitney Port made an appearance at Sugar Factory at Miracle Mile Shops in Planet Hollywood on Saturday and satisfied her sweet tooth with Couture Pops, sugar-free gummy bears, chocolate-covered gummy bears and sour gummy worms. Port was in town to celebrate her sister Paige's birthday and purchased a colossal "Pretty in Pink" gift basket to surprise her. Port also got behind the counter and scooped gelato for her sisters and fans.
REO SPEEDWAGON AT ROK VEGAS
New York-New York welcomed REO Speedwagon to Rok Vegas as it hosted the band's after-concert party Friday. Dave Amato, Kevin Cronin, Neal Doughty, Bruce Hall and Bryan Hitt performed in concert, along with Pat Benatar, at the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV and continued the party at Rok Vegas. They posed for photos on the red carpet that also included Luxor headliners Criss Angel and Carrot Top.
QUEENSRYCHE AT CROWN
Queensryche performed its Queensryche Cabaret on Saturday night at the new Crown Theater & Nightclub in The Rio. The show featured Queensryche favorites mixed with dancers, jugglers and other acts. Afterward, the band held a meet-and-greet before the after-party inside Crown. This was the first show at Crown since the opening weekend with Devo, and the next show is tomorrow with Squeeze and The English Beat.
Thursday night at Carey Hart's Wasted Space, Twilight star Jackson Rathbone (Jasper Cullen!) performed with his band 100 Monkeys. They played their "Monkey Switcharoo" style, where the band exchange and use various instruments while onstage. Friday night at the pool, New Zealand reggae band Katchafire performed, and at Vanity, Gooding and Bruckheimer were spotted with friends. Lyle Lovett and His Large Band performed at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday night.
Thanks to contributing photographers Scott Harrison and Erik Kabik for their photographs.
Check out the VegasDeLuxe.com version of the weekend celebrity recap with YouTube videos and more photographs and photo galleries.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.