(Thursday – February 6th, 2003) Just the thought of an All-Star Weekend in Atlanta, the nation’s second “chocolate city” behind D.C., and you begin to think of much more rounded shaped things than a basketball. The winter weather forced the most attractive sights available to the naked eye to be non-human, unfortunately. Enter Ms. Cadillac Escalade EXT.
Well, Cedric The Entertainer ‘hit the head on the nail’ with his famous lines in the movie, Barber Shop, referring to what would result if reparations to blacks were given out, by saying – “Cadillac would be the number one dealership in America!” Maybe in Atlanta a bill was passed, because all weekend long, it was unanimous to everyone. Escalades everywhere! The slam dunk of all vehicles this weekend however, was the one rented by NBA guard Avery Johnson, who took it to another level. He rents a super-stretch Cadillac Escalade EXT limo with a Jacuzzi tub in the pick-up portion at back. Remember this is Avery Johnson, that gospel-preacher sounding cat that would be the first to break up a fight on the court and the first to gather his teammates in prayer.
Besides 50 Cent’s well-timed official LP release on the day before, picking the city of Atlanta was definitely hitting the nail on the head as far as picking one of the most frolicking NBA All-Star Weekends in history. It was indeed the ultimate jump-off for the year thus far! Swarms of people from all the surrounding states of Alabama, the Carolinas, and Virginia piled into the ATL. With all the other visible out-of-state plates bumper to bumper on Peachtree, especially representing from New York, more than half these outsiders had everything else on their mind, but basketball.
Tonight, the places to be would be at Vision (formerly Kaya) where local-based Jermaine Dupri and non other than ‘Mr. Party’ himself, P. Diddy was hosting a “Welcome to Atlanta” bash. Also hosting another “Welcome to Atlanta” celebration was Magic Johnson, whose reception would be at the classy Velvet Room, very close by. The funny thing with Allen Iverson’s name, is that it seemed to be on flyers for about three parties – all supposedly happening tonight! But right across the street from Vision, A.I.’s bash was officially held at Riviera. All within less than a few yards from each other on Peachtree, the street was a zoo, and it left one thinking what is Friday and Saturday going to be like.
Fancy whips all over, fellas rocking the throw-backs and ladies rocking furs into the $1000s, this was a time where the epitome of Black America’s consumerism exposed itself in its most extravagant way.