DJOKOVICH TRAINS IN LAS VEGAS WITH AGASSI, LOCK
(CAPTION: LOCAL TENNIS INSTRUCTOR MARKO BABAC RAN INTO NOVAK DJOKOVICH AT THE DARLING TENNIS CENTER LAST WEEK.) COURTESY PHOTO Novak Djokovich, winner of 12 grandslams, has been in Las Vegas working with Andre Agassi and Zimwabwe’s Courtney Lock, who is on a tennis scholarship at UNLV. Before heading for Indian Wells, he drove to the Grand Canyon, where Djokovich tweeted: “What a humbling place to visit and recharge before practice.”
Agassi has been his part time coach since the French Open after splitting with coach Marian Vajda. They have been working together at the Darlington Tennis Center on tweaking Djokovich’s service motion.
UPDATE: Djokovich's hopes of getting untracked were derailed Sunday when he lost to 109th-ranked Taro Daniels of Japan 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-1 in the second round of the BNP Paribar Open at Indian Springs. His mending elbow is clearly not ready for prime time yet.
HIGH ROLLER ON THE RUN
A megahigh roller well known in Las Vegas’ high-stakes gambling salons and nightclubs is being sought as a fugitive in Malaysia’s largest financial scandal.
It was reported last week that authorities in Indonesia, at the request of the FBI, seized a $250 million yacht owned by Malaysian businessman Jho Low.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Justice Department has, since 2016, been trying to seize almost $2 billion in assets allegedly embezzled from a Malaysian-owned fund.
A new book on Low should include some intriguing tidbits about Low.
The book is titled “Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood and the World.” It was co-authored by Wall Street Journal journalists Bradley Hope and Tom Wright.
Low’s name started popping up in Las Vegas in the past decade.
He was known for million dollar champagne sprees, almost always with a large entourage. He suggested they were comped.
One of his biggest splashes came in 2012 when he threw a lavish, celebrity-studded party in a giant tent on the Strip for his 30th birthday party.
Britney Spears was reportedly paid $$1.3 million to sing Happy Birthday and Korean sensation Psy, of Gangnam-Style fame, had an even bigger payday, according to reports.
Guests and performers included Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Paris Hilton, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Robert De Niro, Benicio del Toro and U.S. swimming star Michael Phelps.
There were reports his birthday gifts included three luxury Italian motorcycles and a supercar believed to be a $2.5 million Bugatti Veyron.
After UNLV was knocked out of the Mountain West men’s basketball tournament by University of Nevada at Reno, 79-74 on Thursday, Dave Hall, morning anchor at KVVU-TV, Channel 5, tweeted: “Bad decision. @Nevada played in the CBI two years ago… got to practice and play an extra three weeks and rode it to the CBI title. That experience was the springboard to what they are now. $40,000 is pocket change. Gimme a break. Short sighted nonsense.”
ESPN 1100 talk-show host Steve Cofield responded: “Fox 5 anchor crushing Menzies for saying he’s not interested in playing a post-season tourney. Thoughts Vegas? Dave is a Reno guy so he’s seen firsthand what the building process has been for Musselman’s team.”
Hall came back: “Ha…I’m not crushing anyone. That said…if someone can expain how NOT playing basketball makes you better program…I’m all ears.”…
Conor McGahey, an AT&T SportsNet pre-game, intermission and postgame host for the Vegas Golden Knights, could find himself with torn allegiances if the Knights end up playing the Colorado Avalanche in the playoffs.
He’s got dream job in Denver: a Colorado native, he’s the public address announcer for Denver Broncos home games and will be hosting some of the Colorado Rockies games as well on the network…
Kate Bennett, who got a big break when she went to work for the Las Vegas Sun as celebrity columnist nearly 20 years ago, is now covering the White House for CNN. She’s not a fan of one of the big winners in the 90th Oscars last Sunday. ”I just don’t think I can stomach another Frances McDormand speech,” she tweeted.
Former BYU star Danny Ainge, the Boston Celtics general manager and president of basketball operations, at Topgolf (MGM Grand) on Saturday with his family. He was in town to scout the Pac 12 men’s basketball tournament…
Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, courtsidme at the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena to back his alma mater, the Arizona Wildcats.....
Magic Johnson, at the Pac-12 tourney with Los Angeles Rams front office exec Kevin Demoff….
Four-time NBA MVP Julius Erving, spotted at T-Mobile. His son, Jules Erving, is a 6-foot-6 freshman walk-on with the Cal Bears. He’s from Atlanta…
ON THIS DAY…
March 10, 1995: The Hard Rock Café restaurant chain takes its brand to Las Vegas, opening the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino with a two-night star-studded concert featuring Duran Duran, B.B. King, Iggy Pop, Melissa Etheridge, Al Green, Sheryl Crow and the Eagles.
March 11, 2001: Just six weeks after she wins a $34.9 million slot machine jackpot at the Desert Inn, former waitress Cynthia Jay-Brennan is hit by a drunk driver while stopped at a Las Vegas intersection. Cynthia’s sister is killed and she is paralyzed for life. The driver is sentenced to a long prison term.
March 12, 2010: Mayor Oscar Goodman presents the key to the city to the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, which has become a major tourist stop thanks to the Pawn Stars reality show on The History Channel. Owner Rick Harrison, his dad Old Man, his son Big Hoss and pal Chumlee don’t sell the key.
March 13, 2009: Clark County nominates the famed “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign for the National Register of Historic Places. The sign, designed by Betty Willis and erected in 1959 at the southern tip of the Strip, wins the honor two months later.
March 14, 2009: Ventriloquist Terry Fator, whose blockbuster show features music and dead-on celebrity impersonations, moves to the Mirage theater bearing his name. At the VIP-packed premiere, he summons Lou “Incredible Hulk” Ferrigno to stand in for Cher as Fator sings both parts of “I Got You, Babe.”
THE SCENE AND HEARD
I’m hearing ESPN staffers covering the Pacific 12 men’s basketball tournament at the T-Mobile Arena had security nearby due to the ferocity of fan reaction of University of Arizona fans who took exception to allegations that coach Sean Miller was caught on an FBI wiretap speaking about a $100,000 payment to land super prospect DeAndre Ayton. Miller said in a statement he “never knowingly violated N.C.A.A. rules” while serving as head coach at Arizona. School president Robert C. Robbins and the Arizona Board of Regents have stood by Miller. Top-seeded Arizona went on to win the Pac 12 tournament on Saturday with a 75-61 win over Southern California, with Miller coaching and Ayton dominating…
After porn star Stormie Daniels drew a big crowd during her Super Bowl booking at Sapphire Las Vegas, the adult entertainment club tried to quickly bring her back. Scandal changes things fast in the marketing world. Sapphire management learned she’s booked through the Fourth of July, as a result of the continuing headlines regarding her alleged affair with Don Trump in 2016
THE PUNCH LINE
“Wildlife experts are reportedly puzzled as to why a pair of bald eagles at the National Arboretum, named Mr. President and The First Lady, have not yet laid an egg this spring. Though they haven't really been getting along since Mr. President had that affair with Storky Daniels.” – Seth Meyers
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