Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 | 6:27 p.m.
Retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal didn’t come down on either side of the NBA debate of a team in Las Vegas when we asked him about it during his weekend appearance at Azure Luxury Pool at the Palazzo.
We asked if he thought our town could in reality support an NBA franchise.
His answer: “I would say yes and no. From the NBA business side, you don’t want to support gambling on sports. That’s what most people are afraid of. It happens in Vegas because it’s legal in Vegas, but we don’t want people doing that so much.
“The other thing on the NBA side is this is such a touristy town. All the Vegas people don’t live on the Strip; they live out. So once you have three or four marquee names who can support an arena, who can get people to not want to gamble, not do day parties, not go here and go to the game I think would be beneficial to any owner who owns a team.
“From a Vegas partygoer standpoint, it’s another great thing to do in Vegas. There’s a lot of people here, so I think it would be safe to say that 40 percent of the Vegas residents would come, 30 percent of the fans would come, and marketing dollars and marketing tickets would go to the other 30 percent to fill up the arena.
“So if you do get a team, you’re going to have to get three or four marketing experts so people can say, ‘There’s a day party with Shaq today, but they’re playing the Lakers, so I’m going to the game.’ ”
Then he smiled and dropped a real three-point zinger: “But you know it’s all about who you’ve got. If you’re like the Charlotte [Bobcats] team, nobody is coming to the game. You’re Miami Heat, everybody is coming to the game.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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With top accommodations, first-rate entertainment, high-end shopping and a slew of acclaimed chefs, the Palazzo has positioned itself as one of the most luxurious resorts on the Strip.
More than 3,000 all-suite rooms start at 740 square feet and are decorated in a modern, yet classic, Italian style. Each room features a sleeping area, with a king or two queens, and a sunken living room area with floor to ceiling windows.
A cathedral ceiling tops the Palazzo casino, while a second 80-foot dome brings natural light to the property's lobby. The 105,000 square foot casino features more than 2,000 slots and 80 table games but lacks the stale smell of cigarettes, as the property is LEED certified with smoking off limits in most of the Palazzo — including 50 percent of the casino floor.
Dining at the Palazzo is among the best of the Strip, starting with Wolfgang Puck's CUT. Chef Simon To serves up authentic Chinese cuisine at Zine, while Sushisamba combines Brazilian and Peruvian flavors with Japanese techniques. At LAVO, club-goers can dine on Mediterranean dishes before heading upstairs to the bath house-inspired nightclub.