It was somewhere between noon and 1pm as I trudged through a hot, windy Saturday Las Vegas afternoon. I had left the Hard Rock with my camera and notebook, figuring I could easily handle an eight tenths of a mile hike. But I had gotten just one hour of sleep in the last 30, I felt woozy, and I was starting to think I was lost.
Walking the main strip in Las Vegas is a singular experience. Travelling by foot anywhere else in Sin City is not for the faint of heart or the sleep deprived. There were no sidewalks for a good part of my journey, and I had to walk through an asphalt wasteland of construction sites and run down student housing, shot through with roads filled with cars driven by people who apparently view pedestrians as obstacles to be dodged quickly while hurtling towards some unseen destination.
How did I get here? I just wanted to see a Spurs game.
* * *
It all started on Friday night. Even though I was going to Vegas in the morning, I didn't want to miss my regular D&D night. We were playing 'Star Wars: Imperial Assault,' in which a ragtag group of rebels try to keep the Empire from taking over their planets. I was playing a Wookiee, and it was my job to protect my team of interstellar rebels from an Imperial army led by my buddy Shane; the most evil bastard in all of known space.
Which brings me back to that walk.
I couldn't see anyone else on my walk, but I shouldn't have been worried. As soon as I made it to the parking lot, I could see that there was a party going on, and throngs of basketball fans were filing past a giant basketball emblazoned with Adam Silver's signature. Outside the arena there was a statue of former Spurs coach Jerry Tarkanian chewing on a towel. If I'm not mistaken, he also coached some college team.