The only thing surprising about Jason Whitlock's report from the All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas is that a major sports writer has the nerve to call out the NBA on the rapid degeneration of its fans.

NBA All-Star Weekend in Vegas was an unmitigated failure, and any thoughts of taking the extravaganza to New Orleans in 2008 are total lunacy. ...

All weekend, people, especially cab drivers, gossiped about brawls and shootings. You didn't know what to believe because the local newspaper was filled with stories about what a raging success All-Star Weekend was. The city is desperately trying to attract an NBA franchise, and, I guess, there was no reason to let a few bloody bodies get in the way of a cozy relationship with Stern.

Most journalists depend on maintaining good relations with their subjects in order to keep their access privileges, so the situation must be bad indeed for the truth to be leaking out everywhere.

I was there. Walking The Strip this weekend must be what it feels like to walk the yard at a maximum security prison. You couldn't relax. You avoided eye contact. The heavy police presence only reminded you of the danger. ...

David Stern seriously needs to consider moving the event out of the country for the next couple of years in hopes that young, hip-hop hoodlums would find another event to terrorize. Taking the game to Canada won't do it. The game needs to be moved overseas, someplace where the Bloods and Crips and hookers and hoes can't get to it without a passport and plane ticket. ...

All-Star Weekend Vegas screamed that the NBA is aligned too closely with thugs. Stern is going to have to take drastic measures to break that perception/reality. All-Star Weekend can no longer remain the Woodstock for parolees, wannabe rap artists and baby's mamas on tax-refund vacations.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure much of this behavior is under the NBA's control. Many of its players are thugs, so they naturally attract that sort of fan.

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