Parker didn't have to look too far for a venue to hold a launch party for EA Sports' "NBA Live 09," which features the Spurs guard on the cover. He held it at Hollywood hot spot Beso, which is owned by his wife, Eva Longoria. "I know the owner," Parker told me before he kissed Longoria in the appropriately named "Kiss Lounge" overlooking the restaurant. "She's a great cooker and she's always had it in her mind to open up her own restaurant. She's amazing. I'm very lucky." <br><br> Text by Arash Markazi/SI.com
2 of 10John W. McDonough/SI
Davis has long been teased by teammates for his robust posterior, but he's hoping that will change this season after becoming a spokesman for Jenny Craig. The Clippers point guard has already lost 19 pounds since joining the program two months ago after being inspired by his friend Queen Latifah, who is also a spokesperson for the weight-loss company. "In the offseason, it's kind of hard to maintain day-to-day," he said. "I don't want to get up and cook. And when I pig out, I'm the type of person where there's no limit to what I can do."
3 of 10Chuck Solomon/SI
New York Mets
Is anyone really surprised that the Mets choked down the stretch again? It's almost appropriate that the Mets' second historic collapse was the last memory we'll have of Shea Stadium, a building, much like the Mets' last two Septembers, that most would like to forget.
4 of 10Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
Armstrong's return hit a road bump this week when he learned he can't race in the Tour Down Under in January because he's not eligible to return until February. Armstrong says he's confident he'll race in the competition and is training under the assumption that he'll be allowed to do so. Why do we get the sense that even if he's not officially allowed to compete, he'll unofficially race anyway and unofficially smoke the competition?
5 of 10Kevin Winter/Getty Images
So, Kobe was just joking about going to Europe. That $50-million figure you kept hearing about? He made it up and threw it out there just for fun. "Just to get a kick out of them," Bryant told me. "I mean, who the hell has $50 million to throw at someone? Somebody really took that as someone really has $50 million to offer and then it became a serious issue, but c'mon, that's ridiculous."
6 of 10Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images
It was the worst-kept secret in league history, but "The Boss" was finally announced as the halftime act for Super Bowl XLIII, continuing the NFL's tradition of hiring old men for halftime entertainment since Janet Jackson' infamous wardrobe malfunction four years ago. Since 2004, the NFL has hired the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Prince and Tom Petty. At this rate, I fully expect the league to take Bon Jovi up on his offer to do the show in 2010.
7 of 10Getty Images
Forget about Lil' Romeo, the coolest freshman at USC is Michael Balzary, better known as Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The legendary bassist is an "undergraduate visitor" in USC's Thornton School of Music and recently stopped by USC football practice before the team left to play Oregon State. Judging from the team's performance in Corvallis, he likely won't be invited back anytime soon.
8 of 10Marc Squire/Getty Images
Dennis Quaid -- Quaid looked like he was reprising his role as an aging quarterback on "Any Given Sunday" as he tossed passes with DJ Shockley after Falcons practice recently. While Quaid threw a pretty tight spiral, he was actually in town to promote his new movie, "The Express," the inspirational and tragic story of legendary Syracuse running back Ernie Davis. Quaid, who plays Syracuse coach Ben Schwartzwalder in the film, leaned on "Any Given Sunday" co-star Jim Brown in preparing for the role. "Jim was really my main source for this role," Quaid told me. "Jim played for Ben and he gave me great insight into Ben's character and the time. He said he liked how it turned out. It's really a story that transcends football."
9 of 10AP
Sarah Palin & Tina Fey
The only thing funnier than listening to Palin basically do an impression of Miss South Carolina while answering questions about the bailout, the Bush Doctrine and foreign policy is watching Tina Fey do her dead-on impersonation of Palin.
10 of 10Al Bello/Getty Images, Michael Buckner/Getty Images
Dion Phaneuf & Elisha Cuthbert
Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf now has something to do with his actress girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert in the offseason. He was named as the cover athlete for EA Sports' "NHL 09" and said he wouldn't mind taking on his girlfriend, who is from Calgary, in a virtual game, although he doubts the cover will make him any more wanted by the paparazzi, which took pictures and video of the couple while they vacationed in Maui in May. "It's a big part of the business that she's in and it's something you have to deal with," Phaneuf told me. "We had a good summer and traveled a little bit. I know the paparazzi is a big part of her business, but that's on the outside of our relationship. You just live your life."
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