The celebrity spotting started on the plane. We stepped on our flight to Atlanta Thursday morning, and bingo, there was Ed Lover. Since helping to introduce mainstream America to rap in 1988 as one of the original hosts of Yo! MTV Raps, Lover has been all over the place -- from the Daily Show to the movie Ride -- and now he seems to be everywhere we go. In just a few hours, we spotted Ed and his little posse on the plane, at the baggage claim, on the rental car bus, at the hotel check-in, in the elevator (twice) and again in the lobby in the evening.


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He wasn't the only celebrity around. Jamie Bogner, an Inside Stuff staffer, started spelling his last name to the hotel desk clerk at check-in, and after he spelled B-O-G the clerk asked "Muggsy Bogues?" Meanwhile, in a mix-up, Editor Tony Gervino was handed a package for superstar singer Gloria "I Will Survive" Gaynor.

We had to look no further than the lobby to get a sense of what was happening. Bill Russell and his wife passed some time on a lobby couch near where Ice Cube would sit watching the Lakers nudge the Knicks on a TV a few hours later. Pint-sized Atlanta music mogul Jermaine Dupri passed through with some friends on his way to a party.

Jermaine was wearing a nice coat, which he needed because the weather here is a little colder and rainier than a lot of people expected, but no one from the Northeast is complaining. Not only is it much warmer in Georgia than it has been up North, but it's also, thankfully, not buried in snow. It'll be interesting to see if the overnight weather in the New York area keeps planes on the ground. There were tons of people planning to make it from the Big Apple and other places last night and today -- including Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant -- who could have their travel plans interrupted. We'll keep you posted.


Ivy is hosting one of the many parties in Atlanta this weekend.
(Jesse D. Garrabrant
NBAE/Getty Images)
With or without the Lakers' stars, Atlanta is loaded with celebrities, right now -- and people in general. One of the local papers pointed out that between the All-Star game, a flower show, and a rodeo event, there are 120,000 extra people expected in the home city of the Hawks. The traffic is bumper-to-bumper in places all over the city.

A lot of that traffic is around Jam Session -- the massive interactive basketball experience that is taking place right next to the famous Centennial Park. A lot of other traffic, especially all those stretch hummers and limos, is headed to parties, because when it comes to parties, it's hard to know what to say other than, yeah, we got 'em. At last count there were over 40 events hosted by players or celebrities in Atlanta this weekend. Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins is hosting three all by himself. Magic Johnson, Tracy McGrady, Charles Oakley -- there's a party for just about anyone here. Some of them are open to the public for a fee, others are super-secretive, with the location hidden even from invitees, who will be driven there from pre-arranged locations. Some of the higher-profile gigs include Michael Jordan's wing-ding at a club called Vision, Dominique's party at Eleven50, and Allen Iverson's event at Club 112.

If you wanted to do it all, you'd have to be in 50 places at once -- and the crazy thing is the weekend has barely even begun.