Being smart and being Shaq is a potentially appealing concept
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The working theory is that new Kings minority owner Shaquille O’Neal will create additional buzz in Sacramento to help speed the bumpy downtown arena campaign to fruition, but I would remind those who buy into that notion automatically that Rick Barry, a Hall of Famer, tried to quiet the crowd booing Joe Lacob at the Chris Mullin night two years ago. In other words, stardom in and of itself isn’t of much value.

Now if O’Neal can speak knowledgeably on the arena beyond “Woo-Wee,” that’s a whole different kettle of re-bar. Being smart and being Shaq is a potentially appealing concept.


I don’t care that the NFL did a deal with Nickelodeon. I don’t care that all the other 31 teams are hooked into something called “NFL Rush Zone.” I don’t even care that the team is planning to restrict exposure and access. The Raiders have a mascot called Raider Rusher, it’s awful both in theory and execution, and if it takes the field, they may as well cement the Al Davis flame now. Unless, of course, they are willing to risk an erupting volcano where the flame now stands, and even the Black Hole loses when confronted by molten lava.


Adrian Peterson’s eight-year-old daughter Adeja is shamed and enraged by Dad’s team losing Sunday. Peterson tweeted, “So my daughter is laying here under me and just out the blue she says . . . I can’t believe you lost to the Browns Daddy! Smh.”

Head coach Leslie Frazier smacked his head, too . . . with a ball peen hammer.


Someone asked Baltimore coach John Harbaugh if, for his birthday, he planned to book a party bus in the wake of receiver Jacoby Jones being brained by a bottle wielded by a stripper named Sweet Pea at teammate Bryant McKinnie’s rolling birthday party. Harbaugh laughed.

Now if it had been Jim Harbaugh, he would have had to get confirmation that it was indeed his birthday.

[RATTO: Harbaugh, 49ers get their badly needed comeuppance]


Who wants to be at the Buss Thanksgiving? Who wants to duck flying turkey legs and full cans of cranberry sauce? Who wants to argue about the estate?

Jeannie Buss, whose brother Jim runs the Los Angeles Lakers and whose father Jim did until his death, has decided to reprise and update her 2010 book, and the first excerpt in the Los Angeles Times included her feeling that she “got played” by her brother’s decision to pass over Phil Jackson for Mike D’Antoni as head coach.

“Why did they have to do that?” she wrote. “Why did Jim pull Phil back into the mix if he wasn't sincere about it? Phil wasn't looking for the job, and then he wasted 36 hours of his life preparing for it when they were never in a million years going to hire him anyway. How do you do that to your sister? How do you do that to Phil Jackson?”

Jim Buss said hiring D’Antoni was Jerry’s wish. “We did the coaching search and interviews and fed him all the information, and he said, ‘This is who I want. D’Antoni’s the man.’” he told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

Well, we know how that worked out, and just on the excerpt, we have a guess that gravy boats will be whizzing throughout the dining room in November.


And finally, Vin Scully should win every award he’s ever won again, if only for this: When Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said he wanted to name a street near Dodger Stadium after the broadcaster, Scully declined with gusto. “The mayor of Los Angeles has a great deal more important things to do than name a street after me,” Scully said in a statement, “and if he is considering the idea, better the street be named after Walter or Peter O’Malley than myself.”

He also declined an invitation to go to the team’s celebration party after the Dodgers clinched a playoff berth because as he said, “I’m not a player,” and had to be shamed by his wife into attending. Her logic: He’s been with the team for 64 years, so he should shut up and grab a glass.

He did.