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INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

That's All Lakers Really Need: a 300-Foot Center

November 13, 1996|SHAV GLICK

How big is big? Shaquille O'Neal, all 7 feet 1 and 300-plus pounds of him, is about to become the subject of what is advertised as the world's largest sports mural.

O'Neal will be 300 feet tall in the mural commissioned by Reebok and being painted by artist James Crespinel on the side of a building at Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue. The basketball in O'Neal's hand will be six stories high.

Crespinel will use 483 gallons of paint in the 25,000-square-foot mural.

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Trivia time: Which NFL player has the most presidential name?

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Aging process: Wilt Chamberlain, who recently turned 60, spent some time philosophizing with Phil Jasner of the Philadelphia Daily News and had these comments.

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On growing old: "I never thought I'd get to be 60. . . . I thought I used up most of my life in my early living. To me, anything long meant past 40 or 50."

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On the NBA: "No organization in sports has done more to elevate men of color, to give them a chance to prove themselves worthy in all endeavors, than the NBA, and they're to be applauded for that."

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Relative value: Asks syndicated writer Norman Chad, "What's the difference between the [Tampa Bay] Buccaneers' playbook and USA Today?

"Answer: Neither's worth even 50 cents, but the playbook takes longer to read."

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From experience: Former Heisman Trophy winner Paul Hornung, who was suspended by the NFL for gambling, on the Boston College gambling scandal:

"I think we've just seen the tip of the iceberg. It's not over with by a long run."

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Rookie excuse: Jeff Ware had a good excuse for missing his psychology exam at the University of Toronto. Ware, a rookie defenseman with the Toronto Maple Leafs, was traveling with the team to Boston for a game against the Bruins.

But that excuse didn't satisfy his professor, who required Ware to bring a signed note attesting to the reason for his absence. Coach Mike Murphy did the honors.

"This is a first," Murphy laughingly told the Toronto Sun.

Said Ware, who must take the test later, "I was so embarrassed to even ask him."

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Too busy running: Northwestern's Darnell Autry ran for a career-high 240 yards and four touchdowns in a 40-13 victory over Iowa. His view of the feat:

"I was just running and running and running, and whatever happens, happens. I didn't even realize how many yards I had until somebody told me after the game."

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Birdies to horsies: Golfer Gary Player doesn't necessarily believe in reincarnation, but if there is something to it, he has one request.

"I want to come back as Cigar," Player said. "I think he's got it made."

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Trivia answer: Lincoln Kennedy, Oakland Raider lineman.

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And finally: New Jersey Net forward Jayson Williams on the improved conditions for players: "This year, we have a physical masseuse. Last year, we needed a mental masseuse."

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