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MORNING BRIEFING

Shaquille O'Neal didn't book serious off-season study time

In between hosting his reality show and entertaining his Twitter followers, he apparently had little spare time during the off-season to learn the playbook of his new team, the Cavaliers.

October 26, 2009|Mike Penner

In between hosting his reality show and entertaining his 2.4 million followers on Twitter, Shaquille O'Neal apparently had little spare time during the off-season to learn the playbook of his new team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Last week, O'Neal admitted he was behind on his studies.

"It is vital that I start to memorize the plays," O'Neal said. "I've been used to a certain system for 17 years, so I have to work on that. I still have a few days before we start."

Start to memorize plays?

From a distance, that would seem a simple task. How hard can it be to dunk, set a screen or pass the ball to LeBron James?

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Trivia time

O'Neal scored a career-high 61 points in a 2000 game against which NBA team?

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London calling

Was NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell merely playing to the crowd when he told reporters in London that he envisions the day when London has an NFL franchise?

"I expect that sometime in the next couple of years, we could be playing multiple games here," Goodell told the Associated Press.

"If we brought more than one game here, and it continues to have the same kind of enthusiasm and growth of interest, I think that is about as good of an indicator you can get that it could successfully support a franchise. And that's what we're looking at."

Meanwhile, back in Southern California, football fans wonder how the NFL can be talking expansion to London when Los Angeles hasn't had an NFL franchise since 1994.

"I think there are some positive developments going on there," Goodell said. "But now we have to figure out how to pay for it. And in our economic system, that is a big challenge. It's at least an $800-million stadium."

So which comes first, a team in London or one in Los Angeles?

"I don't know about the timing as far as the sequence," he said.

"I would tell you that both markets are of tremendous interest to us."

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Leading question

The Washington Wizards' Gilbert Arenas was asked about leadership recently and he responded thusly:

"What is a leader? Is a leader a guy who comes to the gym at 7 o'clock when practice is at 11? Or when the game is at 7, you're here at 3:30 and you play hard? Is that a leader? Or is it I say I'm a leader and coach says I'm a leader in the paper, so I'm a leader. Is that a leader? I have no idea."

Thanks, Gilbert.

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Trivia answer

The Clippers.

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And finally

From comedian Argus Hamilton, on golf's annual money leaders: "Tiger Woods, followed by whoever's just played Michael Jordan."

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mike.penner@latimes.com

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