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Shaquille O'Neal really wants to go out as a winner

Text messages from press row …

August 04, 2010|Jerry Crowe

Shaquille O'Neal seems desperate for another title. …

The Big Shamrock won't be the first to play for the Lakers and Boston Celtics, nor would he be the first to win championships with both teams, according to Elias Sports Bureau. …

Clyde Lovellette helped the Lakers to their last title in Minneapolis before winning two in Boston. …

Bill Sharman, of course, coached the L.A. Lakers to their first championship after winning four as a player in Boston. …

Brett Favre's "The Long Goodbye" has turned into an epic. …

Favre's retirement would leave five active quarterbacks who've won Super Bowls: Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning and Drew Brees. …

Probably not one of them believes Favre is going to retire. …

The Dodgers have played 270 games since signing Manny Ramirez to a two-year, $45-million contract. …

He has sat out 105. …

"Maybe Matt Kemp would run faster," reader Sterling Buckingham of Canyon Country e-mails to suggest, "if Rihanna stood at home plate." …

Wouldn't anybody? …

Fifty years ago Thursday, in a one-of-a-kind deal, the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers traded managers, Joe Gordon going to the Tigers and Jimmy Dykes to the Indians. …

A similar swap might spark the Dodgers and Angels. …

It says much about Torii Hunter's character that the nine-time Gold Glove center fielder would move to right field without complaint because — get this — it might be best for the team. …

How quaint. …

Fans in the Inland Empire might remember Dodgers newcomer Ted Lilly, who in 1997 pitched a no-hitter for the club's Class-A affiliate, the San Bernardino Stampede. …

He was traded a year later. …

Here's a thought: When the Pacific 10 Conference becomes the Pac-12 and is split into two groups of six, put USC and UCLA in separate divisions to set up a potential crosstown showdown for the conference championship. …

The only surprise in the NBA's Christmas Day schedule would have been if Kobe Bryant and the defending champions were playing anyone other than the Miami Heat. …

Only twice during Bryant's career have the Lakers not played on Dec. 25, once because of a lockout. …

If the use of instant replay is to be expanded in baseball, shouldn't major leaguers pave the way for Little Leaguers, rather than vice versa? …

Former USC right-hander Mark Prior, as of this week pitching for the Orange County Flyers of the Golden Baseball League, once was nearly as ballyhooed as Stephen Strasburg before a multitude of injuries derailed his career. …

Strasburg, before suffering a shoulder injury, was in line to make his Dodger Stadium debut Friday night. …

Alex Rodriguez's hitting his 600th home run reminds that when Willie Mays hit his 600th, in 1969, he did so as a pinch-hitter for a future National League most valuable player. …

His name: George Foster. …

Executives at Del Mar expect that Saturday's scheduled appearance by Zenyatta, trying to run her record to 18-0, will boost attendance by as many as 10,000. …

In 1996, Cigar's bid for a record-breaking 17th consecutive victory drew a track-record crowd of 44,181 to Del Mar. …

Cigar, upset by Dare And Go, finished second. …

Golf magazine's list of "Top 100 Courses You Can Play," a biennial ranking of the nation's best courses where membership is not a requirement to get on, includes 10 in California. …

Pacific Dunes in Bandon, Ore., ranks No. 1 overall, while Rustic Canyon in Moorpark tops the "best values" list. …

Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, on the 2012 London Olympics: "Will the athletes have to learn how to run on the other side of the track?" …

Speaking of track, only five men in the last 75 years have held the world record in the long jump: Jesse Owens, Ralph Boston, Igor Ter-Ovanesyan, Bob Beamon and Mike Powell, whose record of 29 feet 4 1/2 inches has stood since 1991. …

In 1969, Beamon was drafted by the Phoenix Suns. …

He never played in the NBA. …

According to Brand Affinity Technologies of Waltham, Mass., Pat Haden tops this month's list of "rising sports stars," ahead of British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen. …

For sure, Haden's name is easier to pronounce.

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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