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Shaq meets Gov. Jerry Brown, hoists first lady overhead

September 24, 2013|By Anthony York
  • Shaquille O'Neal, shown in April at a ceremony to retire his Lakers jersey, met with Gov. Jerry Brown in the state Capitol on Monday.
Shaquille O'Neal, shown in April at a ceremony to retire his Lakers… (Mark J. Terrill )

The newest partial owner of the Sacramento Kings, Shaquille O’Neal, met with Gov. Jerry Brown in the state Capitol on Monday, a meeting that ended with the former Lakers star hoisting the governor’s wife above his head.

But more on that later.

Clearly the question on everyone’s mind when the former Jesuit seminarian and Yale Law School grad met with the man who's dubbed the Big Aristotle: What were they reading?

It’s a question that may have gone unanswered for the ages if not for a clue offered courtesy of Twitter.

A photo posted on the feed of the team’s majority owner, Vivek Ranadive -- who was probably there to remind the governor about the bill on his desk that would streamline state environmental laws to help in the construction of a new downtown arena for the team --  shows Brown with the team's owners standing at the governor’s desk. Among the scattered papers and photos are two hardcover tomes: “The Perversion of Autonomy” by Willard Gaylin and Bruce Jennings, and “The Act of Creation.”

Brown is known for his eclectic reading tastes, and also to incorporate ideas from his reading into his governing. So what do these two books tell us about the future of California public policy?

“The Perversion of Autonomy,” as described by its publisher, is “a powerful re-evaluation of America's contradictory and sometimes dangerous addiction to individualism.”

“Creation,” written in 1964 by Arthur Koestler, is, per Wikipedia, “a study of the processes of discovery, invention, imagination and creativity in humor, science, and the arts. It lays out Koestler's attempt to develop an elaborate general theory of human creativity.”

Heady stuff, to be sure, and all in line with what we’ve come to expect from our governor.

As for the meeting with Shaq, it was adjourned to a local Mexican restaurant, where others including the governor’s wife, Anne, joined the party.

Another Twitter photo, posted by the first lady, offers a window into the discourse at the evening gathering. It shows O’Neal smiling and hoisting Anne Brown high overhead, with her added caption, “Shaq gives me a lift!”

Brown has until Oct. 13 to sign the Kings-sponsored bill.


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Twitter: @anthonyyorklat

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