Morning briefing

Times Staff Writer

Getting down to the basics

Writer-director Ron Shelton and partner John Norville are writing a script based on “Game of Shadows,” the Barry Bonds book written by San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams. The film is being developed for HBO and probably will air on the network sometime next year.

One person involved in the story in a small way is former Chronicle executive editor Phil Bronstein, who sometimes used to be referred to as “Mr. Sharon Stone.”

And, according to Shelton, Mike Greenburg, one of the HBO producers involved in the project along with HBO Sports chief Ross Greenburg, was Stone’s first husband.


“One day we were in a small room at the Chronicle doing research and we had half of her four husbands in the room,” Shelton told’s Richard Deitch. “I said, ‘Can I buy you guys some drinks? I want to hear some stories.’ ”

Trivia time

In the Ron Shelton movie “Tin Cup,” who wins the fictional U.S. Open?

Bridging the gap


Rand Pinsky, a board member of the American Bridge League, takes exception to what Ben Heller of contended in a Morning Briefing item last week. Heller claimed no one under 50 plays bridge.

“In July during the 10-day North American Bridge Championships, to be held in Las Vegas, the College Bridge Championships will take place,” Pinsky said in an e-mail. “UCLA won last year and is defending its title this year. Bridge is no longer a game for your grandmother.”

True lies

Strapped to a lie detector while appearing on FSN’s “Best Damn Sports Show” last week, Gary Payton was asked if he would give up his championship ring to keep the SuperSonics in Seattle.


“Yes,” he said, and the test said the answer was true.

Payton was also asked if, for $100 million, he would get a sex change and play in the WNBA.

Again, he said, “Yes,” and again the test said the answer was true.

Pest control


There’s an under-14 traveling baseball team from Natchez, Miss., that’s doing pretty well, the Natchez Democrat reports. The team is nicknamed the Anteaters.

Coach Matt Mason said the team members picked the name because of UC Irvine.

“They were pretty dead-set on being the Anteaters,” Mason told the newspaper. “Sometimes we’ll go to a tournament and there will be two teams with the same name.

“They don’t have to worry about that.”


A leg up

Comedian Argus Hamilton sees one sure bet for a U.S. gold medal at the Beijing Olympics -- “Gasoline prices in the high jump.”


Actor Malcolm McDowell, featured on the cover of the spring issue of Tee It Up magazine, bears a striking resemblance to Frank Stronach, chairman of Magna Entertainment, Santa Anita’s parent company.


Trivia answer

Peter Jacobsen (above), who plays himself, was the winner. David Simms, the Don Johnson character, finished second, one stroke back.

And finally

At the end of “Tin Cup,” Roy McAvoy, played by Kevin Costner, and Simms, his rival, have one final conversation after McAvoy’s 12 on the final hole.


“I’ve got to hand it to you, Roy,” Simms says. “When you go down, you go down in flames.”

McAvoy: “Someday you can tell your grandchildren you finished second in the U.S. Open . . . just don’t tell ‘em how.”