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Sports

Shaquille O’Neal proved not to be an ageless wonder

As a 39-year-old this spring, Shaquille O’Neal was a broken-down shell of his former self, leading to the hardly surprising announcement Wednesday that he is retiring. …

As a 39-year-old in the spring of 1986, the more fitness-conscious Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was first-team All-NBA. …

He played three more seasons. …

The Dallas Mavericks, five years later, still haven’t found a way to corral Dwyane Wade in the NBA Finals. …

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Even if heat is an anagram of hate and “The Decision” was narcissistic and ill-advised, it’s hard to dislike LeBron James & Co. when they play with such ferocity. …

Does Mark Cuban own a coat, tie or button-down shirt? …

Just for kicks, Cuban and Pat Riley should throw everyone for a loop by switching wardrobes for Game 2, Cuban showing up in a tailored suit and Riley in T-shirt and jeans. …

When Mike Brown noted during his introductory news conference that he didn’t know Phil Jackson’s shoe size, it brought to mind a comment by ESPN’s Jon Barry that Jackson’s replacement would have “Ronald McDonald-sized” shoes to fill. …

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Move over, ex-Laker Ron Harper: As of Tuesday, 38-year-old Jason Kidd is the oldest guard to start an NBA Finals game. …

It was never news when Walter O’Malley made payroll. …

Angels ace Jered Weaver, winless in his last six starts: riding high in April, shot down in May. …

That’s life. …

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Sorry, Atlanta hockey fans, but losing two NHL teams doesn’t even compare to losing two NFL teams. …

We should know. …

Regarding the jersey squabble among Carolina Panthers quarterbacks Cam Newton and Jimmy Clausen — both want No. 2 — the Sporting News advises, “Go ahead and take No. 1, Cam; that’s where you’ll be on the depth chart.” …

Michigan reportedly is considering an expansion of Michigan Stadium that would increase capacity to 120,000. …

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Fans can only hope it includes a restroom expansion too. …

The opening of the Stanley Cup finals reminds that the late Scott Young, perhaps best known in the U.S. as rocker Neil Young’s father, was a Canadian sportswriter whose name was “synonymous with excellent hockey writing,” according to his bio on the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame website. …

Young’s many books include the memoir, “Neil and Me,” in which he writes of his son: “He sings in a way that twists my heart.” …

Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins can complete a 21st century grand slam for Beantown, whose teams have won Super Bowl, World Series and NBA championships in recent years. …

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Since 2007, Ben Howland has lost five early entrants to the NBA draft who never averaged as many as 14 points a game as collegians: Russell Westbrook, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Jrue Holiday, Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee. …

Elway, a heretofore little-known punk band from Fort Collins, Colo., has denied a request from John Elway that it change its name and noted in a statement that it would “continue making so-so music for our dozens of fans to enjoy.” …

Thanks to publicity generated by the humorless ex-quarterback, Elway’s fan base has grown by at least another dozen. …

Reviewing the violent home-plate collision that ended Buster Posey’s season, Fox’s Tim McCarver says, “Baseball should protect catchers like football protects quarterbacks.” …

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The question is: How? …

Running out of gas in the lead on the last lap Sunday probably only adds to Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s already immense popularity. …

Anyone with a friend or relative suffering from Alzheimer’s understood the emotions Dan Wheldon showed Sunday when he welled up after winning the Indianapolis 500. …

His mother, 55, was recently diagnosed with the disease. …

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Thirty-five years ago this week, knuckleballer Joe Niekro hit the only home run of his 22-season major league career — against his older brother, Hall of Famer Phil Niekro. …

Comedian Jerry Wolski emails to suggest a name for Ohio State’s memorabilia-for-tattoos scandal: “Toys for Tats.” …

Spotted Wednesday on the bulletin board at Riviera Country Club: an application for membership from a Tom Brady, who lists his occupation as “quarterback of the New England Patriots.” …

Can anyone vouch for him?

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jerome.crowe@latimes.com


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