LA Times: TJ Simers Rips into Clippers

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FightOnRon
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The Clippers are in trouble.

They got their 50th win of this storybook season Wednesday night, a franchise record, but internal problems seriously threaten their chances for extraordinary postseason success.

The feel-good Clippers are gone, with DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin's immaturity dragging the team down.

After three straight losses, Clippers looking to turn the corner

Jordan wants nothing to do with Coach Vinny Del Negro because he blames Del Negro for burying him on the bench.

Yet Jordan's inability to play consistently or make free throws, thereby turning the ball over to the opposition much like a turnover, makes him a liability in close games.

Jordan sees it differently, and he has for the last two seasons, maintaining he would be more productive if allowed to play more.

He's as likable as they come and overloaded with athletic ability. But as an NBA starter on a team that wants to compete for championships, he's more cancer than consistent contributor while failing to justify what he's being paid.

He'll be unhappy to hear that, and he doesn't react well when not happy. But it's time to grow up as a professional.

Griffin is Jordan's buddy, and still a kid.

His development has been sabotaged by his inability to accept criticism of any sort.

It helps explain why he's always at odds with the referees. He's never done anything wrong, as he sees it, so why are they blowing a whistle and calling him out?

He takes a punishment when he plays, and right now he's playing hurt. But he reacts like a kid when done wrong, looking for the opportunity to get even while giving no regard to how that might affect his team's performance.

He wants the ball like any great player, but when it doesn't go to him, he pouts. He's 24. Most of the time the ball goes to Griffin, but he's concerned only about the times when it doesn't.

The Clippers' future success is tied to Griffin's becoming as mature as he is a high-flying superstar. It would be nice, maybe even vital to the team's success, if it happened overnight.

Griffin has already improved his game at the foul line and shooting from the outside. But he must do the same as a team player rather than aligning himself with the most disgruntled player on the team.

The other night in Sacramento, Griffin and Jordan exchanged words on the bench. Griffin told Jordan he best never again stare him down as he did when Griffin failed to give Jordan a good pass for a dunk.

Everyone else was left to sit there while waiting for the kids to stop bickering.

The pair have also grown tired of Chris Paul's voice, which is understandable at times.

Paul, very much like Kobe Bryant - who has turned off Dwight Howard with his out-of-this-world standards - is relentless. He never shuts up. And Jordan and Griffin have become weary of him.

When asked about being annoying, Paul smiled and said, "I need to work on being a better leader."

Had he avoided injuries, Chauncey Billups would have made a difference. He has the ability to get in the face of another player and demand more without turning them off. He doesn't chirp as much as Paul.

But he's also not playing for the Clippers these days or even practicing, yet another reason why the team is in trouble as it approaches the playoffs.

They need Billups, but at a level of play that Billups displayed before getting hurt a year ago.

Del Negro has done a masterful job for the most part in dealing with a deep team; everyone wants more playing time. But he's not a hand-holder. He's not big on sitting beside a player, throwing an arm around his shoulder and nursing hurt feelings.

He might want to develop a half-court offense that works, but that's a problem for another time.

The Clippers are fortunate because they have a number of veterans who understand what kind of effort the team will need once the playoffs begin.

But as much money as Jordan is making and as secure as Griffin is in being a NBA star, do any of the veterans have what it takes to get through to the immature twosome.

This should be one of the all-time joy rides in sports, the Clippers, the gawd-awful Clippers, going 16-0 in December and becoming the talk of the NBA.

They rocked the NBA world, but the buzz is gone.

And although it's true they have posted a record never seen before by Clippers fans, how do they get by the first round and then take on San Antonio or Oklahoma City while looking cross-eyed at each other inside a team huddle?

They don't, and so they have maybe two weeks to grow up and grow together as a team or this season of hoopla will have been much ado about nothing.

t.j.simers@latimes.com

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-sim ... page=2

worm
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Prop to TJ Simers all true,no hard feelings,Blake and specially DJ should grow up.

ClippersDA
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This is very very concerning. weren't we known for our chemistry early in the year?? i really think dj needs to go, he will never get the kind of minutes he feels he is entitled to if he cannot make free throws or learn how to get back to the post to defend (always lost on the perimeter). I thought this was also really a poor reflection of Blake, which is surprising. He needs to go back to being humble.

smittywerb
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Nothing but the truth. Someone needs to start addressing these problems because we're obviously sweeping them under the rug. Good article.

pageC4
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Great article. I think it specifically addresses the fact that despite it being our best season in franchise history there are big problems we need to solve

clipperstown
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I kinda dont believe blake and DJ talking crap to each other, or being tired of pauls voice. Also, the part where it says griffin wants the ball all the time. I dont get that. If anything, he's been shying away from it.

TheDude
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Don't agree about Blake being selfish or immature. I wish he was more selfish.

But pretty much everything else was spot on. That was an actual sports article. Possibly the first non-TMZ status article I've ever read from him.

FightOnRon
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Well first we consider the source and you realize (for those not in LA) TJ Slimers , as we call him,,has a main job of pissing off local fans. I think there may be some disgruntled guys but it is like a family and does anyone really love everything their family does and when things get testy who so we attack first,, our family.

But I do think after watching him this year,,DJ really needs to figure out how to really play this game. His 40% from the line has killed us a few times and if he isn't smart enough to see why he doesn't get minutes,,,the FT being one of the reasons,,,in the end maybe he does need to pack his bags.

I was a proponent of keeping him because it was BG32's idea,,but if they really don't get along, parting with DJ wouldn't be hard for me at all. Let Ryan start.

clipper*joe
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DJ is the cancer and BG needs to know that it's time for him to start realizing this is his career, not some 80's "buddy" movie. I honestly believe DJ feels he's closer to a star than not. Thus, he feels he should be treated in the same manner as BG. DJ's attitude is horrible and I'm afraid it has transferred on to BG.

Face it, DJ has always been a slacker ( see draft scouting report) and he's never done anything to improve on his own. BG starts wearing a mouthpiece, DJ starts wearing a mouth piece. BG starts wearing a sleeve, DJ starts wearing a sleeve. BG wears green shoes, DJ starts wearing green shoes. BG gets a shooting coach, DJ decides he wants in on it too. There is a pattern here. These observations might sound petty but I've noticed these things from jumpstreet.

DJ isn't someone that takes initiative. DJ is mimicking everything BG does. Now he thinks he deserves star treatment. From the coach, to the refs. I blame VDN for some of this too. This coddling thing VDN started last season by starting out the games with a play for DJ was laughable. How fragile is his ego that you have to give him a sympathy play to boost a player's moral? What pro team has done this? For the sake of BG, I hope he comes to the point where he outgrows DJ and we can move on from him.

Kudos to Simers on a great article.

jarca
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BG and DJ needs to grow up. Period. BG needs to start acting like a superstar and DJ stop acting like a clown howard who cant produce jack sh1t. If a new coach cant change the dynamic of the team, dj needs to go asap

jarca
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You know what in the off season, we need to get a militant coach. Then get rid of DJ so Blake will be alone. After that, sign a bunch of hard nose vetarans so Blake will be forced to grow up quick.

fattner
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The truth hurts and the clippers need to hear it !!! Now move on and improve and make ur mark in the playoffs !! Let ur gm do the talking not ur mouth !!

CapsNClips
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The really sad thing is, he really is probably closer to a star than not he just has to hit FT's an efficient rate and all the troubles of him not playing in the 4th go away and he would be able to be a top 5 Center but he just doesn't care enough and his laziness is why he's probably a top 20 Center.

jarca
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it hurts too that we're the clippers. since this is an unprecedented success for this franchise, not a lot of journalist call out our players for their laziness, attitude, and immaturity. The media kinda coddled our stars. If this was the lakers, iam sure by now bg and dj would have been bombarded by the media and be forced to grow the f@ck up

Phu7
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good article by TJ. agree with most of his points excpet BG being selfish. He always looks to pass to teammates. I'd say more of a diva now. They are both divas. DJ might feel like a stud now that he had a 20 and 12 game against a weak team. I have a feeling he's going to get boss around by D12. DJ should just be called D6 since he is just like D12....amazing specimen, can't hit fts, blame is always on the coach, and just half the player D12 is. I really can't imagine SVG or Sloan coaching DJ. It would probably be like McGee, 10 million dollar center coming off the bench.

wessleejr
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Maybe DJ thinks that D12 can't hit the FT, only dunk but people treat him as supertstar, why can't he?

TheDude
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+1000

david
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For both DeAndre and Blake- they need to keep ultimate focus on the team goal. Worry about stuff you can control, improve communications and keep the focus and everything will be just fine. Everyone has their pride, but to grow and get better, you have to put aside the pride in order to get better. Team- that is what it's all about.

hoopfanjd31
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This. I can't find fault with anything Simers said in that one.

I think my biggest complaint with Blake is that he lets too much extra-cirricular stuff impact him. He thinks too much out there. He worries about the refs way to much. Just play. That's what he did his rookie year and he was better for it. He needs to get back to that. Forget the B.S. and just play.

insignificant
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if there's no more buzz does that mean we're just "Clippers top". identity crisis

CP3Heliflopter
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DJ is not happy about his small role in the offense. He wants more touches which is why he focused on adding some offensive moves instead of improving the important stuff like his FTs and his defense. His defense and FTs have regressed. He might be worse than last season. Definitely not happy with his overall play though he has been playing better recently.

As for BG. I think DJ has been a very bad influence on him and I don't like the fact that his rebounding has regressed ridiculously. Initially it wasn't a big deal since his steals went up but his rebounding seems to be getting worse and worse.

clipper*joe
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For the record, DJ has been playing outstanding as of late. It hasn't helped net us wins, but his effort has been tops. I just wished DJ knew his place on this team and realize his role on this team. If guys like Butler, Crawford, Hill, and Barnes know their roles, DJ should know his. Stop crying to the refs on plays you KNOW you weren't fouled on and stop acting like a child when you get taken out the game. Until DJ can improve his FT's like BG did, he has absolutely no ground to stand on. When DJ "thinks" his FT's shouldn't effect his playing time late in games, then you know he has problems understanding simple logic.

CP3Heliflopter
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1-8 in the Spurs game. If he hit half his FTs we probably would have won that game. I don't understand how he could possibly think shooting 40% from the line doesn't hurt our team a lot. Even Dwight shoots 50%.

cleepers
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Agree with every word. "D6"... perfect!!!

Hard to call Blake selfish, but he certainly pouts like a little kid when things don't go his way. DJ could learn a thing or two from Hollins' attitude. Guy plays with heart all the time with 1/10th of DJ's athleticism, listens to those who know more than him (the vets and the coach) and never sulks about minutes.

This is why I think it's bad form to constantly blame Vinny for losses or poor performances... give a couple of immature kids an excuse for taking the night off and they'll gladly accept it. When they're giving the effort they're capable of (particularly DJ) and we STILL lose, that's the time to talk about coaching and roster changes. CP3 is always the first to step up and accept his share of responsibility.

Maybe something actually got through to DJ between Tuesday's team meeting and last night's game... he finally earned a game check. But he had no real center to attack or defend... I want to see how he does when he's being scored on or getting his shot blocked. Time for him to step up like a man and give that kind of effort even when the double-double isn't coming easy.

And if he can't make FT's, he has no business staring the coach down when HE'S the one costing us valuable points in close games.

clipperstown
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Blake in his rookie year played like he was playing for something. he played like he was motivated to become a great player, to show everyone what he can do. Now, it looks like he doesn't want to dominate, he doesn't care if he ends up being called one of the greatest pf's ever or not, and just lacks overall desire, desire as a player to dominate. it's really sad to watch, actually.

Amnesty_David_Stern
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Hardly news. DJ, your a pro athlete and I'm not, but you gotta hit a few more of those free throws buddy! And if he can be a bigger force on the glass and play smarter on defense I can see him getting 32MPG a night rather than the 24-25 he's been getting the last few years.

There's a reason why you fell to the Clippers in round 2 of the draft, and there's a reason why the team gave you all that money. Your athletic, durable, you have high potential but the issues stated above are crystal clear and a crystal clear sign as to why you aren't getting as much time on the court as you'd like.

As for Blake, in 32 MPG on a consistent basis you won't see much. He gets a lot of minutes early on then is on the bench for at least half of our games in the 2nd half because of blowouts or foul trouble. Blake has improved this season even if the stats don't show it.

We are a different team than the team that never lost in December. We have to buckle down but I still think we'll make it out of the first round again. Just have to hope we don't get dragged out in a 7 game series again.

slipperyball
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Blake's biggest problem is conditioning. Watching him these last three years, most of his points and rebounds occur in the first half. And he's only got a year to two to develop a real outside shot, or he's going to burn himself out. But only half of this is his fault. The organization has done a horrible job with their other "bigs" i.e. They Don't Exist! You try playing for a team where you

know you're the only guy who's going to get beat up every game. Also, who's their pick n' roll coach? Timing is always off.

The reason they're doing so well with 50+ wins is that Blake and Paul are so talented. But they've hit their ceiling unless the

front office gets some real basketball "know how". AND DJ must go.

FightOnRon
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CP3Heliflopter wrote:
clipper*joe wrote:
For the record, DJ has been playing outstanding as of late. It hasn't helped net us wins, but his effort has been tops. I just wished DJ knew his place on this team and realize his role on this team. If guys like Butler, Crawford, Hill, and Barnes know their roles, DJ should know his. Stop crying to the refs on plays you KNOW you weren't fouled on and stop acting like a child when you get taken out the game. Until DJ can improve his FT's like BG did, he has absolutely no ground to stand on. When DJ "thinks" his FT's shouldn't effect his playing time late in games, then you know he has problems understanding simple logic.

1-8 in the Spurs game. If he hit half his FTs we probably would have won that game. I don't understand how he could possibly think shooting 40% from the line doesn't hurt our team a lot. Even Dwight shoots 50%.

If he hit half his FT we win that game,,that game was on him and no one else.

A7XDreamTheaterClipps
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This is what the Clippers need to do

  • Sign Chris Paul

  • Find the best trade partner for DJ. I've defended him a lot up until late and he needs to go. And frankly, it won't surprise me if Chris Paul's dicision rests in whether or not the Clippers get rid of DJ.

  • Enough with No Post Game DJ, 6'10" plays like he's 6'0" Odom Dog and Pony show. This team needs true big men. Blake is our superstar, but he can't be our only inside threat, which is why he's struggling as of late. The Clippers need a true center like Marc Gasol or Tyson Chandler to anchor our defense, and some quality bigs to come off the bench that can rebound and defend, similar to our 2012 Goon squad. And maybe one stretch big.

Cliptonyte
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DJ definitely needs to start hitting those free throws. He was up over 50% before they changed his form. His form is better, but he's not getting the results. Blake and DJ both need to stop the whining and grow up. I am as big of a fan of DJ as anybody, but I feel like either he or Vinny won't be back next year, perhaps even both will not be back. DJ is Vinny's whipping boy, sometimes justified and sometimes not. I think a lot is going to be up to CP3, if he sticks around. I'd like to keep Blake, DJ and CP3 as a nucleus, but things are going to need to change.

Clipper-Josh
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http://blacksportsonline.com/home/2013/ ... ed-of-cp3/

WHOA!!!!

Hope it's just a rumor and not things that are going to surface at the wrong time.

Sorry if this has been posted elsewhere.

clippersforlife33
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deandre just tweeted about this saying dont believe everything you hear on the internet but i do believe he's tired of vinny because when i bumped into him last week i told him we should fire vinny and he started laughing

CP3Best
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From what I understood from the Simmers article, DJ trying to start sht, doesn't like the coach, I say we ship his inconsistent WAY overpriced a$$ outa here in the offseason.

Clipper-Josh
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I'd trade DJ for Al Jefferson or for Larry Sanders +1 or Tyson Chandler if we are in win NOW mode.

FightOnRon
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This guy is just interpreting his own idea of TJ's article,,,someone here with a blog could probably do the reverse and it would be online fast

Voyeur
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It seems to me that Blake's "immaturaty" has at least has to do with not wanting to lose. I can't speak for the selfishness accusations. He seems a little too unselfish to me at times. But not showing up post game, complaining about officiating, all seems to stem from him wanting to win and wanting to play well (and be allowed to play well).

That, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. He just probably needs to channel it differently. It does seem to me Paul complains to the refs an awful lot too...even as he's dribbling the ball down the court. Is it a coincidence our other players are complaining to the refs more since Paul joined? Just wondering.

dom1
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we have to get a big that can stretch the floor and rebound and we need a knock down shooting specialist either at the 2 or 3 spot in order to contend We cannot win with DJ and Blake in the same starting lineup and blake aint going nowhere..Blake needs a shooting pick and pop big to go along with him down low

cleepers
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Agree with this. We need a center with a jumpshot.

Funny enough, the perfect fit with Blake would be Pau Gasol... at least the Pau from a few years ago.

CP3Heliflopter
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DJ is not worth Tyson Chandler or Sanders. Not even close. Al Jefferson we could do but he doesn't play a lick of defense and is overrated offensively.

ekker3
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wait, so just because Simers apparently heard BG tell DJ he didnt appreciate a staredown he gave him after a run down the court, we're supposed to believe the team is in shambles?

As for the CP issue, Simers writes, "The pair have also grown tired of Chris Paul's voice, which is understandable at times."

Are you kidding?! this is the 15 word sentence that's causing the national media to say the clips are fed up with CP? do people realize that 90% of what these guys say is friendly banter?

here's an approximation of Simers' research for this piece:

Simers: tell me a little about CP

DJ: (with a big smile) he talks too much

BG: (laughing) he talks WAY too much!

Simers: Ive got myself a STORY!

smh

phaded21
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Damn, I think there's some overreaction going on here. DJ and Blake are immature, so let them mature. They are young and have great things coming their way. How long did it take OKC to even make it to the finals? This is our second winning season in a while, and we want to skip right ahead to a championship. Some of you guys aren't being real and want to tear up a good thing for one year rentals.

dom1
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cleepers wrote:
dom1 wrote:
we have to get a big that can stretch the floor and rebound and we need a knock down shooting specialist either at the 2 or 3 spot in order to contend We cannot win with DJ and Blake in the same starting lineup and blake aint going nowhere..Blake needs a shooting pick and pop big to go along with him down low

Agree with this. We need a center with a jumpshot.

Funny enough, the perfect fit with Blake would be Pau Gasol... at least the Pau from a few years ago.

Your dead on...Even tho i dont like Pau he would fit well not only with Blakes game but even better with Cp3

FightOnRon
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SPOT ON the way Slimers works,,,this is gospel, preach it

CP3Heliflopter
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Just did some research on this guy. He is just a sensationalist writer. All of his writing is fluff and nothing more. However, there is some truth. DJ is undoubtedly a problem with his mediocre defense and poor FT shooting.

clippyclip
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This. Simers always tries to stir the pot and just because this time his BS aligns with a lot of people's perception of why the team has been underperforming, he's being lauded as some sort of great journalist. Pretty funny, actually.

Purple#Gold
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But what makes you think Utah, Milwaukee, or New York would do that trade? Lol

ClipsGForce
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I don't like TJ Simers, he's always the one who stir up plot. Remember Mo Williams story? I know he's a Lakers fan in heart, but seriously what's up with the LA media try to belittled those Clippers success. Can we have our year for once? Stop being so selfish. I'm glad Lakers suck this year and hopefully missed the playoff.

clipperstown
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Bingo

clipperstown
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DJ's been playing great basketball as of late guys. He's a center, give him time to develop. He's doing it, it's happening slowly but it's happening. I'll give him one more year.

bullterrierclipsfan1349
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cleepers wrote:
dom1 wrote:
we have to get a big that can stretch the floor and rebound and we need a knock down shooting specialist either at the 2 or 3 spot in order to contend We cannot win with DJ and Blake in the same starting lineup and blake aint going nowhere..Blake needs a shooting pick and pop big to go along with him down low

Agree with this. We need a center with a jumpshot.

Funny enough, the perfect fit with Blake would be Pau Gasol... at least the Pau from a few years ago.

channing frye? lol. well all joking aside, that makes some sense.

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