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Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 at 11:00 am  |  137 responses

The Mess in Detroit is in Search of a Scapegoat

by Marcel Mutoni

For better or worse, it’s the way things work in sports. When teams fail to meet expectations, someone needs to take the fall (or at the very least, accept blame for all that ails the organization.) In Detroit, things obviously haven’t gone according to plan. So, who’s to blame? Let’s find out, shall we.

Coach Michael Curry’s job appears to be safe, one of the tenured vets says there’s a lack of leadership, and according to some, A.I. is clearly the problem, not the answer:

What they couldn’t have known was that it just wouldn’t work. And it doesn’t work, as the present six-game losing streak and the freefall back to .500 (27-27) attests. Even when Iverson plays his best, like he did against San Antonio, the rest of the players on the floor with him become statues. They stand around and watch Iverson skittering all over the floor, probing for a shot. They’ve never had to play that way. They aren’t very good at it and they don’t like it.

So down the stretch, the Spurs, like all good teams will do, forced the ball out of his hands and no other Piston could make a winning play. It’s worse on defense. The Pistons built their foundation on trust and accountability at the defensive end. They have run a lot of good players out of here (Maurice Evans and Jarvis Hayes to name two) because of their inability to hold their own defensively.

So here comes Iverson, who because of his offensive production has never been held accountable defensively. He’s a bad on-ball defender who tends to follow the flight of the ball and lose his man off the ball. Every time the opposing team needs a score, they go at Iverson with a high success rate.

Hey, when do the Lions start putting their pads on again?

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  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I guess Marcel knows the candidates based on the Tags he gave this story…here’s the thing, I’m surprised and a bit saddened by how bad the Pistons have been and I admit that getting more than one Playoff round win is all but impossible at this point. HOWEVER, this trade was about this year as a chance. They weren’t beating Cavs or Celtics with the old roster. They took a chance on AI; maybe it worked and they could contend again. If it doesn’t, his and Billups’ contract are both of the books, not to mention Rasheed’s, and they can retool. While it’s never fun for fans to see a season go down the tubes, to me the end result is just one less round in the Playoffs (and a drastically reduced free-agent market for AI this summer). What should worry Piston fans is that while AI is being blamed and will be gone, Curry will be back with the jury still totally out on if he’s a good coach. If they retool their roster next year and have the talent to contend, I can’t see him lasting past Christmas if the Pistons get off to a slow start.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mansonovic Andy

    Has Curry ever come out in defence of Iverson? I just cannot believe the heat that one guy is taking. Especially when he’s being badly let down by his team-mates.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    I blame TADOne.

  • jay

    I don’t know about this one…They are just a bad fit together…and I think the Pistons are very overrated. Every year since their championship they are picked as one of the top teams but I just don’t see anyone on that squad that could put the team over the top. Rasheed, Prince, Rip…all great roleplayers, put together even formidable but you’ll still need a kobe/paul/james/pierce/garnett/duncan/parker/roy/anthony/harris/wade/bosh/nowitski/you get the point
    type of player to put that team over the top. So I can understand the move for iverson…then it turns out that they end up spectating ive as he plays…damn put iverson with the sixers/knicks/boston or cavs and watch them go…as for the pistons, they are about 5 or six years away from contending again….sorry motor city. You’re ova!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Ben is smart. However, i’m not sure Curry holds onto his job into next season. As bad as things are now, they could get worse. If the Pistons miss the playoffs entirely, the players that stay better have Michael’s back in exit interviews or he could be sent packing. Highly unlikely, but still likely.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    What Ben said.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    Or… maybe… Rodney Stuckey is just not that good? Wasn’t the whole point of trading Chauncey (other than cap space) to give Stuckey the starting PG job?

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Cheryl

    AI’s game has been the same since he came in the league, more or less. The person responsible for the “mess” as you say, is Dumars. If you’re gonna mess with chemistry, do it all the way. My sense is that he was told to prepare to cut salary and rebuild. Trade Tay and Rip for some good young players and draft picks–that’ll cut your budget and start the rebuilding process. Just a thought…

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    I’m sort of surprised Curry hasn’t been fired already, to be honest.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Uhm…..let’s not let the blame fall too far from Joe D either. He built a solid core seven seasons ago. They won a title and were ultra competive for a few more seasons. It has since gotten older, complacent, finally disassembled and now the poor roster moves (especially Darko. Do you think the Pistons would be struggling so much if they had a 6th season player like Melo, Bosh or D-Wade?) he’s made in the past are coming back to bite him in his very bulbous buttocks. Michael Curry is obviously not the solution. Sorry. And if rebuilding is the order of the day next season….a former player who seems to have little in-game managing ability isn’t the ideal guy to be overseeing the young talent the Pistons actually have. A young coach with a really young squad is just not going to cut it. Oh yeah…FREE WILL BYNUM.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    The Pistons won’t miss the playoffs because the bottom half of the East is just that bad. I understand the players grew close and it probably hurt to lose Chauncey, but my goodness don’t sulk about it. It’s over and it happens. I think the rest of the team is just as much to blame as Iverson and Curry.
    And as far as Stuckey, maybe he was able to play well because the pressure wasn’t squarely on him. Now he’s the man and there’s no Chauncey there to right all of his wrongs. Maybe he just isn’t ready.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Hey, if Dumars is to blame, I would love to be in his blame shoes. Thing is, the Pistons have been in an enviable position for the last 7 years by pretty much any teams standards. Now, if they had made some different choices along the way personnel wise and coaching wise, then there was a good chance they could have kept it going. They didn’t and you have the normal down time that follows the normal up trend for teams across the NBA and any other sports league. The only continued success over more than 10 years for sports teams I have seen has been in baseball, where there is no salary cap. Any other league with a salary cap and competitive balance, there is guaranteed to be a down period for a franchise. It is just the way it works.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Well the Spurs have been pretty consistent…..

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    True enough E. But where exactly were the Spurs right before they lucked into Duncan?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Look, i’m not saying teams can’t stay at or near the top, but overall, the stats are against them achieving that.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    As for Curry not being fired yet, the reason for that is quite simple: money. The Pistons owner Bill Davidson is still paying off Larry Brown and Flip Saunders, as well as most of Saunders assistants. He quite simply doesn’t want to fire Curry and incure another bill for someone who isn’t around. I don’t blame him.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Besides that, he isn’t entirely to blame.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ BETCATS

    every thing in detroit underachives, and old stars are always the problem. Dotrelle Willis, Daunte Culpepper, and now Iverson’s legacy’s are all tainted from Motown.

  • http://www.nba.com iLL wiLL

    AI needs to be coming off the bench, real talk. Then he can skitter around and prob all he wants with the scrubs.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    I’m obviously in the minority, but I don’t think Joe should have any regrets for taking Darko over the others. They won a championship and almost repeated. And, they’ve been in the ECF like every year since then. His reason for drafting Darko was something to the affect of because they already had Tay right? I’d say it worked out okay.

  • WhaHuh

    Rasheed Wallace is the starting, PF/C. He hasnt played well in 3 years

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Agree CoCo.

  • http://allanzuss@yahoo.com Mendel

    Oh well. Iverson is free after this year and going to showcase his scoring with statues with people who will know how to be statues in Charlotte. Aint no s at the end of this Piston. This is a one cylinder show.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ BETCATS

    next year, the bobcats Okafor-Rasheed-GForce-Iverson-Raymond Felton lineup will win the whole damm thing.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Um, so where does that leave Augustin, Diaw, and Bell?

  • http://docfunk.blogspot.com Doc Funk

    It’s not AIs fault. It’s the absence of Billups.

  • Fat Lever

    Why isn’t Curry using AI as a 2 guard that pretty much exclusively comes off of screens? That’s when he was most effective in Philly. I mean can’t you curl Rip on one side and AI on the other and have Stuckey decide where he wants to go?

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    I had underestimated Chauncey’s worth to that team, but its clear that without his steadyt hand tilling the point, no one knows where to be or where they’ll get the ball. Sheed looks like he’s already retied, and Stuckey looks like he’s deferring to Iverson (which I comepletly understand, but is a terrible idea for them as a team)

    They’ll be in rebuilding mode by next season.

    I have no idea how people say that darko over over Melo/wade/Bosh wasn’t one of the biggest draft busts in the last decade.

  • SK

    I agree with Ben. But are we sure they’ll look to retool? Will they replace Rasheed and Iverson with 1 or 2 star players, or 1 star and a role player? With the announcements that the Salary Cap is going down and teams having trouble breaking even I don’t think the Pistons will look to spend that much more even with Cap space in this CBA’s Cap structure.

  • Michael

    aside from the holy trio, darko was also drafted over kaman, hinrich, ford, west, pavlovic, diaw, josh howard, barbosa.

    hell even nick collison and pietrus would have been better picks.

  • SK

    And the CBA runs out in the summer of 2011 right? One year after the free agency of summer 2010. So why would teams load guys up with 4 or 5 year deals now when in 2 years the cap structure will probably be a harder cap, a lower cap, and with shorter contract lengths? It’ll be interesting to see which teams stay away from the free agent frenzies of the next two summers and wait for the new CBA, and maybe position themselves better to retool their struggling or successful teams.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Izzo

    Uh,I thought Curry had already gotten fired and was just about to blame AI…..

  • kingofsota

    the trade of billups was a terrible decision on the part of the pistons. yes stuckey is a great backup and should be starting which is why they traded billups but they should’ve traded him for a pf or center to help out sheed mcdyess and maxiell.. then again they also have hermann and amir johnson.. idk they have the most talented team in the league but when iverson’s on the court you might as well put 4 middle schoolers out there. I think iverson needs to come off the bench for scoring runs and not start. they will be better with rip in the starting lineup, as he has great defense and work ethic

  • Wayne

    The fact is that any one of those three superstars would have been riding the pine just like Darko did. Larry Brown doesn’t play young players. We would have drafted them, they wouldn’t have played, then we would have traded them. That’s how it would have went down with Bosh/Wade/Anthony. We’ve got our shot at Bosh in the next couple years anyways, I’d love to see him in Detroit.

  • Michael

    darko rode the pine because he was basically useless. I am sure wade or melo would have done a lot better as a scoring threat off the bench even if larry brown was coaching. dj augustin seems to be getting some minutes this year, no?

  • CHE

    What is up with Sheed, Prince and Rip? I understand Iverson doesn’t play defense but what about them? Just because another player comes to your team and doesn’t play defense doesn’t mean they gotta stop playing defense. Prince needs to be traded to another team so he isn’t ruined by the pistons cancer.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    You’re out of your mind Wayne. Tayshaun was still a fairly “young” player at that time and I think it would’ve been pretty obvious that HE was the guy to move in a trade. If the Pistons had Wade, Melo or Bosh they’d be much better off at this point. I’m not sure thats even debateable.

  • Michael

    i think what waynes saying is that if they had picked wade he would have rode the pine and disappeared into irrelevance whilst darko would have won an nba finals mvp guiding miami to the 06 chip and now be amongst the top 5 players in the game.

  • Wayne

    I never said they wouldn’t have ever been great players, I’m saying they wouldn’t have stayed in Detroit long enough for them to realize it. Darko sucks, I never said otherwise. The fact of the matter is that most GM’s would have picked Darko over all of them with maybe the exception of Carmello Anthony. Joe D was just the unfortunate one who did pick him. Nobody thought he would be as big of a bust as he was.

  • Michael

    when its all said and done i think its chad fords fault

  • Mike Schumann

    AI is the man. Ur crazy, Rookie head coach, Rip used to play on smelly washington, he is a ben gordon type streaky scorer .. dima a dozen there, but AI is the best 6′ guard this league has ever seen. He beat kobe and shaq 1 game in the finals with no cast… no other team beat LA that year. So AI i hope you leave in the summer and sign with a contender and ride a good 2 , 3 years with lebron, wade, kobe, find someone , Holla at your boy!

  • doyouwantmore

    Iverson will do this to every team he’s on until he retires. Too bad he has too much pride to come off the bench. He’d have rings.

  • http://myspace.com/yungjames187 Smoovetendo

    still cant believe they drafted darko

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Ok, some perspective: when the Pistons were looking at a player to draft the year of Darko, pretty much any scout worth his grain of salt gave Milicic great grades. Granted, the league was in the middle of their European kick, but the other players weren’t enticing enough to Dumars. The only other player Detroit was even giving a second thought to was Carmelo, but Tayshaun had already cemented his place on the team at the SF spot. Bosh was intriguing but still very raw. Wade was only looked upon highly by Pat Riley. No one else in the top 5 even remotely considered Dwyane.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Again, this by no means excuses Dumars for passing up on these players, but lets not make the mistake that Dumars was simply throwing darts at a board of pictures either.

  • kevin

    tayshawn is soft, r.i.p. is upset,
    sheed is lazy, stucky sucks ,A.I. is the only one tryin. oh how can you respect a coach who was a BUM AS A PLAYER?

  • Wayne

    Thank you TADOne…that’s my point exactly.

  • Caleb

    “He beat kobe and shaq 1 game in the finals with no cast”

    MUTOMBO!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    If Bosh and Melo were consistently leading their team’s to championships this would be a great debate, but they aren’t. The Pistons won a championship and have been as good of a team as any over the past several seasons. It’s not like they drafted Darko then fell out of the playoffs.
    Let’s be reasonable people. Over the past decade + there have been like 2 teams who have won a championship that didn’t have Shaq or Tim Duncan on them and one of those teams was the Pistons. It’s hard to win and win consistently in this league without a once in a lifetime type of player yet Detroit managed to do so sorta. No disrespect to Melo or Bosh, but they aren’t that type of player. They are really good though. That’s about it. And like someone mentioned, Larry wouldn’t have played them anyway.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Co Co sounds like she’s tiring of cheering for a perpetual dissapointment and needs a new place to put her pretty feet up on.

  • http://trulyhoops.blogspot.com Collin

    i really miss that 2004 championship team, that was a amazing lineup

  • Str8jckn

    Somehow, Someway, AI got to get out the Hood someday! he should return to the sixers and run and gun with that team it only seems right elton brand doesnt fit at all.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    I’m not tired of cheering for my beloved Hawks! I just don’t understand how Pistons fans can really be upset given the run that they’ve had. All most fans can hope for is a legitimate chance to win a championship. They’ve won one and had legit chances to win others. So what if they have a down year or two.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    If Melo and Bosh were leading their teams to even one chip, this would not be a debate it would be a landslide. And in reality, it already is. What exactly did the Pistons ever get out of Darko? In ANY sceanrio (LB not playing young guys, maybe have to trade them, etc..) I can’t see a way where the Pistons are better off for having taken Darko.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    its obviously tmac’s fault

  • Caleb

    Yeah every team ultimately has its decline. The 00′s-era Pistons made it to the Finals twice, won once, and were intensely competitive for most of the decade. That’s way more than most teams can claim.

    It sucks to see a good team go down, but it has to happen. Of course if I was a Detroit fan I’d be always hoping to see that decline come later rather than sooner… but that’s not what seems to be happening.

    Now when will the Spurs hit the decline I wonder? Probably when Duncan retires.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    tad, theyre still paying larry brown? that cant be right, he left 4 years ago

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    The Pistons won a championship so taking Darko didn’t cost them anything. They were building a team to win a ring, they did that and they’ve been competitive since then. Again, Melo and Bosh haven’t won anything yet. Wade was fortunate enough to play with Shaq. Good for him.

  • Jacob

    I blame global warming

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Shaq was also fortunate to have played with Dwyane.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Ciol: The Pistons got a draft pick out of trading Darko. That draft pick? Rodney Stuckey.
    Tarzan: You may be right, they may not be paying LB anymore. I know for a fact they are paying Flip.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Hmm hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it? Dumars picked Darko in the midst of the NBA’s “Euro craze”, when every GM and their mom were trying to unearth another Dirk. The same thing happened in 2001 or so when so many teams jumped on the high schooler bandwagon, with that… Diop / Curry / Kwame draft. People make mistakes, and follow trends out of human nature… and GM’s aren’t any different.

  • BostonBaller

    CoCo was right in her earlier point about Stuckey and the pressure, maybe w/out someone to bail him out he will need more time to develope. The Pistons did have Prince & Rip and didn’t want to crowd those positions but Bosh would have been a decent fit that would have progressed with the team BUT hind sight is a mutha…Only a the true Ball fans even knew who Bosh was then so it’s easy for us to say they should have chosen him. I love college ball so I knew of him but didn’t know what kind of pro he would be. (good but not great)GO CELTICS!!!

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Wade and Bosh were never discussed as Top 3 picks. However, people were saying back theb that Joe D was crazy for passing up on a proven commodity to reach for an obscure Euro big. Well, turns out he was crazy… The thing is, it doesn’t matter that they won the chip after that. He had a choice between Melo and Darko and messed it up. Chalk it up as a loss and keep stepping.

  • Von

    Man, a lot of that is so true….But, Joe D needs to be the first one to take the blame. How in the world are u putting your hopes in Stuckey. Okay yeah he’s nice but come on; who would u want to have leading your team come play off time Billups or Stuckey? 2nd, you have to put some blame on Mike Curry, The pistons roster has a lot of personality from sheed to rip to A.I. I dont know is Curry seasoned enough to handle that as a first year coach. And in closing; AI…. He didnt ask to come to detroit. Joe D and Curry knew ahead of time that AI is a scorer. What else were they expecting, for him to become some kind of John Paxson! Man please Joe D and Curry played themselves, SUCKAS!!

  • http://PROTEGECOLLECTIONYAHOO.COM DALLAS STOKES

    THE BILLUPS MOVE WAS JUST DUMB. IF ANYTHING LET PRINCE OR HAM GO AND TRY TO GET SOME POST. A.I. IS WHAT HE IS, A TWO NOTHING MORE NOTHING LESS. TRADE DEADLINES GONE SHAQ IS STILL IN PHOENIX AND THE LAKERS OR CELTS(GO CELTS!!!) WILL WIN THE CHIP. SORRY BUT DID YOU REALLY EXPECT DIFFERENT? SHOUT OUT TO THE MAGIC FOR TRYING TO BETTER THE GAME!!!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    ALL CAPS ARE DUMB.

  • Jess

    this is ridiculous..I have been saying it for a long time now that they are using AI as a scapegoat. AI is one of the best..Sunday’s game was hard to watch – Prince, Hamilton, Sheed, Stuckey, Dumars, Curry…there are a lot of people who can share in this blame – give AI a break. And Ben is right, this trade was made for cap space, and if it worked great, but if it didnt hey have big money coming off the books. AI has never hurt a team, I think his coach and teammates have to step up and take some of the blame for the disappointing season.

  • James Sam

    I AGREE THAT IS SO UNFAIR TO USE A.I. AS A SCAPEGOAT. THE GAME AGAINST THE SPURS HE CARRIED THE TEAM AS HE ONLY KNOWS HOW AND THE STILL LOST. THE TEAM SHOT HORRIBLE THE WHOLE GAME NOT JUST AT THE END. HE BROUGHT THEM BACK GOT THEM CLOSE AND RASHEED WHO WAS ICE COLD AFTER THE 1ST QUARTER SHOOTS THE LAST SHOT? FUNNY BUT BLAME THE A.I. RIGHT. NOOOO, BLAME THE COACH THAT TEAM IS TO TALENTED TO BE LOOSING LIKE THAT. NEED BETTER LEADERSHIP. THATS THE BOTTOM LINE. THERE AINT ANOTHER PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE WITH A BIGGER HEART THAN A.I. A GUY WHO ONLY WANTS TO WIN BUT BECAUSE THEIR LOOSING NOW BLAM HIM?? OTC

  • donlaker

    it started before a.i. ,so you cant blame him.
    just like the mavs a few years back detroit, assumed teams would just roll over at the site of them , and they took a year off as a defensive team
    big ben’s fro was gone, sheed was still mad at officials(refs) ,mcdyesse got injured
    and chauncey was the defensive glue who thought he was the franchise… and one coach later they are still the same team but older. a.i. is what he is a productive point maker but he has never been a defensive stopper.. and at this point he is just being rented by the pistons
    denver got the better of that deal

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    I wonder whether the fact that AI And Sheed are—at best—marginal practice players plays into things at all? When the Pistons won their chip, Sheed was forced to toe the line (somewhat) by Larry Brown and Billups. Now you’ve got AI and Sheed doing more or less whatever they want, and Rip—a key guy from the championship year—relegated to the bench. And you wonder whether some of the young guys believe their own hype too much. Chauncey was the leader of that team. AI’s not going to fill that role because a) he just got there, and b) he’s probably gone this summer. Rip can’t really fill that role because he’s not a starter. And Sheed just doesn’t give a f*ck. It’s a mess.

  • donlaker

    memo to dumars: you cant blame isiah, or the detroit shock/bill lambeer or even starbury
    you need to check the mirror , and do the right thing , quit as g.m. and open a bowling alley.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    When exactly has Dumars placed blame on anyone else?

  • http://PROTEGECOLLECTIONYAHOO.COM DALLAS STOKES

    AT THE END F THE DAY YOU CAN POINT FINGERS AT SHEED, R.I.P, WHOEVER BUT BESIDE STUCK ONLY ONE OF THOSE GUYS DONT HAVE A RING AND THATS THE GUY BRINGING THE BALL UP THE COURT. IF YOU WANT IT BAD ENOUGH YOU WILL BECOME A LEADER.IN THE END A .500 PISTON TEAM IS AS INSULTING AS CLARK KENT GETTING NATE ROBINSOWNED FOR YOUR TITLE.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Good point on getting the pick that became Stuckey, TAD. Thats the closest thing to a legitimate justififcation I’ve read on here.I understand that the Pistons won a ring that season, but how often does a legit contender pick up a 2nd overall pick? Almost never. Dumars squandered an almsot unprecedented opportunity to really develop a Dynasty in detroit by going for the high risk player about whom almost nothing was known.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ SPANOULIS

    50,50,50!!!yeap the magic number is 50!!!! …when the A.I trade took place i was wondering how many games do we need until the pistons go from 100% to 50% (at the same time the kids were dreaming of actual basketball success for a team featuring our cute answer)….now we got our “IVERSON!!!!” (answer) to our question….once more: IVERSON is the worst player to ever be considered great. If we had enough time for him to go through two-three more teams (ANY teams,trust me….) we could avoid the ridiculization of the hall of fame…(Bill Russell at the same place with A.I…..)

  • Wayne

    AI is already a HOF player, sorry Spanoulis. He’s the best small gaurd to ever play the game.

  • http://jamescleaton.ning.com jaymes

    Aren’t the Pistons in rebuild mode anyway? Surely we have figured out by now that AI for Billups was made for the future success of the club. So they’re rebuilding while still making the playoffs, whats the big problem? We all know the pistons unit (with Billups) wouldn’t have won a ‘chip anyway..Personally i would’ve traded Sheed and not Chauncey but anyone with a brain knew someone was gonna go..

  • ab_40

    let him come off the bench AI that is so they can broaden the bench to 9 players

  • http://blogs.myspace.com/theoriginadro Witness

    I think Darko is to blame. Joe Dumars’ only bad move has come back to haunt him which led to another bad move.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    #
    “BETCATS Posted: Feb.24 at 11:51 am
    next year, the bobcats Okafor-Rasheed-GForce-Iverson-Raymond Felton lineup will win the whole damm thing.”
    #
    “TADOne Posted: Feb.24 at 11:52 am
    Um, so where does that leave Augustin, Diaw, and Bell?”

    6th, 7th and 8th man giving us one of the best bench’s in the leauge

  • GOAT

    Curry is one of the worst players in Toronto Raptors history

  • Peach Basket Dreams

    Damn. I hate to see AI take the fall for this one but the bottom line is that he will, especially because he was traded for Chauncey Billups.

    The blame HAS to fall on Curry. At first, I was eager to blame the players who have been lackluster at best. But I blame Curry because the players aren’t buying into his system. None of them are remotely motivated to play for him.

  • CP34MVP

    Exactly why i live in Detroit but im a fan of the Cavaliers. After 2007. The pistons are buttcrack. And the mess is up to Superman Allen Iverson to fix. @BETCATS Bobcats would come pretty close to taking down the Celts if they are still performing the way they are (If that even Happens(Most likely not))

  • http://www.kicksonfire.com Anton

    Change the team name to Pissed Ons for the rest of the season.

  • http://nba.com tealish

    Spanoulis: If by “worse player to ever be considered great” you mean “player whose game least resembles European ball to ever be considered great”, you’ve got a legitimate point there. But you don’t.
    Good thing you guys got the best basketball in the world over there so you don’t have to follow the obviously lesser cartoon-filled league called the NBA!

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ SPANOULIS

    @tealish….:it is not pure coincidence the fact that the 2 best players of this decade (Duncan & Kobe) grew up and learned the basics of this game outside the U.S. but i won’t get into this….

  • MJ is the real 23

    Someone said, “How can you respect a coach that was a bum as a player?” Phil Jackson and Pat Riley were (semi)bums as players, but two of the greatest coaches in NBA history. Conversely, Isiah Thomas was a great player but a terrible coach. In summary, I don’t think someone needs to be a “great” player to be a good coach. Oh yeah, and AI is not to blame.

  • http://fdklsf.com Jukai

    SPANOULIS: Duncan did it in the virgin islands… which is technically part of the US… but are you suggesting that the Virgin Islands have superior basketball to the USA?

  • http://fdklsf.com Jukai

    Also, AI IS to blame (at least 65%) but it’s not HIS fault. Does that make sense? Iverson simply can’t change his game to the way Detroit needs him to succeed. Sure, coaching is a bum and the players aren’t motivated, but AI is mostly to blame for the slump. That being said, Iverson didn’t place himself in Detroit. He wasn’t a free agent, he was traded. Can’t blame him now.

  • ktokyo

    HAAHAAAAA! I TOLD YOU SO!!!!! Iverson destroys teams. Face it all of you Iverson fanboys. He should NOT go to the Hall of Fame. He got a lot of marketing in the post-Jordan era that made him seem better than he really is. It’s just a street/hip hop image that advertisers were looking for (sorry SLAM) – just like Steph. The game was in a period of transition and at the height of selfish one-on-one ball that caused the US to lose the gold medal. It’s all being revealed now. Just admit it.

  • rikson

    ^ thats absolute true!

  • rikson

    except the “destroys teams” part…

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    Look, I’m not the biggest Iverson apologist… More to the point, I’m the exact opposite (just as Ciolkstar, Allenp… hell, anyone here!)… but this Iverson-doesn’t-deserve-the-HOF thing has to stop. It shows how incredibly little you know about basketball.
    Iverson was thrown without any prior pre-camp or pre-season training into an offense he had never remotely played in. He was sent with a group of people who KNEW who their leader was (he was with Denver right now) and a coach who could not possibly gel them together. He was thrown into a guard dominated team with the star two-guard playing a totally opposing style of offense, yet was forced to co-exist with him. He was forced to try and motivate a team that all had their rings and wanted to just go out and play ball.
    This Iverson, with no time to adjust, cannot coexist into Detroit’s offense. He’s at a low point in his career. A career which took him to the NBA-Finals, which awarded him with ten All-Star appearances, six all-nba nods, and a freakin’ MVP. Doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? Sergei Belov is in the hall of fame! Max Friedman is in the hall of fame! Pete Maravich, the EMBODIMENT of a no-win, no-defense show boat is in the Hall of Fame!
    Iverson deserves to be in the hall of fame five times over.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ SPANOULIS

    @ktokyo….:simple as that….although i honestly thank A.I. for the positive impact he had business-wise to the prosperity of my favorite league….i just believe that he could have had the same positive impact if he actually cared to learn how to play basketball…for this he didn’t have to lose the rows, the tatoo’s and whatever kids like, all he had to do is to love this game a little bit…
    @Jukai….: i am suggesting that the different set of values that societies around the world have ,is normal to impact the ideals of athletes that grow up in the respected societies.. Some of them put in first place becoming complete players (Duncan & Kobe,Manu,Novitski,Gasol) and others to become super rich (Lebron& A.I ,Starbury etc). Of course that doesn’t mean that the next greatest player in the world (after Kobe loses his athletisism in 2 years)will come from Italy or China. (it will propably be Durant,or so i wish….)

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    You think Nowitzki wants to become a complete player? Does complete not have anything to do with defense? Manu Ginobli could work on not turning the ball over on every possession, or maybe slowing down his game a bit so he can keep it in his damn hands.
    Lebron just wants to become super rich? Can you think of a superstar that has improved the bad aspects of his game as much as Lebron has? Sure, his shooter has improved only MARGINALLY… but what about his other three knocks? The dude is now constantly backing down smaller 3s and mismatched into the post and he has been ABUSING that area, something we have never seen from him. Lebron is creating for his team inside the paint, before Lebron would only do that if he was running pick-and-rolls. Most notably, Lebron is ACTUALLY PLAYING GREAT DEFENSE.
    So, either Lebron is just SO SUPERIOR TO NOWITZKI AND GASOL that he improved VASTLY over the two without trying, or maybe.. man, maybe you just don’t watch American basketball, son.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ SPANOULIS

    Belov is voted the greatest player ever and if you see him at the 1972 final you will find out why….the guy was 20 years ahead of his time. Maravich was a showman but at least he was a pioneer…anyway, A.I. will propably make it in the hall and every kid will be happy….at the same time,at least to me, his contribution business-wise is extremely important so,propably, i would also put him in the hall just for this…

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ SPANOULIS

    Jukai….:i definitely do not watch American basketball as you do (i am bored to see whole games in general, it has to do with age although you won’t experience such a problem in the future…)so i take your word for Lebron’s improvements although the most important aspect for a perimeter player to me is his outside shooting and not to post-up 3′s (although this is also a plus..)but having seen Ginobili and Novitski since their teenage years i can guarantee you that they have done much more to improve their game than what A.I. or Lebron have…man,maybe you just don’t watch world basketball, son.

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    … voted by who? Dude played in the Euroleague when Europeans were regularly being schooled by college kids, and he played twenty years before a 40-year-old Bob McAdoo tore up the Euroleague by himself. C’mon, don’t give me that SPANOULIS.
    You don’t consider Iverson a pioneer? Do you know what the NBA is?

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    Manu hasn’t changed his game since he was 20.
    Dirk has improved his game since he was 17, yeah… but what the hell has he really done? Improved his shot, become more dominate on the boards (but never really learned to box out, just is more physical with them), and recently he can pass out of double teams.
    The dude has NEVER learned a lick of defense. The dude still gets clobbered down low. What does that mean to Dirk? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The dude can dominate the L with the skills he has. But don’t feed me that “he’s improved so much!” line. I followed Dirk since he came into the league, hell, ever since he first played in the Nike Hoops Summit. You watched him in DJK? Great. So you know he was a jump shooter and still is.
    Also, I don’t watch world basketball. I try to catch highlights and read up when I can, but well, the whole games bore me. It’s an age thing, I guess, I’m to into the whole “better talent” thing.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ SPANOULIS

    i honestly want you to enlighten me on what the NBA is….and since i saw McAdoo play live i can guarantee you that he didn’t exactly tore up the Euroleague,of course he was on of the best players in Europe at that time. Belov was voted by experts from all around the world at the FIBA ceremony for the 100 years of bball in 1991 (i remember being angry at the moment because GALIS was voted sixth after Kukoc…if i remember correct the top-5 was Belov,Tsosic,Petrovic,Sabonis,Kukoc)

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    Belov, Tsosic, Petrovic, Sabonis, Kukoc… so I’m assuming this is a European list, which included Kukoc, who, while spectacular at times, was a professional sixth man. Great.
    Enlighten ME SPANOULIS… didn’t McAdoo win two titles and average 25/10 (but was too old to be effective in the NBA)… that’s not “tearing it up?”

  • Wayne

    Wow, I didn’t know anyone actually thought Euroball was remotely close to the NBA as far as talent goes…that’s probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard…Name an under 6′ Euro gaurd who has anywhere near the accomplishments that AI has. The guys a freak of nature, if he had 5 or 6 more inches he’d be better than Kobe no problem. And Belov is the greatest player ever?!?! Seriously?!?! Have you ever watched basketball Spanoulis?!?!

  • rikson

    @Jukai: After the day Nowitzky has done the same iverson has -> get to the finals one time! Plus: If you look at AIs FG% it seems as his high scoring was always because of his many shot attempts.

  • rikson

    And did you see the last 3 pointer from AI. This guy is shooting in the VERY low 30s for his career and takes the final (3ponit) shot?

  • http://fdklsf.com Jukai

    Rikson: I’m not sure what you’re getting at. Dirk is a top-10 to top-15 level all time PF. I’m a huge Dirk supporter. What are you trying to convince?
    AI does shoot a lot. That’s his job, as a shooting guard. Are you a huge Euroleague fan as well Rickson? Tell me Smodis’ and Jasikevicius’ percentages, how do they compare to Iverson while taking half Iverson’s shots?

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ SPANOULIS

    @Jukai….: A.I. can’t shoot. Simple as that. (the only guy that can shoot that terrible no matter how many times he has to shoot in a game.) And please don’t compare real bball players (Smodic&Jasikevicious) with cartoon heroes like A.I. & Starbury….it’s so disrespectful…

  • http://www.kayceonline.com/blog/ Kevin

    with the talent on that team, i DO hold the coaching staff accountable.. yes, Iverson’s not used to playing a certain way.. yes, his teammates aren’t used to playing with a ball-hog.. but, find that middle ground, make Iverson buy into the schemes both offensively and defensively, and that team could pose a LOT of problems in the playoffs.. putting the pieces together IS the job of the coaching staff, no? i understand its hard working with borderline-egomaniacs with a lot of these athletes, but that’s what coaching is all about – getting players to commit to a greater whole.

  • http://thepaintedarea.blogspot.com/2009/02/quick-fernando-martin-note.html nbk

    Bob McAdoo was 39 years old his first year in Europe Spanoulis you moron, he killed euroball a full decade after his prime.

  • http://thepaintedarea.blogspot.com/2009/02/quick-fernando-martin-note.html nbk

    and Michael Curry should never have been hired, Ive been saying it all season he is to passive and has no control over his team.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Did Nikos just admit that he doesn’t watch American basketball?
    I knew it.
    Carry on.

  • http://fdklsf.com Jukai

    SPANOULIS: All three players have comparable shooting percentages (has Smodic made it past 40% yet?) but Iverson takes around three times as many shots while being double teamed nightly. I’m just making my point.
    Even Rubio only shoots around Iverson’s level.
    HELL, even your PRECIOUS Carlos Delfino shot an ABYSMAL 39% at the Eurocup. That’s downright embarrassing. Isn’t he in your top five small forwards in the world?
    Your favoritism makes it really hard for you to have an intelligent debate, SPANOULIS.

  • http://fdklsf.com Jukai

    I love this guy, Allenp. He makes fun of Iverson’s shooting percentages and SNAPS at me when I mention Euroleague players (who are great players, mind you) with lower percentages. Dude is nutso.

  • http://thepaintedarea.blogspot.com/2009/02/quick-fernando-martin-note.html nbk

    I think dude is content in his own little world. Honestly if you think euroball is better then the NBA, when year after year you see NBA players dominate all international tournaments. The best players play in the United States. “Euroball — Where role players are overrated”.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Also, I’ve watched a lot of Detroit’s games. Iverson has not been ball hogging. He’s been playing like a typical two guard. He shot a lot in that San Antonio game, but he was hot, that’s what happens when you’re hot.
    Jukai
    You’re trying to use logic. That was your first mistake. Just stick to pithy insults. It will be much more satisfying.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ SPANOULIS

    @my beloved kids(nbk,Allenp,etc)….:you make it to the top after 8 years (and that’s because Kobe finally bothered to participate…)and then all of a sudden Euroleague players are “overrated role players”!!! Of course this type of fools’ arrogance is exactly what i was expecting the day Kobe decided to join your team….See you in Turkey next summer…(i hope you spend some time to do your homework also,not just typing responses to a stupid guy from Romania…)

  • http://icyhott420@yahoo.com Scott Carter

    I know everyones heard about it, but theres one issue thats underlying here and thats the 2010 free agent class. Dumars traded Chauncey to, among other reasons, free up cap space for when LBJ, Wade, T-Mac, J. Johnson, Redd, Bosh and others become available. Another reason obviously was to get Stuckey more playing time. The biggest problem of the year is that when they traded Chauncey, they SHOULD have gotten a solid big man in return. Then the line-up would be Stuckey, Rip, Tay, and Sheed and somebody up front. This seasons been pretty much a wash, but the future(at least to me) still looks bright for the Pistons.

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    Hey, thanks for not debating any of the points I laid out, SPANOULIS.
    What’s up with your obsession with Kobe over all other American athletes? Because he grew up in Spain? I don’t get it. Kobe didn’t do terribly well in the Olympics. He had one good game. The consensus best player was your most hated Lebron James.
    Also, we really only waited 4 years, since we won in 2000 and in turn were the best from 2000-2004, but whatever, splitting hairs here.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Jukai
    You’re using logic again. This is a mistake. It will not work. This guy is not bound by logic or facts. He just makes it up as he goes. Don’t be trapped into arguing on an uneven basis.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ SPANOULIS

    1)Kobe grew up in Italy (doesn’t really matter but it is strange of you not to know this since it has been stated many times through the years…)
    2)Although it seems strange not to know the basics on Kobe’s history, it is not strange(having in mind your age) to not know what happened in 2002 in indianapolis. I’ll give you (and the rest of the young guns here) the summary: 3 loses in 10 days, and first loss ever for a team full of NBA all-stars in the hands of ,guess who,…MANU!!!! I still remember this game, he was constantly driving into the U.S paint protected by the NBA’s top interior defender Ben Wallace (at the peak of his game back then)….come to think about it,MANU is the one who took your v…..y!!!

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ SPANOULIS

    just now crossed my stupid mind that maybe this(first ever loss and in your own house) explains the fact that MANU is underapreciated in the NBA and is constantly humiliated here by comparing him to shoe-sellers like A.I and Starbury….

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Jukai is really on a roll. Not sure what to say about some of SPANOULIS comments.

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    SPANOULIS: You’re still ignoring everything I have posed to you. That’s alright, I’m nice, and I’ll address your points.
    1) I’ll excuse myself on this one, I did know that Kobe grew up in Italy. It is even mentioned earlier in this thread. The Spain comment must have been a slip of the fingers as I’ve been arguing about the value of Ricky Rubio all day (all European countries are pretty much the same, right?)
    2) If you’re referring to the FIBA World Championships, I could really care less who wins them. We tend to send second grade talent that is more looking at the tournament as a training ground, rather than an actual competition. Also, if you’re referring to the FIBA World Championships, then that would be six years, and not eight. Still, splitting hairs.
    3) Full heartedly agreed that Manu is underrated here in America, and there’s no one to blame but Manu. The dude could demand a trade and average 20/5/5 EASILY as the head of a franchise, but stays with the Spurs as he knows that’s where he can win the most, that’s where he is loyal to. I was discussing with my brother the “top shooting guards of all tme” (we had talked about it on the phone briefly before, and I was forgetting several key players) and we had decided that Manu was around the 15th spot in that category. The 15th best shooting guard of all time. Yes, I mean it. What’s funny about that statement is while I know I’ll get some head scratches by many commentators on this board for even SUGGESTING he make the top-20, I know you’re going to go berserk for letting me drop him that low. I’d love to point out that Argentina got clobbered by the US in both the past FIBA World Tournament (where they didn’t even medal) and the Olympics (where Jason Kidd of all people tore them up), but it’s all pointless, because Argentina beat a hosh-posh group of NBA players who really could care less about what happened on the court.
    What about Delfino’s shooting percentages?

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Note: the same SPANOULIS who got all worked up about my comparing Iverson to Jordan in the shoe giveaway post without actually READING HOW I WAS COMPARING THEM. As Allenp said, Jukai (and me, now) are probably wasting our time.

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    Ben: I’ve been writing a gigantic paper pretty much for hours now, and this is pretty much the breaks I’m choosing to give myself. The Adderal wont let me do anything more constructive.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ SPANOULIS

    1994. This is the last time you’ve been WORLD CHAMPIONS (i ain’t talking about those funny banners that the Celtics put on for comercial reasons…). Current world champs: SPAIN. Kobe should have his statue made of gold if he succeeds to take you back on top of the world after 16 years….
    @Ben….: i’ll just think that there was somebody else that missinformed you on my comments on your shoe article (it makes no sense for me to think that you intentionally doing this…)

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    2008 doesn’t count. It just doesn’t. Why? Because Spanoulis said so.
    So there.

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    Okay, great, Spain’s the World Champion’s. My response sort of sums up the effort we put into sending a squad to represent these tournaments. I’d be surprised if Kobe even goes to the World Championships. It’s really not worth his time.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ SPANOULIS

    2008 count. Everything counts if you are objective. And if you fairly sum them up you get to this:

    http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/even/rank/p/openNodeIDs/943/selNodeID/943/rankMen.html

    sorry.

    Good night.(i just have to go to sleep, don’t think something else…)

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    From shoe post…
    SPANOULIS Posted: Feb.20 at 4:42 am
    “the closest player we’ve seen to Michael Jordan.”….once again (it won’t be the last i am sure..):for his negative impact on the perception that many kids have for the game of basketball, IVERSON is one of the worst bball players of all-time. (thank god he left 76′ers or else we could have fools to actually compare him to all-time greats based on scoring career averages…!!!)
    Ben Osborne Posted: Feb.20 at 7:45 am
    SPANOULIS: read my post. He’s the closest player to Michael Jordan IN TERMS OF SIGNATURE SHOES, which I explain in the post.

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    I don’t actually get how Argentina is ranked number one by FIBA despite being inferior to the five teams below them. Does FIBA not realize this is not 2002?
    Oh well, maybe I just don’t get the chart, just like SPANOULIS doesn’t understand how ignoring points that prove him wrong wont make them go away. Toodles, Spanny!

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    It’s a point that has been argued back and forth really… but my view would be that whoever bought AI for Chauncey needs to be accountable… Detroit have had ALL their success with the ultimate example in team play. AI needs a team ‘around him’ to be/look successful and DOES NOT sacrifice in such a way that produces wins. Basically his style of play doesn’t suit the rest of the unit and THEIR STYLE OF PLAY doesn’t suit his. A square peg into a round hole situation (AKA phoenix…with shaq).

  • KozmicKid

    Man it must be sh*tty to be AI right now… Got the Starbury haircut to pull it off too!

  • giogolo

    i have the time of my life right now reading the arguements bet. this guys span from euro and a bunch of u guys from Us.

    There’s really no point in arguing bcoz u both use different methods in backing up ur arguements. Im from the Phil(a 3rd world country some wise ass might say)but we are a b-ball crazy nation and yes many of us are “schooled” when it comes to NBA and euro bball though we might not have necessarily the “tools” like u guys have and readily use in backing up ur b-ball knowledge.
    We also have common b-ball sense and i might go as far as say its deep enough.

    Spanny is defending his euro roots and players just as much as ur are US. So let me give you a neutral side POV. Asia version.
    We all know nba talent is the best in the world. but euro b-ball is more passionate and fundamentally sound. NBA is a commercially-driven league and markets it that way as Stern sees it fit to survive. Euro or even fiba just doesnt have that have much business talent/actual money to make it that way so i guess the type of league enforces the type of players playing in it. Simple as that.
    Also it is the difference in cultures that plays a big factor in the kind of players and teams that each country represents. And clearly all this is not a basis in saying one is greater than the other.

    But there are exceptions like chris paul who could have charge much higher rate but for a reason choose to stay in hornets and still play amazing point if not d league best. It’s not always bout the money.

    When it comes to fiba sanctioned tournaments, it is very clear that some politics always comes into play esp. in the officiating and we would expect that to happen when euro comes into US to play. Imagine what if Olympics and fiba b-ball where to be played in nba-sanctioned tourneys, would euro teams not have to take time adjusting in a different set of rules and officiating? Would that not make a big factor in a team’s chemistry,

    what if Pau Gasol would have a say in saying “oh i will not play this year in the world champ. bcoz i might run d risk of getting injured and lessen the chance of my team say Barcelona win the chip this year. Wouldnt that be a big factor to ur conutry’s dominance in a tourney?

    One can not just say that oh US is the best since we have the best collective talent readily available at a moment’s notice and we would still win any world tourneys. It has been proven otherwise.

    All of these are just some pros and cons that play too in determining a country’s success in any world tournaments but saying immediately that u r the best is just saying your stupid and your downright arrogant. Basketball is more than that fellas.

    The Dream Team proved you that.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ SPANOULIS

    @gigolo….:very good points my friend. Thanks for the time and your effort. i never said that europeans are better than americans(of course they are not),its just that if you don’t contstantly praise every corporate-imposed “SUPERSTAR” (see Iverson,Marbury,Lebron…)some kids here get confused…

  • g

    they should of never traded chauncey i personally would of traded r.i.p

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