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Friday, July 29th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  97 responses

Dwight Howard Working Out With Hakeem Olajuwon Again


by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Last summer, NBA fans — ones in Orlando, especially — were thrilled to discover that Dwight Howard was taking lessons from Hakeem Olajuwon. Already considered the best center in the League, by a wide margin, Howard went to the ultimate master of the post game to hone his craft.

It resulted in a wonderful season, where Dwight Howard averaged the most points of his career (22.9 ppg), looked more comfortable and fluid in the post than ever before, and drew very serious consideration for the MVP award.

Dwight and Hakeem are back in the gym this summer, working together again.

Per the Orlando Sentinel (via Howard’s Twitter account):

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard is training again with former NBA great Hakeem Olajuwon and says he’s working on shooting more and on raising his notoriously poor free-throw shooting to above 75 percent. In messages back and forth with some of his Twitter followers, Howard said he’s in Houston working with Olajuwon for the second consecutive summer. Asked whether he’s working on his outside touch, Howard responded that he is working on becoming “more complete” as a player.

Howard currently is spending five days working with Ojawuon. One of Howard’s Twitter followers wrote to Howard that shooting more and an improved free-throw percentage were the two things missing from Howard “winning MVPs” and “leading the Magic to a championship.” “This yr shoulda been mine,” Howard responded.

This is terrific.

Just make sure Stan Van Gundy doesn’t find out about any of this, everyone.

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  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    MVP MVP MVP MVP MVP!!

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Is that so? Unless Rose, Bron and KD magically vanish from the planet for the next 5-10 yrs, there’s no winning MVPs and chips for you but you know keep hope alive.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    ^If his team would be better, and they won some more games last year, wouldn’t he be the leading candidate for mvp?

  • BRAVO

    Yes he would

  • http://slamonline.com AllDayEveryDay

    What makes Rose and KD automatically more qualified as MVP than Howard. Dwight is a better player than both, and would 100% deserve MVP if his team didn’t suck and won more games.

  • NJ4Life

    Dwight getting ready to run things in Bklyn with DWill

  • http://slamonline.com Tae

    Good for him. Anyway, has anyone seen all those post-lockout moves in tha NFL? Wow! Todd heap cut from bmore, Chad ocho to new england, Kolb traded to Arizona for Rodgers-Cromartie, Mcnabb to my boys tha Vikings, Vince young backin up Vick now, its alot more

  • http://slamonline.com Tae

    Good for him. Anyway, has anyone seen all those post-lockout moves in tha NFL? Wow! Todd heap cut from bmore, Chad ocho to new england, Kolb traded to Arizona for Rodgers-Cromartie, Mcnabb to my boys tha Vikings, Vince young backin up Vick now, its alot more. Holla at me

  • rob

    @Tae And Haynesworth to NE too. let’s see if he wants to play this time

  • BostonBaller

    Go PATS!!!! D12 is getting ready so he’ll look good in Celtic Green then get some lessons from McHale.

  • Genuivere

    Only if Amare would do the same.

  • http://twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    I can’t wait to see how much they discredit him again next year.

  • BostonBaller

    Imagine getting help from P. Ewing then H. Olajuwon AND THEN K. McHale…WOW!! lol

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    Great! Now we can argue with imbeciles who agreed with SVG giving Ewing the credit for Dwight’s spike in production again!… I can’t wait!

  • http://slamonline.com Tae

    @ rob, he gotta pass tha physical first haha. Good luck with that. How many times did he take that thing? And tha Bears traded Greg Olsen to tha Panthers

  • slamfan4life

    good to hear, but no way he’ll win MVP if they’re coutning on the magic having a better record than MIA or CHI

    soley #s? Then Dwight might be the MVP whenever the L starts up again

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I have Dwight as #2 candidate for MVP going into the season. And wouldn’t be surprised at all if he just ran away with the thing. As long as Orlando finishes around 50 Wins or more he has a really good chance, the voters love guys who have never won the award.

  • Alan

    PleAse hakeem tell him that He needs to use the brain, and If he wants a win a championship needs a better teammates

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    Let’s discuss more NFL.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    ^No!

  • bike

    He should be working out with Kareem learning the sky hook. Why work out with the Jack of Hearts when you could have the King?

  • misso

    D12 deserves to be MVP, he’s dpoy 3x in a row & he carries his team, & he’s better than most players in the league

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    @Tae I feel bad for Greg Olsen getting traded to that crappy squad. And the Patriots Front Office are geniuses. Knick fans must be both pissed and jealous: “Why can’t we have GMs that know what they’re doing??”

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    If Dwight is so MVP-worthy, why couldn’t he lead his squad to more wins last year?
    Damn near every publication under the sun had Orlando winning more games than Chicago before the season.
    Oh, I know, cause they made a major trade blah blah blah…
    F that.
    Bron, Wade, Durant, Rose and Paul are all better than dude.

  • Double J

    CP3!

  • AQWORD

    he’s mos def mvp calibre BUT you cant teach an old dog new trix.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Patriots are not geniuses, getting Chad was a stretch. TO outperformed him last year on Chad’s team. Carson Palmer had more belief to throw more passes toward TO than Chad. If I was Patriots, I sign Burress or TO over Chad. Look at Chad’s last 4 year numbers. He is more Twitter hype than play on the field.
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Dwight Howard is best center in NBA, and without him Orlando sucks, that is the reason DRose got MVP, so Howard should get it too. I expect Howard to get 2 MVP’s in his career. I would take Howard over everyone in the NBA, based off of his AGE, DEFENSE and him being a center. You can add pieces around a center to win. Its hard to add around non centers to win. ASK Lebron and Wade. Because I personally feel. If Lebron or Wade had a defensive center, that can get 20 points, 12 rebounds a game. They win title. BOOK IT!!!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Um, a defensive center who gets 20 points and 12 rebounds is actually a superstar. So yeah, if you gave LeBron and Wade a superstar they would win it. lol.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I don’t think Dwight should’ve won all those DPOYs though.
    Dude gets his blocks and rebounds, but come on, it’s pretty easy to be a “lockdown defender” when almost everyone else at his position sucks.
    As for patrolling the paint, that’s what he’s supposed to do!
    He wouldn’t be able to go out to the three-point line and guard a LeBron James or Paul Pierce like Joakim Noah does.
    And dude would get embarrassed if David Robinson/90’s Shaq/Patrick Ewing/Hakeem Olajuwan were around today.

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    Cosign allenp.. Enigmatic Idk man… In an age where everybody is a good speedy pg with a questionable amount of shots and there are literally no more true centers Dwight Howard is kinda more valuable than d.rose…plus he defends other centers way better than rose defends other point guards.. And he scores decently too(although it’s not like he couldnt use more offensive polish) in the final analysis…. Howard> rose

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Agree with Datkid, Howard better than Rose. Overall Players right now 1.LeBron(ya’ll know how i feel about this). 2. Kobe, 3. Wade, 4. Howard, 5. CP3, 6.Kevin Durant, 7. Dirk Diggler, 8. Rose, 9. Derron Williams, 10. Melo.

  • http://Slamonline.com CatKiller

    Rose is great point gaurd in a time when the league is full of good point guards. Dwights an animal but there are no real centers or even post players anymore. Almost all big men like to go out and shoot jumpers. So I think they are both equally valuable to their teams so Dwight=Rose

  • LP

    Dwight can easily win MVP…but that free throw percentage aint goin nowhere ABOVE 60%…thas just how it is….

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    If I had to pick one player other then LeBron to win a title with this next season i’d pick Dwight.

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    You feel me lakeshow? Btw I like your list… Personally tho I’d switch Wade and Kobe and put d.will right behind cp3. But that’s me

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    Also cosign nbk…

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    @Lakeshow & Datkid – very true that a player like Howard is a lot more rare these days than a player like Rose, and in that way you could argue he’s more special or could be more valuable to a team.
    I still take Rose over him, but I get where y’all are coming from.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Dwight’s not winning a title with the Magic next season.
    Nope.
    He won’t win one until he gets traded/signs elsewhere.

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    ^I want him to team up with Rose.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    He definitely ain’t winning a title with Orlando, not unless they find some kind of miracle trade to bring is CP…..and Dwight aint going to Chicago at anypoint when Carlos Boozer & Joakim Noah are both members of the team. Even if one of them is used in a trade, Chicago just doesn’t have the cap to add Dwight in a trade that Orlando would accept. Not that I can find anyway.

  • http://Slamonline.com CatKiller

    Dwight could win if all those supposed “three point threats” they traded for could actually make some threes

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Well Dwight alone is the reason they were ranked so high defensively. That advantage is lost in the playoffs. And Hedo is not as effective as he used to be because they got rid of Rashard Lewis, and all the mismatches that came with having 2-6’10″ SF’s playing PF.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Enig you feel about Rose how I feel about Kobe. We are both a little biased but we love our dudes and have faith that they can deliver even over someone with maybe “more” to offer. Got no problem with you taking Rose over Howard. Just as I would take Kobe over both. DatKid, I understand that you take Wade over Kobe, for me I am possibly biased towards Kobe, but I truly think he offers more than Wade does. But can’t argue you for taking Wade over him. Honestly it’s probably damn close to a tie for the best SG in the L right now. As far as D-Will righ after CP3 can’t blame you there either. The list is pretty hard to figure towards the last 5 for me. D-Will could be as high as 5, and as low as 9 for me.

  • http://Slamonline.com CatKiller

    Just wondering here but what do you guys think about Amare possibly having potential to be better than Dwight skill wise.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    “Skill Wise” he is probably already better, definitely better offensively. But, Dwight is 3 years younger, and will always be a better basketball player then Amar’e, without a doubt. Dwight is heads and tails the best center in the league, and he still has more un-tapped potential then every Center in the league except MAYBE Demarcus Cousins. Maybe. Amar’e is already one of the most overrated players in the NBA, and has more then likely reached his ceiling potential wise, he turns 29 this year.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    “One of the most Over rated?” How so? I think most people have him in the 15-20 on the best players currently playing list. Thats where he belongs right? CatKiller, kinda a silly question about Amare and Dwight. Dwight doesn’t have a very good skill set and Amare has a decent skill set, but Amare is 3 years older making it seem silly to question if Amare can “out-skill” Howard eventually. He already does and he probably always will. Better question would be as NBK mentioned Cousins possibly having a better skill set then Howard.
    (He may already also have a better skill set compared to howard)

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Amare plays little to no defense and has never averaged 10-plus rebounds a game, for one.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    If people have him 15-20 then no he isn’t overrated. But he is constantly talked about as a top-10 player (not as much since no-one is talking about basketball) – Or how the Knicks are likely contenders because they have Carmelo and Amar’e. That’s overrating Amar’e IMO, he doesn’t make a team a title contender. But your right, if the majority of people have Amar’e 15-20 then he isn’t overrated at all.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Actually I don’t know if Amar’e is even 15-20, I haven’t put enough thought into it, but he really might be more like 20-25

  • brandon

    get rid of the facial hair dwight

  • JoeMaMa

    @Enigmatic: Your bias is showing. Dwight Howard makes up for the many mistakes of the following poor defenders: JJ, Arenas, Bass, Anderson, Hedo, and QRich. His rebounding and blocks tell half the story. The other half is intimidation, recovery, and strength. You simply don’t mess with D12 in the paint. Coupled with the fact that the NBA is an unquestionably offense-happy wing-driven league, and he has to be more careful with his contact than past big men. Of course he can’t guard the elite wings on the wing. Just like they couldn’t touch him in the post.
    As for his team’s record, you can’t blame him for a trigger happy GM. Also, based on the fact that it’s a guard/wingman league, he doesn’t get the ball in his hands as much as a PG/SG, even a SF. He has to rely on his teammates for the ball, and new teammates may not get the system.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Yeah you may be right about him not even making top 20. I like him allot, always have, but I see his flaws and they glare out at you. But ya if people are talking Chips for NY and Amare as a top 10 player, eff that. I still am not sure if Bosh is better though? Honestly what you think on Bosh vs Amare? Bosh may have a slight edge but it’s barely there if any. For Pf i’ll toss out this rank(for the most part in order, but feel free to change my mind). 1. Durdk, 2. Blake Griffin, 3. Gasol, 4. Randolf, 5. LA, 6. K-Love, 7. Amare, 8. KG, 9. Tim Duncan, 10. Brian Scal. Might be missing someone..

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Alright fine Bosh at 10…

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7Ixy8Uttq0 nbk

    Lake – I have had Bosh as a better player their whole careers. Basically the edge is only Rebounding, & Defensively, where Bosh is much more effective on Pick & Rolls, and he is also a slightly better defender in the post (He fouls less). — Offensively they are both sooper efficient, just in different ways. Amar’e may be a tad better, but not enough to make up for Bosh’s advantages on Defense and the Glass. – Although (i don’t remember who) someone used to make a good argument for why they thought Amar’e was better, I just never agreed.

  • http://Slamonline.com CatKiller

    I have always thought if amare could get his act together and play some defense and be a more rounded player he could be better than Dwight overall but like you guys said 3 years makes a difference. I don’t think it’s a silly question its not unreasonable to say amare could be better if he did the right things all the time

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7Ixy8Uttq0 nbk

    If he could be better then he is, and do things right all the time he would. Amar’e is not a mental super power, atleast on a basketball court he’s quite the opposite. And that’s really the only thing from keeping Amar’e from being a top-10 player like he should be.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Sorry Cat, wasn’t trying to be demeaning, just pointing out that if someone is 29 years old and has never shown ability to play solid defense in the past, that it’s probably not about to change around the corner. Does Amare possess the skills to be comparable to Dwight, I am one that thinks so. But he has just shown that he isn’t going to all the sudden play D and make better in game decisions and pass out of doubles and help slide over on D rather than rise for the block every time. Ya, NBK, I really can’t hate on the argument, Bosh does D up better and seems to make smarter decisions, but man I just don’t care for him at all.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7Ixy8Uttq0 nbk

    lol Bosh is like an acquired taste. Also, playing ball competitively I had a teammate who was 6’5″ and played a Bosh’esque type of game. (Except he was down to roll all the way to the hoop instead of popping every time, and we were teenagers, so he was more like a big athletic 7’2″ then a 6’10″ skinny mini like Bosh) so I came to appreciate having a big who could hedge pick & rolls, made my job as a guard chasing ball handlers around screens a lot easier. — Offensively you just have to be ok with your 4 spending time away from the basket, which is hard to get used too. IMO ofcourse.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Who thinks Bosh is better than Kevin Love? Wth.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Sorry, Kevin Love is better than Bosh? Wth.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    LIKE A BO$H!!

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Yeah, I’ll take that one AllenP. Sticking with it to. K-Love has a better 3 point shot. = to Bosh as far as Midrange shot. Best rebounder in the league.(Yes better than Dwight, or Blake) And Bosh’s mediocre defense is better than Love’s, but that isn’t enough to make up for everyhting else K-Love is better at 4 years younger albeit, i’ll definitely stick with K-Love > Bosh. Why do you think Bosh is better AP?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7Ixy8Uttq0 nbk

    Love’s rebounding numbers are pretty inflated by the team he plays on. Lots of bad shots, and almost no effort on the glass (other then KLove) on defense. I would take Chris Bosh this year/last year over him, despite the statistics.

  • Dagger

    How soon we forget. There’s no way Dirk should be out of the top 5 right now, and even then he should probably be in the top 3. He just had one of the most impressive championship runs in modern basketball history, and you can argue that he’s the most unstoppable scorer in the league right now.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I don’t think they are rediculously inflated. Who rebounds for the Magic besides Dwight? If Loves numbers are super “inflated” then so are Howards. But I think neither are. You can’t argue with Loves numbers. Are you saying Bosh would avg. 15 boards a game and get all those unbelievable accolades(30-30 game**) if he was on the Wolves? He didn’t exactly have unbelievable numbers in Tor as the unquestioned’man’. Great numbers, I think 24 and 12 in his best year, but I think Love next year gets close to a 22 – 15 statline.

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    As far as bosh amare I’ll say bosh > any day. Offensively they’re about equal…but bosh is a lot more skilled.I mean I guess amare dunks more but idk… Plus bosh just makes better decisions and better passes and he, you know..rebounds like big men should. Plus bosh has shown some sort of commitment to playing d.. Unlike amare. I know everyone hates bosh because he’s soft etc etc but he’s a finesse big man. And honestly? He played with a lot of heart and tenacity in the playoffs and overall the guys grown on me. as for bosh vs k-love? Bosh Is better offensively and love steals rebounds and sacrifices defense for it… In a while love will be better tho

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Love’s not the best rebounder. Only statistically.

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    Also my bad I thought nbk was saying Dwight would win MVP… I don’t think he’ll win a championship also I kinda hate dirk

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Enig…. any facts or opinions to go along with that? He is the best rebounder in the league. Facts say it and if you watch him you realize he tries harder to rebound than anyone else in the L. Making him… the best rebounder in the league.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I’m just not ready to call him the best rebounder in the league when he’s only led the league in rebounding one year.
    When Dennis Rodman led the league in rebounding for damn near the entire 90’s, he was the best rebounder in the league.
    When Ben Wallace led the league like 5 years in a row in the early 2000’s he was the best rebounder in the league.
    When KG did it for multiple years he was the best in the league.
    Ditto for Howard.
    Kevin Love is nice on the boards, but let’s wait and see how many he grabs when his second-best rebounder gets more than 5.6 (and no one else averaged over 5).
    If dude was THAT nice, he woulda pulled down 18.7 per, like Rodman did when HIS team’s second best rebounder (Laimbeer) also averaged 5.6 per.

  • john

    lol he rips em from his own teammates and turns his back on help D just so he can get a early box out…. he’s a huge stat whore. there’s no way a team with beasley and a supposed all star PF should have that few wins. their personnel isn’t THAT horrible

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Kevin Love is Tom Heinsohn Jr.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    ^So he’s gonna be an annoying homer color commentator when he retires?

  • http://bulls.com airs

    hey guys i missed the whole debate!

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Like I said before Dwight is the best choice for his age, being a center and he plays defense. I would take him first in any NBA draft, right now. BOOK IT!!

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Seed’s just hoping Dwight goes to LA.

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Lol @Enigmatic!
    Tommy means well, I think.

  • T-Money

    k. love is better than bosh now? lol. dwight is the best rebounder in the league, although k. love is very nice. stats are not the whole story. is bron a better scorer than melo? if we go on stats, the answer is obvious – and it’s not even close – but stats are never the whole story. and dwight absolutely deserves the DPOY accolades: orlando was an elite defensive team with nelson, richardson, turk and bass in the starting 5!!!!

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Cosign Enigmatic

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

    Luke Skywalker is returning to the Degobar system to finish his training…. ^_^

  • Ronald

    The main reason that Dwight doesn’t avg more rebounds is because he actually does weakside help defense. K-Love sticks to his rebounding position throughout the possession.

  • doc

    Bosh soft and all but he betternthan Love yall trippin.And Love aint the best rebounder in the league.Throw that ball off the rim and my money on Dwight all day.

  • http://www.nba.com/blazers/ vanillagorilla

    I’d be willing to say that Love is the most technically skilled rebounder in the game but he lacks the physical talents to be unequivocally considered as the best. Anyone who doesn’t think he is the most skilled in that regard clearly doesn’t see enough of his play. Has a terrific mind for angles, anticipation and preparation that people often take for granted. Why do u think the frail late 30′s Camby still snags over 11 boards a game. It’s talent, effort and a mind for basketball physics.

  • http://slamonline flash

    yeah man, free throw % needs to go up. i honestly dont know whats hard about shooting a FREE throw but hey, he’s in the league and im not so there!
    just remember shaq’s quote about if only he’d shot better free throws he’d be about second on the all time scoring list.

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    is it bad that I kinda think Lebron is a better scorer than melo? Melo is definitely more versatile and probably the better offensive player overall tho.

  • http://www.nba.com/blazers/ vanillagorilla

    Most def, he has polish at pretty much every aspect when it comes to scoring, too bad he isn’t a good playmaker. Would be the biggest offensive threat in the league if had that going for him.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    LeBron is definitely a better scorer than Carmelo Anthony. What matter most are putting points on the board and scoring efficiently. You can dunk every single basket as long as you’re racking up the points. Melo has a wider arsenal of moves; that doesn’t make him the better scorer.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Also, as clutch as Melo can be, LeBron is also pretty damn clutch, minus last years finals and the year before against Boston. But seriously, I hate this revisionism just because the Heat struggled in the fourth quarter last season. LeBron has always hauled @ss in the fourth quarter. There’s more to being clutch than hitting buzzer beaters.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    ^
    That’s why he took so many shots in the last minutes!

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    LONG… LIVE… THE KING.

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    dwight for mvp

  • http://jksldf.com Jukai

    LOL, Lebron kills it in the fourth quarter of the Celtics and Chicago series and he’s the most clutch player since Bird. He fails against Dallas and he’s the biggest choker since Elvin Hayes. It’s kinda ridiculous how the LB perception changes so much.
    Bottom line, Wade became hot and took the ball out of Lebron’s hands, the Dallas team played Lebron pitch perfectly and if Lebron isn’t in rhythm, he’s not clutch. If he is in rhythm, he is clutch. I still think it was a failure on the coach’s part to try and involve Lebron in any type of way off screens or picks, but hey, it’s upsetting the best player in the NBA can’t get out of his funk his own way.
    Oh, and Howard is training with Olajuwon for another couple of hours. Great.

  • http://Slamonline.com CatKiller

    Since bird? Ever heard of a guy named micheal Jordan

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

    @ CatKiller – Juks was merely repeating the oft heard around these parts…. and with a name like CATKILLER aren’t you protecting birds?

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

    LeBron did get SHUT down the finals this year.
    Dwight is going to add some serious offense to his game this season.
    Now he just needs to get a decent PG and some serious touches.

  • http://Slamonline.com Waffle

    Dacre lol Larry legend was a clutch baller!!

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    12:36 pm is not me…

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