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Friday, February 3rd, 2012 at 10:30 am  |  130 responses

LeBron James: Shane Battier the Smartest Player and Person in Basketball


Shane Battier’s basketball skills may not impress all that much, but his mind is something to behold. Just ask teammate LeBron James. From Fox Sports: “If Miami Heat players need a question answered, they turn to Battier, their versatile forward — versatile, that is, with his knowledge. ‘He’s probably the No. 1 smartest basketball player and person I’ve been around,’ said Heat forward LeBron James. ‘He knows everything.’ The savvy Battier obviously knows basketball. He can dabble quite well in history, math, finance and religion. After all, Battier was a religion major at Duke. [...] It’s no wonder, then, when the Sporting News in 2010 did a list of the top 20 smartest athletes, Battier ranked No. 7. That was tops among NBA players … But does Battier believe he’s the smartest guy in the NBA? ‘Intelligence is an esoteric measurement,’ he said. ‘I don’t know. I’m smart, but I don’t know about the smartest.’ Well, James thinks so. So does Miami center Joel Anthony. ‘That is no surprise,’ Anthony said of Battier’s ranking. ‘His basketball IQ is off the charts in terms of understanding situations and being able to analyze all the different situations on the court. Even off the court. If there’s like a general question, everybody will look to Shane like, ‘You know the answer to this? ‘ Battier usually does. On the court, Battier is one of the NBA’s top defenders, even though he says, ‘There have been numerous articles sort of degrading my athletic ability.’”

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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k1jx3r4y1E dfrance21

    This sounds crazy, but I feel like Battier is overrated. He’s good at taking charges and and can move his feet, but when I watch him I just don’t see him as this elite defender he’s made out to be.

  • LA Huey

    “Intelligence is an esoteric measurement” LOL

  • marc

    Battier is a jerk for using the word esoteric. smh

  • LA Huey

    I like to pretend Battier made that quote while adjusting his monocle.

  • hushabomb

    Look at the way he plays defence. He may not lock down his man all the time yet look at how he plays his man. For example, if Kobe gets it at 17 feet he’ll get there 1st and contest. If Kobe switches and uses a screen coming right, he’ll make you go left.

    Its all about taking away a players strength on offence and making him play uncomfortable. If Battier was on a team with a pass 1st PG, he’d be a relevation

  • ENDS

    esoteric measurement? I think he wins this one…till i look it up atleast

  • MUBWAR

    why do you have to make me look up a word shane? well thanks 4 adding that new word

  • 23

    shane for president!… at least for the nba players association

  • Riggs

    so esoteric isnt just a dope rapper? /s

  • Fat Lever

    “Intelligence is an esoteric measurement”. That’s a Rick Ross level “BOSS” type of answer.

  • bike

    LeBron should use that line the next time someone asks him if he is a clutch player: “clutch play is an esoteric measurement”.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    I’m a little disappointed that esoteric sent y’all to the dictionary.
    But, I read an article a while back about Battier’s defense and it said that he doesnt’ focus on locking the best players down, he focuses on forcing them to do whatever they dislike doing, most of the time. He reads all the scouting report and gets special reports about their tendencies, and then tailors a defensive plan based on them.

  • shawnkemp4prez

    I hate to change the subject, but when and how did Battier get rid of those puppy dog wrinkles on his head? Cranial botox?

  • http://www.acb.com A l a n

    Always liked Battier since he was a rookie in Memphis with Gasol. He’s polite, well-manered and intelligent. A rare kind of athlete.

  • davidR

    i see you riggs. i looked up what esoteric meant about 9 years ago thanks to 7L & esoteric

  • Jer Dawg

    I’d like to chat with the guy. I’m sure he strays from using lots of urban slang and derogatory words off the court.

  • shutup

    Allenp with the most underhanded self inflating other degrading comment I have ever seen on slam smh, really dude? you just had to post that, howd that make you feel? got a laugh around the water cooler about it? you and your well-read brethren have a chuckle about this one,SAMPLE CONVERSATION- ” Hey Pual. Yes Allen. I just got finished reading a couple chapters of Voltaire, and I went perusing on my basketball site, and came across the most laughable thing. What was it Allen? These brutes didnt know the meaning of esoteric. (Both chuckle endlessly) as the seen fades to black….moments later Allen is evacuating his bowels and says to him self “esoteric” and begins to chuckle again….(END SCENE)

  • Justin

    Seriously, you can’t hate on the guy for using a word like esoteric. Let Shane expand your minds fools. You’re grown men (presumably). You should know what it means.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    lol cosign davidR.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    Why does Duke recruit puppy dog wrinkled headed forwards.

  • bike

    Shane’s secret to getting players to do what they dislike doing is whispering ‘esoteric’ in their ear all game long. It drives them nuts.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Wow Allen, i’m a little disappointed that you still haven’t pulled that stick out of your a$$. I am one of the people that didn’t have to look up “esoteric” to know the definition, but I didn’t need to come in here and prop myself up looking like a pompous pr*ck while doing it. I wouldn’t be surprised if you wanted everyone to get a diaglyph (look that up Einstein) of you to bow to every morning.

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com Enigmatic

    LOL @ Shutup.
    And I’m sorry, I’m not trying to insinuate that people that never further their education beyond high school are all dumb, but in LeBron’s case, where academics were hardly a priority, I’d imagine Shane Battier must sound like Albert Einstein to him.
    Dude is hella smart tho.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k1jx3r4y1E dfrance21

    Damn shutup, its Friday bro, chill out. lol

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Damn it Shutup you beat me to hating on Allen’s pompous-ness! What should I have expected from the the artist formerly known as “shutupAllenP” lol…

  • shutup

    lol I’m chill, it just bothered me a bit, but I’m in good spirits the fridge is stocked, looking forward to Condit knocking out Diaz and the Giants crushing Tom Brady

  • LA Huey

    I got a laugh about what shutup said. I thought the word meant something to do with dinosaurs ’til I looked it up.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    shutup I got my money on The Natural Born Killer™ also. Hope it’s brutal. F*ck the Diaz boys.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    Not gonna lie I looked it up lol why the hell would they make dictionaries then? But shutup your rant had me laughing lol Happy Friday y’all

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/recap/_/id/310203019/miami-heat-vs-orlando-magic Jukai

    I usually don’t bother to read Shutup’s posts, but the Voltaire comment had me chuckling a bit.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/recap/_/id/310203019/miami-heat-vs-orlando-magic Jukai

    Wow, and he gets a lot of bonus points for his 1:03 pm post. That’s my weekend, right there!!

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    TAllen, Affalo and Battier are the most underappreciated defenders in the L.

  • LA Huey

    Oh, shutup. Just wanted to note that the whole “scene fade to black” was a nice touch.
    There’s no shame in looking up a definition, guys. “How come n*****s don’t know but they front and don’t ask?” – The Artist Formerly Known As Mos Def

  • shutup

    I was betting on Cerrone to shut his mouth but I was pissed after that fight, I just dont wanna see him with the belt, its a bad look for the sport, sorta like Sonnen with his fake belt at press conferences

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Condit has a dope nickname.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    I honestly was surprised that people didn’t know what esoteric meant. That’s not an uncommon word. But, I can see how it came off elitist.
    But, we don’t have a water cooler anymore, they cut it as part of the budget cuts. And I didn’t read Voltaire, I couldn’t get into it.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Sonnen is NUTZ. Like how the hell does he hold a politcal office. Dude is straight balls. I was hoping for Cerrone to do what he has been doing to everyone, but I wasn’t surprised. We all know the Diaz bros got skills. Cerrone still nailed him with those vicious leg kicks. He had me at least grinning throughout the fight as he dropped Nate time after time with those brutal blows.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    I mean, the context clues were there. lol

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Allot of people have heard the word ‘esoteric’ Allen. I bet most guys on here had heard it, but sometimes you need a refresher on the definitions of words when your job isn’t to write words for a living. *scene fades to black*

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    Um, ok little buddy.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    lol, Lakeshow seems to have quite the little problem with Allen lately.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    Lately? You haven’t been paying attention homie.

  • shutup

    I just wanna see Silva knock him out, if that fight takes place in Brazil its gonna be crazy. I guess I was more surprised at cerrone not trying to jump on him when he was down, I figd he would have the greatest advantage there. Oh, I give Diaz all the credit in the world he made BJ Penn look terrible. Condit come some sick power in those hands, he just gotta find that opening in that Diaz barrage.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Semantic definition of lately, I assume.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Silva is ma boy. I wish a Diaz could fight him, but they are both 170, and 155 pounders. Silva is never going to drop to 170, and neither of them is wanting to move up. GSP is the only great fighter that Nick Diaz will face in the UFC unfortunately. Not a huge GSP fan myself.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    You couldn’t get into Voltaire, Allen? I’m disappointed… But his writing is a bit esoteric.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    LMAO

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    I couldn’t homie. I was going to make it my bathroom book. The cover said it was cutting satire and wonderful. I read a few pages, and then went back to some Robin Hobb.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    =)

  • bike

    Shane always has had this very reptilian look about him
    Rep-til-ian: resembling or having the characteristic of the reptiles. Looks like a lizard.

  • T-Money

    shutup, that was funny as hell! haha, i thought exactly what allenp said but posting it was a bit douchy.

  • Paul H

    I actually think he used the word incorrectly. In all likelihood he just reached for the first semi-obscure word he could and threw It In for a bit of ego stroking.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    It was douchey. I fully admit this.
    Mea culpa. And shutup’s response was funny. I ain’t perfect, and never claimed to be.
    Just always right.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    Paul H, why do you think he used it incorrectly. Intelligence is a nebulous concept, based more on cultural norms than on any set truth.

  • bike

    If you gave all nba players an I.Q. test, my money would be on Jeremy Lin to score the highest. And I would bet that Kenyon Martin would score pretty low.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^Racist…

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Just rufflin feathers. Ignore me haha. Oh wait… we don’t use the ignore option on the internet, just remembered.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    IQ tests are fun.

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com Enigmatic

    Kenyon Martin graduated from the University of Cincinnati.
    He’s not as dumb as he looks…and acts.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^There’s allot of stupid smart people…

  • LA Huey

    bike, my money is on DeShawn Stevenson to score the lowest on that test.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    oh really Lakeshow, a lot of stupid smart people huh?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    And I would love to take a standardized test with Carlos Boozer. I just feel like that would be a great life experience.

  • Paul H

    Allenp, I would agree that intelligence Is something which is quite to judge and define. I was simply saying that I, nor anyone I have heard use the word, would use It the way Shane did. I think he came off egotistical and pretentious. Much like yourself.

  • LA Huey

    I’ll take Derrick Rose’s test for him.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Yes… This news to you nbk? You have never met someone who can read a book and give you a detailed description of everything in it. Then you ask them something basic like how to add oil to a car and they don’t know even know where the hell to start? Surprised you have never encountered this. Hence the term “street smart” as opposed to “book smart”.

  • Paul H

    *difficult

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I don’t think you understand the difference between smart and learned.

  • bike

    LA Huey–can’t disagree with ya on that! LOL

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com Enigmatic

    Oh, so you’re saying Kenyon Martin is book smart but not street smart. Gotcha. Lol…

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Nope, I do. I don’t think you understand that there are different kinds of smart.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    lol there aren’t different kinds of smart. if you take someone with a far above average intelligence they will learn faster in every environment then someone of lower intelligence. It’s just a matter of what you have been exposed too. That’s like saying kids that don’t understand how to add and subtract are stupid. While the people who have been doing addition and subtraction their whole lives are geniuses. It’s just a matter of exposure, not a different kind of “smarts”. – and ofcourse I’ve heard the phrase street smart and book smart. Doesn’t mean they actually represent intelligence.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    If you want smart, look no further than Darko Milicic…”I just keep it”

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    Shane comes off as a cat who is always laughing at how seriously other people take sports all the time. And, how little thinking they do about other stuff.
    I’m not a Battier fan, but he seems like a cat who is secure in who he is and what he thinks. I respect that about any man.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    I’ll chime in for a moment though. I know plenty of college graduates who are in fact very stupid people, so to incinuate that Kenyon Martin is smart just because he went to college is silly…not saying he is or isn’t because I don’t know the dude.

  • shutup

    oh lawd, as for esoteric he didnt use it correctly, you dont have to be smart to see that someone is smart. as for Voltaire i appreciate his candid(e) view on life although I prefer Hesse myself or even Heinlein. As for Anderson Silva he is the greatest fighter the UFC has ever seen, I admit after the Maia fight I was disappointed but Silva had a right to be frustrated, why expose yourself to get caught in something stupid like a flying heel hook when you already won the fight and play into him trying to pull guard or throw himself on the ground. I cant stand GSP much like Sonnen most of their recent matches have gone to decision, I rather see decisive wins not someone who relies on points. as for the different kind of smarts debate, your completely off base NBK (no surprise)an idiot savant destroys your definition and narrow view of intelligence along with the fact that there are child prodigies which havent been exposed to anything but can still be classified as genius. Back to our regularly scheduled programming………

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Graduating from any school is a representation of work ethic more then intelligence. Atleast that’s how I feel.

  • MUBWAR

    DeShawn Lincoln tattoo on his neck tells you everything you need to know about his level of intelligence

  • shutup

    Just one more point; exposure would imply wisdom not intelligence.

  • shutup

    @NBK -counterpoint graduation doesnt imply work ethic at all, have you ever heard of honorary degrees? or teachers who pass students based on social standing, such as athletes? or cheaters that have others take their online classes for them, seeing as I paid my way through school writing term papers for the other basketball players and was on the receiving end of a couple A’s myself for extracurricular activities, your theory has a few flaws in it.

  • bike

    How about the dumbest player in the history of the nba? My vote goes to Chris Washburn (anyone remember him? hint:he was once asked how he got profecient with both hands and he responded that he was ‘Amphibious’).
    That poor soul had the IQ of a houseplant.

  • bike

    ^proficient. That was dumb.

  • bike

    ^proficient

  • Sparker

    yawn. by his intentional use of the word “esoteric,” he was treating the question with the ironic detachment it deserved. he even dumbed down his discussion of “smart,” and a lot of you guys still ended up feeling threatened by him. hilarious… but only to the esoteric few.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    shutup, idk if you are really that bad at reading or your frustration with me really clouds your judgement, but I’m not entertaining your laughable inability to counter my arguments.

  • http://media.photobucket.com/image/i%20do%20believe%20i%20shat%20my%20pantaloons/tesulliv/ah-good-sir-i-do-believe-i-have-shat-in-my-pantaloons.jpg LakeShow

    Sparker, pulling his best AllenP impression. Nice. Yawn, I do say good sir!
    Click me for a pic of what AllenP looked like as a baby. (A white baby that is)

  • Paul H

    @Sparker. He clearly is not enough to intimidate such a sparkling intellect as the one you were lucky enough to be endowed with. Well done big lad.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    ^I’m starting to feel a little concerned. You are expending a lot of energy little buddy.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    what people do or don’t know how to do doesn’t represent their intelligence. It represents their exposure to actions/knowledge that can be learned. How fast they learn and understand information is the only representation of intelligence with any meaning.
    .
    .

    - noun 1. ability to learn, reason, and understand

  • LA Huey

    bike, I’m still going to hand that crown to DeShawn.

  • Paul H

    @Allenp I addressed one point leveled by your good self and one indirectly aimed at a lot of people in the post. I’m actually only on the site to distract myself from a Friday night on the booze.

  • Sparker

    ah, paul. a fine display of high sarcasm. and pairing “sparking” with “sparker.” you alliterative fellow, you.

  • Paul H

    I try.

  • http://media.photobucket.com/image/i%20do%20believe%20i%20shat%20my%20pantaloons/tesulliv/ah-good-sir-i-do-believe-i-have-shat-in-my-pantaloons.jpg LakeShow

    Your the only person on the entire internet I fervently don’t like right now Allen. So I got a special spot in my heart for you. I only got a couple more anti-Allen comments in me for the day though.

  • http://media.photobucket.com/image/i%20do%20believe%20i%20shat%20my%20pantaloons/tesulliv/ah-good-sir-i-do-believe-i-have-shat-in-my-pantaloons.jpg LakeShow

    Pauly: He was aiming that at me.

  • LA Huey

    This could be a LeBron-related article that gets 100 comments that have nothing to do with LeBron (a first?). I love that the SLAMily aint got ish to do on Fridays.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    Knock yourself out Lakeshow. But since this is the internet, and nothing here really matter, as you’ve said, seems a little strange to be fervent about anything.
    And Paul that comment was for Lakeshow.
    And this comment is for everybody who didn’t use Google yet.
    esoteric
    1
    a : designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone b : requiring or exhibiting knowledge that is restricted to a small group ; broadly : difficult to understand
    2
    a : limited to a small circle b : private, confidential
    3
    : of special, rare, or unusual interest

  • shutup

    98

  • shutup

    99

  • shutup

    pencils down, everybody put your thesauri away, and lets resume the Dwight Howards a whiny b!tch debate jkjkjkjk. I’m going to the park and imma bust the first white persons a$$ on the court I see and pretend its NBK.

  • MUBWAR

    lakeshow n allen r still on each other. common guys let’s watch the heat toy with the 76ers and relax

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Lol I’ve gotten too you that much?
    .
    That is sad.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    lakeshow at some point in your life you and shutup should try and get off allenp’s nuts… seriously. it’s disturbing that you do whatever you can to agitate someone who you’ve never even met. Sh*t like this is to be expected from shutup, but I’m honestly disappointed in you dog.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/01/post-up-23/ Allenp

    Datkid
    They are cool. For real. It’s just words and I’m not agitated. I think it’s funny to be honest. Plus, it helps pass the time until I bounce from work.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    aight man, if you say so.

  • burnt_chicken

    sources??? i am shocked that a professional writer such as Allen is prone to such wanton acts of plagiarism!

  • burnt_chicken

    i know he cited google, it just felt like piling on was the order of the day…

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Exactly what AllenP said for me. He’s cool. I don’t know the guy, but yeah, this long, sunny, friday afternoon is draggin, and AllenP, even though he is a level 1 annoyance (10 star scale) to me there is no one else competing. Life is that breezy :)

  • http://bulls.com airs

    damn! I missed all this, allenP actually kinda got got!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    bike is funny. Before he said Jeremy Lin wouldn’t be a good defender because Asians can’t move laterally. Then he says Jeremy Lin probably has the highest IQ in the league. I can’t tell if the dude is serious, but… He’s 2 for 2. (Not in a good way).

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

    Lots of lulz in here. Yall niccas is crazy

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    When did the tide switch from Allenp-love to Allenp-hate? I haven’t kept up in the comments in a long time now. Interesting shift of the seas.

  • mango

    im totally into esoteric meats

  • Justin G.

    Datkid, you need to get off Allen’s johnson. Anytime someone says something negative about the man you come in with this apparent need to defend him. Perhaps the pompousness bounces off you but not others. And shutup, while I don’t agree with a lot of the things you say, @12:31 that was the funniest thing you’ve ever said on this site.

  • loaf

    The banter you guys have sometimes is damn entertaining but also quite sad at times! An you guys (some of you) hold full time jobs, how the heck do you get away with slamonline all day baffles me, are yours jobs just not that demanding? Heck I get about an on hour of slam in a working day (if I’m lucky)

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    Justin G, I go at people who say stupid stuff or who are obviously trolling bc it’s annoying. I came here to read basketball not listen to you and lakeshow’s overemotional whining about another man. and if you don’t like me you can leave.

  • charliewinning

    I actually agree that Battiier was making light of the whole ‘smart’ thing. I think he’s just keeping things in perspective. In the NBA, he’s a genius. Many NBA atheles are almost as dumb as NFL players. And smh at Lakeshow’s racist comment that got overlooked. Stereotyping Asians, and essentially saying the smart black guy (Battier) can never be the smartest as long as an Asian is around.

  • burnt_chicken

    yeah justin! i’m an indignant retrolling datkid that tough whines in a TOTES different way than those guys. recognize.

  • charliewinning

    My bad, I meant bike’s racist comment.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    HA!!
    Nobody’s smarter than me…
    lol

  • Treshiq

    Funniest group of aspiring sports writers EVER on this thread…@Shutup your mini scrren play=genuis. hahaha Thorougly enjoyed it!

  • EJ

    Where’s the consitency Lakeshow? I remember you talking about ignoring internet trolls in the JR Smith post, but then here you call bike out on something that might actually be true. I mean why wouldn’t Jeremy Lin be the smartest guy in the NBA? He went to Harvard and everything, so calling him smart might not be cause he’s Asian.
    So why you mention that, but ignore something that was clearly racist, and actually call out Allenp for calling bike out for it? (in the JR Smith post). It’s cristal clear that Allenp is in your head, just admit it.

  • BBaller

    AllenP, you are just getting worse day by day.But you’ll just respond with an arrogant answer so i’ll just laugh it off. AllenP of 2008 where for out thou?

  • Maniac

    Lol I missed you guys

  • bike

    My statement about Jeremy Lin being possible the most intelligent player in the nba was based upon him being a Harvard graduate who maintained a 3.1 gpa.
    Anyone who views that as racist is probably not very intelligent.

  • ClydeSays

    Yep, Shane’s got the stat line of someone who’s REALLY smart… 326 FG% and .471 from the FT line.

  • http://slamonline.com Jones

    Battier’s been a very SMART defender for a very long, and he’s only gotten credit for it in the last few years. He wasn’t that athletic to begin with, so when you’re on the wrong side of thirty sometimes even with high bball IQ there’s not much you can do. See Derek Fisher being crossed by Lou Williams.

  • http://slamonline.com Jones

    Battier’s been a very SMART defender for a very long, and he’s only gotten credit for it in the last few years. He wasn’t that athletic to begin with, so when you’re on the wrong side of thirty sometimes even with high bball IQ there’s not much you can do. See Derek Fisher being crossed by Lou Williams for a gamewinner.

  • E

    That’s like being the tallest person in room full of midgets!

  • Pingback: Straight From the Horsetronaut's Mouth: Nine Predictably Erudite Shane Battier Quotes | Extra Mustard - SI.com

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