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Stoudemire says LeBron needs to respect, connect like MJ

Jun 16, 2011, 1:06 AM EDT

Amare Stoudemire

Michael Jordan could be arrogant. He punched teammate Steve Kerr in the face during a practice. There were gambling and infidelity issues.

Things might have been different for Jordan in today’s world of cell phone cameras and social media — not to mention blogs — but the fact is a lot of people knew about those things at the time and didn’t care.

Amar’e Stoudemire told the New York Times there is a reason that LeBron James angers so many while Jordan is beloved.

“I think you have to conduct yourself in way that people can relate to you,” said Stoudemire, who led the Knicks back to the playoffs this season after the team posted its first winning record (42-40) in 10 years. “The more they can relate to you, the more they will appreciate you….

“Everybody has their own way of commenting on things, but I would have commented differently,” Stoudemire said. “One thing about Michael Jordan was that no matter how great he was and how much of a platform he stood on, he still related to all the hard workers out there in the world.

“I think LeBron is still young,” Stoudemire added, “and there is still time for him to reconnect with the public.”

By the way, Stoudemire said his back is still bothering him some, but it’s muscular and should be fine in plenty of time for next season as he getting regular treatment. Besides, he’s in the midst of a national Excedrin campaign so he’s feeling no pain.

  1. diablito0402 - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    Tooo late, why is everyone think hes young, hes 26. Rose is 22 and acts real mature, and rose is well liked and respected by all, not to say he got tons of game. To end, lebum always comes off like a punk diva all the time on interviews and real imature.

    • david8726 - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:45 AM

      First of all, when you’re 26 years old, you’re most definitely not finished developing as a person.

      Secondly, I wince when you use Derrick Rose as an example of how an athlete should act. Not that there is anything wrong with how rose acts. You’re right, he is very mature. But he has absolutely no personality whatsoever – or at the very least, he chooses not to show us his personality at all.

      A sports world where every athlete talked like Rose would be incredibly boring. I think it’s good with athletes actually tell us whats really on their minds, and thats something Rose will never do.

      Finally, before the decision show, LeBron was liked and respected by most people too. Nothing has changed about how he talks and does interviews. The only difference between then and now is that he did the stupid decision show, so now everyone puts EVERY statement he makes under a magnifying glass, searching for any imperfection.

      • skhill7 - Jun 20, 2011 at 9:20 PM

        actually their is a difference in his interviews. He almost always did his interviews with Wade there, too.. with the Heat. And in those interviews he just came off as way less mature and less calm and relaxed. With the Cavs, he acted like a leader in ways. Now he’s Wades sidekick…….and a bum.

    • barkley4life - Jun 16, 2011 at 8:22 AM

      So your saying that by the time your 26 that your done in maturing as a man as a person in life…if you think so you have a lot to learn. At 26 I was a party animal living in Vegas(stationed there). I only cared about myself… 33 I am a single father raising an 8 year old and those worlds and my maturity level can’t be any different.

      Be careful who you judge, and in the sports world its even more ridiculous to do that. Tiger Woods was on top of the world at that age. What a competitor, what a role model….do I need to say more.

      Don’t take my post as a slight against you…its just an observation on society in general.

      • sugarcakes23 - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:49 AM

        @barkley4life….No one is suggesting that at 26 your are mature for life; but at every age we should all have learned and progressed better. If you are at the same level at 33 or 31 when you were 26, and especially after you have become a father, then you are not trying hard enough be more mature. Why does it take men so many years to become responsible and maturing adults? It should not take this long….you should be there by now! There is a saying in life that men don’t get smarter….they just get older. You must change your way of life and thinking process to set a good example for your 8 year old.

      • barkley4life - Jun 16, 2011 at 7:08 PM

        At what point did I say I was the same person, did you even read the post? Lol and that line about men don’t get smarter etc is utterly ridiculous.

      • rwhaller42 - Jun 20, 2011 at 1:50 PM

        Unfortunately, it appears that human nature is such that no matter how much good you have done in the past, one mistake can get you fixed in people’s minds as a jerk, and it can be very difficult to change that set. We will see how “King James” does.

        On the other hand, people love to see the mighty brought low, and then sometimes turn around and root for them when they appear to be making a comeback. Go figure it…

        As far as sugercakes23’s comment goes, for a long time I have been of the opinion that men take longer to “mature” than women. Women are reasonably mature by around 23, while men are not until at least 30. However, as in all things human, your mileage may vary.

    • secdominance - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      I’m NOT saying Derrick Rose isn’t mature, however, a big reason why the media and the fans think he’s so mature is the fact that he doesn’t talk much.

      • neeciekay - Jun 16, 2011 at 5:51 PM

        The fact that Derrick Rose “doesn’t talk much”, is a HUGE sign of his maturity. He was raised by a single Mother, that still calls him on using profanity during the game, that speaks volumes of how he was taught, humility, appreciation, and MANNERS!! So please don’t blame D. Rose’s maturity level on his quiet demeanor, he knows how to speak when spoken to, he does just as many press conferences as the next guy, he just knows how to stay humble, and show respect for people. Lebron is 4 years his senior and has not learned that lesson yet, OR, he knew it prior to the inflation of his head when joining the Heat. Lebron knows how to woo people, he did it for years in Cleveland. The new and dissapproved Lebron is just so arrogant because Heat fans, and band wagon riders constantly tell him he’s “king”, he’s not! He’s not even comparable to Kobe Bryant, let along Michael Jordan. Stop making excuses for Lebron, he knows better, he just repeadetly chooses otherwise!! He could learn alot from Derrick Rose, in more ways than one.

      • rwhaller42 - Jun 20, 2011 at 1:54 PM

        “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

  2. david8726 - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:56 AM

    LeBron didn’t use to have any issues “connecting with the public,” as Stoudemire puts it. For his first 7 years in the league, he was one of the most well liked players in the sport. People actively rooted for him and supported him. There weren’t too many things about the way he interacted with fans that needed changing.

    Then he did the decision show and it all came crashing down. The decision, combined with the pre-celebration in Miami in the offseason, was seen as egotistical and arrogant…… and nothing pisses off sports fans more than being arrogant.

    In my opinion, the best way for LeBron to get people to like him again is to win. Winning is the best disinfectant. Winning made Kobe’s problems go away. Winning made people stop bashing A-Rod. It will probably do the same for LeBron.

    Other than that, a real, genuine. comprehensive apology to Cleveland for the Decision Show might help. The passage of time helps too.

    • philtration - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:07 PM

      There is a big difference between “connecting” to the public and “selling” to them.

      • david8726 - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:45 PM

        I didn’t say he should “sell” to them. I said he should win championships, and if he wants, make a *genuine* apology to Cleveland. If he doesn’t really believe in apologizing to Cleveland, I wouldn’t want to see him do it.

  3. bittersonicsfan - Jun 16, 2011 at 5:52 AM

    Being a man without a team, hence my name, I have to root for other teams. I love me some Dallas, but during the regular season, I was all about the Heat. All the scrutiny they went through made me want them to win, then when the finals came about, I was rooting for Dallas because the Heat have five more solid chances at winning a title. Between the coughing nonsense and Lebron’s “I’m better than normal people” comment, I have flipped on them ad no longer want them to win. I hope Bosh gets out of there, he’s the genuine article. He’s the only one who seemed to give a hoot the Heat lost to Dallas. Every interview I read or hear from Bosh, I believe, I want him to win somewhere else, he deserves it. Dwyane and LeBron giving their press conferences together and Bosh going solo? They call it the big three and yet, you hardly hear the duo refer to Bosh. It’s a shame.

    • philtration - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:09 PM

      I actually like Bosh.
      He is a very good player, does not talk a lot of crap and in spite of never having to face the lime light as much as LeBron he seemed to handle the Finals pressure a lot better than James did.
      He also seemed to care a lot more when they lost.

  4. southbeachtalent - Jun 16, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    LeBron article?? Odd….

    • trueballs - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:54 AM

      Yes. Very odd. And everytime you open these pages and leave a comment there is more incentive for these writers to write even more about him.

  5. bhester1906 - Jun 16, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    He is still fairly young. Plus, its been well documented that he didn’t have the strongest upbringing. There are plenty other players or people that have had tough upbringings as well but not as many have been put under such a microscope. Its amazing that he still as conscious as he is. He’s got time to mature, not much, but he does.

    • pl4tinum514 - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:39 PM

      He was raised by a hoe.

  6. davidly - Jun 16, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    Stoudemire is right. As much as I hate to say it, LeBron James needs to punch Kerr in the face.

    • pl4tinum514 - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:40 PM

      I think if Lebron punched a teammate right now, that’d be the end of almost anyone ever cheering for him again.

      • fouldwimmerlaik - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:05 PM

        No, if he punched Bosh, I wouldn’t hold it against him. I could see how that might be enjoyable.

  7. smashmouthrb25 - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    Rose attempted to go to college…and wasn’t driving a hummer is senior year in high school…also had siblings that kept him humble…Rose also did not have a 90 million dollar contract when he was 19…moral of the story is…Rose came in humble…Lebron never has been

    • secdominance - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:16 PM

      If Derrick Rose could have went straight to the NBA he would have so your fallacy argument holds no weight

  8. diablito0402 - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    Hes 26 with no pressure of providing for him or his family for life, at 18 i started working to pay rent and college, dont tell me i got a lot ti learn, lebrick being arogant and thinking he above everyone is imature, at 26 most people are out of college and starting their lives as responsible adults. At 26 people are adults and i was too a party animal at 26 but come monday. I had to be professional once removed from the weekend, maybe you’re the one whose got to learn a bit, or maybe you could relate to luchump being a daddys boy and got everything you wanted without working for it.

    • heat256 - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:30 AM

      Your name calling makes you anything but mature. No one posting on here – you, me, anyone – had everyone fawning over them at age 12 telling them they could do no wrong, and as the years go by no one tries to make you into a more responsible person. They would just look at you as a cash cow, and don’t have the balls to stand up to you and say when you are doing something wrong or shouldn’t do something. That’s LeBron’s life in a nutshell. If he gets a strong mentor figure in his life – Riley, Zo. etc – he has a chance to make real strides as a person, which he needs. LBJ has worked for everything he has. If you disagree, lace up your shoes and go play in his place. He needs to do better, but all of us for damn sure need to as well.

    • edweird0 - Jun 16, 2011 at 11:44 AM

      @diablito0402 you’re a dam fool and an immature one at that. The man clearly said that it wasn’t directed at you, just society in general and was just trying to make a point. Your name calling clearly shows how irrational you are as a person. Just because growing up your life was harder than others doesn’t give you the right to put yourself above others, your no better than lebron if thats how you really go about thinking. Get off your high horse you jealous loser.

      • nfl25 - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:38 PM

        “Just because growing up your life was harder than others doesn’t give you the right to put yourself above others”

        isnt that the argument for why lebron is the way he is. just sayin

        and can we stop the, ur jealous of lebron talk. pretty sure we are all envious of spencer hawes (sixers female center), let alone lebron. truthfully i would never want to be lebron if i had to take his personality along with the riches. i dont have the personal hate for him that most have, i just dont like how he acts and wouldnt ever want to be like that

    • barkley4life - Jun 16, 2011 at 7:05 PM

      Your immaturity only shows in your response. Young man, I joined the military at 17. I’ve been to Afghanistan and Iraq. I have graduated from college have a successful career and raise a child on my own.

      I grow and mature every day. No ones life is the same. At no point did I ever say I related to Lebron. Outside of the fact that the man I am at 33 is no where near close to what I was in my early to mid twenties.

      You do have a lot to learn because your hypocritical approach allows no one the opportunity for growth. On one hand you condemn Lebron for being spoiled entitled catered for….but then you hype up Derrick Rose who took shortcuts to get to college….and was the same way in college. He’s another entitled spoiled athlete.

      Your first line shows your envious of his position in life.

      • neeciekay - Jun 17, 2011 at 3:50 PM

        Why do you have to bash Derrick Rose to prove your point?? “Spoiled and priviledged”?? Then you bring up his college allegations, as if it makes him a bad person!! NO ONE is perfect, and NOTHING has been proven or solidified in the rumors surronding his college situation. Only, God, Derrick and his professors know what really went down, and they all will have to answer to the Lord someday if they did wrong. However, I do not agree with you comparing him to Lebron, or calling him “priviledged”, that man grew up in a pretty tough part of Chicago, and he worked his way out of there. What “priviledges” him is his ability to play ball, and his continued determination to strive for excellence. There’s nothing wrong with that. No more than you being promoted or receiving a salary increase for your work in your field of choice. Whatever perks D.Rose enjoyed along the way are just that: Perks! His personality has not changed, and he still remains humble, and respects himself, his family, his fans, and his team-mates. And he’s only 22yrs. old, imagine how mature he’ll be at Lebron’s age. Geesh, getup off Mr. Rose, he accepted responsibility for his short-comings in the playoffs, Lebron did not!!!

      • barkley4life - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:25 PM

        Do you read or just look past things to justify things to prove your point. It is a fact he cheated. Memphis forfeited 38victories. Lol perks…no lady it was cheating…it wasn’t a perk. A perk is being famous and getting the best seats at a restaurant or a show. Cheating is when you knowingly let someone take your SATs so you can play basketball.

        Lmao perk….stop living through athletes and famous people, you look ridiculous trying to relate to someone who can’t relate to you at all.

        If you have children the next time they cheat on test, if there response is it’s just one of the perks in life lol…man I can’t even finish that line of thinking…perks lol.

      • barkley4life - Jun 17, 2011 at 6:36 PM

        I don’t imagine how anyone is going to grow nor judge who I don’t know. That’s your problem right, your hypocritical approach. Praise one for a “tough” upbringing the denigrate someone else for lack there of. Have you ever seen or heard Lebrons mother talk and behave. Judging on the court is one thing..entitled to opinion, bringing up God lifestyle etc etc is plain dumb. Even his biggest critics like Charles said he’s a good guy who said dumb things. Just leave the hate on the court and it’s fine personal petty attacks about him as a person make no sense. He’s a douche but has given millions to charity…lol

        That same mentality had people praising Tiger Woods…what a role model…what a competitor…blah blah blah…do I need to say more.

        Like Barkley said athletes aren’t role models…they are entertainers leave it that way.

  9. diablito0402 - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    Good stuff but you can right away tell the mental makeup of a person, rose as a young adult assuming responsibity for his actions, and lebron just a punk, he even admited he didnt cost his team the finals, come on , man up son.

  10. jizzojames - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    Lebron, Lebron Lebron!! Even in a championship loss he still seems to out weigh the winning Dallas Mavs. He is young, 26 is still very young and I hope Lebron learns alot from this past post season. I do wonder when he eventually wins a championship how will those who root for him to lose feel? How will it affect the world, because it seems that since he lost and his post game comments, which were taken out of context, he is atop the news. I didn’t know Lebron affected so many people.

  11. mogogo1 - Jun 16, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    LeBron is now closer to 30 than he is 20, so talk about how he’s going to mature someday are likely off-the-mark. Jordan was no saint in private but when he was in the spotlight he came across as an angel. He was way too smart to go around hurting his own image. In contrast, Lebron is his own worst enemy. People see him as a tool because he acts like a tool. If he punched out a teammate like Jordan did with Kerr, he’d tweet about how the guy had deserved it, then end up issuing a bunch of clarifications, making him sound worse with every one. And eventually he’d blame it on the media for reporting on it. It’s just how he operates.

    • pl4tinum514 - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:42 PM

      Then his LRMR staff would blame everything on racism.

  12. diablito0402 - Jun 16, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Wow lebron young at 26 and yet only has 5 more years left of his prime. Ive never seen and athlete more protected and justified as lebron. Kevin garnett came in the league out of high school with 100 million contract and never acted childish, come on people jump out of lbjs sack and see things for how they really are. I dont care what he does or how he lives its just you people having his back blindfolded with out knowing him personally. I dont know him personally but the way he acts and talks in front of a camera says a lot, thats when your supposed to be professional and educated and hes not.

  13. diablito0402 - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    Your grounded from the way your parents raise you, rose strikes me as the total package on and out the basketball court hell even tracy mcgrady wasnt even like bron bron coming out of high school.

    • heat256 - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:39 PM

      So Rose’s SAT fiasco doesn’t stand out as a character flaw in your eyes?

      • neeciekay - Jun 17, 2011 at 4:03 PM

        NO, because NOTHING was proven!! Nor did Mr. Rose/MVP get up in front of millions and degrade himself, his teammates, his school, or the common man!! I’ve not heard this mentioned anymore prior to your’s and “barkley4life”s remarks. I’d take his ONE SAT fiasco allegation over Lebron’s numerous, proven, disrespect, arrogance, and juvenile behavior any day! You are the type of person that would enable and support a jerk like Lebron to continue in his madness, that’s why he acts the way he does, because people blinded by his “stardom” continue to worship him, even in his wrong-doings. Please don’t get it twisted “heat256” when Lebron doesn’t get what he wants out of Miami, he’ll toss you guys to the side, just like he did his hometown followers in Cleveland/Akron, OH. Then let’s see how many excuses you make for him then. . .

  14. decimusprime - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    like someone said lebron has been treated like a “king” before he went into puberty and he is 26, thats more than 1/2 his life and people learn all of these personality traits during those awkward years. its our fault, the media’s fault, the basketball world’s fault, we shaped this kid into who he is today (partly) so when we now turn our back on him and gasp “how dare he act this way” lets not forget it was our doing that made lebron who he is today…(partly). Everyone can change if they put in the work and let go of the baggage that is weighing you down.

  15. diablito0402 - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    About the sat scandal, i said rose is mature next to lebron, not perfect, can you grasp that?

  16. nfl25 - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    let me guess, the heat fans and lebron think Stoudemire is jealous that lebron is a millionaire and playing in the nba? oh wait so does Stoudemire, must be some other reason

    • edweird0 - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:47 PM

      Why you gotta be ignorant and bring in things that aren’t relevant? Who proclaimed “Im a HEAT fan and Stoudemire is just JEALOUS”? No one, thats who. Stop trying to take cheap shots at people you’ll never know. (Im talking about real Heat fans, not Lebron.)

  17. diablito0402 - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    I agree nfl25, i rooted against jordan for the reason he was the best and could not be denied and new he would always hit the game winning shot. I root against lechoke because they say he is better than jordan when he isnt 30% of what jordan was. Jordan legacy greatest ever PERIOD. Lebron legacy great regular season player, fades away in crunch time situations in the playoffs, am i lying?

    • edweird0 - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:45 PM

      “Remember: Legacy is how you are remembered forever @ the end of career, reputation is how you’re thought of @ the moment.” Im not making any excuses just being realistic. Lebrons career is far from over so nothing is set in stone yet. Whether he takes up the challenge to make himself a better person is a whole ‘nother story.

  18. smashmouthrb25 - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    you can’t use KG as an example of coming out of HS…KG had to earn his way to the top…KG was a big man at that time when the generation of big men were still in their prime…Lebron just has major maturity issues…does anyone know why?? nope and if Rose came to the NBA str8t out of HS ya he might have had the same problems…but he didn’t so we will never know…as far as the SAT scandal…only Calipari, Rose and a few others know the real truth behind that

    But we also have to look at the fact that Lebron has never had true pressure (as a teenager) did he really have any competition in high school? Where as people who go to college understand pressure…ie shooting free throws in the NCAA championship in which Rose missed…..

  19. diablito0402 - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    How did kg earned his way to the top, before he ever bounced a ball professionally he already had about $80 million in the bank…!!!!!he was the first ever colossal contract from a player coming out of high school.

  20. diablito0402 - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Look a kobe , at 21 he had shaq dominating 3 1/2 quarters of the game and kobe would close the games and he had no pressure growing up. Just dont make excuses for jim no more. He is just not a good or bright person, lbj that is.

    • david8726 - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:57 PM

      “He is just not a good or a bright person?”

      WTF is with these mindless personal attacks?

      Look, if you want to call LeBron egotistical or question his skills as a basketball player, thats fine, but you’re crossing the line when you start questioning his intellect and his overall character.

      First of all, the man is obviously extremely intelligent. He is well spoken, has his own business, and hang out with guys like Warren Buffet (not company that stupid people can keep).

      Secondly, the only crime the man has ever committed was being a douche by doing an hour long special to leave cleveland. Other than that, he’s been a good citizen.

      Like I said, I don’t have a problem with people being critical of LeBron…. but some of the stuff people say is just over the top.

  21. smashmouthrb25 - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    im not makin excuses from Bron…he does stupid stuff…says stupid stuff…IMO he is more concerned about how he appears to the public and how good he looks to the public and how everyone feels about him compared to playing ball…for instance….instead of showing passion for the game he makes comments about people wanting to see him fail…eff them id be more pissed we lost the finals…and as far as KG im referring to people who he played against…not his bank…Lebron came into the league a beast and never got beasted….KG had to come up banging against…think of all the elite big men at that time…Hakeem, Shaq in his prime, Tim Duncan in his prime (97′), Shawn Kemp, Charles Oakley, Charles Barkley…and the list goes on and on…KG had to put in a lot more work than Lebron did…all of the names previously mentioned humbled KG

    As far as Kobe is concerned he had it easy at that point…granite he had game coming in…but he could sleep through the game and then finish the last 5 minutes of the 4th…but one thing Kobe always had that I do not feel LBJ has is that killer instinct…

  22. diablito0402 - Jun 16, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    We finally agree on something, he says stupid stuff, and does stupid stuff, so he must be pretty ,,,,,,,,,,,,, see the patern on why america hates people defending this guy at all costs, sorry if i offended real and bandwaggon heat fans. But its the truth…. Its not so much him ,, but the people on his sack protecting this non pressure hitting shots basketball player.

    • barkley4life - Jun 16, 2011 at 7:12 PM

      On his sack lol ignorant Internet tough guys…gotta luv em.

  23. david8726 - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    The same people calling LeBron a choking dog are probably the same guys who put that label on Dirk after he failed in 2006 and 2007.

    LeBron is in his prime as a basketball player. He has PLENTY of time to figure out how to become a true closer.

    If Dirk could get his head together and lead a team to a title after years of failure, I don’t see why LeBron can’t.

  24. diablito0402 - Jun 17, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    Wow barkley4life in the military at 17 you sound more mature than lechoke at 26, but now at 33 you seem to be going backwards. I dont know about you people about imatureness or what but in your 20’s you should take care of business and be professional and educated at what you do. Saying and doing stupid things over and over dont speak well for a person, but what do i know barkley being in the military at 17 should of taught you better.

    • barkley4life - Jun 17, 2011 at 9:14 AM

      Lol so you know Lebron as a person because of basketball? You cant be that dumb. He’ll even Barkley said he’s a good dude that he likes he’s just said dumb things….but you know him better.

      Lmao seriously stop it.

      Stop judging people you don’t know. Keep it on the court and keep your bias and envy out of it.

      MJ was a womanizing gambling addict who is WELL known for being a supreme dick and douche. Who if during his title runs if there was twitter etc we would háve treated him ten times differently. Barkley through a guy through a bar window and said he hated white people lol…and again do I need to bring up Tiger Woods.

      Going backwards lol you keeping think that…I recommend some better “sourses” like spell check…

  25. diablito0402 - Jun 17, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    After all the military is one of the best sourses for teaching responsibility.

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