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Kornheiser, Feinstein, Bayless attack Gilbert

The latest Gilbert Arenas incident -- funny quote that undermines his coach, followed by fine, followed by bashful apology -- was to sports columnists like tossing a bag full of Goldfish in front of a gang of three-year olds.

Some -- like Mike Wise -- responded with subtlety. But I realized that not everyone would take such a reserved approach on Wednesday evening, when I heard John Feinstein on ESPN 980's Sports Reporters.

"This is why the Wizards are still dysfunctional, and will be as long as Gilbert Arenas is in the organization," Feinstein said. "And I hear people saying, 'Well, Gilbert's a good guy, there's no malice in Gilbert...' I have no doubt about any of that. [But] Gilbert's an idiot, all right? And by the way, Flip Saunders is no better, because what he should have done, was said...he's suspended the first five games. Forget this fine. It's monopoly money.

The problem with Gilbert and this organization is this organization, has never, ever disciplined the guy. They didn't suspend him; David Stern did. And they just keep acting like he's just sort of this cute, wayward kid, and haha, isn't that funny, Gilbert screwed up again."

Now, is Gilbert several Cheddar bursts short of a full box of Cheez-Its? Of course he is.

But he was similarly fruity when the Wizards were beating the Bulls in the playoffs, and it wasn't his loopiness that made his knee blow up the first time. I think it's fair to repeatedly point out that Gilbert is weird, and loves the spotlight, and causes media outbursts every few weeks. I'm not sure his presence assures the Wizards of dysfunction.

But Feinstein has media allies, like Tony Kornheiser, who went off on Wednesday's PTI.

"Has the guy learned nothing at all?" Kornheiser asked. "He gets a 50-game suspension for bringing guns into the locker room and then repeatedly lying about what he did, so now, in his first game back in Washington D.C., he lies again, thinks it's a big joke, undermines the coach, undermines the team, lies again and laughs about it. Cut him. Get him out of here. Get him gone. Get him out....

"The new owner, Ted Leonsis, embraces him. He makes Leonsis look like a fool. Like a fool. And he's going to completely undermine the career of John Wall, because he's so needy for attention, and he will say anything, and none of it is ever true. This is an indefensible act. If I'm the coach, I go to the GM [Tuesday] night when I find out, and I say don't fine him, get rid of him, get him out of here."

Well. That's a lot of stuff there. I'd think it's more likely that Gilbert's knee actually was bothering him, as Saunders said, than that he will completely undermine the career of John Wall by saying silly things to the media.

And yet the ire of Feinstein and Kornheiser did not render them incapable of speaking sensibly, as it did with Skip Bayless. Via SB Nation DC, Bayless was so angry that he repeatedly referred to "Nick Young" as "Chris Young" in his rant.

"We're talking about Agent Zero Brains here, that's what he is now," Skipper said. "And I have less than zero sympathy for him. What Gilbert doesn't understand is yes, he was honest, he was self-destructively honest. He outed himself here, he volunteered to reporters after the game that hey guys, guess what, I faked an injury so I could get my little buddy Chris Young some extra minutes in the exhibition game.

"And after Chris Young lit it up...Gilbert's ego was so much larger than his brain that he couldn't help but gloat to reporters, look how noble I was, look what I pulled off tonight, look what I wrought. No Gilbert, you lied to your coach. You're making $80 million guaranteed...and now you're shocked and offended that people are outraged? Just doesn't get it, never has got it."

So if you're wondering where to come down on this issue, you have the choice of siding with these gents, or against them.

By Dan Steinberg  | October 14, 2010; 1:46 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: CBS drama features "Vinny Cerrato"

Comments

Dude Zero undermined his coach (again), then bragged about it to the media and acted surprised when it blew up into a big story.

What's to like here? He's good for a quote? Just don't leave your shoes unattended when you're around him Steinz.

Posted by: rdpinva | October 14, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"And yet the ire of Feinstein and Kornheiser did not render them incapable of speaking sensibly, as it did with Skip Bayless."

Look, waking up renders Skip Bayless incapable of speaking sensibly. In this he has a good deal more in common with Gilbert than he'd like to think. The last time Bayless said something worth listening to, the year started with a "19", and probably "198."

However, Gilbert is still a prime example of a Mike Singletary "can't win with him" guy. I don't think he's stupid or malicious, but he's remarkably foolish, and you don't win in the NBA with fools.

This stunt, and the monopoly money fine in response, does undermine the authority of Flip Saunders and the credibility of the organization. You might be able to be successful with an important player who is entitled to take himself in and out of the lineup at will, but you can't succeed with one who can do it by lying with impunity. It's just impossible to take the Wizards seriously as long as he's on the active roster.

Posted by: zimbar | October 14, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

This issue, like many others, really separates people who try their hardest to make everything an binary choice and those who understand the concepts of subtly and shades of grey.

Those who try to frame all issues as either "This" or "That" and not allowing for anything in between do more to retard intelligent civil discourse than anything I can think of.

Feinstein and Kornheiser can be classic examplest of this simplistic thinking.

Posted by: CrabHands | October 14, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Again, someone needs to point out what is so different about this incident and the dozens if not hundreds of times EVERY SINGLE NFL PRESEASON where a player is held out because of a nonexistent injury.

Donovan McNabb was, according to him, healthy enough to play in the final 2 preseason games--but his coach was out there telling the media that not only was he missing the final preseason games, but he also didn't know if he'd be ready for the regular season opener. I don't recall Feinstein, Kornheiser, or Wilbon calling anyone liars and idiots then.

And please don't tell me that's because it was the coach making the decision. It still isn't clear whether or not Flip Saunders fined Gilbert for misrepresenting the severity of an injury, or whether he was fined for speaking about it to the media.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 14, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Korny Tonheiser and Frank Enstein have an agenda that has nothing to do with the success of the Wizards. Arenas was a winner in the past and can be one again.

Why would anyone want to get rid of Arenas without giving him another shot? To assume that Arenas can't help the Wizards win is to be a fool.

Posted by: joyster8 | October 14, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, didn't Feinstein just have a traffic accident while doing a radio interview while driving? And screaming out a profanity as it happened? Suspend his license for 5 months!!! Plus an on-air suspension for his inability to filter himself when talking to "the media".

Posted by: bowiemd1 | October 14, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Very true about Feinstein, Wilbon etc having an agenda here. The moment Gibert Arenas demonstrated his Second Amendment rights to owning a gun (or many guns), those clowns decided right then and there that they would never support Arenas again. And believe me, it has nothing to do with Arenas technically breaking the law by bringing guns registered in VA across the line into DC. No, what mattered most to the anti-2nd Amendment crowd was Arenas owned guns. Period.

Feinstein, Wilbon, etc will never forgive him for that. And Feinstein is about as ignorant as you can get when it comes to the gun rights debate--as every single one of his columns on guns over the years demonstrates.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 14, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Good point Barno1, I forgot about the NFL's injury shenanigans.

Posted by: ArmchairGM | October 14, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it was pretty stupid to admit you lied about having a snore knee, especially with your history of knee injuries. But, what makes anyone think that Gilbert is undermining the teams success. I have more fondness for Gil than I do for many of the press, including Kornhole and Frankenstein. Most reasonable fans will realize when Gil crosses the line. Having Gil will make Wall better. I believe his teammates love him. I think Flip has things under control.It's pretty ironic that the Wizards are alot better off this year by getting rid of Butler, Jamison and Haywood.

Posted by: bobilly2 | October 14, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Feinstein is an embarrassment. Don't forget his comments about the Duke lacrosse players, even after they were cleared.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | October 14, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

BARNO...you're a clown.

bringing your gun to work is not a 2nd admendment right.

Also, lying to your supervisor is not a right either, especially when you're a skating on thin ice.

You would be a great liberal judge. Probably parole everyone that said they were sorry.

Do you understand that gilbert doesn't compute consequences in his brain?

How many examples do you need man. He is like a 6 yr old child that always gets in trouble.

Posted by: jdgreger@yahoo.com | October 14, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot to mention Brainless in my previous comments who says that Arenas has no brains but can't even get Nick Young's name right. I've had it with these 3 stooges. These guys don't know anything about basketball and are not even very good at what they get paid to do. Korny Tonheiser is probably still bitter about getting kicked off Monday night football. Good riddance!!!

Arenas should be given the chance to prove whether he can play out on the court and not in a media lynching.

Posted by: joyster8 | October 14, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

geez you are a moron steiny. you just don't get it

Posted by: slim4 | October 14, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Kornheiser, Wilbon and Feistein have their opinion. It doesn't have to be right.
Their opinions regarding Arenas have not changed in any way in a long time as those of the ones that do want Arenas to succeed in redeeming himself.
In this instance, although I like these guys, they don't realize how foolish they look screaming at the top of their lungs just because they have a pulpit in which to do so.
Now, Tony Kornheiser feels comfortable calling Ted Leonsis a fool. Well that is just pathetic.

Gil is an idiot sometimes. But he is our idiot. And was (hopefully still is) the best basketball player to wear a Washington uniform in almost 40 years.
Wilbon, Kornheiser and Feinstein are idiots, too, sometimes. But, they are our idiots, too.
So, guys wer heard ya. Shut up about it. I defend Gil and you may not like to hear this but often I have to defend you guys, too. Like in times like this.

Posted by: MDterpfan | October 14, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

joyster8 - exactly when was Gil a winner? He's gotten his team to the second round of the playoffs a grand total of one time. While he has hit his share of dramatic game winners, he also choked against Cleveland at the line. I think most people have a soft spot in their heart for Gil because he is like a 10 year old who causes trouble but seems like he doesn't mean any harm. The problem is that he's a grown man and the ostensible leader of this team (after John Wall - a rookie!). A leader doesn't lie to his coach about an injury, especially when he was suspended last year.

Tracee Hamilton makes a great point in her column about Gil being the one who needs the preseason because he's barely played the last three years. Instead of giving time to Nick Young, who is nothing but a role player, Gil should have been on the court if he was fit to play.

Posted by: gkronenberg | October 14, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I love Chris Young!

Does Kornheiser the sports genius have any bright ideas on how you "get rid of" a guy due about 68 million dollars over the next 4 seasons?

Posted by: Kev29 | October 14, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

NFL Preseason and “please don't tell me that's because it was the coach making the decision”

Actually, this is exactly the point – and you missed it completely. If the coach said Arenas can sit out without an injury, then that is fine. The issue is that Gilbert lied to the coach about it. If the coach is in on the decision then there is no issue at all. In essence, Gil thinks he knows how to make game time personnel decisions better that the coach. And he deliberately lied to the coach about it. Disgraceful.

Posted by: TheOtherGuyInSection117 | October 14, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

WOW! i have finally figured out why washington teams suck... it's because the local media won't rest and makes a career out of killing our local teams and players. there in NO loyalty in this town... it's a dog eat dog shark infested pool and with that who would ever want to play here.... Camelo Anthony run as fast as you can... run away from the haters!

Posted by: aadrianne | October 14, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

gkronenberg -- I actually agree with you that Gil is not a leader. He actually has never claimed to be a leader and has never wanted that role.

John Wall is a leader; Gil is a scorer. You need both. Why not see whether the 2 can work together and make the Wizards into a team that can win.

Sure, the Wizards did not go far in the playoffs with Arenas. They have been even worse without him for the past 3 years. He is a winner in the sense that he makes this a better team because he does something that not many players can do as well as he does. He puts the basketball in the hole.

Let's give him a chance to do that with a natural leader working with him.

I believe John Wall is going to be awesome. He can lead the offense and plays defense. However, he is not the shooter that Arenas is.

In any event, as pointed out by Kev29, you can't get rid of Arenas with his salary and his history. So why not try to make it work instead of constantly bashing the guy.

Go, Wizards!!!

Posted by: joyster8 | October 14, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

joyster8 - I'd like Gil to stick around in the abstract but I just can't trust him to be an actual professional, which is what this team needs. Like with Shanahan taking over the Skins, the Wizards need PROFESSIONALS who are serious about what they do if they want to win. Gil isn't serious about anything. I've loved watching him (well, not the last three years since he basically hasn't played) but I think he needs to be in a new setting and the Wiz need to rid themselves of him (assuming that is even possible).

Posted by: gkronenberg | October 14, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

So the old guys who hate everything and basically exist at this point to shout loudly and take extreme positions, in 30 second increments - hate Gil?

OK, good to know.


Posted by: tha_prophet | October 14, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

WOW! i have finally figured out why washington teams suck... it's because the local media won't rest and makes a career out of killing our local teams and players. there in NO loyalty in this town... it's a dog eat dog shark infested pool and with that who would ever want to play here.... Camelo Anthony run as fast as you can... run away from the haters!

Posted by: aadrianne | October 14, 2010 3:38 PM

Is there anything to be said for the role of fan stupidity in the descent of DC sports?

Posted by: Kev29 | October 14, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

In a month's time, no one will care about this, and maybe Arenas will have said something else silly, and maybe he won't, but this screwup is not even close to the level of his last screwup. I was relieved when I heard he lied about the knee, because that knee is fairly important to this team. What I worry is that there was more truth in his lie than he was willing to admit.

Posted by: Patera | October 14, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Wise is an idiot and embarrassment to the Post and profession.

Posted by: mddcny | October 14, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert Arenas is an immature egomaniac who only cares about himself. He needs to go. He is toxic to the team and always will be unless he has his way. During his so-called apology, he sounded like a petulant little brat, even resorting to blaming the media for what he did. The Wizards have already made mistakes by getting rid of gentlemen such as Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler while keeping Gilbert.

Posted by: Amelgepo | October 14, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Very true about Feinstein, Wilbon etc having an agenda here. The moment Gibert Arenas demonstrated his Second Amendment rights to owning a gun (or many guns), those clowns decided right then and there that they would never support Arenas again. And believe me, it has nothing to do with Arenas technically breaking the law by bringing guns registered in VA across the line into DC. No, what mattered most to the anti-2nd Amendment crowd was Arenas owned guns. Period.

Posted by: Barno1

Do you actually listen to yourself sometimes? In your mind, the condemnation of the writers has nothing to do with the fact that a 100+ million dollar player; who was recently suspended for doing something ridiculous, childish, illegal, and against league rules; was just caught doing something ridiculous and childish again. In your mind, it's all a paranoid conspiracy to once again punish a man for owning a weapon. The fact that he's a confirmed liar and idiot who has cost the Wizards millions of dollars in lost salary and credibility has absolutely nothing to do with it, they all hate guns SOOO much that they're publically condemning Gilbert for having weapons.

Do you even have the slightest bit of proof to support your Gilbert critics are defacto second ammendment opponents theory?

Posted by: jbanks979 | October 14, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday I said Flip did the organization a dirty deed by blabbing this latest Gil incident to the media. I said he should be called on the carpet. Today everyone can see the damage he did in trying to hang GA out to dry. I now wonder was this another step in trying to cancel the contract. And, I never thought about liberals and gun rights, but now that it has been mentioned it is hard to ignore. Let the Washington fans enjoy a season with a lineup that can compete. You writers are ruining the hopes of this team. Find some good sportswriters.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | October 14, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

There is no question in my mind that these guys are using their position as sports writers to promote their anti-gun agenda. If you go through the things they have written and spoken over the last year, you will have plenty of proof of that fact.

It is also their right as American citizens to be against guns. No problem with them expressing their opinion. However, using Gil as the whipping boy for their political ideologies is unfair to Gil.

The fact is that Delonte West got only a ten day suspension for carrying loaded guns on his motorcycle where they could actually go off and hurt someone.

Gil got a far more severe penalty. I believe he got that penalty to appease people like the 3 stooges. I can't prove that, but the difference in how Gil was treated and continues to be treated by the media smells of an agenda driven bias.

Of course, I could be wrong -- but I don't think so.

Posted by: joyster8 | October 14, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

The fact is that Delonte West got only a ten day suspension for carrying loaded guns on his motorcycle where they could actually go off and hurt someone.

A Motorcycle wasn't Delonte West's workplace, against the law, and specifically prohibited by his NBA contract. That seems to be three points ignored by anyone who complains about the media coverage of the incident. It's not gun ownership that is the issue, it is irresponsible, prohibited, and in this case illegal actions that are the issue. Reflexively complaining about agenda driven bias doesn't change that basic fact.

To Quote noted NRA activist Karl Malone:

"I don't want to see Arenas made an example of, but this is not just a minor situation, and if we say that, it's ridiculous. This is one of those times that the league needs to say, "We will not condone this."

"It's wrong to make light of a firearm. That's when mistakes are made. 'Fess up, and don't blow it off like it wasn't a mistake. Say, "I made a terrible mistake with a gun. I need to make it right." This is nothing to be laughing about."

"I love guns, and I respect guns. I have them in a secure place."

"It's a privilege to own a firearm and I take offense when people don't handle their business the right way."

Posted by: jbanks979 | October 14, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Do you even have the slightest bit of proof to support your Gilbert critics are defacto second ammendment opponents theory?

Posted by: jbanks979 | October 14, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, John Feinstein is a known opponent of the Second Amendment. He has spoken out against gun rights for years. Read his columns dude. That is why he and many Arenas-critics hate him now and forever. Obviously I am not saying everyone who has issues with Arenas is automatically anti-gun, but I am saying those that ARE anti-gun are much more likely to have major issues with Arenas now.

It is naive to think the anti-gun crowd hasn't used Arenas to further their agenda. Sorry, but you are only kidding yourself if you can't admit that.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 14, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

It is naive to think the anti-gun crowd hasn't used Arenas to further their agenda. Sorry, but you are only kidding yourself if you can't admit that.

Posted by: Barno1

I will happily admit that someone who hates guns will easily use gun related stupidity to further their personal agenda. I just think it's incredibly myopic of you to assume that it's the sole or even primary factor in everyone's analysis.

As I noted above, criticism if Gilbert is not restricted to those who have an anti-gun agenda.

Posted by: jbanks979 | October 14, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Baby, rainbow, or pretzel?

Posted by: WorstSeat | October 14, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Obviously I am not saying everyone who has issues with Arenas is automatically anti-gun, but I am saying those that ARE anti-gun are much more likely to have major issues with Arenas now.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 14, 2010 7:40 PM

I just think it's incredibly myopic of you to assume that it's the sole or even primary factor in everyone's analysis.

As I noted above, criticism if Gilbert is not restricted to those who have an anti-gun agenda.

Posted by: jbanks979 | October 14, 2010 9:06 PM |

I think you may have some reading comprehension issues. I said obviously everyone who has issues with gilbert isn't necessarily anti-gun. Your response is that it's myopic of me to think everyone who has issues with Gilbert is anti-gun. Uh...

Posted by: Barno1 | October 14, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

"Very true about Feinstein, Wilbon etc having an agenda here. The moment Gibert Arenas demonstrated his Second Amendment rights to owning a gun (or many guns), those clowns decided right then and there that they would never support Arenas again. And believe me, it has nothing to do with Arenas technically breaking the law by bringing guns registered in VA across the line into DC. No, what mattered most to the anti-2nd Amendment crowd was Arenas owned guns. Period."

"Obviously I am not saying everyone who has issues with Arenas is automatically anti-gun, but I am saying those that ARE anti-gun are much more likely to have major issues with Arenas now."

Perhaps you have reading comprehension issues with your earlier statement. Or maybe you should have clarified "etc" to mean only those that have pre-existing anti gun agendas.

And your still missing the one and only point that it was never Arena's gun ownership at issue. You continue to assume that your pre-existing army of sports writing anti-gun crusaders are completely ignoring Arena's irresponsible, illegal, and explicitly prohibited by NBA contract actions and are only criticizing him for owning a gun
(as you said in your "it has nothing to do with Arenas technically breaking the law by bringing guns registered in VA across the line into DC. No, what mattered most to the anti-2nd Amendment crowd was Arenas owned guns. Period.")

THAT is what is incredibly myopic and naive

Posted by: jbanks979 | October 14, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert Arenas has mental illness(es). It's like blaming him for a bad knee.

Everybody wants to blame people for being either "Stupid" or "Selfish" or "Immature," but I think A LOT more of us are "crazy" than anybody wants to admit.

How about the WR for the Broncos who shot himself to death? Selfish act? Stupid, maybe... Didn't remember that he had loaded the gun?

How about calling it what it is: "Insane."

Gilbert Arenas needs mental help. God knows he can afford the co-pay on that. At least he's got health insurance, unlike many "crazy" people who end up in our NEW depository institutions: Jails.

I guess most homeless people are also just "Stupid" or "immature."

"Hey, Dummy! You'd be much warmer inside a warm house, you moron!"

Or

"Hey, Grow up, you immature homeless veteran! What are you? You must be 60 years old! Don't you think it's about time you accepted the responsibilities of a full-time job and a mortgage?"

See also: Terrell Owens.

Posted by: Thinker_ | October 15, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Barno is a right wing lunatic.

If Fran Tarkenton farts, Barno perceives it as an intentional act meant to raise awareness about air pollution, which will enable new and stronger legislation against pollutants, embolden the tree-huggers, expand the EPA's role, and bring up the question of noise pollution (because Fran deals the loudest bombs).


Barno, Barno, Barno...

Turn off your radio, dude. Turn off the Glennnnn Beck. Stop with the Fox News. They're making you Stupid(er).

I'm serious.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself. You sound crazy.

PS - Please don't have me banned for life with your "offended" canned response to the WAPO like you did to Poopy_McPoop. Thanks.

Posted by: Thinker_ | October 15, 2010 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Dilbert's brain must be in his knee. Faking an injury and then next game injuring the knee-is he faking it? Coach, if you have any balls at all you get rid of the idiot!

Posted by: yeldarb | October 15, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Frankly, the only dumb thing Gilbert did was owning up to the lie. If he'd just kept his mouth shut and in a day or so said "Feeling better here Coach" none of this tempest in a teapot would be swirling around. And Saunders would be ahead of the game for knowing what Young can do in a game.

Some guy on TV the other night was making a point about how dumb he thought Arenas was, but he was right about what the topic of conversation SHOULD have been -- how well Young played, how well Wall played, etc and etc. Not Arenas.

Enough already, you know? They can't trade him; he just wants to feel wanted by a team that now has somebody ELSE to be the hot-shot guard. Show him a little love, reassure him and let's move on. They are a better team WITH him than without him.

Besides, who gives a rat's _ _ _ what Kornheiser, Wilbon and "Junior" think?

About anything.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | October 15, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"... don't win in the NBA with fools."

*paging Mr. Laimbeer and Mr. Rodman and Mr. Artest*

Posted by: playahatah | October 15, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Moronic fools playing in professional sports are a dime a dozen, but so are moronic fools writing for the Washington Post Sport section. Playing with guns by the first group is not surprising to anyone except to the second group. Undermining and disrespecting authority is not tolerated by anyone except by all fools.

Posted by: hock1 | October 16, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

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