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Nothing but a Gee thing

Alonzo Gee's departure to the San Antonio Spurs was a bit surprising to me, because I was actually considering writing a profile on him yesterday under the assumption that he would stick around for the rest of the year. After Gee scored 19 points against Charlotte on Friday, Coach Flip Saunders all but assured that the Wizards were going to keep him.

But the Wizards weren't counting on other suitors entering the picture, or that the Spurs would put them in a position where retaining Gee this season would also require investing in him next season. Gee wasn't expensive by any means, but when the Wizards lost Josh Howard for the rest of the season, they wanted to use an available roster spot to rotate several players on 10-day contracts with the hope of discovering a hidden gem.

They found one in Gee, but the Spurs were probably the one team more aware of his talents, since he spent an entire season getting acclimated to their system with the Austin Toros, San Antonio's Development League affiliate. When San Antonio offered Gee a contract for the rest of this season and gave him a partially guaranteed deal for next season, the 6-foot-6 rookie from Alabama found an opportunity that he couldn't pass up.

Gee's agent, Andre Buck, told me that after his client went undrafted last June he had opportunities to go overseas. Buck encouraged Gee to stay in the D-League and wait it out. But after later rejecting another offer to play in Italy, Buck said Gee asked him, "Are we going to keep turning down money?"

The Wizards had an opportunity to keep Gee. And, considering the opportunity that he had in Washington -- where the soft-spoken Gee was well-liked by the coaching staff and his teammates -- he wanted to return. But Gee also wanted some security.

The Wizards wanted to hold on to all of its cap space and didn't want to make a commitment for next season unless it first came in the form of a marquee free agent. They always thought about bringing back Gee after taking care of the draft and free agency. Gee couldn't wait for that, especially when there was a model franchise with a history of championships offering him a chance to improve each day in practice -- and let him earn a little extra postseason money, since Gee will be eligible for the playoffs.

"For a young guy in his position, it was great that he was able to get the playing time that he got with Washington," Buck said. "The reality of it is, the situation in Washington could be looked at two different ways. Play a lot now and in the future, but with the draft picks that they have, the guys that will be back with the team, the change in ownership, there are situations that could lead to it not being an ideal situation. You don't know what will come out of it.

"He's familiar with the Spurs situation. It was a team that he was with last summer" in summer league play, he said. "We always felt and knew there was interest from them, also. To have the playoff experience would be something really good for him. To be around those guys and around that situation, we thought might be positive."

Gee proved that he could play in this league. He has incredible athleticism and he won't back down from a challenge. He never seemed in awe of having to guard all-stars like Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Brandon Roy or Gerald Wallace in recent weeks. Anthony even congratulated him on getting called up after Gee had 13 points and 10 rebounds two weeks ago in Denver.

"I don't get intimidated. I just go out there and play hard," Gee said last Saturday.

Gee said he was surprised that things worked out so quickly for him in Washington. "I wouldn't imagine it happening really fast, and this happened super fast," Gee said.

His exit was even faster.

From the Wizards' perspective, you have to consider Gee probably wouldn't have become a starter if not for the injury to Al Thornton. Heck, if Josh Howard were healthy, the Wizards wouldn't have had a need for Gee at all. Plus, the Wizards didn't win any of the 11 games that Gee played here.

So, while losing Gee stings right now, the Wizards and their fans should hope that they make considerable improvements in the small forward/shooting guard slot this summer.

By Michael Lee  |  March 30, 2010; 10:35 AM ET
 
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Next: Wizards sign Cartier Martin

Comments

Not a huge loss in the big scheme of things. He's probably the 9th or 10th guy on a good team. He reminds me a little bit of Darvin Ham, maybe with a slightly better jump shot, though not by much. Very athletic but limited offensively. Thornton will be here next year. Howard may be here. If Howare is not brought back, find one in free agency to compete with Thornton for the starting spot. I think the SF spot should be fine.

Posted by: garg8050 | March 30, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"From the Wizards' perspective, you have to consider Gee probably wouldn't have become a starter if not for the injury to Al Thornton. Heck, if Josh Howard were healthy, the Wizards wouldn't have had a need for Gee at all. Plus, the Wizards didn't win any of the 11 games that Gee played here."

So what? Some players don't get a chance to show what they can do until players in front of them get hurt. And I hardly place a ton of blame on Gee for the fact that the Wizards are downright terrible.

Since when did it become acceptable to let a young guy who plays hard and has shown a bit of promise -- and doesn't make that much money -- basically just leave for another team that already has a history of making shrewd personnel moves? Obviously losing Gee isn't the end of the world, but it does at least show that the Wizards' front office doesn't really have a clue what it's doing right now.

Posted by: mkremnitzer0 | March 30, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

pretty pointless to look for a diamond in the rough if you wont sign them when you find one. Gee may not develop further, but at 22, he was better than Al Thornton while he was here.

Posted by: divi3 | March 30, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the explanation. It's disappointing, but I had trouble believing it was the fiasco some of the more hysterical bloggers were making it out to be. It's definitely a gamble on EG's part, since I'd imagine that once the top of the roster has been built, Gee's the exact type of player they'll be looking for to fill up the bench spots, but it's unfair for people to act like Grunfeld just forgot to offer him a contract. I also think it's extremely unreasonable to assume that Gee wouldn't have bolted for another team in the offseason, anyway.

Posted by: IrenePollin | March 30, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Wouldn’t that be a great way to usher out the Pollin administration if they didn’t win another game all year long?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 30, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

but it's unfair for people to act like Grunfeld just forgot to offer him a contract.

Posted by: IrenePollin | March 30, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

IrenePollin

He didn't forget he was told not to spend the money on Gee.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 30, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

the Spurs were probably the one team more aware of his talents, since he spent an entire season getting acclimated to their system with the Austin Toros, San Antonio's Development League affiliate.

A Development League affiliate?

I guess that's where a good team sends their 2nd round draft picks.

Bad teams sell theirs for ca$h.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 30, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Can I start the rally for Erin to pursue restricted free agent Rudy Gay. Not a superstar, but could be and think of a starting line up with him, GA, AB, JM and NY or if we're lucky Wall or Turner. Not bad. Think about it.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | March 30, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Wiz philosophy is "better sorry than safe." They achieved that again. I doubt Gee would have eaten enough salary cap space so they couldn't sign a top free agent. It was just a partial guarantee anyway. Why would the top FA guys want to be a Wiz? In a couple years, yes.

Posted by: EdDC | March 30, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Can I start the rally for Erin to pursue restricted free agent Rudy Gay. Not a superstar, but could be and think of a starting line up with him, GA, AB, JM and NY or if we're lucky Wall or Turner. Not bad. Think about it.
Posted by: 33dgriffin | March 30, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

This sounds good at this stage of the Wiz rebuilding. Not one of the very top guys, but a guy the Wiz can maybe get. Good thinking, 33. Only problem is that Gay is a restricted FA, which means a sign and trade or a match by Griz.

Posted by: EdDC | March 30, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

If Gilbert is truly back next year, we will know all too well and by the Allstar break whether or not he is a self-centered cancer.

LarryInClintonMD.

If that young man hasn't begun to adapt his style by now God help him. He'll never learn.

glawrence007

They use to talk about AI the same way in Philly every year and he still hasn't changed?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 30, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Well, I'm giving GIL the benefit of the doubt, and keeping my fingers crossed at the same time.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 30, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

DA'SEAN BUTLER comes immediately to mind with the CAVS #1 pick IF he's there at that point.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 30, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Bad teams sell theirs for ca$h.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 30, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Would that be D-Mac you're intimating?

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 30, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Larry,

Maybe the Wizard player should take a page from the nets when they....

several sources say the Nets huddled up at halftime, discussed adjustments amongst themselves and bolted the locker room without waiting for Vandeweghe and former assistant Del Harris to address them.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 30, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine a top flight FA coming to Washington next season. I would have kept Gee. Just my two cents

Posted by: BruinSteve | March 30, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

glawrence007

Here are Ernie's 2nd round draft picks?

04 Peter John Ramos (a joke)
05 Andray Blatche (Ernie's only good draft pick in 5 years)
06 Vladimir Veremeenko (who)
07 Dominic McGuire (traded for cap space)
08 Traded to Boston for Ca$h (?)
09 Traded to Houston for Ca$h (?)

Why waste time and money developing young player when your GM can't draft any?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 30, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

It is official now, Wiz now ranked lower than the Nets in NBA's power ranking:
http://www.nba.com/powerrankings/

Quite frankly, without a single win in March, I think they should be at the bottom!

Posted by: sagaliba | March 30, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Was hoping there would be a some interesting banter on here, but its just BF78 saying the same things over and over and over and over and over andover.

How about this boringfan78? You tell us what to do instead of talking about what wasn't done.

You know who is on the roster now and what kind of money we have and the approximate spot for the picks (somewhere from 1-5 and then the 29th or 30th and the 35th).

Show me the team you would make from this mess.

Posted by: Blurred | March 30, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

It is official now, Wiz now ranked lower than the Nets in NBA's power ranking:
http://www.nba.com/powerrankings/
Posted by: sagaliba

This shouldn't be a surprise. Look at who's still healthy on this team.
The season can't be over soon enuff.
Who's gonna start tonight??


Posted by: VBFan | March 30, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

glawrence007

Here are Ernie's 2nd round draft picks?

04 Peter John Ramos (a joke)
05 Andray Blatche (Ernie's only good draft pick in 5 years)
06 Vladimir Veremeenko (who)
07 Dominic McGuire (traded for cap space)
08 Traded to Boston for Ca$h (?)
09 Traded to Houston for Ca$h (?)

Why waste time and money developing young player when your GM can't draft any?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 30, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

That's good record for #2's. Naturally I don't like just getting cash, but Blatche by himself makes the Wiz record better than most.

Posted by: EdDC | March 30, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

YOU SNOOZE..WELL....
THE WIZARDS JUST HAD TO OFFER HIM A MINIMUM
CONTRACT. IF GEE TURNS OUT TO BE A GOOD NBA PLAYER..ERNIE CAN KICK HIMSELF DOWN LOW. THAT IS IF THE E MAN IS STILL AROUND NEXT YEAR!

Posted by: blazerguy234 | March 30, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The Spurs have an established track record of winning, including multiple championships. They wanted Gee.

The Wizards.......................... well, you get the picture.

Posted by: clfrdj | March 30, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

good for him. Right now teh Wiz have no idea which way they are going. i would take security and opportunity in San Antonio over the potential opportunity in Washington any day.

Posted by: oknow1 | March 30, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Gee, what if he becomes a really good player? You can bet on it now!

Posted by: richs91 | March 30, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

How long will the new ownership put up with Grunfeld? His track record in Washington speaks for itself. ESPN recently called him a bungler of a GM on their web site. Take a hike please.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | March 30, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"Obviously losing Gee isn't the end of the world, but it does at least show that the Wizards' front office doesn't really have a clue what it's doing right now. Posted by: mkremnitzer0"

No it doesn't. That may be the case, but this example doesn't prove it.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 30, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Mike, u've hurt ur credibility with this article. No matter how u spin it, losing Alonzo Gee is a failure of the wizards organization.
Yes Gee isnt God, but this incident has left the fans without any doubt that the wizards are a joke.

Ted Leonsis needs to fumigate and clear out that building fast.

Posted by: leaf7 | March 30, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Michael Lee I'm surprised at you not getting to the bottom of what really happened. The cap space argument is absurd. Gee would cost $457000, barely a dent in the cap space. If we don't have 12 players signed we will be charged $457000 per each space less than 12 that isn't unfilled. Its a roster charge counting against cap space. So again the cap space argument makes no sense. Its obvious the Front Office was asleep here and you seem to be covering for them.

Posted by: windrider1 | March 30, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"Here are Ernie's 2nd round draft picks?
04 Peter John Ramos (a joke)
05 Andray Blatche (Ernie's only good draft pick in 5 years)
06 Vladimir Veremeenko (who)
07 Dominic McGuire (traded for cap space)
08 Traded to Boston for Ca$h (?)
09 Traded to Houston for Ca$h (?)
Why waste time and money developing young player when your GM can't draft any?
Posted by: bulletsfan78"

Unofficial tally of 2nd round picks by Boston, Lakers, and Cleveland over the same period:

2004: Justin Reed (Celts), Marcus Douthit (LA), No pick (Cle)
2005: Orien Green (BC), Ronny Turiaf (LA), Cle (no pick)
2006: Boston (no pick); Cheik Samb (LA); Daniel Gibson (Cle)
2007: Gabe Pruitt (BC); Sun Yue (LA); Cleve no pick
2008: Semih Erden (BC); Joe Crawford (LA); Clev no pick.
2009: Lester Hudson (BC); LA no pick; Cle no pick

Posted by: Samson151 | March 30, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Anyone questioning EG second round drafting ability is clueless.

I will take roster flexibility next year over signing a undrafted d-leaguer this season. That flexibility will allow for the late first rounder and the second round pick from 2010 with a chance to actually make the team. It will also allow 3 or 4 undrafted players or free agents the chance to fight over a roster spot. All more valuable then signing Gee Wiz.

But what do I know I stop watching Wizard game over a month ago for my personal sanity. : )

Posted by: dcinmd1 | March 30, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so it's not so much that they goofed and forgot to offer him a deal, or procrastinated, or the Pollins were cheap as was widely debated.....they're just foolish and short-sighted. Phew. What a relief.

I believe the phrase is penny-wise, pound-foolish.

Posted by: ts35 | March 30, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I will take roster flexibility next year over signing a undrafted d-leaguer this season. That flexibility will allow for the late first rounder and the second round pick from 2010 with a chance to actually make the team. It will also allow 3 or 4 undrafted players or free agents the chance to fight over a roster spot. All more valuable then signing Gee Wiz.

But what do I know I stop watching Wizard game over a month ago for my personal sanity. : )
Posted by: dcinmd1

So what you're saying is you'd rather have the chance to find an undrafted player who can hang in the league rather than actually sign an undrafted player who can hang in the league. Take a moment and reflect on that one.

Posted by: ts35 | March 30, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

generally i'm pretty lenient on EG, but cant give him a pass here. Gee looks like a better player than the majority of 2nd round picks turn out to be anyway (see above lists). The idea that a young, athletic guy with that attitude and skillset "may not fit" with type of team supposedly being built is nonsense.

Of course, Zards have much bigger fish to fry so it wont matter that much in the end- but it reflects poorly on management for sure imho

Posted by: divi3 | March 30, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Gee would have probably stayed with the Wizards. But he got a call from an NBA team.

Posted by: noslok | March 30, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

To sign Gee the Wiz would've need to beaten the Spurs offer (partially guaranteed contract next season + playoff money this season). The only way he signs is for a guaranteed contract next year, right?

Why would the Wiz front office do that though? This team could look radically different next year through the draft and free agency, so why start locking role players into rosters spots now? Especially since for all we know, we might end up being stacked at his position next year.

Posted by: amalg | March 30, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

This sounds good at this stage of the Wiz rebuilding. Not one of the very top guys, but a guy the Wiz can maybe get. Good thinking, 33. Only problem is that Gay is a restricted FA, which means a sign and trade or a match by Griz.

Posted by: EdDC | March 30, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

If we overpay him a little there is no guarantee the Giz will match.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/frank_hughes/03/26/grizzlies.future/index.html

Posted by: 33dgriffin | March 30, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

What's all this talk about Gilbert being a cancer? Before his injury he was one of the top players in this leaugue and he made the team/teammates better. Jamison even made the alstar team for the first time as a Wizard and Butler just missed out. Unfortunately he got hurt and it was going to take some time for him to get reacclimated to his teammates, but noone ever said he was a cancer. He has a reputation as a hard worker and always in the gym. Has any questioned Flip's system? With a good draft and some key free agent additions, with Gil coming back can make the Wiz a formidable team next season. All the drama from this season could be a blessing in disguise.

Posted by: garrybrown | March 30, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

from what i saw of him, gee certainly belongs in the league and I'm disappointed the wiz weren't as convinced, a minimum contract is all it would have taken, either way good luck alonzo I enjoyed your brief stint, he will make a name for himself around the league if he gets minutes in san antone, the visibility of being on the spurs should help him get another contract if for some reason it doesn't work out down there

Posted by: bford1kb | March 30, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"Not a huge loss in the big scheme of things. He's probably the 9th or 10th guy on a good team. He reminds me a little bit of Darvin Ham, maybe with a slightly better jump shot, though not by much. "

Probably the smartest thing that's been said amid all this noise.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 30, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh my God!!! The Spurs signed Gee!!! Oh no!!! Ernie is the devil. And this is after they signed Roger "MJ" Mason, Jr. and DeJuan "Bill Russell" Blair. Life is over!!!!

Gee = Mitchell Butler, Larry Stewart, Dominic McGuire, Darvin Hamm, Tyrone Nesby, Aaron Williams, Awvee Storey, Donell Taylor, etc.

Those guys didn't exactly put us over the top. It's not what they call "a big deal" in the biz. In my opinion.

Posted by: Urnesto | March 30, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"But what do I know I stop watching Wizard game over a month ago for my personal sanity. : )Posted by: dcinmd1"

Did it work?

Posted by: Samson151 | March 30, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"Not a huge loss in the big scheme of things. He's probably the 9th or 10th guy on a good team. He reminds me a little bit of Darvin Ham, maybe with a slightly better jump shot, though not by much. "

Probably the smartest thing that's been said amid all this noise.


Not sure about this assessment. I don't want to over inflate Gee either but 19 pts in your first start in the NBA shows he has a chance to be more than a 9th or 10th best player on a team. Particularly one who dogs players on defense, has a nice shot, rebounds, and can explode off the floor. And, the comparison to Darvin Ham is laughable. One is a guard, one is a forward. One couldn't hit an open layup, one couldn't scored 19 pts in this first start. The closest you could get to them being similar is they both have pogo sticks for legs. The actual smartest thing I've read about this situation is that Gee is better than virtually anybody you could draft in the second round. I'll take a free second rounder anyday.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 30, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Edit: "one scored 19 pts in his first start"

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 30, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"Here are Ernie's 2nd round draft picks?
04 Peter John Ramos (a joke)
05 Andray Blatche (Ernie's only good draft pick in 5 years)
06 Vladimir Veremeenko (who)
07 Dominic McGuire (traded for cap space)
08 Traded to Boston for Ca$h (?)
09 Traded to Houston for Ca$h (?)
Why waste time and money developing young player when your GM can't draft any?
Posted by: bulletsfan78"

Unofficial tally of 2nd round picks by Boston, Lakers, and Cleveland over the same period:

2004: Justin Reed (Celts), Marcus Douthit (LA), No pick (Cle)
2005: Orien Green (BC), Ronny Turiaf (LA), Cle (no pick)
2006: Boston (no pick); Cheik Samb (LA); Daniel Gibson (Cle)
2007: Gabe Pruitt (BC); Sun Yue (LA); Cleve no pick
2008: Semih Erden (BC); Joe Crawford (LA); Clev no pick.
2009: Lester Hudson (BC); LA no pick; Cle no pick


Brilliant! Thanks for pointing out what an idiot bulletsfan is. That proves that Ernie has out drafted all three of those franchises within the same time frame. AB and DM win easily!

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 30, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"I don't want to over inflate Gee either but 19 pts in your first start in the NBA shows he has a chance to be more than a 9th or 10th best player on a team."

No, it really doesn't. One game doesn't prove anything at all. Never has and never will. He played okay in his stint here. That's pretty much it. He showed some good stuff, showed some bad stuff, showed nothing to suggest he was irreplaceable or vital. Might he have been a useful role player if he'd stayed? It's certainly possible, but far, far from a given. Is his loss insurmountable? Hardly. Not even close. He was in the D-League for a reason, the same reason all of the other undersized swingmen with iffy jumpers and a ton of energy are in the D-League. There's probably a dozen guys (at least) as good or better than him to be had in the D-League right now or in the second round of the draft a couple of months from now. There's no need to mourn Gee's loss. None.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 30, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"Here are Ernie's 2nd round draft picks?
04 Peter John Ramos (a joke)
05 Andray Blatche (Ernie's only good draft pick in 5 years)
06 Vladimir Veremeenko (who)
07 Dominic McGuire (traded for cap space)
08 Traded to Boston for Ca$h (?)
09 Traded to Houston for Ca$h (?)
Why waste time and money developing young player when your GM can't draft any?
Posted by: bulletsfan78"

I dunno', but one potential All-Star starter, and one role player out of six picks in round two sounds pretty good to me. My second this year, either JEROME JORDAN 7'0" 245 C TULSA Sr., or GREIVIS VASQUEZ 6'6" 200 PG/SG MARYLAND Sr. IF the second pick from the KINGS materializes, I like OMAR SAMHEN 6'11" 265 ST. MARY'S Sr., or MALCOLM DELANEY 6'3" 180 PG/SG VIRGINIA TECH Jr., if he declares.

For our #4 pick I like DeMARCUS COUSINS 6'11" 285 C/PF KENTUCKY Fr. or DERRICK FAVORS 6'10" 245 PF GEORGIA TECH , and DA'SEAN BUTLER 6'7" 225 SF WEST VIRGINIA Sr., or NEMANJA BJELICA 6'10" 223 PF/SF SERBIA age 23 with the CAV's pick.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 30, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

That should have been:

There's probably a dozen guys (at least) as good or better than him to be had in the D-League right now and in the second round of the draft a couple of months from now.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 30, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Gee will more than likely be an off the bench energy guy with the Spurs, but his physical ability and the lack of fear of other players, would have made him a nice player here. In a short time here, I have seen enough to think that he would fit the team better than Nick Young. We have not had a 2 guard that can score and play defence since a young Larry Hughes and at his size he would be more physical than Hughes. And for those of you that are posting that he would be no better than anyone we would get in the second round, that is bull. This kid's ability to take the ball to the hole, in a half court setting, and be agressive enough to finish over people is a special gift and something that the Wizards have never had.

Posted by: Blackmale1967 | March 30, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

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