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Where 2010 happens

From David Aldridge (NBA.com):

A league source says the Charlotte Bobcats wanted to get involved as well, using the non-guaranteed contract of center Erick Dampier to try and get a point guard. Under one scenario, Dampier would have gone to Indiana, the team that originally drafted him in 1996, with T.J. Ford going to Toronto and the Raptors sending guard Jose Calderon to Charlotte. (The Raptors had agreed to send Calderon to the Bobcats earlier this summer in a deal that would have sent center Tyson Chandler to Toronto, but the deal was scotched at the last minute by Charlotte owner Michael Jordan.)
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[tweeted]http://twitter.com/chadfordinsider/status/20901006642[/tweeted]

Uh oh ...

Update

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[tweeted]https://twitter.com/FisolaNYDN/status/20414506254[/tweeted]

Update 6:55pm:

You can follow Roger on Twitter @MoneyMase?

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From ESPN.com:

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Via zagsblog
?We?ve got Amar?e and that enables us to get possibly LeBron or Carmelo [Anthony] next year, a sign-and-trade with Chris Paul, or Tony Parker,? Lee said. ?Amar?e's not the only thing we?re gonna do. They?re not even done yet.?

Asked if Knicks? fans would feel the two years of pursuing James were wasted, Lee said no.

?They?re not gonna blame the Knicks for not getting LeBron,? he said. ?They just know LeBron didn?t want to come here.?

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Via SI
The rule of reality TV is to advertise a surprising "twist" without letting viewers know what it may be. If people who really do know what James is thinking have been spreading word that he'll sign with Miami, then I view that as another way of creating suspense and surprise for the actual announcement to have maximum impact.

If we all believe he's going to Miami, and he goes on TV to say he's going to Miami, then what was the point of the live TV show? If his own camp is leaking out the final result then there is ultimately going to be little drama to "The Decision," as the ESPN show has been titled.

NY, Cleveland, or Miami...it's always been simple for me. No one had a clue where Brett Favre or Johan Santana were going....
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Via SNY.tv
It's hard to overstate the significance of this. Assume he will be surrounded by local boys and girls and that there's a very high likelihood that they are Knicks fans given the club's location in Knicks territory. The optics of James' announcing that he's going to Miami and announce another destination while surrounded by local kids who may reasonably cry in grief is what people in the business call a public-relations nightmare. Consider also that an enterprising reporter is sure to find a heartbroken child to be the poster boy or girl for what will be portrayed as heartless flirtation with total innocents.

If it's not New York, why make the announcement here when he dragged everyone to Akron for the pitches? He could have stayed there and maintained an illusion of neutrality at least as far as the pitches were believed to have been received in a neutral manner.

Word I'm getting doesn't look good from a Knicks fans perspective. I've heard "done deal" a few times. But that can be tricky. Apparently the Knicks have been told by Lebron's people that they will be calling him 5 minutes before the show goes live...
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???[tweeted]http://twitter.com/WojYahooNBA/status/18039152993[/tweeted]
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???[tweeted]http://twitter.com/PDcavsinsider/status/18028484791[/tweeted]
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Let's get this out of the way. We've said since day one that playing in Miami makes little sense for a few reasons and they've all been documented. And since day one of reports, the same thing rings true. Nothing is done until an announcement is made. It's pretty much where everyone is at...

Dan Lebatard just went on ESPN discussing how this has been arranged for a long time, that Lebron fancies himself like A-Rod and that Rodriguez had little problem going to the Yankees who had Derek Jeter.? Lebron just wants to be a part of a team that wins ring after ring.

Even if it's by default.

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[tweeted]http://twitter.com/RicBucher/status/18010757572[/tweeted]

Now let's sit back and wait for 9:00pm, when we'll hear it directly from LeBron ...

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A source with knowledge confirms that both Randy Mims and Maverick Carter are in fact in New York. No word about scheduled meetings however...
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Via Yahoo:
Team LeBron has known all along it was going to do this, and the cushy, protective relationship with that television network culminates with a basketball player commandeering his own coverage on his own terms. Now James and his buddies spoon out misdirection plays on his possible destination ? feeding everyone for days and weeks that the Knicks were dead, only to say now, ?Well?who knows?? ? to build back drama for the infomercial.
You can look at it that way, or look at it the way we have since the beginning. And this has nothing to do with where he signs. This has to do with the simple fact that BUSINESS has TRUMPED journalism once again. And to think that the world's largest sports entity didn't sell everything out for this stage is completely missing the point.
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I just spoke to a source who said that the "decision" doesn't appear to be happening at Allan Houston's house. It sounds as if it will be at the Boys and Girls Club in Greenwich. But you'd have to figure after some planning that there may be alternate locations as backup.
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[tweeted]http://twitter.com/FisolaNYDN/status/17971943177[/tweeted]
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[tweeted]http://twitter.com/alanhahn/status/17970601644[/tweeted]
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Via Chad Ford:
Meanwhile, sources say that the Knicks are still holding out hope that the combination of Amare Stoudemire, Mike D'Antoni and the bright lights of NYC will persuade LeBron to go to New York.

"We think we're still in this thing," a Knicks source said. "We keep hearing all the things you're hearing, but our best information tells us we are still strongly in the mix."

Again, from everything I heard the Knicks like their chances.
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I've said this from day one. Lebron the brand cannot trail D-Wade by a ring. And with Bosh agreeing to Miami, that pretty much takes the Nets out of play for me.? And a source tells me that Chicago has already moved on.

That leaves Cleveland and NY and all signs I'm seeing and hearing, it's going to be the Big Apple.

But I've been saying this for a long time now. Ultimately, the idea that Lebron going to Chicago to "win right away" was a stretch. If he wanted to "win right away" he'd go with Bosh and Wade, but again, that's winning by default. And it would make the NBA less attractive. The Bulls have talent, but to think a ring was a "lock" if he went there was an overstatement.

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A source with knowledge of the situation tells me that ESPN selected Jim Gray and Michael Wilbon to interview Lebron James tomorrow night.

Also, in addition to Vitamin Water, the source says,? The University of Phoenix, Bing, Microsoft, and McDonalds will also have a presence.

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[tweeted]http://twitter.com/Ian_OConnor/status/17954436795[/tweeted]

Ian has done a fine job during all this, and has moved near the head of the class from a Knicks information standpoint.

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A source close to the Knicks who I spoke with told me that the Knicks did make a deal to acquire Jerome Jordan, first reported by TKB,? and that they "are waiting for it to become official." ESPN's Chris Sheridan reported that the deal was contingent on a physical from Corey Maggette.

Today, there is a report by Gery Woelfel that an injury to Maggette is holding up his announcement to the Bucks, thus answering why Jordan has not been placed on the Knicks Summer League.

The Bucks aren?t expected to have a press conference for Corey Maggette, the veteran forward they acquired in a trade with Golden State.

Tags: 2010 prospects, Text, Where 2010 happens
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Brandon Tierney had a great interview with Amar'e Stoudemire last year and when he told BT that he was a better player than Chris Bosh, the quote made national news. On his blog, BT says the Knicks made a step in the right direction when they signed the brash ex-Suns big man.
I believe Amar?e Stoudemire is better than Chris Bosh, the same way Amar?e Stoudemire believes Amar?e Stoudemire is better than Chris Bosh.

Well, perhaps my position lacks the same conviction, because it is very, very close. They?re both terrific talents, the new age forward who strokes J?s as effortlessly as he rips down rims on two-handed tomahawk jams. Want to really point to the evolution of the power forward position in the NBA, you may as well start with these two immensely gifted All-Stars.

But specifically, why is Stoudemire a better fit on the court, and why will he mesh better with the rabid fans of New York City?

Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire, Text, Where 2010 happens
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ESPN has "sources" saying there is a special on their own network?

Really? When sponsors have already been sold?

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[tweeted]http://twitter.com/Chris_Broussard/status/17916208881[/tweeted]
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Today started with a few things. One of which was the idea that the Nets could make a strong play for Lebron and Chris Bosh, if the idea was that James preferred to play with Bosh. I heard that the Nets were picking up steam late last night.

But Bosh and James have the same agent/agency.

So the idea that the Cavs and Raptors have NOW started talks, which was also reported early today, doesn't jive with me based on the fact that, again, they have the same representation. Maybe the decision process is this elaborate, but wouldn't the idea of Bosh in Cleveland have been the FIRST base they covered if Lebron wanted to play with Bosh, or if Bosh wanted to play in Cleveland?

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Via Hoopsworld:
Whenever there is a vacuum of information, rumors begin to surface. When it was reported that LeBron James would be waiting until the conclusion of his Akron basketball camp on Wednesday to make his decision, it gave the basketball world several days to churn out different scenarios and rumors and nobody seemed to be on the same page.

But in the last twenty-four hours, there have been lot of rumblings indicating that James could be leaning towards New York and reviving the Knicks with Amar'e Stoudemire.

Several sources indicated that James' advisors Maverick Carter and Randy Mims could be travelling to New York on Wednesday and sources have hinted that James will be joining them for the trip. Sources also said that Carter and Mims have been picking the Knicks' brains for details and information on their salary cap and free agent plans over the past few days.

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Via Yahoo
The Knicks aren?t worried about years four and five with Stoudemire?s uninsurable knees, because jobs and legacies are on the line in years one and two. The Knicks are out of it with LeBron James(notes), and sources say the Chicago Bulls are livid with World Wide Wes for selling them on a wired deal that doesn?t appear to be so wired.

Anthony could?ve made this an even wilder summer, but it should be telling that three years ago he chose a guaranteed fourth season of $18 million over his freedom in 2010. As a child that remembers empty plates and empty mouths in his Baltimore housing project, the idea of turning away more money now for almost an assurance of less later has never made sense to him.

How can they be "out of it" if they reportedly were never "in it?" The were never mentioned in that space as contenders. Doesn't make sense. And if they are "out of it" how about that headline? Followed by an explanation with quotes so we can all go back to our lives?
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Via Michael Salfino
But the biggest reason why it's the best basketball decision for James to come to New York is Curry -- the secret weapon. He comes off the books after this year. So he can be traded at any point to a team seeking future cap relief or let go in June to create more cap room for next year's free-agent class. New York would have almost enough for another max contract. Most importantly, he protects James from a change in the collective bargaining agreement that creates a hard cap. James knows that the Knicks will go over the cap if nothing changes. But only the Knicks from among all his suitors can also stay within the cap to get a third big player (or fourth if you count Danilo Gallinari).

Bottom line: The teams that say they have a better team than the Knicks may not necessarily have the better team with James, especially in 2011. James should want the high likelihood of winning 50 games in his first season and then being able to fill a known need in either the second half of Year 1 or next summer.

Anyone who writes for the Wall Street Journal and uses logic is cool with me...and Michael is a fantastic writer.

Tags: Text, The Wager, Where 2010 happens
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Via Truehoop
Tim Varner of 48 Minutes of Hell addressed the possibility a few days ago:

If the Spurs sent Parker to the Knicks, they could, as one example, take back Toney Douglas (adding depth behind George Hill at point guard) and a whopping big trade exception. Nothing more. N.Y. is under the cap. Salaries don?t have to match.

The Spurs could then use the trade exception to shop the free agent market, effectively giving themselves cap space to play with. Of course, the Spurs couldn?t sign players outright with trade exception money, but, in this market, there are plenty of contracted players or free agents who could be had through a trade or sign and trade.

In a similar manner, the Spurs could sign and trade Richard Jefferson to a team under the cap and take back a large trade exception for him as well.

Interesting. What would the Spurs want to shop the free agent market to get? My thing is that they'd spend the money on bringing in Tiago Splitter...
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Via CBSsportsline
Chris Bosh wants to pair with LeBron James, but is more likely to sign off on a scenario that lures James out of Cleveland to the Nets, Bulls or even Heat, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told CBSSports.com Tuesday...But Bosh, who shares an agent with fellow free agent Dwyane Wade, would have to sign off on such an arrangement and remains decidedly unenthusiastic about joining James in Cleveland, the person familiar with the talks said.

"If LeBron went to New Jersey, he'd consider that," the person said of Bosh. "It's too late for New York. He wants to play with LeBron if LeBron leaves, but not necessarily in Cleveland."

So if Lebron wants to play with Bosh, he can head to NJ and that leaves Chicago, Miami and NY fighting for Wade. Nothing startling there, but the Nets, as we eluded to, seem to be gaining steam.
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To me, Chris Bosh has always been the key to this whole thing. Reports are coming out that the Cavs and Raptors are talking sign and trade.

But when has this not been the case? It hasn't been the case because? it was reported earlier that Bosh to Miami was a "done deal." In this game there is no such thing.

Ultimately, it comes down to this. If Bosh wants major money he has to accept a sign and trade. In order for him to go to Cleveland, there has to be a salary match, meaning the Cavs strip themselves of players on their roster. Are the Raptors really pumped about a Jamison/Mo Williams situation for example? Maybe if Isiah Thomas were running them (sorry Zeke)...but logically I can't see that. Do the Raptors want Michael Beasley? Not from what I'm gathering.

Tags: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Text, Where 2010 happens
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[tweeted]http://twitter.com/PDcavsinsider/status/17837903805[/tweeted]

The idea that Wes has been boxed out of the inner circle is something that has been talked about for the last week or so. People I've spoken to have said similar things about Wes pushing Chicago. I've talked to another person who said that Maverick Carter will be in town Wednesday. I can't say for sure if it's for personal reasons, or for a meeting with either the Knicks or Nets...will keep digging.

The key to this whole thing as been the decision of Chris Bosh. Do the Cavs have what it takes to deal with Toronto? Does Bosh get paid and head for Ohio? Or does he head to South Beach with Wade? Does he join Wade in Chicago?

Tags: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Text, Where 2010 happens
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Via NY Daily News
"If you had Kobe (Bryant) in Los Angeles and Wade in New York, where does that leave LeBron ... in Cleveland?" the source said. "But the Knicks are not waiting. They're trying to get a commitment out of Wade."

With both James and Wade expected to announce their decisions by the end of the week, the Knicks are running out of time but not ideas to make one final pitch.

Crunch time for everyone involved. Will the Knicks be shut out of big names and be forced to be far more creative? Can the big boys really pass the number one market and the chance to be paired with Amar'e? Time will tell.
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Great grab by Ian O'Connor
Brian Cashman believes they have the only shot.

"LeBron James is going to be a Knick," the New York Yankees' general manager said Monday after hearing the news that Amare Stoudemire had agreed in principle to play his home games at Madison Square Garden.

"I'm convinced of it. New York is the place that will allow LeBron to be the player and person he wants to be, and it's all coming together. Just listen, LeBron James will be a Knick."

We'll see. What a crazy week this will be...
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[tweeted]http://twitter.com/Amareisreal/status/17827693816[/tweeted]

[tweeted]http://twitter.com/Amareisreal/status/17827519543[/tweeted]

Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire, Text, Where 2010 happens
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Via Bergen Record
Although many Nets? fans ? and those whose teams are in the race ? have been pulling out their hair waiting for James? decision, the longer it goes could mean he?s leaning toward changing teams.

League sources said he?s deciding from among the Cavaliers, Bulls and Nets.

It's going to be a crazy week...

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Via NBA.com
The Knicks may well be going in another direction anyway, with murmurs around the league increasing about a potential deal with Golden State that would involve either guard Monta Ellis or center Andris Biedrins going to Gotham, with Lee going to the Warriors in a sign-and-trade.

A source cautioned that there was a lot of different scenarios for Lee, including signing straight into one or more team's existing cap space, and that Lee might have a decision to make in the next day or so as teams tire of waiting for the big fish to make up their minds.

"The temperature has definitely risen in the last day or so," the source said about the pursuit of Lee.

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When we scheduled a 4th of July trip months and months ago, I figured because this whole July 1st thing would drag on that I'd have some time to chill.

Texting, emailing and taking calls during a James Taylor isn't relaxing, although it would have been MORE stressful without the soothing tunes. I wasn't a huge JT fan, but I am now. Great venue, great vibes.

Anyway, I'm settled and there has been a lot going on...the Knicks are apparently getting ready, as we told you first, to "lock up" Amar'e. I haven't been told if it actually will be today.

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Via ESPN
"We don't have any other meetings scheduled with LeBron," Walsh told ESPN.com's Chad Ford.

"It was somewhat of a clarification meeting to deal with some of the misinformation that is out there," one source said of the second meeting.

Walsh explained that the meeting was salary cap related to explain the Knicks cap options this year and next with James' agent.

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[tweeted]https://twitter.com/SekouSmithNBA/status/17738297716[/tweeted]
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Via Sports Illustrated
Back when I was studying journalism at the University of Delaware in the mid-1990s, Bill Fleischman, my beloved professor and a legendary Philadelphia Daily News hockey scribe, made it perfectly clear that anonymous quotes and third-party sourcing and self-insertions into the news -- while allowable in the most dire of circumstances -- should only be used as the last of last resorts. "At the end of the day, your reputation is all you have," he memorably told us. "And if your reporting isn't sound, your reputation isn't, either."

Look at us now. Just as it was with Brett Favre before James and A-Rod before Favre, ESPN has morphed into the LeBron Network -- one talking head asking another talking head to comment on the comments of a third talking head.

Saw this the other day and held it for Monday, but I'll post now. Sports Illustrated and ESPN have been relative competitors for some time, particularly in print and digital. SI tried to partner with TNT for a "SportsCenter"-type show, but it didn't work out. This is a big swing from SI, and connects right on the jaw.

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[tweeted]http://twitter.com/PDcavsinsider/status/17733265418[/tweeted]

Obviously, this can be looked at in several ways. First, to me, would be respect for the campers with the hoards of media. Second would be several days of more coverage. Third, it would convenient of Lebron to say he's leaving after the camp, but at the same time it would be almost heroic to announce he's staying right then and there.

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There's been a lot of talk, mostly from fans, surrounding the fact that the Knicks can use David Lee in a sign and trade. There was also recently an article on the subject.

But a source with knowledge of the situation says don't expect Lee to be involved in any sign and trade deals. Chris Broussard said yesterday on ESPN that the Knicks may explore a deal for Golden State's Monta Ellis.

"Golden State is not in play at the moment," the source says. "Right now it's looking like Chicago or New Jersey, depending what the big 3 do."

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Via Newsday
Though easily dismissed as mere posturing, Dwyane Wade did send the Knicks positive signals during their meeting with him on Friday.A source with direct knowledge of the meeting said that when the Knicks told Wade they would build their team around him, he responded, "Just get me one player and I'll get you a ring."
Could they have that player early in the week?
Tags: Dwyane Wade, Text, Where 2010 happens
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From Bill Madden (NYDN):

George Steinbrenner turns 80 Sunday, coincidentally at the same time LeBron James is about to make up his mind which city he's going to anoint with his world-class basketball talents. And even though The Boss' roar and bombast have been muted by steadily advancing dementia, this July 4 confluence of events got me thinking about what might have been had Steinbrenner gone through with that deal to sell the Yankees to Cablevision back in 1997 - in which he was to remain general partner of the Bombers and also oversee all operations of the Knicks and Rangers.

Imagine if Steinbrenner - the old George, that is - was the one pursuing LeBron for the Knicks?I almost forgot that George started out in Cleveland.? Maybe that should tell LeBron something.

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Via Cleveland Plain Dealer
ames is believed to be intrigued with signing with the Bulls, largely because he likes the city of Chicago and because of the talent on the roster. Ironically in losing to the Cavs in five games in the first round of the playoffs, the Bulls were able to showcase the development of young players Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.

However, the Bulls would have some work to do to convince either Bosh or Wade to pair up with James because they don't have enough cap space for two max contracts. Free agent forward David Lee and Carlos Boozer have also met with the Bulls, which would be fall-back options.

According to sources, James has been highly involved in all of the meetings and has asked direct questions and challenged each team. However, despite pressing for his feelings, James has remained non-committal to any team in the process.

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Via CBSsportsline
While Wade, Bosh and James weigh their options, it?s clear that one piece of the puzzle that has been floated as a possibility this summer can absolutely be ruled out. That would be one of the teams in the LeBron-Wade hunt acquiring Carmelo Anthony from the Nuggets in a trade, either as a complementary piece to one of those superstars or as a substitute.

?In absolute terms, there aren?t any possibilities of a summer trade [involving Anthony],? a person with direct knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com Saturday. ?That is laughable, laughable, laughable.?

Say again?

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