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Thread: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

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    crazy shinaniganz BringJackBack's Avatar
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    Default Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    I posted this in another thread and didn't get a response.. I am just curious as they all put up some big time stats and won three titles together.

    Quote Originally Posted by BringJackBack View Post
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    General question: How good were Mel Daniels, Roger Brown, and George McGinnis in their primes? I wasn't around so I'm curious. They put up some huge numbers on good teams so they must have been pretty dang good.
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/...mcginge01.html

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/...brownro01.html
    (Look at his playoff numbers)

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/...danieme01.html

    So here's a little survey I guess:

    1.) Who of the three were the best?

    2.) Who do they remind you of in todays NBA?

    3.) Is there any footage of them online?

    4.) Are they Hall Of Fame caliber players?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Flipped Off The Refs Larry Staverman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    1. Subjective question but I would say Mel Daniels was the best as a whole, George McGinnis was the most dominant at one time and I think Roger Brown was as good in the clutch as any player I have ever seen.

    2. Would have to think about that

    3. I'm sure there is somewhere

    4. Mel Daniels definitely belongs on the HOF

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    My grandfather always claimed McGinnis was the best, but like you I have no real way to tell. I have some random family connection to McGinnis and hung out with for awhile once when I was a kid, he seemed like a great guy. He signed a red, white, and blue basketball for me too.

    I seem to recall there is little to no footage of the ABA. They may have broadcast some of The playoffs but I think that's it.

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    My memories of Big Mac are the strongest, but I'd have to say Rajah was the best.
    BillS

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    Quote Originally Posted by idioteque View Post
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    My grandfather always claimed McGinnis was the best, but like you I have no real way to tell. I have some random family connection to McGinnis and hung out with for awhile once when I was a kid, he seemed like a great guy. He signed a red, white, and blue basketball for me too.

    I seem to recall there is little to no footage of the ABA. They may have broadcast some of The playoffs but I think that's it.
    I get a chance to talk to McGinnis every now and then because he does business with my place of employment. I would say that in my own personal "nice people I deal with on a regular to semi-regular basis" list he's in the top 5 or 10 percent.

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    I remember when a pro basketball mag was saying George was as good as Dr. J. He did have some really great years.

    Mel Daniels was a very good center and should be in hall of fame.
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    -- Frank Vogel.

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    Quote Originally Posted by BringJackBack View Post
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    3.) Is there any footage of them online?
    http://www.pacersdigest.com/showthread.php?t=60345

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    crazy shinaniganz BringJackBack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    Aha! Thanks!

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    I saw them all play frequently on TV. No doubt in my mind that Mel Daniels was the best to ever put on a Pacer uniform. He could have played on any team then or now.

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    Quote Originally Posted by tsm612 View Post
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    They dont work youtube took them down

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    I wish ABAdays was around to answer this.


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    I was listening in on Mark and Slick during a broadcast and one of the two said that Paul George was very similar to "Rajah" Brown himself. I do not see it at all though, but I digress.

    Billy Keller is a player from the ABA Pacers who reminds me a lot of that Freddette kid out of BYU. They both have very nice form on their jumpshot and they way that they can take off-balance shots and make them.

    As Kevin Garnett has aged, his post game is similar to Mel Daniels (Mel had a sweeping hook of beauty and touch though; something that Garnett, nor anyone in the league, has). Of course Mel was an infinitely times better rebounder, but other than that Garnett and Mel are alike.

    I will have to think about a comparison for McGinnis.
    ...

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    I had a chance to talk to Slick after a Pacer game. He told me that he's either played with, coached, or announced for almost all the great Small Forwards in NBA history. He then smiled and said "Roger was as good or better than any of them!" When he played with Daniels, it was Roger who was the "go to guy".

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    http://hoopshype.com/articles/brown_friedman.htm

    Ankle breaker and shot maker
    by David Friedman / December 27, 2004

    Roger Brown starred at Brooklyn's Wingate High. In 1959, he outscored Connie Hawkins 38-18 in the New York City Championship game at Madison Square Garden, but Hawkins' Boys High prevailed 62-59. Brown signed with the University of Dayton, but never played college basketball. He and Hawkins were falsely implicated for being involved with Jack Molinas, a former college basketball star turned mobster who paid players to shave points. Hawkins and Brown were banned by the NCAA and the NBA.

    Hawkins played in the short-lived American Basketball League (ABL) and then spent several years touring with the Harlem Globetrotters before leading the Pittsburgh Pipers to the championship in the ABA's first season (1967-68). He later reached a settlement agreement with the NBA and became an All-Star with the Phoenix Suns. In 1992, Hawkins was inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

    Brown's life took a different path. He worked in a General Motors plant in Dayton for five years, declining an opportunity to join the ABL because he could make more money working for GM. This proved to be a wise decision when the league folded during its second season.

    Brown signed with the ABA's Indiana Pacers in 1967, realizing that this might be his last opportunity in professional basketball. Most players who do not play college basketball struggle during their first professional seasons. Brown jumped from high school to pro ball without missing a beat, averaging 19.6 ppg and making the All-Star team as a rookie despite playing only AAU ball after his prep days.

    Pacers' broadcaster Bob "Slick" Leonard coached the team from 1968 until 1980: "Roger Brown was a money player. Anytime the game was on the line, Roger was always there. Roger had tremendous ability. One of the greatest small forwards to ever play the game. I've seen everyone that came down the pike in the last 50 years – playing against them, coaching them or broadcasting them. Roger Brown deserves to be in the Hall of Fame."

    Leonard used an isolation play that took advantage of Brown's one-on-one skills as well as his passing ability.

    "We gave him the ball, isolated him and put all four players above the free throw line on the other side of the floor. If they came with a double team, we just cut the man whose defender left toward the basket and he would get a layup."

    If the opponent tried to guard Brown one-on-one, things got ugly.

    "He had some unbelievable moves," Leonard remembers. "I've seen guys who were guarding him fall down. He had reverse dribbles and stuff. Matter of fact, one time when Larry Bird was younger he was working out with Roger over at Butler Fieldhouse and he wanted Roger to teach him that baseline move that Roger had. He could paralyze you."

    Roger Brown enjoyed his greatest season in 1969-70, winning the Playoff MVP after averaging 28.5 ppg, 10.1 rpg and 5.6 apg in the postseason. In the last three games of the ABA Finals versus the Los Angeles Stars, Brown carried the Pacers to their first title, scoring 53, 39 and 45 points – including an ABA Finals single-game record seven three-pointers. Brown did all this while being guarded by the Stars' Willie Wise, whom Julius Erving has frequently mentioned as one of the players who guarded him better.

    Like Connie Hawkins, Roger Brown sued the NBA and received an out-of-court monetary settlement. Brown could have jumped to the more established league – but that never crossed his mind.

    "I want to clear my name," he said. "I have no intention of jumping."

    Brown felt tremendous loyalty to his team and to the Indianapolis community. In fact, while he was still an active player he was elected to a seat on the Indianapolis City Council.

    The Pacers won their second ABA title in 1972 when Brown outscored Rick Barry, then a member of the New York Nets, 32-23 in the sixth game of the ABA Finals.

    "Roger was an outstanding player," Barry said. "He certainly had a terrific basketball career and probably is one of the more underrated guys that most people don't know a whole lot about. He is not really given the recognition that he deserves for the career that he had. I sent something in when they asked me to do it when they were trying to get some support for him for the Hall of Fame because, based upon the other people who are in the Hall of Fame, I certainly feel that he is deserving of it based upon his skill level."

    Mel Daniels played center for those Pacer teams. According to the two-time ABA MVP, "those who did not see Roger Brown or didn't know him, missed a treat."

    "He was so good one-on-one that I remember defenders actually screaming for help. He actually dislocated or broke eight guys' ankles (with a) crossover dribble move. He would look at you and put the ball down and look at you again and if you made a move, he would react opposite to that move and get to the basket. Sometimes it was so easy for him, he would laugh at people and miss the layup because he was laughing."

    Darnell Hillman was an outstanding shot blocker for the Pacers and he offers a similar description of Brown's devastating offensive arsenal.

    "As clever and quick as he was, Roger had the uncanny ability to make you sometimes turn around in circles and he hasn't even left his spot. You think, 'I've lost him, I've got to find him and recover,' and he hasn't even left his spot. He'd laugh about it," Hillman notes. "In three years of playing Roger, I only beat him twice. I played Roger every day, either before or after practice. (At first) I leaned too much on my jumping ability, rather than the technique and art of playing position defense. Playing against him taught me how to stay on the floor and learn the different tricks. One of the things that Roger taught me was that if you are guarding an offensive player, most guys give away when they are going to shoot the basketball – watch the left hand. When he is getting ready to shoot the basketball, it's got to come to the ball on the right hand, then you want to close up. When he taught me that, it improved my ability to close out on guys and really change their shots."

    Before he won four NBA scoring titles, a young George Gervin learned a lot from playing against Brown.

    "He probably had one of the best first steps in basketball," Gervin said. "You've really got to understand basketball to know what I'm saying when I say 'first step.' Matter of fact, I learned that from him when I played against Roger Brown. He used to pivot and make you move and he isn't going anywhere. It was probably one of the best moves that I picked up, and when I went to the guard spot it really helped to take my game to the next level."

    Gervin wishes that today's players emulated Brown's game.

    "What guys don't realize today is that first step is everything because if I can get the first step on you then you will never catch me. And if you do catch me then all I have to do is fake and you will go for the fake because you are trying to catch up, you are in a recovery situation. That's where Roger was good. He forced you into a recovery situation all the time, so you had to go for his fakes."

    Gervin contrasts Brown's use of the first step with the way that many current players set up their moves: "Dribbling that ball five, six, seven, eight seconds is a travesty. What are the other four guys doing, standing there watching? A lot of the guys pound the ball today, but we used to move the ball around and when we got it, we took that first step and made something happen. So we (retired legends) hope and pray that the guys understand that you really need to give the ball up. If you're not going to make your move, give it up, go back and get it. Don't just stand there and pound it."

    Brown's body began to break down during the 1972-73 season and he spent part of the 1973 ABA Finals in traction because of a back injury. He was never again the same player, retiring two years later. Brown never averaged 25 ppg in the regular season, but he played on well-balanced teams that had several potent scoring threats. His ability to score at will in the clutch suggests that he could have put up bigger regular season numbers had the Pacers needed him to do so. Hall of Fame voters should consider a player's overall impact, not just raw statistics.

    Brown died of liver cancer in 1997. Erving eloquently summarizes Roger Brown's legacy: "When I first got into the ABA, Roger Brown and the Indiana Pacers were the best franchise in the league. They had the guys with the biggest reputations, they had big game players in terms of clutch play – but Roger Brown was the go-to guy and when you are the go-to guy on a team with Darnell Hillman, George McGinnis, Bob Netolicky, Mel Daniels, you are talking about a pretty special player. His reputation coming up paralleled the achievements of Connie Hawkins, including the negative experience of being blackballed from the NBA. Then, he played with the Pacers and led them to titles, in addition to being head and shoulders above others as a citizen, running for political office and winning. It's a great basketball story. He contributed in more ways that just basketball but his basketball contributions are far from being insignificant and they are enough to warrant him being in the Hall."

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    Here we go. This article is from 6-7 years ago, but still useful in describing Roger's game. It's hard to find a comparison because of how good he was. This should also answer a question or two on whether or not he should be in the Hall of Fame.

    Yeah, he was that good. I feel motivated to change my avatar to a Rajah one now. If Paul George has potential of Rajah, than we are in good hands going forward.
    Last edited by O'Braindead; 02-20-2011 at 07:14 PM. Reason: tsm612 already posted the article
    ...

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    I think I beat you to that article by about 10 seconds.

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    Quote Originally Posted by tsm612 View Post
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    I think I beat you to that article by about 10 seconds.
    Yeah. That is pretty much the strangest thing that has ever happened.
    ...

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    crazy shinaniganz BringJackBack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    "Roger Brown was a money player. Anytime the game was on the line, Roger was always there. Roger had tremendous ability. One of the greatest small forwards to ever play the game. I've seen everyone that came down the pike in the last 50 years – playing against them, coaching them or broadcasting them. Roger Brown deserves to be in the Hall of Fame."
    "We gave him the ball, isolated him and put all four players above the free throw line on the other side of the floor. If they came with a double team, we just cut the man whose defender left toward the basket and he would get a layup."
    "He had some unbelievable moves," Leonard remembers. "I've seen guys who were guarding him fall down. He had reverse dribbles and stuff. Matter of fact, one time when Larry Bird was younger he was working out with Roger over at Butler Fieldhouse and he wanted Roger to teach him that baseline move that Roger had. He could paralyze you."
    "He was so good one-on-one that I remember defenders actually screaming for help. He actually dislocated or broke eight guys' ankles (with a) crossover dribble move. He would look at you and put the ball down and look at you again and if you made a move, he would react opposite to that move and get to the basket. Sometimes it was so easy for him, he would laugh at people and miss the layup because he was laughing."

    Read more: http://hoopshype.com/articles/brown_...#ixzz1EXp3uAwQ
    If George is a fraction of that good, than .

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    Here is a highlight video of Roger Brown:



    I know highlight videos can be deceptive, but looking at his stats, this guy seemed automatic from mid-range and looked to have a nice defensive touch.

    Speaking of George, on the BBR link, look at the similarities between Brown's 70-71 season with George's rookie one.

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    Big George completly changed the PF game. He was fast and mobile, he could shoot, dribble, and pass the ball in a time when big men were not THAT big and not nearly as mobile. Who does he remind me of? How about a "clean" Karl Malone.

    Mel was dominant...flat out.

    Raja Brown was clutch especially in a clear out, one-on-one situation. He was our original Reggie.


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    Taking the Celtics five. michealwilliams4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    Question about McGinnis: Quinn Buckner mentioned last week in the Pacers/Heat game that LeBron James reminded him of a modern day McGinnis. Does that hold up?

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    They all brought very different skill sets to the table.



    Roger was amazing off the dribble, just an incredibly unstoppable force who could also play on the blocks. Not really a pure shooter, but a scorer. Amazing footwork and explosive first step. His career was short because he had been barred from the NBA draft after being wrongly linked to a college scandal-- he was working in a Dayton factory, if I recall, when the ABA was born. A modern comparison is tough... need a SF with exceptional handles, and nobody jumps to mind.

    Big Mac was a physical freak of nature. With modern training we are used to 6'8" 250 pound athletes, but in the days before hoops players lifted or did all year conditioning, he was a relative monster and in that way the Lebron comparison is apt. Very quick leaper, soft huge hands that made a basketball look like a grapefruit, and explosive. Could face up or kill you off the blocks. Karl Malone is a decent comparison, but George was notorious for not taking care of himself (smoking, drinking, junk food) so his career lacked the longevity of other hall-of-famers who couldn't touch George when both were at their peak.

    Mel was a leader, tough guy, enforcer, low block scorer, defender, and the first great ABA center. Dale Davis toughness with offense. Artis Gilmore was the rival and next great ABA center. Undersized by today's standards, Mel was a bruiser who wouldn't get outworked. He was better than Paul Milsap, but a similar blue collar game.

    I'm hopeful that the new Hall committee to review ABA achievements will get some deserving guys in. Artis , Slick, Mel for sure. With their somewhat shorter careers, George and Rajah will be tougher sells.
    Last edited by Slick Pinkham; 02-21-2011 at 12:48 AM.

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    Brown was one of the smoothest, most graceful players I've ever seen. I would disagree with Pinkham a bit... I would agree that he was a scorer, but he was also a very clutch shooter. As others stated, Brown did have a great pivot move and was also known for his multiple jab steps before finally making his one-on-one move. Brown was an absolutely fantastic finisher on the break. He had the ability to fake, blow by you and get to the whole. When a defender felt he had that figured out, Brown would come down the court in a full sprint and instead of giving you the fake and going to the rim, would stop on a dime and pull up and nail a soft 10-15 footer. When the Pacers needed a score late in the game, it wasn't Mel, Neto, George, Freddy or any other Pacer of that era they went to... it was almost always Rajah.

    George was absolutely the first true "power" forward to play the game. McGinnis never lifted weights, but was a chiseled 6-8 235. What many didn't know is that he was also the fastest Pacer on those team, regardless of whether it was being measured via the shuttle run or simply an end to end run.... with or without the basketball. McGinnis was able to overpower his defender in the lane much like Ron Artest has been able to do so. Until he fell in love with palming the ball one handed and shooting it that way for all his shots, he was a very respectable shooter from most distancess, particulary mid-range and closer. He was an excellent rebounder and a very good, very physical defender.

    It is true that McGinnis smoked, drank and ate some junk food (he was and is mostly a steak/chicken/ribs and potatoes man), it should be mentioned that the vast majority of players in the 60s and 70s did the same. The real culprits in ending George's career were severe knee and ankle injuries and a back that just couldn't take the pounding any more.

    Mel was a very physical player with a very nice shot within 15-18 feet. What hasn't been mentioned so far is that one of his money shots was a fadeaway shot that he took within 8-12 feet. McGinnis was no slouch at rebounding the ball, but was nowhere in Daniel's league... Mel was a ferocious rebounder. Mel was also the defender of his teammates... no one messed around with Roger or the other players because Mel would simply take their heads off the next time they got anywhere near the basket. No player in the league messed around with Mel... other than maybe Wendell Ladner of the Colonels... but that's another story.

    For the first 5-6 years of Conseco, I watched many games from McGinnis's suite at the fieldhouse. I've been very fortunate to meet many great players and celebrities in the suite, and all of them speak very fondly and respectfully of George. He is a big man, quiet and soft spoken, but with one of the quickest smiles you would ever see in meeting someone new.

    While also in the suite with some of these players, I've participated in the same conversation about the HOF. I can remember one discussion years ago when the Pacers were in the finals with LA. A lot of guys were in the suite following the game. Bantom, Hillman, Wayne Pack, Bob Costas, Hallie Bryant and a few others that I don't even remember now. The topic turned towards the jerseys in the rafters and eventually to the HOF. Everyone there agreed that Mel and Roger deserved to be in the HOF, in that order. They also said that Slick should be in. They seemed to be split on whether George should get in. I took that as guys being pretty honest.... especially since the conversation was in George's suite.

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    Quote Originally Posted by michealwilliams4 View Post
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    Here is a highlight video of Roger Brown:



    I know highlight videos can be deceptive, but looking at his stats, this guy seemed automatic from mid-range and looked to have a nice defensive touch.

    Speaking of George, on the BBR link, look at the similarities between Brown's 70-71 season with George's rookie one.
    Am I the only person who see's a lot of Danny Granger in these film clips of Roger Brown?

    The drives and pull up shots are almost identical & neither of them ever seem to use a power or high flying game.


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

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    Default Re: Question about Roger Brown, George McGinnis, and Mel Daniels

    Hey Beast....didn't Big Mac turn out to have some vision problems at the end of his career that affected his shooting? Tried glasses and maybe contacts but couldnt get used to playing with them.....or am I thinking of another guy that was here, left, and we got back??

    As for the McGinnis/Lebron comparison....NOT IMPO. George was much more of a team player.
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