WEEI>On Demand>>Talking Hoops Ep. 8: The NBA Lockout, Celtics new TV deal and competitive balance

Talking Hoops Ep. 8: The NBA Lockout, Celtics new TV deal and competitive balance

Jul 21, 2011|

In the latest episode of Talking Hoops, WEEI.com's Paul Flannery is joined by SB Nation NBA editor Tom Ziller to talk about the lockout, the Celtics new TV deal, competitive balance and the impact of Yao Ming. Ziller also provides an update on the Sacramento Kings situation and makes a list of all the things he's looking forward to next season, if there is a next season.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

And now. Own WEEI guns come. No ordinary you do everything you wanted to know about the Boston Celtics in the sport around bowling general only one blaze Duncan moved with a whole plenary -- WEEI. -- Welcome back to talk hoops podcast I'm your host all -- credit could show you guys today joining me on the phone. Tom Zeller NBA editor asking to -- patient. Whether whether true leading lights on the on the Internet NBA Thomas -- group. Good to have you on the show how freedom different. Sure. I really wanna get into this thing right off the bats -- was gonna ask you -- why can't we have nice things. Except but I can't I'm trying to explain to people provide -- series it just sort of compact. We we can't because. As people make bad decisions. And down. And there ought to be protected from those decisions. And did they arguably should be given the stakes involved so. That we can't -- -- as. Her. And would you say people make bad decisions were talking essentially about NBA executives general managers. Some of that so for people who don't know on espionage is a great series is called why we can't have nice things. And -- points out some of the more ridiculous contracts have been signed over the last you know ten years of this. But this particular collective bargaining agreement error of one of them that will be -- Celtics fans which I proudly structure would expect. Why it's mark blunt getting a six year 41 million dollar extension what are some of the other is Joseph Johnson and his deal. Address Sharpton has -- for Rashard Lewis I think all the 120 something you know ideal. Immediate. Are distributed and catcher reached. It's Milwaukee. Six years six and like. I thought I was gonna put them over the top. Or pox as a definitely it was excellent books and -- podcasts. -- -- -- It. Oh it's been allred says although I'm not sure that where that -- and sign in here but anyway. We digress so especially you know. What fixing things about the lockout it is I think I think you might have mentioned it or shall miss it in what it in what -- your little chat things heated. Is that. There has the reaction from people if they've cared and I my it's my sense frankly in Boston is people have just not really cared much certainly. The hard -- Celtics fans care very much about this in BC's people who moved on the talking about the Red Sox of course the talk about the NFL possibly coming back they're talking about. You know obviously the Bruins -- Stanley Cup. And I think people's attentions elsewhere when they do when they do think about this there there's very little sort of well it's degree players' fault it's more like. Where the owners gonna get serious about about actually bargaining collectively bargaining try to get a new agreement to get a sense as well. Absolutely. I really came into the as it should take that it was going to be award just to convince people that. The players didn't strike that the players aren't asking for more. But. Forward. About actually be chore which and -- situation or maybe. And a little bit different. Might the less inclined to side labor perhaps another sort of different discussion but. I would I remember back in 99. -- younger ones and nearly. Print coverage of the NBA there's now. And I remember effort and in my circle friends thinking it the players agree. We all remember. Demoralize -- national call about Kenny Anderson's. Divorce and the trojans quote. Everything's sort of -- the picture of the greedy players. Out there you know. Complain about five million dollars a year or whatever it covered -- again. Luckily. Sophisticated. And understand that this is not a fight between. All seniors in short millionaires it's it's really actual labor struggle. Dad does that's elated it's funny when you say labor I used -- to Canada as well I'd I'd having done time and in -- newspaper guild union. And you know been out there with some of the Teamsters it is it is weird to refer to MBA vessel colors labor that is what they are. And the owners are the owners and and that the degree of scale as always really difficult people get their their heads around you know it's. Why can't be happy with with your millions of dollars and stuff like that but the thing everything is somebody's making money on the NBA. You know people make money on sports and so it's not it's not altruistic things you -- he's. These are these are real issues -- fortunately they they seem to crop up more and more right now. But in terms of in terms of where you go here I mean are you a doomsday prognosticators are you of the mindset that this is going nowhere there's no meetings scheduled this is a total disaster. Or do you think that somewhere in because if you look at what the two sides have proposed at least in the press. There isn't a whole lot of you know middle ground here it's it's one guy's talking Spanish and one guy's talking. Ukrainian or something I mean that they're they're talking to different languages. But with that said are you are you the mindset that this is so far gone you know it does not gonna be season or use sort of well they have release are talking yet and and there's there's still ample time to save us. Actually both truly believe that they're not I think. Yet -- to maybe post back and don't get it and at some point I think there's there's really. -- -- That you believe -- I mean David Stern coming to a close is the department commissioner. Sort of alluded to act. Look at me and certainly close to the end and the beginning. He's been an effort couple decades he's definitely grameen items over -- course -- and forward takeover. And com I don't think -- -- -- on on record -- -- second out. ET. The golden age the second alternate or golden age of -- basketball. I don't want to record I think she pushed to get something done. As we know from from refereed labor struggle -- is not. The shy about going into the -- and I think you will go to limit. I think -- I think they can get it -- to a point where it can go in Egypt and rushed into games. I think -- that is important. And it takes skating if it takes. Round issues and it. I think. A lot more control what matters that supports chest and there -- the past few months that make owners aren't unified world war. Owners and more and seemed to to disagree. Stern and the old guard in terms of the importance of keeping game going on to talk about -- new owners to Newman's daughters com. Perhaps not showing that deference to start I I think she showed it odd a lot of old. The -- together on revenue sharing where. You can look at you know -- small market owners who definitely would benefit from. Revolutionary itself be. A discussion. Because it is stronger. Players -- And and to compete. And pushed I think yeah stern Stewart on car and people. And I think in the end to there's one court issue. Here. At stake and that's split I think there's one big issue like it and easier to actually. Get to a point where. -- -- When you have had huge issues war three big issues that are lesser importance in revenues. That are. It altogether I think it more difficult to sort -- called on all things I think you're gonna come down some some serious negotiation. All and yet there. He all the Simon thought it was back competitive balance that's when and so are -- to that now. We laugh it's funny it's really not about competitive bounce at all it's always -- it's it's always about the revenues split -- That there were not involved stayed. -- stop Detroit because all corners and -- market as passionate revolutionary. An -- and -- revenue can't afford it -- be competitive and sort out. Issues that cap and -- That would cut the price as at some really interesting point and allows me this discrete segment what -- Recently around here is you've seen the reports the Celtics and be closing in on -- new but new TV deal with Comcast sports net. And which will. Significantly increased the amount of money that they're getting on there on the local broadcast rights significantly increased and also get them an equity shake. Equity stake. In in the network the the big deal for the Celtics I mean -- it's it's it's it's saying the way around here. How Comcast as sort of built itself up relatively quickly in this marketplace where they they didn't exist before it. He's live in Philly where obviously Comcast Kagan on there on their on their cable network they showed that for the Phillies -- -- for -- station the sixers every single night. You're tuning into watch you turning to watch podcasts of -- Fella he sportsman of Boston we've got a couple different channels. And the Celtics are relieve their you know their flagship program the best interest from local perspective but. Nationally. Tom what was your take on this in terms of in terms of the the money going in the pocket and also the state in the network. Yeah I think the money is great I think it's a good sign that the getting a lot more money. -- com and one. Publication. You -- and on the local TV revenue would be huge industry sports the hugely important. Com. And growth period. Call and I think the fact -- -- -- -- marquee franchise's. A lot more money -- the reports August suggesting you're gonna go from fifteen point right now. Under the new deal like. 3049. That's going out that that's good Italy. -- couple. Were treated -- games. That the issue. Of the deal -- And more details coming -- it's becoming a bit more clear that. The reasons that -- still -- -- -- into the the dozens of partially -- Regional sports network is is. Not necessarily shirt that -- from armed. And more. About com. How about won't be calculated and salary cap abroad. It won't -- well early in -- and yes and New England. Israel and pockets. Of course they'll -- -- market and a network you know suffer losses. On. There's a chance. Happening on but I think beyond that. There's reports there's huge between the top spot. And -- it and -- -- that. You know fully expect our new wreckage and -- -- -- -- times -- caption mr. I think what do you really does. -- problem -- Office that is about it now it's not because the lakers are fighting tooth and nail to keep. There will keep fighting to keep their money from Time Warner on this -- structure. The cynics. Amongst folks claimed they -- Fighting they can move and I -- because of the contract because tempers. That your team. I am glad that pop very selfish -- -- -- -- Just shows how -- as well. You can have competitive on -- Like the Celtics making 34. Year. If you can opt. In bobcats have enough trouble. -- -- The big guns. That are easily well -- Right and it is adjusting from the -- for perspective the owners. You have of a fairly well documented history of putting the money that they get from the team back into it. Which is which is obviously good for the fans I mean they've had no problem going over. South on that luxury tax player here or players there's try to keep this run knowing. So -- they've they've done right by the fans here and we did that with that additional and in the what do you hate is -- you know. A team is just pocketing cash by the by the market fall hot enough for him back into the into the product so. Or rather me go exactly but now it's an interesting point and it bounces it is is is it is a funny thing in this league and I'm not sure I. I think it's I think it's fairly unique to all the major sports and that. There's only so many great players to go around and if you look at the history of the league. More times than -- you know the great player the great players a prerequisite for winning a championship. It's not it's not always the best player wins but you need to have that that top five top five player top ten baby player. Anchoring your your team in order to win NBA championship and obviously there's aren't that many of those guys around so. What is competitive balance mean to you what what would you what would you consider competitive balance. It's really the issues. And posture over. The past year and each of the -- for. We. Stage and and by far over time towards parity. Just -- general -- scale com. It's obviously because she there's some players and one gene Michael Jordan. Well. Watch it fall and so that -- Perry. I think. You know and the contract and I'm like well there's can be terrible this year. -- out in order to yours acts. Can't do it. It takes a lot of time here strike urged yeah it takes and taxpayers that are in trouble from. So many deals confined and for the next four years and control structure in order. Thirty million dollar question. At issue. Destroyed for -- next on -- how long tugged -- Walsh on on. How quickly we -- well. And and did it took him along to it and he would get not so much. -- and New York. Can't afford and your compassion art. I think shorter. Contract. Part art and actually it well. A little discipline and supporting labor. Com. -- to owners went from quiet and guaranteed contracts I think there's room for. War situation where every last year you know one -- deals. Dot. Com. But I think. It's also much money actually. And don't know because. I heard one your deal in the player to. Six year. Deal because back. Reports I think that much really key issue here. Nothing and exit. Because -- issues were being core. Which. Really matter probably are all on the greatest team. And they're only ten players. Can lead thirteen -- championship in addition there are going to be next. They can be quite a bit by. Guaranteed contracts this year and and retribution and every team can afford it -- You know play like -- com agency. And and -- if you parties can afford to Mark Cuban. The Celtics. The lakers. -- No absolutely it's making it a point on the length and also the guarantee that deals. And in it used -- we've seen it all the time it's it's that dead money walking it's a bad look for the leak you know when you have a guy who is. You know whatever cap space to be named later -- program that the Iraq atlas of the world you know for two or three years -- hanging over their heads where. They're not wanted they're not used and they still feel like and let. The vast majority MBA players feel like they can contribute all the time there's very few. -- you know -- carries of the world are guys like that to sort of like check out very few of those guys people believe us. But yeah at Derek they're stuck in that situation where they're just being stashed -- -- being told. Don't even show up just you know we'll -- view it as a point it seems like some of those deals are starting starting to go away but. It it takes too long I think for what's team gets bad and you know this. Look at Indiana Pacers it's taken them what 45 years to get come back from 2005. When they decided okay we're gonna blow this thing up. And they're not even I mean everybody's excited about the pacers in the young talent they have they don't have it they don't have a franchise maker on that team -- quite yet. And what's the best case there they went 44 games maybe and maybe give somebody run in the first that's the best case scenario and that's. Two years of planning. To pull off. That seems to be not good for the leak. -- not and I think. Issued just for others others. That users do. All the way back in 2006 stars blow it out on the trader art for patient and you should go on -- agency. That's when they start to sort of blow out but they couldn't exactly just blow up they use what happened and how long it would take. Also digital band -- stuff traded for Mike leave Torre Kirk bit it. Pushed off or rebuild which. Happen -- -- never happen but talks and hopefully it will make -- to get a lot better. -- And not doing anything -- not getting. Com iPod right here and quality -- -- ended after Chris. Traded. Is that okay like India and and Brad Miller and picture in eastern and again as well today. Actually. To blow. I'm on moment to all day. Kept. What -- your column on me. For reaching out mr. compliment he went when -- wrote it. And the united trick Kevin Martin and registered lingered until it finally. About the bottom and a couple. Weeks ago. Out there now upswing -- the last playoff loss in 2006. Out loud and and most. And -- and saying don't expect him to. Another couple years. So it's pixels long because it takes so long to rebuild changed. Don't want to rebuild want to retool. To fly. And I think the prison and -- Back up very few teams can insert -- keep alive. Sliding. Contender. Right apps of any sort in the -- wider and wider what I want it it's or etc. things a little bit so for those you don't know Stiller writes. Forty public editor owner and chief west of sac -- royalty this. That's your behavior. Yeah I've been writing it. After. There. At a public got its it's crazy I will always and you know I hate to bring a painful memories but I will always think of the kings is that wild fun increase the high scoring bunch of the early two thousands and you know obviously you know -- -- -- a -- -- -- know they have changed but it is to see them go from that to where they are now in -- -- over the last 45 years. How are things in Sacramento right now and they were saved by a last minute reprieve how what's what's the outlook right now for it for the kings aren't staying in Sacramento. Yeah and were really -- tortured country because we really felt like Pat Watkins is -- against the lakers on the went to overtime. Thrilling game. On the ends. Good portion of and stayed injury after the game for about four minutes and chanted Sacramento and change your. And our players can act out coached west on the cheers everywhere and we did -- an easier game. We thought it was over the next day not twelve -- later after the end of the game we see Kevin Johnson army -- com. And really sort of sacrament and you've only been. Played for the silent until the change in India. She's always. -- and that's the great players and opera history. He teaches that you went into the port numbers and basically convinced it would stir in Sacramento. Com deserved one more year change and it you know -- -- month sort one tortures of stern convincing -- to -- to -- such an approach it. And move. And then assignments all that excitement. Where I think the community very distrustful. Still. Just because they were so it took so long. -- here. On the -- and there's great mistrust there. Com and out such. -- actuarial balance to. Be excited about the team. That been for another year. -- about it too technical the more urgent effort. Pickup in the draft and how he's gonna -- with Eric Evans which and it makes people outside of Sacramento. To unlock it. I heard it com and I'd I'd I'd look at action -- -- because it sounds Fuller advantage for. And and and -- -- in the core of a community. I think I'm works -- that we can think it's been chasing Williams. And Doug Christie might matter premarket. CD box thinking you can be great. But it worked so I'm crossing our fingers but. At the same time. I mean. And jeans it's sort of electrical and I think that and you -- just an assault it is because. We don't have -- and estimate triggered rocketed. Again. Because I don't think. It -- without among -- moment. Com now it's real. It's a torture. It. Yes it was is is the arena sort of you know I mean. Is that the is that the that the bill that they asked that is that they -- it done for the state there in new arena. Yet unofficial -- on March 1 which is typically engagement location why. And David Stern said on conference call -- -- problem. At the end of the -- It com. We told was that it generate an incident place by by the time reallocation comes around we will work ago. And that was -- we don't have a client. By Mark Kirk we ought to go more and other location while on the usually DJ feel to it and this is working really hard -- I think people taking to deal dot com even if there's. Com if it doesn't look like organ public -- which. -- and a lot public vote on tax injury. When. The there were 20% almost 20% in paper. And -- -- -- well -- Were hoping that. Public but. Democracy in action Zeller and let's at least that I've spent two things about one you hate democracy now. And -- accident you got this weird anti labor -- and others about it I'm just -- -- Well -- everybody is going to be -- that. You know it's it's funny when you think about the -- I I I knew they had -- but I have not really thought about -- Tyreke. And DeMarcus Cousins. My gosh what a weird in -- basketball team that should be. We -- this. And R&B it's hard to get weirder on the -- strategic and do you know turn into. You just play it here in going into the scheme would really yeah its players. Don't Green like Scott McCain aides. What region. Brought Chong moment act no one in Sacramento except perhaps to -- like console completely out. All -- general turned into jump shops. -- but we work and even though it's probably your best player and -- injured were all. Can which condoms on. And we traded down to get him back. -- -- compete you know hilarious indices omens and Evans and chamber and markets and fiction all trying to take. -- -- -- -- -- they're you know they're gonna rival that the timberwolves for for weirdest leak testing -- thank. Yeah and -- historical the first match ended November 14. And the world such a game but he ages. -- that part. IQ Robert you were to the first reserve report but that that once actually had about when the bobcats aux. Practices and that your Gerald Wallace for a close look at the outer -- -- -- -- -- right those that are part of it. Passport passport for five years I think I think timberwolves kings made -- eclipsing that we decried a little more. Yeah. Let's transition. The time we have let's talk about yeah now the he'd. I've been through open studio. Is is is at retirement official as as we're talking. I think 11 PM Pacific time did not -- to watch urged. It's official. Data. Press conference in -- So -- -- Yeah yeah how does uninteresting initially test case for a lot of different things. People and it -- the brief time when he first did you there's there's hardly retirement hall fame in terms they. The deputy played more games than wall. -- that surprising isn't it. Very -- Remembered. -- everyone acknowledges I think -- issues -- sort of and so has potential long term out not to mention. So you know in terms of that yeah Oscar -- all of the gas which is the bass hall of fame by the ways is the single worst all of professional sports. And I don't really care much about dolphins general by it is -- you know talk about -- as if their hall of Famer. Really doesn't take into account the completely arbitrary nature of the voting process. So -- terms of so in terms of the notion of -- hall of fame level players and their rights are. There. You. You'd think the you know did enough in his career to sort of be remembered that way or how would you remember. That that's sort of the issue -- About the super nation. The news first broke even. Com is that you can't really beat -- player away from now. The character out election. It's huge news welcome a typical players I think -- -- there and it's sort of separate bundle which. And -- which is weird but he not. -- the magic bird match here on Russell wilt. It was a really good synergy -- passionately for maybe yours too early career after Shaq off. Com -- -- really good player he -- the -- -- The same -- he. Wasn't nearly as good as legend -- remember them in terms and and player. And this is sort of I keep oh hole in which you do. I think it's a crime like thirty or forty college coaches of all like why and coaches on just a crock pot. Com I don't like about the whole thing. Instances where should easily recognize. Because he changed basketball. And made so much more global sport. I think -- the ramifications in China. Won't come into Q&A few years com and post players that word -- -- -- really big. Com Leo. And prospects themselves. I think that Turkey -- can't explode I think if you years it's quite obvious situation. Where there any players from China. Coming over Europe. At least I hope that's the case because country of one point three billion people dish go and -- this. It does Spock are equally good players and not all these. Contraction talks. -- cabinet talent on the computer from from trying to. So I think its impact of the game is greater. Production on the court in the production on the court truly I don't think it would be. All -- if you from. From. -- -- Now I estimated impact on the game I know on the effort I think there there are moments erotic and -- and again and other light moment. It's ejected from. At thinking on the favorites like eight. Com. -- -- -- it dejected and in my life just very casual. And -- Remember seeing yeah well antioxidant of the court order based. -- waving his arms and I mean obviously it's -- -- but. We aren't ruling out and which like. Is something you'd never expect to export and that there was and I think it. Outward yours bigger game and. The thing it really -- is out for me about him is when he came over there was. You know I remember remember that the the draft moment they have great -- -- families with the line of different view on that was that was was interviewing. And it was a sort of like awkward like. Like almost high five it looked -- with -- Culture -- culture at the moment did not you transfer over and like oh my gosh this guy's going to be complete holes that. You know and at it was open season when he got here and of course Barkley said he would say that's ripping it. It's Shaq and his comments but that stood out from the most about with that. He was no shrinking violet for sure -- It he took it but you know we didn't really take it wasn't in his nature's sort of like you know trash -- accurate view that kind of thing. But EU. Transcended all that. Relatively quickly where you people realize right away he was no joke. You know this this was this is not a circus freak act and this is age you know. We all that we both though are typical euros it is it is that it that it. -- -- -- It was not a prototypical four in sort of soft player if you wanna if you go away. And I think that in the way he handled those situations did more. For international players then you or at least as much as as guys like Nowitzki -- or whoever who -- -- of that thought that was. That was perhaps is his most important contribution. Definitely I think it just goes and personality you -- -- and press conference. Did you. Com. You want funniest in -- And went one point six. Chinese senior came shortly. Go into and out there and national players. About duke players I mean look at the other -- from the and -- -- -- an -- Bradley. Two guys definitely describe accurately steps. Wasn't that he did not gotten much smaller players. -- considered. That considered someone that you could easily -- In. Said that that was huge I think. -- think that stand out your number one and to our code number two to and they just had such different -- -- Huge question mark. Q do people seem them play against good competition. More and you know a few minutes time. And out and all of I think you could argue that because it was a major player from China. Second place in China period and yet higher failure. Besides injuries on yet higher Huntington -- from Serbia. Produced -- acquired. And corner com -- went to a good team that was right -- and yet. In -- and indoor coaster. Foundered and and go about it and next thing you know comparison because that's really when your problems started right round. -- -- are battered and those players they came out after which. I think in a park and parker and there comparable. He's at his target of international players -- apple it. And yet so much stacked against. Yet I noted that they were asleep without them that's that's for sure. So tell it's Alessio on this what. You you weren't you are anticipating. Somehow some way. This -- figures itself out and it'll put a product on the court. That were all hoping for. What is -- wonder two things that assuming there is always there is season you you are most interested in for the next for the next MBAs. It. So -- when -- Beijing's encrypt greatly exceed Chalmers and Tyreke. Really. Change change their minds. Usage while facilitating that quite that well. Your situation. Have to wait department situation. There is a whole potential for like a year long soap opera. Com which anyone really wants or. Well but -- It's really changed situation because it. The magic -- so he moved to try to batter and they'd. Barely paid dividends. And happy to try and you don't like DO player like power out trying hard. To keep themselves. That's really changed to church and how the lakers were on on Coby. -- might wanna -- players this year. Com. I can only imagine what to include -- in swept. Com in the second round which cobalt mine and JJ Barea played beautiful it's -- it's never gonna understand. On how they are on powers forums com what what do it Adam. Who is obviously -- in for a larger role. It definitely gonna get it on our on the team. There reached in sub -- and I really think. Portrait. The owner is one hardliners going to lose this achievement. -- -- -- fire because I'm not sure Baltic more. These are two -- today in reasonably paid to these guys in. And and make conscious decision to to try to under another championship team. So if -- disease and shortened. I think it's gonna be an expert -- -- work. I'm -- -- -- that team for years on I think it can be you know having you mentioned just forty. You detention and -- on. And I really hope it isn't because it's too much interest. Because com. Money issues. -- that the director there is so much good stuff and if you like on some level. You know if they can figure out a way that makes sense for the we did that to survive and thrive that benefits both the players and the owners. It feels like we're turning a corner away from that really dark there early 2000. There was not a particularly interest in the air and you know maneuvering it into you. This you know wide open world where there's there's these great new stars and it's really inching teams and not always the teams that you would expect. You know and that the favorites are sort of follow weigh in some new teams are surging forward. There's a lot of good stuff that's happening in the sleet and it would just be an absolute. Disaster I think and I don't use that word lately I've -- apple says like old people never come back of course the comeback they always come back. But I think this particular point in the league's history would be an absolute disaster -- -- this is -- Absolutely I'd have to look a lot even. It was the first you remember a long time word. There are very few people. Like basketball there were complaining about all the -- and flawed it's so long it's so boring and doesn't mean anything. I don't remember too many people complain. Because every night some great -- war had some ramifications. Are great storyline. That's -- and yet they -- on these compared sports. They didn't demand for the players. They'd do you have. Two months and so it's important partners and -- captured the imagination. -- nation. They did last year and they need to make sure that it connector. And either full keeping inflation com. -- -- -- that splintered fifty -- I think everyone recognizes Tibet in nineteen. And she's. -- disaster in terms of actual play and store and everything. There's just under your feet and I don't think he wants. To capitalize and got another great. Yeah we are we're in complete agreement and hopefully we will be otherwise you know listen -- to write about. -- It's something that's totally yesterday and that's like everything I had it. -- Actually work. Complete. Iowa Tom -- who would you read there was degrees Miller Paloma Twitter teams -- Real money has been nations -- guess -- -- -- world especially if you were arrested in what's going over the kings lot of Mary mixing things are all over so Tom thanks so much for for joining me in and hopefully we'll do again. Lot of -- packet.

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