Kevin Love

This article is about the professional basketball player. For the NASCAR driver, see Kevin Love (racing driver).

Kevin Love

Love with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015
No. 0 Cleveland Cavaliers
Position Power forward / Center
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1988-09-07) September 7, 1988
Santa Monica, California
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight 251 lb (114 kg)
Career information
High school Lake Oswego
(Lake Oswego, Oregon)
College UCLA (2007–2008)
NBA draft 2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall
Selected by the Memphis Grizzlies
Playing career 2008–present
Career history
20082014 Minnesota Timberwolves
2014–present Cleveland Cavaliers
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
Stats at

Kevin Wesley Love (born September 7, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is a three-time All-Star and holds the longest streak for consecutive games recording double figures in points and rebounds since the ABA–NBA merger.[1] Love won an NBA championship with the Cavaliers in 2016, and he was a member of the gold medal-winning USA men's national team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Summer Olympics. He is the son of former NBA player Stan Love.

A top ranked prospect out of Lake Oswego High School in Oregon, Love played one season of college basketball for the UCLA Bruins and led the team to a Final Four appearance in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Love was named a consensus First Team All-American and was voted the player of the year in the Pac-12 Conference. He elected to forego his remaining three years of college eligibility and entered the 2008 NBA draft. He was taken fifth overall by the Memphis Grizzlies, and was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night for the third overall selection, O. J. Mayo, in an eight-player deal. Love was traded to the Cavaliers in 2014.

Early life

Love was born on September 7, 1988 in Santa Monica, California, the second of three children to Karen and Stan Love.[2] He grew up in Oregon and played basketball from his earliest days;[3] as a child, he would practice his bounce passes with a cardboard box and study tapes of Wes Unseld.[4]

Love played high school basketball for the Lake Oswego Lakers.[5] In his sophomore season, he averaged 25.3 points, 15.4 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game, leading the Lakers to the 2005 state championship game where they lost to Jesuit High School.[6][7] The following summer, he was the center of controversy when Nike removed him from its Portland Elite Legends AAU team because he had chosen to participate in the Reebok ABCD Camp against other top recruits.[8] He went on to play for the Southern California All-Stars, helping the team compile a 46–0 record while garnering three MVP awards.[6] In his junior year, he averaged 28 points, 16.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game as Lake Oswego returned to the state championship game, this time winning behind Love's 24 points and 9 rebounds.[7] In his senior season, he averaged 33.9 points, 17.0 rebounds, and 4 assists per game.[6][9] Lake Oswego made their third straight trip to the state championship game, losing in a rematch of the prior year's final to South Medford High School and Love's rival Kyle Singler despite 37 points from Love.[6][10] At the conclusion of the season, Love was named the Gatorade National Male Athlete of the Year.[2] He was also a first-team Parade All-American. He finished his high school career as the all-time leading scorer in Oregon boys' basketball history with 2,628 points.[6]

College career

Love in 2008 at UCLA

In July 2006, Love verbally committed to play college basketball at UCLA.[11] He had also considered playing for North Carolina.[8][12][13] Prior to the 2007–08 season, he received permission from Walt Hazzard to wear number 42 for the Bruins even though the school had retired the number for Hazzard in 1996.[14] After arriving at UCLA, Love regularly sought out retired Bruins legends Bill Walton and John Wooden for advice.[15] His decision to play for UCLA brought animosity from fans of Oregon, his father's alma mater, where it was expected Love would play.[3] Prior to a game at Oregon, Ducks fans obtained Love's cell phone number and left obscene messages as well as death threats; the fans also subjected Love's family to obscenities and threw garbage at them during the game. This event, along with similar incidents directed at other players, prompted a discussion of whether abuse by college basketball fans is becoming too extreme.[16][17]

In the 2008 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament, the Bruins defeated the USC Trojans, featuring O. J. Mayo, in the semi-finals. Both Mayo and Love were nominated to the All-Pac-10 tournament team. Later, Love guided UCLA to the regular season Pac-10 conference championship, the conference tournament championship, and a No. 1 seed in the 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. Love helped the Bruins to the Final Four of the tournament, where they lost to the Memphis Tigers, whose season and tournament appearance in turn were later vacated. At the end of the 2007–08 regular season, Love was named consensus first-team All-American, Pac-10 Player of the Year, All-Pac-10, and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. He led the Bruins with 17.5 ppg, 10.6 rpg, and 23 double-doubles.[18]

Professional career

Minnesota Timberwolves (2008–2014)

2008 NBA draft

In a press conference on April 17, 2008, Love announced his intention to leave UCLA to enter the 2008 NBA draft.[19] He was taken fifth overall by the Memphis Grizzlies, immediately after his teammate at UCLA, Russell Westbrook, who was selected by the Seattle SuperSonics. Following the draft, Love was traded, along with Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, and Jason Collins to the Minnesota Timberwolves, with the third overall pick O. J. Mayo, Antoine Walker, Marko Jarić and Greg Buckner going to the Grizzlies.[20][21]

Rookie season

Love went on to play in the 2008 NBA Summer League and led all players in rebounding.[22] In his NBA debut on October 29, Love came off the bench to contribute 12 points and nine rebounds in a 98–96 win over the Sacramento Kings.[23] The Timberwolves lost 15 of their first 19 games, prompting the dismissal of head coach Randy Wittman.[24] Timberwolves general manager Kevin McHale assumed duties as head coach and they developed a close relationship.[25][26][27] Under McHale, the Timberwolves improved their play in January by going 10–4, with Love averaging a double-double.[28] Love was not selected to the NBA All-Star Weekend Rookie Challenge, to the surprise of his teammates and coaches.[29][30] After the team's leading scorer Al Jefferson was sidelined for the rest of the season with a torn ACL in February,[31] Love's minutes increased, and he was named NBA Rookie of the Month for March.[32]

Love finished the season ninth in the league in rebounding, first among rookies, and ranked third in total offensive rebounds. Love also led all first-years with 29 double-doubles, the most by a Timberwolves rookie in franchise history. He also ranked first in the league in offensive rebound percentage, becoming the first rookie to lead the league since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1984–85. He was named to the 2009 NBA All-Rookie Second Team and finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting.[33]

2009–10 season

Love in 2010

In the off-season, Love was invited to participate in the USA National Team mini-camp that was conducted from July 22 to 25 in Las Vegas.[34][35] Love also generated attention from his Twitter account when he broke the story that Kevin McHale would not return to coach the Timberwolves for the 2009–2010 season.[36]

Love began the season on the injured list when, in a pre-season game on October 16, 2009 against the Chicago Bulls, he broke the fourth metacarpal in his left hand by banging it against the elbow of teammate Oleksiy Pecherov.[37] Following surgery, Love missed the first 18 games of the season. He returned against the New Orleans Hornets on December 4, 2009, and made immediate impact for the Timberwolves, who were struggling out of the gate with a 2–16 record.[38][39]

Love was selected to play in NBA All-Star Weekend Rookie Challenge.[40][41] He finished the season ranked as the NBA's best rebounder per 48 minutes (18.4), besting Dwight Howard (18.3) and Marcus Camby (18.1).[42]

2010–11 season

Love in 2011

The Timberwolves' trade of Jefferson before the 2010–11 NBA season was expected to result in more playing time for Love. However, he averaged 28 minutes through the first nine games, exceeding 30 minutes only twice. Chris Mannix of wrote that many speculated there was a rift between coach Kurt Rambis and Love.[42] In a home game against the New York Knicks on November 12, 2010, Love became the 19th player to record a "30–30" game, when he recorded 31 points along with a career-high 31 rebounds.[43] His 31 rebounds set a Timberwolves franchise record and were also the most by a player in an NBA game since Charles Barkley recorded 33 rebounds in a game in 1996.[44] Love became the first player to record a 30–30 game since Moses Malone in 1982.[45] Love scored a career-high 43 points and had 17 rebounds on December 18 in a 115–113 loss to the Denver Nuggets.[46] On February 4, 2011, Love was selected by Commissioner David Stern to his first NBA All-Star Game as replacement for the injured Yao Ming. The day before, Love was not selected as an All-Star as a reserve although averaging 21.4 points, a league-best 15.5 rebounds, shooting 43.9 percent from 3-point range, and having 34 straight double-doubles for the 11–37 Timberwolves.[47][48][49] On February 8, Love set a team record (previously held by Kevin Garnett) with his 38th consecutive double-double after scoring 20 points and recording 14 rebounds in the Timberwolves' 112–108 win over the Houston Rockets.[50] He scored 37 points and had 23 rebounds on February 27 in a 126–123 win over the Golden State Warriors. It was his fourth 30-point, 20-rebound game of the season, and Love went 18 for 23 from the free throw line to tie Minnesota's team records for made and attempted free throws.[51] On March 13, Love's consecutive double-double streak ended at 53 games in a loss to the Golden State Warriors.[52] It was the longest streak since the ABA–NBA merger in 1976,[1] surpassing Malone's 51-game streak from 1979 to 1980.[53][54] Love was two short of Elvin Hayes's streak of 55 consecutive double-doubles set in the 1973–74 season.[52] According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Wilt Chamberlain holds the record with 227 consecutive double-doubles from 1964 to 1967. The NBA does not recognize the double-double as an official statistic.[55][56] Love suffered a strained left groin on March 20 against Sacramento.[57] He missed the final six games and nine of the last 11 games of the season due to the injury.[58][59]

Love led the NBA in rebounding averaging 15.2 per game.[58] He won the NBA Most Improved Player Award after increasing his points per game by 44 percent and his rebounds per game by 38 percent over his previous season. Love established career highs in rebounding, scoring (20.2), assists (2.5), double-doubles (64), field goal percentage (.470), free throw shooting (.850), 3-point shooting (.417) and minutes played (35.8). He became the first player to average at least 20 points and 15 rebounds in a season since Malone in the 1982–83 season.[60] He emerged as the new face of the franchise since Garnett was traded from the Timberwolves to the Boston Celtics in 2007.[61] In 2010–11, Love's No. 42 was the Wolves' top-selling jersey; sales were comparable to Kevin Garnett's when he was in his prime.[62]

2011–12 season

Love in 2012

This was Love's contract season. He had stated that he wanted to be the Timberwolves' "designated player" for a five-year deal [63] during the offseason (a designated player offer must be made prior to the final year qualifying offer), but he was denied this contract by the Timberwolves.[64] Contract negotiations became tense, leading to an incident where David Kahn (team GM) "marched" into the players training room and "thrust [...] a contract offer sheet into his hands". Love responded, "I'm not the one to always follow professional protocol – but I do know what it is, even at 24 years old".[64] They eventually settled on four years with a player option for Love to opt out after the third year.[65] The four-year contract extension worth up to $62 million was finally agreed to, and signed, on January 25, allowing Love to become an unrestricted free agent as early as 2015. Love has stated that he felt very strongly that he should have had a five-year designated player extension, and would have accepted the offer, had it been offered to him.[66]

Love followed up this new contract extension the subsequent night with a 31-point performance in a win over the Dallas Mavericks.[67] In January 2012, Love scored 30 points in three consecutive games for the first time in his career.[68] He began the season recording 15 straight double-doubles, the first player to do so since Hakeem Olajuwon in the beginning of the 1992–93 NBA season.[68] On January 20, 2012, Love made a three-point buzzer beater to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers.

On February 6, 2012, Love was given a two-game suspension for stepping on the face of Luis Scola.[69] After the game on February 4, Love said, "I mean, he fell down after the play. He just kind of laid there and... I just happened to be there. I had nowhere to go. I got kind of tripped up and I just had nowhere to step. He was right there... and it happened to be his face."[67] On February 25, 2012, Love participated in the Three-Point Shootout and defeated Kevin Durant in the final tie-breaking round to win the contest. Love scored a season high 42 points in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers on March 3, 2012.[70] Love set a franchise record for most games scoring over 30 points in a season on March 12, 2012 in a victory over the Phoenix Suns.[71][72] He also had a career-high 51 points in a 149–140 double overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The following game, Love erupted for 30 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in a win over the Denver Nuggets.[73] For the season, Love was named to the All-NBA second team and finished sixth in MVP voting.[74] In the offseason, Love voiced frustration with Minnesota for not being a playoff team. The Timberwolves finished with the Western Conference's fourth-worst record at 26–40, which was still the franchise's most wins since the 2006–07 season.[63][75]

2012–13 season

On October 17, 2012, it was reported that Love would miss six to eight weeks after breaking the third and fourth metacarpals on his right (shooting) hand during a morning workout.[76] Love surprised fans by returning to the Wolves on November 21, just five weeks after sustaining the injury.[77] He played 35 minutes and scored 34 points while grabbing 14 rebounds against the Denver Nuggets. In December, Love would score 36 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers, yet he continued to voice his frustration with the team's front office.[78]

Love shooting a free throw in 2014

On January 3, 2013, Love refractured his shooting hand in a game against the Denver Nuggets. It was announced by the Timberwolves that Love's injury would require surgery and he is expected to miss an additional eight to ten weeks of playing time.[79] Prior to the second fracture, Love was shooting just 21.7 percent on three-pointers and a career-low 35 percent from the field, leading some to speculate that he had returned too quickly from his original injury.[80][81] Love himself admitted that the hand remained an issue throughout the season, saying "It's just the hand being so idle, having to strengthen it. Getting the ball to feel right in my hand has been such a struggle since getting back on the court a couple weeks ago." [82]

2013–14 season

On February 22, 2014, Love recorded his first career triple double with 37 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists in a 121-104 win over the Utah Jazz.[83][84] On March 9, Love, with a 3-pointer midway through the third quarter of Minnesota's 104-111 loss to the Raptors, broke the Timberwolves’ franchise record for 3-pointers in a season. With that make (143), he passed Rashad McCants' record of 142 in the 2007–08 season.[85] On March 28, he recorded his second career triple double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 143-107 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.[86] On April 2, 2014, Love recorded his third career triple double with 24 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists in a 102-88 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.[87] Love set an NBA record in 2013–14, becoming the first player in NBA history to record 2,000 points, 900 rebounds and 100 3-pointers in a single season.[88] He was named to the All-NBA Second Team for the second time in his career.

Cleveland Cavaliers (2014–present)

2014–15 season

Love was traded to Cleveland in 2014

On August 23, 2014, the Timberwolves traded Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team trade. The Timberwolves received Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett from Cleveland, and Thaddeus Young from the Philadelphia 76ers, while the Philadelphia 76ers received Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved from Minnesota and a 2015 first-round draft pick from Cleveland.[89][90]

On February 8, 2015, Love scored a season-high 32 points on 11-of-18 shooting in a 120–105 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.[91] On February 24, he scored 24 points on eight three-pointers, tying his career best, as he helped the Cavaliers defeat the Detroit Pistons, 102–93.[92]

Love helped the Cavaliers win 34 of their final 43 games to finish the regular season as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 53–29 overall record.[93] In his first career playoff game on April 19, Love recorded 19 points and 12 rebounds in a 113–100 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of their first-round playoff match-up.[94] Cleveland swept the series 4–0, but Love missed the remainder of the playoffs after he dislocated his left shoulder in the first quarter of Game 4 when he got tangled with the Celtics' Kelly Olynyk while battling for a loose ball. Love called it a "bush-league play", while Olynyk said he would "never intentionally hurt someone."[95][96] The league ruled that Olynyk had "yanked Love's arm down", and suspended Olynyk for one game.[97] Love underwent surgery to repair his shoulder and the team said he would need four to six months to recover.[95]

On June 24, 2015, Love opted out of the final year of his contract, worth $16.7 million in 2015–16, to return to free agency.[98]

2015–16 season

On July 9, 2015, Love re-signed with the Cavaliers.[99] On November 23, 2015, he scored 27 of his season-high 34 points in the first half of the Cavaliers' 117–103 win over the Orlando Magic.[100] On January 29, 2016, he had his best game since November 23, scoring 29 points on 9-of-19 shooting in a 114–106 win over the Detroit Pistons. That game also marked the first time all season that Love, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving each reached 20 points in a game.[101]

The Cavaliers finished the regular season as the first seed in the Eastern Conference with a 57–25 record. In the first round of the playoffs, the Cavaliers faced the eighth-seeded Detroit Pistons, and in a Game 1 win on April 17, Love recorded playoff career highs with 28 points and 13 rebounds.[102] Love helped the Cavaliers advance through to the Eastern Conference Finals where they faced the Toronto Raptors. He struggled in Games 3 and 4 of the series, scoring just 15 total points, before bouncing back in Games 5 and 6 to help the Cavaliers defeat the Raptors 4–2.[103] The win advanced them through to the NBA Finals, where they faced the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Love's struggles in the NBA Finals were well documented. After recording 17 points and 13 rebounds in a Game 1 loss, a concussion suffered in Game 2 forced him to miss Game 3. His return in Game 4 saw him come off the bench to score 11 points, but with a 108–97 loss, the Cavaliers fell behind 3–1 in the series. Game 5 saw Love return to the starting line-up, but despite playing 33 minutes, he managed just two points as the Cavaliers forced a Game 6 with a 112–97 win. Game 6 also saw Love struggle, but the Cavaliers managed a 115–101 win to force a Game 7. The Cavaliers won Games 5 and 6 with Love contributing just nine total points on 2-of-8 shooting.[104] With the series tied a 3–3, Love managed 9 points and 14 rebounds in Game 7 to help the Cavaliers win the series 4–3, as they became the first team to rally from a 3–1 finals deficit, beating the Warriors 93–89 in Game 7 to end a 52-year major sports championship drought in Cleveland.[105]

2016–17 season

On October 25, 2016, after receiving his first championship ring prior to the season opener, Love recorded 23 points and 12 rebounds in a 117–88 win over the New York Knicks.[106] On November 3, he scored a then season-high 26 points in a 128–122 win over the Boston Celtics, helping the Cavaliers go 5–0 for the first time since 1976–77 when they started 8–0.[107] On November 23, he scored 40 points, including an NBA-record 34 in the first quarter, to help the Cavaliers defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 137–125. His 34 points were the second most all-time in a quarter; Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors set the record at 37 in the third quarter on January 23, 2015.[108] Five days later, he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, November 21 through Sunday, November 27. Love led the Cavaliers to a 3–0 week behind an East-leading 30.7 points per game.[109]

National team career

Love as a member of the 2012 U.S. national team

Love was a member of the United States national team that won the gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship. Love made the 2012 Olympic team on July 7, 2012.[110] The team finished undefeated, winning the gold medal over runners-up Spain.

Mired in unresolved trade talks between Minnesota and other NBA teams, Love withdrew himself from the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup (formerly World Championship) team.[111]

NBA career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Led the league
Denotes seasons in which Love won an NBA championship

Regular season

2008–09 Minnesota 81 37 25.3 .459 .105 .789 9.1 1.0 .4 .6 11.1
2009–10 Minnesota 60 22 28.6 .450 .330 .815 11.0 2.3 .7 .4 14.0
2010–11 Minnesota 73 73 35.8 .470 .417 .850 15.2 2.5 .6 .4 20.2
2011–12 Minnesota 55 55 39.0 .448 .372 .824 13.3 2.0 .9 .5 26.0
2012–13 Minnesota 18 18 34.3 .352 .217 .704 14.0 2.3 .7 .5 18.3
2013–14 Minnesota 77 77 36.3 .457 .376 .821 12.5 4.4 .8 .5 26.1
2014–15 Cleveland 75 75 33.8 .434 .367 .804 9.7 2.2 .7 .5 16.4
2015–16 Cleveland 77 77 31.5 .419 .360 .822 9.9 2.4 .8 .5 16.0
Career 516 434 32.7 .444 .363 .815 11.5 2.4 .7 .5 18.3
All-Star 3 1 21.0 .500 .364 .286 6.7 1.3 1.3 .0 10.7


2015 Cleveland 4 4 26.8 .415 .429 .737 7.0 2.5 .3 .5 14.3
2016 Cleveland 20 19 30.7 .385 .414 .840 8.8 2.1 .5 .4 14.7
Career 24 23 30.0 .389 .417 .819 8.5 2.2 .4 .4 14.6

Personal life

Love's uncle, Mike, is a founding member of The Beach Boys and brother of Love's father, Stan. Mike and Stan's cousins include Beach Boys' mastermind Brian Wilson, and the late Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson. Love's aunt, Kathleen McCartney Hearst, was an accomplished triathlete. He has an older brother, Collin, and a younger sister, Emily.[6] His middle name, Wesley, is in honor of Wes Unseld, the former Washington Bullets center and the Loves' family friend.[112] In 2009, Love became the first among NBA players to join the Hoops for St. Jude charity program benefitting the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, after working with the hospital as part of the league's "Rookie Relief" community outreach program in his first season in the league.[113]

Endorsements and investments

In 2011, Love signed a 6-year endorsement contract with the Chinese shoe company 361 Degrees.[114] In 2012, he appeared in the second Pepsi Max edition of "Uncle Drew" with future teammate Kyrie Irving. Love is also an investor in the lifestyle website 12Society.[115]

In 2016, Love became the new style ambassador and campaign model for Banana Republic.[116]

Media appearances

Love appeared on the front cover for the video game NCAA Basketball 09.[117] He was one of the featured stars in the film Gunnin' for That No. 1 Spot. He appeared as himself on the Disney Channel show The Suite Life on Deck during the season 3 episode Twister: Part 1 along with Dwight Howard and Deron Williams.[118] He appeared in the HBO television series Entourage in its seventh season finale Lose Yourself.

See also


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  4. Jenkins, Lee. "Love finally has a pair of enticing reasons to stay in Minnesota". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  5. "Kevin Love NBA & ABA Stats". Basketball Reference. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
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  7. 1 2 "OSAA Boys' Basketball State Champions" (PDF). Oregon School Activities Association. Retrieved April 27, 2007.
  8. 1 2 Jung, Helen (26 July 2006). "Love and sneaker wars". The Oregonian. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  9. Stewart, Bill (12 April 2007). "Awards pile up for Kevin Love". Lake Oswego Review. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  10. Carpenter, Holly (10 March 2007). "South Medford takes title". The Oregonian. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
  11. Katz, Andy (25 July 2006). "Love-fest: Hoop phenom says he'll attend UCLA". ESPN. Retrieved October 16, 2010.
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  38. Zgoda, Jerry (December 5, 2009). "Wolves' Love impressive, but Hornets' Paul trumps him in his return". Star Tribune. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
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  86. Notebook: Wolves 143, Lakers 107
  87. Notebook: Timberwolves 102, Grizzlies 88
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