Shawne Williams Discussion: back on a 10 day contract

Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby karacha on Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:36 pm

Yeah, I think Shawne will make it. We can use him.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby therealdeal on Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:15 am

[url]http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/37310/from-n-y-to-l-a-still-with-something-to-prove
[/url]
LOS ANGELES -- Shawne Williams was just another draft bust that had been discarded by the league when he arrived on Mike D'Antoni's and the New York Knicks' doorstep in September 2010.

"I gained my respect for Mike was when I first got to New York," Williams told ESPNLosAngeles.com at Los Angeles Lakers training camp this week. "We had a meeting and he told me a couple things. I won't put that out in the public, but he told me some things. He told me the truth. And I respect him for that."

What did D'Antoni tell him? What do you say to a former first-round draft pick who had already been charged with possession of marijuana, possession of a stolen handgun, and in a separate incident, misdemeanor drug possession for allegedly selling a codeine substance?
What message did D'Antoni have for someone who had already worn out his welcome with both the Indiana Pacers and Dallas Mavericks and became such a persona non grata that he was out of the league completely for the 2009-10 season before arriving in New York?

[+] EnlargeShawne Williams
Jason Miller/USA TODAY Sports
Shawne Williams, above, played for Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni when both were in New York in 2010.
"I remember," D'Antoni said. "I told him I didn't want him. Because that's what happens in this league sometimes, you get labels on guys. I didn't know him, only what I read, what I saw, what I heard. So I'm thinking, 'Why do we need to go down that path again?' "

The honesty was something Williams, a 6-foot-9 forward with deep range who had been relying more on talent than mental toughness, needed to hear.

It humbled him.

For the first 18 games of the 2010-11 season, Williams sat on the Knicks' bench, racking up DNP after DNP. When he finally got a chance to play, New York went on an eight-game winning streak, with Williams making 15 of the 28 shots he put up during the tear.

"Eighteen games in, I got a shot to play and I ended up doing alright and I was playing ever since," Williams said. "To me, I just feel like Mike's system is a great system. He's a great coach. He respects players. He knows how to coach players. And that's basically it. That's just my guy. I like him as a coach, a person. That's just it."

For D'Antoni, the feeling is mutual.

"When you get to know the guy, he's nothing like the perception," D'Antoni said. "He's one of the most stand-up, nicest, coachable and skilled players that I've ever coached and I'm hoping. He's been off a couple years, so that is what it is and he still has to fight perception, but he's one of those guys that plays a lot better than people think."

"Sometimes this league is a revolving door"

Williams' lone season in New York with D'Antoni has proved to be the glory days of his career so far. Williams averaged 7.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in just 20.1 minutes per game that season, while shooting 40.1 percent on 3-pointers.

He signed with the then New Jersey Nets after the lockout and never found his niche, shooting just 28.6 percent from the field in 25 games. The Nets traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers at the end of the 2011-12 season. Portland bought out his contract for 2012-13. Williams was out of the league, again. And fell back into trouble, again. This time he was arrested for possession of both marijuana and codeine cough syrup.

It could have been over, but Williams wasn't ready to give up. He left the rough streets of Memphis, where the arrest occurred, for the palatial confines of the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., a sports training center, to work on his game. There was a long way to go until the next NBA season after his arrest in December and he was making good money still from the buyout from the Trail Blazers, but he didn't want his NBA dream to die just yet.

"Sometimes this league is a revolving door," Williams said. "You just got to keep your head up. Sometimes it don't seem like it's going nowhere, but you just got to keep your head up and just keep running and trucking and something is going to show."

Meanwhile, D'Antoni was going through his own struggles with the Lakers. The coach had a roster full of injured players who weren't necessarily suited to his preferred style of play, when they were healthy anyway.

A couple of months after the Lakers flamed out of the playoffs at the hands of a first-round sweep to the San Antonio Spurs, D'Antoni urged Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and vice president of player personnel Jim Buss to invite Williams to L.A. for a workout.

"You need guys that you can trust and you don't have to worry about and you know he's going to be there every day and he's going to be one of those guys," D’Antoni said.

Williams knew that he's a tough sell on paper and appreciated his old coach sticking his neck out for him.

"It was a hard process," Williams said. "Just telling the truth, coming in, I have a lot of little baggage. So, it was just kind of a tough process. But when you have people in your corner ... I look at the NBA like family, and family got to look out for each other and keep everything going."

D'Antoni put Williams on the Lakers' radar, but he wasn't just going to be given a No. 3 purple-and-gold uniform and told to start launching away from the outside. He had to earn it.

"I talked to Mike and I talked to Mitch and they gave me some goals to reach before I get to training camp, which was weight-wise, getting my weight down and stuff," Williams said. "I told them I can do it and they told me they'd give me a shot."

'A pro's pro'

D'Antoni said Williams looks as if he has lost 25 pounds since he first saw him work out this summer. Williams set the record straight, saying he weighed in at 250 pounds in his first official workout with the team, 246 in the second and 237.6 at the start of training camp. He was listed at 230 pounds when he played for the Knicks.

Williams gives all the credit to the program the Lakers' trainers formulated for him, calling it "one of the best staffs I've done seen."

[+] EnlargeShawne Williams
Juan Ocampo/Getty Images
Shawne Williams was put on the Lakers' radar by Mike D'Antoni, and Williams is hoping to be a valuable asset for L.A. from 3-point range.
Tim DiFrancesco, the Lakers' strength and conditioning coach, gives the credit right back to Williams.

"Shawne, to me, he's a pro's pro," DiFrancesco said. "That's what I call him. Either the guy's a pro, or he's not. He understands his body is his weapon and he's knows to get in here every day and take care of it as part of his job. So, Shawne's one of those guys."

DiFrancesco has monitored Williams' transformation closely.

"We are able to track, based on the body-fat machine that we use, pounds of lean mass, pounds of muscle," DiFrancesco said. "His lean mass is maintained and he's lost all of that fat. All those pounds that he's lost have come from fat. Non-usable, non-functional mass."

Now that the fat has melted away, DiFrancesco's challenge is to ramp Williams up slowly.
Because he was out of the league in 2012-13, Williams is kind of like a sports car that has been sitting in the garage all winter. You don't just gun the engine when the snow melts off the road.

"It's definitely a delicate process, because you can't just throw a guy to the wolves and just all of the sudden go from zero [games] to 90," DiFrancesco said. "Shawne understood that. Some guys want to go from sitting on their butt to, 'Well, just try to make me puke from every workout from now on.' But that's a recipe for disaster."

Rather, it has been a steady process and DiFrancesco has already seen the weight room work translate into on-court success.

"He'd get a breakaway and there were a couple instances where he had a hard time finishing," DiFrancesco said. "A guy would catch up to him, even though he was ahead of the pack to start or, he would catch up to him and give him a little bit of legal contact and he would really lose his balance and not be able to take a hit and still finish. For his position, being able to get ahead of the pack and get to a spot where he can catch and shoot, that wasn't happening as much in the beginning. Then I started to see, he's absorbing contact, going through contact now. He's finishing certain plays. He's getting shots that he wasn't even getting 4-5 weeks ago because he's getting to his spots more efficiently, more effectively. The one thing we know for sure with Shawne that if he gets to his spot, he's going to hit his shot, probably.

"So those are the things that I kind of look for and can see the tangible, face-to-face, real progress."

Not to mention, shooters rely on confidence and nothing breeds confidence like looking good.

"When you start to drop non-functional, useless fat mass and you start to replace it with some functional, powerful, bullet-proof lean mass," DiFrancesco said, "you walk out onto this court like, 'Here we go! I'm feeling good!' "

'I feel like everybody has a chance'

Williams has a veteran minimum's contract with the Lakers this season, worth about $1 million, but only $100,000 of that is guaranteed. While it wouldn't be a stretch to see him start some games at the stretch four and play alongside Pau Gasol in the front court this season, he still technically has to make the team.

The Lakers have 19 players in camp and will likely carry the full, maximum 15-man roster into the season. Williams and Elias Harris, who also has a partially guaranteed deal, would seem like favorites to join the 11 players who are already fully under contract, leaving the real battle between the likes of Xavier Henry, Marcus Landry, Ryan Kelly, Darius Johnson-Odom and Dan Gadzuric for the final two spots, but you never know.

Williams, who is still only 27 despite all he has been through, isn't taking anything for granted.

"I feel like Mitch did a great job of bringing in a lot of good guys to compete to make the spot," Williams said. "It's only going to make us better. I feel like everybody has a chance. I'm really not thinking about it, I'm just trying to go through training camp, do what I do best and let that shake itself out."

While the Lakers could certainly use a consistent outside stroke like Williams' this season -- L.A. ranked 19th in team 3-point percentage last season -- D'Antoni says he thinks Williams brings more to the table than just shooting.

"One thing that's overlooked, the guy's 6-9," D'Antoni said. "His wingspan, the only guy with a greater wingspan than him is Pau and it's only by an inch and a half, and Pau's 7-2. Compare him to like Jordan Hill, for example, he has a two-inch (longer) wingspan and that's very important."

It's important because Williams' length can lead to deflections, steals, blocks and rebounds on defense, which is a category the Lakers have to improve on as a team even more than they do on their accuracy from beyond the arc. It's fitting, too, because Williams says D'Antoni is different than the guy he was with in New York.

"I've done noticed some stuff about Mike too a little bit," Williams said. "It seems like he's harping a little bit more on defense now. He's spending more time on defense. It used to just be a lot of offense and he used to try to tell us, 'Defense comes from within,' but now, everything starts with defense and then we let that dictate the offense."

'He knows we're in it together'

Coach and player are back together again. From Broadway and the Big Apple, to the bright lights of Hollywood, they're still linked by a bouncing ball. And they both have plenty of motivation to make up for the past.

"I feel like his spirit is great," Williams said. "Mike is the type of guy for me, he knows we're in it together. So, his spirit is always going to be high as a coach, as a leader. He don't harp on a lot of stuff. He tries to stay positive through losses and wins. That's what I can recall from him in New York.

"The way I've been seeing it, he's been positive. He's been kind of amped and hyped and he's just been doing a lot of defense. That's the most shocking thing about it. He's doing a lot of defense. That's good. That just shows me that he's thinking ahead and working on everything."

Just like Williams is working on his body, his game, his life, little by little.

"He's a tough guy," D'Antoni said. "I'll walk down an alley with him at night and I'll be fine. Now, he won't get much help from me, but I'm sure I'll get a lot of help from him."

The thing about that is, D'Antoni has already helped Williams in so many ways.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby therealdeal on Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:22 am

It's a long read, but a good one.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby Barnstable on Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:58 am

Great article right there. It gives a good look into Williams history and his strengths and weaknesses.

I feel like I know who he is as a person and player a lot better just from reading it.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby MadMax on Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:06 am

Yes, very good read indeed. I didn't know much about him before, but I am rooting for him even more now.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby Lakerjones on Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:16 am

Barnstable wrote:Great article right there. It gives a good look into Williams history and his strengths and weaknesses.

I feel like I know who he is as a person and player a lot better just from reading it.


Definitely a good read. Interesting - looks like he could actually be a guy that does fit well with D' Antoni. I'm not familiar with his game at all, but sounds like he could fill the void at SF somewhat. 40 plus % three point shooter for his career? No wonder Mike likes him so much. Wonder if he wasn't trying to do with Artest here what he was doing with Williams in NY. Remember he gave Artest the green light from distance and encouraged him to take a bunch of threes per game.

If Williams is back in game shape this might be a golden opportunity for him. Like others said, he's probably making the team because D' Antoni wants him to have that chance and he could really fit the system.

Not going to lie, the prospect of him making it and contributing actually makes me feel a little better. Everyone kept talking about D' Antoni having all these guys that fit better here than last year, and I just wasn't seeing it at all. Farmar doesn't necessarily fit better than Blake, and Blake's still here. For Blake it's just all about his health - he played his best Laker ball under D' Antoni so he should still get more minutes than Farmar. Nick Young is a good scorer but a bit of a black hole. Kaman is just another big who needs the ball in the post which D' Antoni doesn't seem to like. Hill is back, but he's always been in D' Antoni's doghouse and he doesn't shoot threes like a Diaw or Frye. One of the bigger blows I thought this offseason was losing Earl Clark, which doesn't even get mentioned here. I know he fell off the radar at the end of the year, but he was a big with a lot of talent and I thought we could have developed him if the price was right. I don't know much about Johnson's game at all, but I'm pretty sure he's no shooter. I thought he was an athletic young defender. Say what you will about Jamison, too, but what I liked about him was he was uncanny at scoring while moving off ball. I'm not sure we aren't going to miss that a lot this year. Nick Young is a different kind of bench scorer. He really needs the ball.

On paper at least, Williams sounds like he could be one of our best possible pickups for D' Antoni. No wonder at all that he went to the FO about him. Hey, I'm all for this guy if he can get back to game shape. Our lack of depth at the small forward position has really been bothering me.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby therealdeal on Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:34 am

That's a pretty pessimistic outlook on our young talent, there LJ. :man10:

I think Farmar brings two things that Blake doesn't bring-
1. Athleticism. He's way more athletic than Blake is and he uses it to his advantage. Which leads to...
2. Dynamic play making. He will sometimes make the wrong play, but he'll also try to go for home runs that Blake doesn't do. He'll try to make things happen and that is just the way he plays. Where Blake is more of a grinder, Jordan has some flash.

Nick Young is a ball hog at times, sure, but I think with a better place and a better team around him he'll move the ball enough. We're going to value him on fast breaks and being able to help with the scoring load while Kobe's out.

Johnson is a rangy defender and he's going to shoot decent enough from outside. The key will be putting him in places to succeed and I think that'll be right on the three and attacking the rim. He's going to be a surprise for everyone this season.

Williams, Landry, Henry, and Harris are the 4 guys I have the least faith in to be contributors, but at least one of them will be. After reading the above I kind of hope it's Williams.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby Toklat on Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:00 pm

I totally agree with you about Farmar.. I also think defensively he will stay in front of people better. You look at all our young athletic eager players that have something to prove and MD actually looking to let some D be played and Rambis to help implement, we have the makings of a team that will surprise everyone except those of us looking closely. Trivia question: have the Lakers ever played games in Alaska?
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby lotus on Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:55 pm

There have been many good reads about marginal players that didn't make the team. Therefore, nothing here to get excited about. Good luck Shawne.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby karacha on Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:40 pm

I strongly agree with therealdeal here:

1. Yes, Blake is playing well for MDA. Mike is one of those coaches that will make marginal players good. At least he has that (and the willingness to admit he was wrong about something) going for him. But Farmar is able to push the ball much better then Blake, and due to his strong athletic ability, he can penetrate defenses and finish under the basket at a much higher rate. Let's be honest about Blake: the guy is a true professional and a smart player who can shoot the ball; but his finishing ability is on par with Fisher's and Metta's... ie. not very good. Farmar is a much better player at this point.

2. Young is a player we desperately need. And the bit about him being a chucker is absolutely true. But we need a guy not named Kobe who is willing to jack up some shots. Now we have 2: Young and Farmar, which is awesome. Both are MDA type players.

3. Shawne is working hard for the coach already.There is obviously mutual respect there; he shot the long ball incredibly well for coach Mike, and again -- having a tall guy with long arms who can shoot the 3 on this team? Yes please. He adds depth to both 3 and 4.

4. Kaman is an offensively skilled, experienced center. And while he does have some nice post moves, he actually doesn't always need the ball in the post. He has a killer long-range jumper. In fact, if you want a big guy who can shoot from 16-ft to 3-pt line that would be Kaman. His best shots are at rim (55%) and 16-footers. (around 47%). In fact, if given minutes, he'll take over 300 shots from long range and about half that under the rim. Take it for what is worth. He'll also hit 80% of his FTs. Unfortunately, he is slow defensively now (not that was a great defender even when was younger), but as a reserve center who can score with both hands, he'll do. At this point in his career, he is a really (really!) poor man's Gasol.

But I am convinced that MDA finally got players to work with. Farmar, Young, Shawne and Wes is a nice group who can play faster and shoot better then our old guys. Not a contender, no. But a better team then most people think.

Certainly better than what we've seen last year in the preseason ( :bang: ), and much better then what we were forced to watch in the playoffs this summer.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby Weezy on Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:23 pm

Time changes perspective. In June with higher expectations, clearly I didn't want him, but in October I would gladly rely on him over a guy like Harris who has never played a minute of NBA ball.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby SK8 on Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:33 pm

I like this guy so far, he can shoot obviously, but he is also very active on boards and he can handle ball well, also not bad at all on defense, maybe it's early to judge, but i think this guy have spot on roster most definitely.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby Sirron on Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:08 pm

I like what I see so far.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby karacha on Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:13 pm

This guy can play. Not a star obviously, but a good role-player who will fit with MDA's style of basketball.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby Weezy on Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:31 pm

Keep him, at the very least he's a good Earl Clark replacement, and way better than what we had with Ebanks.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby lotus on Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:47 pm

Reminding me of Earl Clark a little bit.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby lakerfan2 on Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:17 pm

I thought that was Earl Clarke out there. Quiet, hustle, and knows his role. I like him.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby Lakerjones on Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:19 pm

Very, very solid game tonight from Williams at the 4. I think we've got our stretch four. Williams can flat out shoot from distance. Plus I liked what he was doing on the defensive end. He handled Faried, which isn't the easiest feat, he got drew some charges, blocked a shot, altered several others. I think he can give Hill a run for his money. The only thing he doesn't really bring you is much in the way of offensive rebounding. Most of the time he's set up behind the three point line. But that's fine because that's where he excels. Sweet threes tonight.

I think he's still getting back into game shape. But I really like what I see from him, and he's a great fit at the 4.
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby last stand on Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:22 am

If this keeps up he's our starting 4

He just flat out fits the best next to Kobe, young, Nash, and pau

Hill can provide defense and energy off the bench but I think shawne is wasted on the bench where he'll get less open shots

With the starters he'll be open all game, he's hustling and to be honest he played the best interior defense of anyone against Denver. Understanding it's early and a lot can change this would be my rotation

Pau/ Kaman/ Sacre
Williams/ hill/ Harris
Young/ Johnson/ Henry
Kobe/ Blake/ Henry
Nash/Farmar
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Re: Lakers Sign Shawne Williams (p. 3)

Postby Lakerjones on Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:46 am

last stand wrote:If this keeps up he's our starting 4

He just flat out fits the best next to Kobe, young, Nash, and pau

Hill can provide defense and energy off the bench but I think shawne is wasted on the bench where he'll get less open shots

With the starters he'll be open all game, he's hustling and to be honest he played the best interior defense of anyone against Denver. Understanding it's early and a lot can change this would be my rotation

Pau/ Kaman/ Sacre
Williams/ hill/ Harris
Young/ Johnson/ Henry
Kobe/ Blake/ Henry
Nash/Farmar


^^ It could happen if he keeps his up. Williams played extremely well last game. From reading about him I thought he was going to be a SF. But seeing him in action, he's basically the best fit we have at PF, for all the reasons we mentioned, plus he can REALLY shoot. He actually is a stretch 4, and a damn good one. Great defense last night, great hustle. And I agree with everyone, he's a little Earl Clark-like in that he does it all pretty quietly. I think the one thing Hill has over him is rebounding. Clark,too. But I think the Lakers could use the spacing that Williams would provide, plus the D.
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Re: Shawne Williams Discussion

Postby borri on Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:45 am

Channing Frye 2.0.
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Re: Shawne Williams Discussion

Postby therealdeal on Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:36 am

He's looked solid. Far from dazzling, but he's doing the right things on the floor and I suppose that's what you can ask for. I'm not sold he's the starter yet. I need to see more cohesiveness and a game where he makes a significant difference from that spot.

If all things are equal though, it certainly seems like he's the best fit.
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Re: Shawne Williams Discussion

Postby last stand on Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:00 pm

Exactly he hasn't earned it yet but he definitely has the potential to give us the most of what we need from there. Shooting, defense, athleticism

Hill is still in the drivers seat but his terrible shooting and lack of explosiveness (right now from rust I'm assuming)

Is allowing Williams to join the conversation an at the end of the day Williams is the potential best fit
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Re: Shawne Williams Discussion

Postby dwighthowardsdad on Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:01 pm

This guy I like. He needs a roster spot. He's not undersized, has decent enough size to play the post, has a very long wingspan to block shots and create deflections which lead to turnovers, and on offense can shoot the ball to stretch the floor and create spacing. I'd start him today if I had to choose any PF...he's a very good fit.
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Re: Shawne Williams Discussion

Postby SK8 on Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:33 pm

Yup, Shawne will definitely be in rotation this year. Awesome game on both ends, love it :bow:
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