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Colin Kaepernick will start again for 49ers

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Not every team in the league is having a hard time deciding who will start for them at quarterback in Week 14.

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed Monday that there is no change at quarterback coming in the wake of San Francisco’s 16-13 overtime loss to the Rams. Colin Kaepernick will get the start for the 49ers against the Dolphins at Candlestick Park.

That makes three straight starts for Kaepernick and likely ends the need for weekly announcements about the identity of the San Francisco quarterback. Harbaugh has gone from waiting until Sunday to name his quarterback to Wednesday last week and Monday of this week. That suggests Kaepernick’s hold on the job is only getting stronger and Harbaugh’s cast his lot with the second-year player.

Kaepernick was 21-of-32 for 208 yards on Sunday and added 84 rushing yards, but he also played a major role in 10 of the Rams’ points. Kaepernick was called for intentional grounding in the 49ers end zone — a call that the 49ers and many others thought was incorrect — and Janoris Jenkins returned his fourth quarter fumble for a touchdown that the Rams followed up with a two-point conversion. Kaepernick also wound up out of bounds on a run on the next 49ers possession, leaving the Rams with enough time to tie the game and send it to overtime.

That’s not enough to shake the 49ers off the Kaepernick train nor should it be if they think he has the ability to be a top NFL quarterback.

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70 Responses to “Colin Kaepernick will start again for 49ers”
  1. bucrightoff says: Dec 3, 2012 3:20 PM

    Jim Harbaugh’s arrogance will come back to haunt him, guaranteed. This is about winning with his guy being more important than what’s best for the team.

  2. vargavarga says: Dec 3, 2012 3:20 PM

    No Alex Smith fan here but there is added pressure come playoff time. Do they really think a second year QB with little starting experience can actually make a good run and win the Superbowl?

  3. pickleman77 says: Dec 3, 2012 3:22 PM

    REALLY wish the Vikings would’ve drafted this guy instead of Ponder. Oy vey.

  4. dryedmangoez says: Dec 3, 2012 3:24 PM

    And the Niner fanbase will remain divided. Definitely not the same feeling from last year… or even earlier this season.

  5. eastcoastniner says: Dec 3, 2012 3:27 PM

    People need to get over CK7 starting. He is as-good or better than Smith. Smith has plateaued. Will Kap make some mistakes…sure…every player does. He will learn quickly to manage the game but he can make the deep accurate throws Smith cannot and is more athletic.

    There are/will be bumps on this road but play-calling needs to help Kap, not make it more difficult for him.

    Also, Ginn should have covered that ball…he is regressing fast….and we need a new kicker ASAP (while Akers heals).

  6. jm8ch10 says: Dec 3, 2012 3:27 PM

    Harbaughs arrogance knows no bounds. He will ride this decision into the ground. It’s about him being right not about the team being ready for a Super Bowl push.

  7. mondzy805 says: Dec 3, 2012 3:28 PM

    That’s the best move going forward. Kaep is only going to get better. We have to get Vernon Davis going. Feed him early. And can David Akers make a Kick that counts this year please.

  8. rjov says: Dec 3, 2012 3:31 PM

    Bad move, G men will have this kid for lunch

  9. justintuckrule says: Dec 3, 2012 3:31 PM

    Would love to put Harbaugh on a lie detector and ask him, “yes or no, you are going with Kapernick strictly because you have no faith in Smith being able to beat the Giants”.

    Make no mistake people. This is why he’s starting Kap. Harbaugh would rather go 11-5, get the 3 seed, and have a prayer of beating the Giants if they somehow meet again vs. going 13-3, getting the 2nd seed and watching 2011 replay itself.

  10. bigeasysac says: Dec 3, 2012 3:34 PM

    It wasn’t Kaepernick’s fault that Harbaugh (or the OC) called one of the worst plays in the history of the NFL in the shadow of their own endzone. The intentional grounding was a bad call, but that stuff happens.

    No one would even be talking about this if not for a missed FG in OT.

  11. brenenostler says: Dec 3, 2012 3:34 PM

    The no point in going back and forth between QBs. It never works. SF tried it two years ago with Alex and Troy Smith. He made a decision and needs to stand by it. But with that said, the only reason I liked SF these last two years was because Alex was playing well. So I don’t cheer for them anymore.

  12. kingcrusher says: Dec 3, 2012 3:35 PM

    So a bad game isn’t enough to get replaced, but a concussion is. What your head Kap!
    I like Kap, but Smith should be our starter. Let our leader finish what he started. Replace him next year if you want to suckle your little cub into the spotlight, but don’t ruin the season that Smith started so well.
    I’m really starting to hate this coach.

  13. smcgaels1997 says: Dec 3, 2012 3:37 PM

    Does it really matter? Give the young guy the reigns. Smith has had 6 years and has been a great reclamation project from an awful #1 pick. Lets also remember who’s resurrected him and he got no strong takers in the offseason before you continue to armchair coach

  14. surfer9er says: Dec 3, 2012 3:37 PM

    Its the right move to keep Kaep rolling. He’s still the bigger threat at QB against opponents defense. Open up the play book for Kaep though. On a side note, I like seeing Alex Smith going out there for the coin flip, then taking a seat on the bench.

  15. smcgaels1997 says: Dec 3, 2012 3:38 PM

    Why is Harbaugh indebted to Mike Nolan’s guy?

  16. deucedropper says: Dec 3, 2012 3:38 PM

    This is good news… for the rest of the NFC West.

  17. theysone says: Dec 3, 2012 3:39 PM

    Go Dolphins.

    Harbaugh is an idiot, and will cost the 49ers the NFC West title…

  18. bobby2478 says: Dec 3, 2012 3:39 PM

    They should offer up Smith in trade then, lots of teams desperate for their starting QB and Smith could still be a valuable QB.

    Seems like they really messed around with him though signing him to an extension this offseason when they obviously knew they weren’t going to stick with him over the length of that contract.

    Though with the Eagles QB situation, Ponder sucking and several other QBs not playing well, there might be a fairly strong market for Smith this offseason. The 9ers would be wise to see what they can get for him.

  19. niners816 says: Dec 3, 2012 3:44 PM

    As a Niner fan and just a fan in general, you go with what the coach says but Harbaugh is wrong. Alex isn’t elite by any means but he is experienced, and that’s what you will need come playoff time. I’ll be rooting for Kaep, because he’s our future and has promise, but let’s hope this decision is the right one. Go Niners!

  20. waxthat says: Dec 3, 2012 3:44 PM

    Its not about Harbaughs arrogance. Kaepernick is the better player. If you watched every second of every game, the past several years, like us hardcore 49ers would understand. Meanwhile, keep up the hate. We’ll be enjoying Super Bowl #6 some time very soon.

  21. tindeaux says: Dec 3, 2012 3:51 PM

    Colin Kaepernick all the way man. alex smith is a proven bust…. choked in the nfc championship game.

  22. bestcoast7 says: Dec 3, 2012 3:55 PM

    the same guys who said SF couldnt win the SB with Smith all are saying that Smith should start now….hmm scared much?

  23. xxwhodatxx says: Dec 3, 2012 4:01 PM

    Please stop with the “CK7” till he’s done something worthy.

  24. pastabelly says: Dec 3, 2012 4:02 PM

    tindeaux says:
    Dec 3, 2012 3:51 PM
    Colin Kaepernick all the way man. alex smith is a proven bust…. choked in the nfc championship game.
    Are you blaming him for Kyle Williams’ fumble that gave the game to the Giants? Williams actually fumbled twice setting up a Giants earlier TD. As a Patriots fan, I’m happy to see Kaepernick in a couple of weeks in Foxboro. Rookie in Foxboro in December. Yeah, that ought to be good. 🙂

  25. joemontanawasthegreatest says: Dec 3, 2012 4:02 PM

    Tough matchup here for Kaepernick. The Dolphins have a capable defense that could really limit Gore forcing him to throw a lot.

    Fortunately Miami has a lousy offense.

  26. enochmh2 says: Dec 3, 2012 4:03 PM

    I think i missed the day Alex smith become manning or Brady,then i see someone talking about playoffs! Smith as i recall had one completion to a receiver in the championship game,don’t make it seem like he’s flawless

  27. kenstabler says: Dec 3, 2012 4:04 PM

    God, a Raider fan in support of a Niner, killing me. Anyway, Harbaugh limited his game plan for Smith because of his limitations. It reminds me of when the Baltimore Ravens had Trent Dilfer. But the Ravens did not have a dynamic game changer like Kaepernick behind Dilfer. Kaepernick adds a dimension that Smith does not have. Look at the 50 yard run Kapernick did, my god. The kid can throw any ball, anywhere and on target. Give him 4 more games, you might have a chance at the Superbowl, he is Tom Brady with legs. I would not pull him for the life of me. As a defensive coordinator I would be really scared of this kid. He is the real deal.

    I know, Dilfer won the Superbowl. Actually his defense won it, and Dilfer was like Smith and the system limited him from making mistakes so the defense could win. The Niners don’t have the Ravens defense, this kid gives you the edge to win.

  28. decon49 says: Dec 3, 2012 4:06 PM

    smith would have taken more sacks yesterday, by the time the playoffs roll around he will have more experience

  29. decon49 says: Dec 3, 2012 4:08 PM

    when kap is on the field i believe he’s a play away from doing something great. never got that feeling with smith.

  30. eastcoastniner says: Dec 3, 2012 4:09 PM

    xxwhodatxx says: Dec 3, 2012 4:01 PM

    Please stop with the “CK7″ till he’s done something worthy.


    It’s just a nickname from his initials and jersey number…..who cares. It’s not like we are calling him the “Mattural” or any other annoying words that come out of Eisen’s mouth. Not insulting Matt Ryan, just Eisen.

  31. FinFan68 says: Dec 3, 2012 4:11 PM

    Alex Smith is not Brady, Rodgers or Manning but he has been very good for the 49ers the last 2 years. This team has a great defense and a good running game. That is enough to get to the SB if the QB plays well and does not make many mistakes. That is exactly what you have in Alex Smith. Kaepernick has more talent but he will make more mistakes. Home field advantage was a possibility (behind Falcons) but this decision might force the 49ers to play all their playoff games on the road. If so, Harbaugh made a dumb decision out of arrogance.

  32. tundratommy says: Dec 3, 2012 4:11 PM

    Perhaps the phrase “when you have two starting QB’s, you really don’t have any” applies.

  33. sonoco says: Dec 3, 2012 4:13 PM

    1. The “intentional grounding” pass went two yards past the line of scrimmage . . . out-of-bounds . . . which still counts. Obviously the crew didn’t know that. So be it.

    2. After the bad pitch that gave the Rams their only TD, Kaepernick led the 49ers down the field in two plays and on the 3rd he put a beautiful TD pass into Walkers basket . . . which he dropped . . . and then the 49ers went conservative and settled for a FG.

    The loss yesterday was not all on Kaepernick and going back to Smith guarantees nothing.

  34. ccjcsr says: Dec 3, 2012 4:16 PM

    Copycat League, how many Rookie Qb’s are playing and excelling, it’s all part of the process.

  35. spfinne says: Dec 3, 2012 4:25 PM

    to bobby2478….. and all these other knuckleheads who keep saying the niners should offer smith up for trade….have you ever heard of the trade deadline??????????? apparently not

  36. n0hopeleft says: Dec 3, 2012 4:27 PM

    This is such a joke… I cannot wait to hear what Harbaugh blames next when his team is destroyed in the playoffs.. The kid can play QB, but he is NOT at a Superbowl level yet.

  37. keepthisrealbro says: Dec 3, 2012 4:33 PM

    Don’t fix what isn’t broken.

  38. mgdsquiggy17 says: Dec 3, 2012 4:46 PM

    “This is such a joke… I cannot wait to hear what Harbaugh blames next when his team is destroyed in the playoffs.. ”

    I highly doubt this team will get *destroyed*.

  39. patsfiend says: Dec 3, 2012 4:48 PM

    Trade Smith, build around the kid.

    Two words: Drew Bledsoe

    Two more: Tom Brady

    Belichick / Harbaugh = Onions

  40. joe400e says: Dec 3, 2012 4:49 PM

    The kid is two missed field goals, that Akers usually makes, away from being 4-0. Kap has had his ups and downs but has also put his team in position to win every game he’s started. Harbaugh won’t be swayed as long as his draftee keeps doing that.

  41. justintuckrule says: Dec 3, 2012 4:54 PM

    FinFan68 says:
    Dec 3, 2012 4:11 PM
    Alex Smith is not Brady, Rodgers or Manning but he has been very good for the 49ers the last 2 years. This team has a great defense and a good running game. That is enough to get to the SB if the QB plays well and does not make many mistakes. That is exactly what you have in Alex Smith. Kaepernick has more talent but he will make more mistakes. Home field advantage was a possibility (behind Falcons) but this decision might force the 49ers to play all their playoff games on the road. If so, Harbaugh made a dumb decision out of arrogance.
    Wrong. Smith made no mistakes against the Giants last year and the team around him could not beat them. Harbaugh thinks, and rightfully so, that Kap puts SF over the top and that he can beat NYG. That’s the only reason Harbaugh is making this move. The Niners have beaten every contender but the Giants with Smith. Harbaugh is risking that Kap will lose a few but will be able to beat the Giants when they meet in the playoffs. Why else would you demote a starting QB?

  42. steviaquinn says: Dec 3, 2012 4:56 PM

    Kapernick is horrible. and anybody can look good against the Saints Defense

  43. exhelo1 says: Dec 3, 2012 4:59 PM

    It’s not a question of whether or not CK has a higher ceiling than Smith, the question is which QB gives them a better chance at winning the Super Bowl this season. I think that is probably Smith – we’ll find out if CK can learn enough in the next 4 weeks to prepare himself for all the wrinkles that he’ll see in the playoffs.

  44. steviaquinn says: Dec 3, 2012 5:00 PM

    Smith win that game because he doesn’t turn the ball over. Young QBs turn the ball over. This will kill the niners come playoffs

  45. seahawkswilson says: Dec 3, 2012 5:01 PM

    Bruce, who’s your quarterback?

  46. truesportseye says: Dec 3, 2012 5:04 PM

    Only real fans know that smith was not the answer. U can argue it was kyle who cost us the game but those who watched the game saw that alex couldnt convert a third down… I even reverted to underthrowing receivers who where wide open

  47. steviaquinn says: Dec 3, 2012 5:07 PM

    Seattle wins that division anyway. Bears and Tampa get the wildcards

  48. simpleghost says: Dec 3, 2012 5:10 PM

    Is saying Alex Smith lost the playoff game vs the Giants the new cool thing to do in SF? I didnt realize Kyle Williams changed his name to Alex Smith.

  49. bushido49ers says: Dec 3, 2012 5:14 PM

    You don’t draft a QB in the second round to have him sit. The Football IQ in these posts remains below standard. Arrogance of Harbaugh? All of them are arrogant! It’s the NFL, people.

    I’ll wait for everyone to catch up as usual.

  50. ninerhatersgetready4ring6 says: Dec 3, 2012 5:23 PM


    You are truly an idiot to make such a comment that Kap is horrible and only looked good against the Saints d. Okay what about the Bears d he put 32 points on minus two Aker FG missed. If it wasn’t for Akers this team would be 10-2 not 8-3-1.. So talk with facts and sense when u talk about any team. Kap has faced three top 5 defenses in 4 weeks(Rams twice).. Next week against the Dolphins, the Niners will win by 3 TD’s at home….Book it….I want to see you on this post in Jan my friend…………

  51. jimmylions says: Dec 3, 2012 5:37 PM

    Smith is getting hosed!

    I’m with the folks who think Smith is the Niners best shot of going back to the Super Bowl. He’s been showing poise, executing the game plan … and winning games.

    Scanning through the comments, there’s plenty of pro CK (his name is too hard to spell) comments, and plenty of pro Smith comments. If I were a Niners fan, my biggest concern right now would be that this same dynamic exists in the locker room … a divided house.

    I hope the Vikings don’t go after Smith. Go to Kansas City or someplace else in the AFC.

  52. justintuckrule says: Dec 3, 2012 5:53 PM

    Smith gives the 9ers the best shot to get to the SB if, and only if, the 9ers can avoid NYG. Otherwise, Smith has proven twice…both times at the Stick mind you, that he cannot elevate the 9ers to beat them.

    Kap will lose some of these middling games but Harbaugh has proven with this choice that he’d rather go into the playoffs as a 3/4 seed with a chance to beat the Giants than a 2 seed and get beat by them for a 3rd time in a row at home. Reason being is that Kap’s ceiling is much higher than Smith’s. There is no dispute that a Kap-led 9ers team has a better chance to beat NYG than a Smith-led team. Although I am a Giants’ fan, I’m not making this proclamation because I think my team is the “second coming” or anything like that. Actually, I’m making it b/c I’d rather see Smith in the playoffs if we’re lucky enough to get there again.

  53. harrisbarton says: Dec 3, 2012 6:28 PM


    Some might think that you’re taking a Giants-centric view of all this, but coming from a Niner fan (and long-time season ticket-holder) I think you’re right.

    It’s all about winning a Superbowl. After watching the Giants beat the Niners and the Packers, as a coach you have to think that you must be able to beat the Giants to go to the big dance. The Niners have a great defense, but excreta happens, and you have to be able to come from behind at the end of the game. Harbaugh thinks (and I humbly agree) that the Niners have a better chance to do that with CK than they do with Smith. It’s all about winning.

    That’s why the dumbasses here who post that Harbaugh is sticking with CK out of arrogance are truly idiots. Harbaugh would bench his own mother if it would help his team win.

  54. cashcarewins says: Dec 3, 2012 6:31 PM

    There is a myth that CK has a higher ceiling than AS. The truth is that CK has an unknown ceiling, he may have hit it against Chicago. Plenty of QB’s who played strong early on and than did nothing. See Kolb, Flynn, Cassell. Jamarcus Russell supposedly had the highest of ceilings. Alex’s ceiling is apparently a 95% completion percentage with a 156 rating. Alex is 1-2 against the Giants. Brady is 0-2 against the Giants in the playoffs. CK is 0-1-1 against the Rams.

    Personally, I think Harbaugh is trying to one up Pete Carroll one more time – ‘my youngsters better than yours.’ I just wish he had started that project at the beginning of the year, or next year.

    All that being said, it sure makes being a niners fan interesting.

  55. darrelb says: Dec 3, 2012 6:32 PM

    Uh, Alex Smith did defeat the New York Giants in 2011. You can look it up.

  56. moseszd says: Dec 3, 2012 6:38 PM

    truesportseye says:Dec 3, 2012 5:04 PM

    Only real fans know that smith was not the answer. U can argue it was kyle who cost us the game but those who watched the game saw that alex couldnt convert a third down… I even reverted to underthrowing receivers who where wide open

    lol. There were no ‘wide open WRs’ against the Giants. Davis, Gore and Smith all had good performances in their respective parts of the game. It was Williams, Walker and Crabtree who fell down on the job — dropping balls, not getting open.

    That’s why we drafted a WR and signed two more. Because it was clear that Crabtree and Williams can’t beat man coverage.

  57. kingpel says: Dec 3, 2012 6:47 PM

    Sorry Niner fans. If you dont think Kaepernick will be exposed during three games against the NFL’s elite teams you are crazy. Stick with Alex Smith. Crazy Legs Kaepernick will be forced to stay in the pocket and your dreams of a Super Bowl will go up in smoke.

    Go Rams!

  58. savilo831 says: Dec 3, 2012 6:47 PM

    Just a bump in the road to the superbowl! You people are so ignorant its laughable! To call harbaugh arrogant is completely off base. His credentials speak for themselves and he IS NOT ARROGANT! He just hates the media, plain and simple! He just knows how to win! I trust his decision at QB not any of you freaks!

  59. kisstherings says: Dec 3, 2012 6:50 PM

    Belichick and the Pats will be licking their chops to see another 1st year starting QB in 2 weeks. Games only get harder and more pressure from here. He should have stuck with Smith.

  60. killitandeatit says: Dec 3, 2012 6:53 PM

    Wow,talking about beating top teams and we just lost to the Rams ? The Rams !!! ? If Kap was the answer he should have been the starter at the start. Harbaugh must be unsure on Kap and this is an experiment to see what he can or can’t do. One of these qb’s is gone,not sure which one. No way are they both on the team next year.

  61. djaehne says: Dec 3, 2012 7:07 PM

    Kaper will somehow suffer a paper cut to his throwing hand just before the playoffs and Smith will be back in the pilots seat.

  62. savvybynature says: Dec 3, 2012 7:23 PM

    Yeah CK is a sure thing to beat the defending champs, it’s just the Rams that he struggles with.
    Meanwhile Smith couldn’t beat the G-Men to save his life, except last year when he beat them.
    Makes a lot of sense.

  63. harrisbarton says: Dec 3, 2012 8:20 PM

    I get it.

    This year Tom Brady lost to the Arizona Cardinals. By the logic above, this means not only did he lose to a bad team, but also that he is not capable of beating a good team.

    And Rams fans: Yesterday was your Superbowl. Enjoy it. When the real postseason comes you’ll be watching the Niners play. And although you’re wetting your pants with excitement over Fisher, remember that over his NFL coaching career he has a winning percentage barely over 50%, and in 21 years of coaching he’s gotten to the big dance once. And lost.

  64. derklempner says: Dec 4, 2012 5:01 AM

    “That’s not enough to shake the 49ers off the Kaepernick train nor should it be if they think he has the ability to be a top NFL quarterback.”

    Almost all “top NFL quarterback[s]” show signs of being “top NFL quarterbacks” early on in their careers. I realize that it’s still early in HIS career, but I don’t think anyone has yet to see that with Kaepernick.

  65. kenstabler says: Dec 4, 2012 8:21 AM

    I just don’t see Smith hoisting the Superbowl trophy. He is not a bad QB, but he will never get the Niners to the promised land. Kaepernick is the guy, if not this year next year for sure. He took the torch from Smith, let him run with it.

    If you don’t want him, trade him to the Raiders, we will give you Carson Palmer in exchange.

  66. rainponcho87 says: Dec 4, 2012 8:36 AM

    As a long time niner fan, it was awesome seeing the 49ers get back to winning last year and get deep into the playoffs. They had a chance to win the NFC championship game but couldn’t overcome some mistakes. A lot went right for them last year, with few injuries and the Packers losing at home to the Giants, setting up the NFC title game at home. Everyone knew this year would be harder, will a more difficult scchedule and rising competitiveness of the NFC west. Still they have looked pretty solid and are likely back in the playoffs. However, I believe the Giants game this year really affected the team. They were at home and motivated to show they were the better team last January. New offensive weapons, Alex has learned the offense better, here we go. And they got crushed. I think that left them thinking they were not going to be good enough. That it was very likely that they were going to meet a better team in the playoffs and that it would it. So they are throwing CK in earlier than planned in order to see if he can add a dimension to the offense. And as a fan, I support this move. I think with Alex it might be smoother sailing until the playoffs, but I don’t with him they will have enough firepower to get to the superbowl. I would rather roll the dice on CK than be a runner up again in the NFC. We had that last year, it was great after so many years of nothing. But now, it is all or nothing.

  67. aces79 says: Dec 4, 2012 8:53 AM

    Good Choice!!!!!

  68. mrgrant23 says: Dec 4, 2012 1:38 PM

    So sad to see my Niners divided, I’m on the Alex smith side and don’t like how even the team is divided we won’t be winning the Super Bowl at this pace. One thing people need to notice is kaepernick is only getting worse, good against the bears, our defense beat the saints and he blew it against the rams! I did not judge this kid at first but now I want smith back he needs more time to be an nfl QB. Smith would have beat the rams people don’t lie to yourself. Kaepernick is the future cam newton… Good at running and throwing hard, but doesn’t win games!!! Come on guys we need Alex.

  69. orivar says: Dec 4, 2012 6:57 PM

    Well this should be a hilarious decision.

  70. mervzd says: Dec 4, 2012 11:31 PM

    I guess Alex Smith will be blamed if the Niners lose a playoff game. Oh wait… Alex is on the bench! Not a Niners fan… But i do like keeping up with the whole NFL. What Alex Smith lacks is replaced with a high football IQ. Anyone can say all they want that the coaching staff limit the playbook for Alex but not from what i seen in last year and a half. How many times has Alex checked out of a run to another run play for Gore or Hunter for a big run play. It’s not always about checking run to pass. I guess a lot of fans don’t like Alex Smiths arm. I’ll tell you this… Joe Montana, Steve Young, and Jeff Garcia all didn’t have strong arms and that didn’t stop them from winning games also Rich Gannon from the Raiders didn’t have a strong arm… he threw a lot of short and intermidiate passes when he had his MVP season.

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