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2 National Security Reports Allege China Funded Liberals

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2 National Security Reports Allege China Funded Liberals

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that he was never briefed on the matter, and his security adviser dismissed it out of hand, but 2 high-level national security reports released before and after the 2019 election indicate that he was warned that Chinese government officials were funneling money to Liberal political candidates.

The two National Security reports, dated 2019 and 2022, raise concerns about what senior federal officials knew about the alleged funding by a foreign interference network and how seriously the Trudeau government took the warnings.

The first is a “Special Report” prepared by the Privy Council Office for the Trudeau administration and dated January 2022. The memo was also finalized, implying that it was intended for Trudeau and his senior aides to read.

According to Global News, Chinese officials in Toronto disbursed money into a covert network tasked with interfering in Canada’s 2019 election.

“A large clandestine transfer of funds earmarked for the federal election from the PRC Consulate in Toronto was transferred to an elected provincial government official via a 2019 federal candidate’s staff member,” according to the PCO report.

The Intelligence Assessment Secretariat compiled this document from 100 Canadian Security Intelligence Service reports. The IAS is a division of the PCO that issues national security alerts to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet regularly.

According to a national security official who explained the report to Global News, the finalized memo was about intelligence gleaned from an ongoing, high-level investigation in the Greater Toronto Area that began in January 2019.

Global News granted anonymity to Intelligence sources, who requested it because they face prosecution under the Security of Information Act.

According to intelligence sources, the provincial official implicated in the alleged clandestine transfer from the Toronto consulate is a member of Ontario’s legislature.

When asked if CSIS Director David Vigneault had briefed Trudeau, his staff, or cabinet on the allegations of covert funding, a CSIS spokesman said, “There are important limits to what I can publicly discuss given the need to protect sensitive activities, techniques, methods, and sources of intelligence.”

“Regarding specific briefings on foreign interference, Director Vigneault committed to working with the Privy Council Office on a consolidated response to parliamentarians during committee proceedings last week,” CSIS spokesman Eric Balsam wrote.

According to Global News, a bipartisan panel of parliamentarians issued an earlier, high-level warning about clandestine funding of China’s “preferred candidates” two months before the 2019 election.

The information came from Parliamentary Canada’s National Security and Intelligence Committee, which reviews national security issues and promotes “government-wide accountability.”

Trudeau established it in 2017, and it reports to the Prime Minister.

This is the same panel Trudeau appointed on Monday to investigate allegations of Chinese election meddling, which Global first reported in November.

However, Trudeau’s appointment of NSICOP and a “special rapporteur” did not address mounting calls from national security experts for a public inquiry into the allegations.

According to the 2019 NSICOP review of foreign interference, “foreign states clandestinely direct contributions to” Canadian politicians.

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According to the report’s subtitle, “Targeting the Political Nomination Process and Preferred Candidates,” “targeting frequently begins during the nomination process.”

Following the nomination process, “foreign states clandestinely direct contributions to and support for the campaigns and political parties of preferred candidates,” according to the review.

While the document did not examine specific interference activities aimed at the 2019 federal election, it did provide several examples of alleged Chinese election interference involving candidate targeting and funding from 2015 to 2018.

“A [People’s Republic of China] Embassy interlocutor established the ‘tea party,’ a group of community leaders, to hand-pick candidates that it would support and eventually publicly endorse,” it says.

It said a “former PRC Commercial Consul informed PRC businesses of the rules governing Canadian political contributions and urged specific business leaders to donate through Canadian subsidiaries and acquisitions.”

Global News examined an unredacted copy of the NSICOP review, which had not previously been made public.

According to its chair, MP David McGuinty, NSICOP conducted a special review of the threat of foreign interference to Canada and Ottawa’s response to it as part of its mandate.

“The Committee heard testimony from dozens of officials from Canada’s security and intelligence communities, reviewed thousands of pages of documentation, both classified and open source, and deliberated at length,” McGuinty said in a March 2020 statement, adding that the reports “were submitted to the Prime Minister on August 30, 2019.”

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While the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed to Global News on Feb. 7 that Trudeau received and reviewed the NSICOP document, spokeswoman Alison Murphy said Tuesday that Trudeau was unaware of Beijing directing funds to political candidates.

“We have no information on any federal candidates receiving money from China, as the Prime Minister stated last fall,” Murphy said.

Global News was the first to report in November on intelligence from the January 2022 “Special Report,” which alleged a sophisticated election interference network orchestrated by the Chinese consulate in Toronto to interfere in the October 2019 election.

According to reports, the group included at least 11 candidates and 13 or more aides. According to sources, an Ontario MPP was also involved, and the group included both witting and unwitting Liberals and Conservatives.

According to sources, this “clandestine transfer of funds” allegedly involved the consulate using a regime-friendly group to act as an intermediary to disburse about $250,000 to a staff member of a 2019 federal candidate. The funds were then allegedly transferred to alleged network members by the aide.

According to Global’s sources, the January 2022 briefs did not mention the network’s alleged clandestine methods or the amount of money involved.

When asked in December if Global News got anything wrong in its earlier reporting, Trudeau denied knowledge of the alleged Chinese disbursements, saying, “I never got briefings on candidates receiving money from China in all the briefings and all the serious briefings I got.”

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Jody Thomas, Trudeau’s national security and intelligence adviser, was questioned by the National Defence Committee late last year about alleged Chinese funding of candidates.

“The news stories about interference that you’ve read are just that — news stories,” Thomas said in December. “I’ll just say it: we’ve never seen money go to 11 candidates.”

Last Thursday, MP Michael Cooper followed up on Thomas’s specific remark at a Parliamentary committee on Foreign Interference hearing.

“You stated that no money was exchanged during the 2019 election, and we have seen no money go to 11 candidates, period,” Cooper said. “Could you please confirm that those were your words?”

“I’m not sure if that was my exact quote,” she said. “However, the link between 11 candidates and $250,000 was incorrect.”

To watch the video, click here: ‘For a very long time,’ Canadian national security agencies have dealt with foreign interference.

In response to Global’s questions about her testimony and her knowledge of the January 2022 “Special Report,” Privy Council Office spokesman Stephane Shank said, “Ms. Thomas will not comment on information that was improperly obtained.”

Shank cited Thomas’ December testimony, “during which the NSIA stated, ‘we have not seen money going to 11 candidates.'”

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The 2019 NSICOP memo review and the 2022 PCO Special Report aren’t the only high-level warnings the Prime Minister’s office issued about foreign funding schemes. According to a PCO memo delivered to the PMO four months after the 2019 election, China secretly transferred money to preferred candidates, as Global reported in December.

“Community leaders facilitate the clandestine transfer of funds and recruit potential targets,” according to the report.

“Its extensive network of quasi-official and local community and interest groups allowed it to obfuscate communication and the flow of funds between Canadian targets and Chinese officials,” according to the report.

Furthermore, according to the document, community leaders and “co-opted” political staffers “under broad guidance” from the Toronto consulate served as intermediaries between Chinese officials and the politicians Beijing sought to influence.

According to the document, the result of these operations is that “staff of targeted politicians provide advice on China-related issues” to the Chinese consulate.

According to the document, other network operators handle funding and attempt to recruit Canadian politicians. It also warned that such influence operations would be “more persistent and pervasive in future elections.”

Bill Blair, the former public safety minister, is the only senior Liberal government official who has acknowledged receiving the February 2020 PCO memo.

Blair, now the Minister for Emergency Preparedness, acknowledged receiving “certain information” from the 2020 memo but declined to elaborate. “I’m not able to share the details of that,” Blair, the only minister to admit it, said.

During last week’s parliamentary hearing on foreign interference, Thomas confirmed that Trudeau and members of his cabinet had received numerous briefs and memos on Chinese election interference schemes in 2019 and 2021 since January 2022.

When asked if Trudeau had been briefed on the February 2020 Privy Council Office memo, Thomas stated that she believed several of Trudeau’s members would have received it, but she did not say whether the Prime Minister had.

Government officials have long maintained that foreign interference will not jeopardize the overall integrity of the elections in 2019 and 2021.

CSIS Director Vigneault agreed with this assessment last week but suggested that Canada establish a registry that tracks foreign agents engaged in political activity to mitigate election interference.

On Monday, Trudeau reiterated the government’s earlier promise to begin consultations on establishing such a registry.

Meanwhile, the PCO’s January 2022 “Special Report” warns that China’s attacks on Canadian democratic institutions go far beyond interference in the 2019 and 2021 elections.

“We assess that Canada remains highly vulnerable to Chinese foreign interference efforts,” according to the 2022 PCO document. “We base this decision on intelligence that reveals deep and persistent Chinese Communist Party interference attempts over a decade.”

Source: Global News

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Supreme Court Restores Trump To Ballot, Rejecting State Attempts To Ban Him Over Capitol Attack

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Trump Facing 37 Felony Charges, Indictment Unsealed

Washington — On Monday, the Supreme Court overwhelmingly reinstated Donald Trump on the 2024 presidential primary ballot, rejecting state attempts to bar the Republican former President over the Capitol brawl.

The judges concluded a day before the Super Tuesday primaries that states cannot use a post-Civil War constitutional provision to exclude presidential candidates from appearing on ballots. That authority rests with Congress, the court wrote in an unsigned ruling.

On his social media network, Trump said shortly after the ruling was announced, “BIG WIN FOR AMERICA!!!”

The case constituted the court’s first direct ruling on a presidential election issue in a generation, dating back to Bush v. Gore in 2000. However, it is unlikely to be the last, as Trump is facing four distinct criminal charges and has another Supreme Court appearance scheduled for April.

The verdict puts a stop to efforts in Colorado, Illinois, Maine, and other states to remove Trump, the front-runner for his party’s nomination, from the ballot due to his plans to recoup his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden, culminating in the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold expressed dismay with the court’s judgment, noting that “Donald Trump is an eligible candidate in Colorado’s 2024 Presidential Primary.”

Trump’s case was the first before the Supreme Court to address a section of the 14th Amendment created after the Civil War to prohibit former officeholders who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office again.

Donald Trump is facing four criminal indictments and a civil suit. You can keep track of all the cases here.

Colorado’s Supreme Court ruled, in a first-of-its-kind decision, that the provision, Section 3, may be applied against Trump, whom the court said incited the Capitol attack. No court had before applied Section 3 to a presidential candidate.

In their judgments on Monday, the judges avoided the politically charged question of insurrection.

The court ruled that states can disqualify applicants for state office. “But States have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the Presidency,” the court stated in its ruling.

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Supreme Court Restores Trump To Ballot, Rejecting State Attempts To Ban Him Over Capitol Attack

While all nine justices agreed that Trump should be on the ballot, the three liberal members of the court and conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett disagreed that their colleagues went too far in determining what Congress must do to disqualify someone from federal office.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson agreed that upholding the Colorado decision could result in a “chaotic state-by-state patchwork,” but disagreed with the majority’s conclusion that a disqualification for insurrection can only occur when Congress enacts legislation. “Today, the majority goes beyond the necessities of this case to limit how Section 3 can bar an oathbreaking insurrectionist from becoming President,” the three justices wrote in a unanimous judgment.

It is still being determined whether the verdict allows Congress to refuse to certify Trump’s or any other presidential candidate’s election if it believes they violated Section 3.

Derek Muller, a legal professor at the University of Notre Dame, said, “It appears no,” noting that the liberals objected to the majority opinion eliminating any other options for Congress to implement the rule. Rick Hasen, a legal professor at the University of California-Los Angeles, said that Congress’s boundaries could be clearer.

Hasen was among those who urged the court to resolve the issue so that Congress would not reject Trump under Section 3 when electoral votes are counted on January 6, 2025.

“We may well have a nasty, nasty post-election period in which Congress tries to disqualify Trump but the Supreme Court says Congress exceeded its powers,” he warned in an email.

Both sides had asked for quick action from the court, which heard arguments less than a month ago, on February 8. The justices were preparing to decide in Trump’s favour.

Trump had been removed from the ballots in Colorado, Maine, and Illinois, but all three verdicts were on hold until a Supreme Court decision.

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Supreme Court Restores Trump To Ballot, Rejecting State Attempts To Ban Him Over Capitol Attack

The lawsuit is the court’s most direct participation in a presidential election since Bush v. Gore, which effectively gave the 2000 election to Republican George W. Bush. And it’s just one of several cases involving Trump that could affect his chances of reelection, including a late April hearing on whether he can be criminally prosecuted on election interference charges, including his role in the January 6 Capitol attack. Trump has claimed ultimate protection from prosecution. The timing of the high court’s intervention has sparked speculation that Trump will be tried before the November election.

The hearings in February marked the first time the high court heard a case utilizing Section 3. The two-sentence rule, intended to prevent some Confederates from gaining office again, states that those who breach oaths to support the Constitution are forbidden from holding different posts, including congressional seats or acting as presidential electors. However, it makes no specific reference to the presidency.

Both conservative and liberal judges questioned the case against Trump. Their primary worry was whether Congress should intervene before states could invoke the 14th Amendment. There were also disputes over whether the provision covers the President.

The lawyers for Republican and independent voters who sued to remove Trump’s name from the Colorado ballot argued that there is ample evidence that the events of January 6 constituted an insurrection, which was incited by Trump, who had urged a crowd of his supporters at a rally outside the White House to “fight like hell.” They claimed it would be ludicrous to apply Section 3 to everything except the presidency or that Trump is somehow exempt. They contended that the provision does not require any enabling legislation.

Following the verdict, the President of the liberal-leaning organization that represented the voters cited the court’s silence on whether Trump incited the revolt. “They had the opportunity to exonerate Donald Trump, but they did not do so,” said Noah Bookbinder of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

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Supreme Court Restores Trump To Ballot, Rejecting State Attempts To Ban Him Over Capitol Attack

Trump’s lawyers made various points on why the Amendment cannot be used to take him off the ballot. They claimed the January 6 disturbance was not an insurrection and that, even if it was, Trump did not go to the Capitol or join the rioters. They further stated that the Amendment’s text excludes the presidency and presidential contenders. They asserted that even if all of those reasons failed, Congress must approve legislation to resurrect Section 3.

The case was resolved by a court that included three Justices Trump chose as President. They have considered other Trump-related issues in recent years, rejecting his spurious accusations of fraud in the 2020 election and refusing to protect tax information from Congress and New York prosecutors.

The 5-4 judgment in Bush v. Gore, issued more than 23 years ago, was the last time the court became so involved in presidential politics. Only Justice Clarence Thomas remains on the bench from that time. Thomas has rebuffed requests from several Democratic senators to withdraw from the Trump lawsuit since his wife, Ginni, supported Trump’s effort to reverse the 2020 election results and attended the rally preceding Trump supporters’ assault of the Capitol.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Haiti Declares State Of Emergency After Mass Prison Escape

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Haiti’s government announced a state of emergency on Sunday after thousands of inmates reportedly escaped from the country’s largest jail during a spike of gang violence that has rocked the Caribbean nation for months.

According to a statement from Finance Minister Patrick Boisvert, who is acting prime minister, the government cited “deterioration of security,” particularly in the capital Port-au-Prince, and “increasingly violent criminal acts perpetrated by armed gangs,” including kidnappings and killings of citizens, violence against women and children, and looting.

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Haiti Declares State Of Emergency After Mass Prison Escape

It also referenced Saturday’s attacks by armed groups on the country’s two major prisons, one in Port-au-Prince and one in Croix des Bouquets, which resulted in the escape of “dangerous prisoners” and the deaths and injuries of police and prison workers.

According to a United Nations source, some 3,500 detainees fled Haiti’s National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince over the weekend.

The source stated that there were 3,687 convicts in prison. The UN mission in Haiti monitors the country’s jailed population and the humanitarian conditions in its prisons.

According to Haitian lawyer Arnel Remy, who heads the Collective of Lawyers for the Defense of Human Rights in Haiti (CADDHO), 3,597 convicts escaped from the National Penitentiary. CNN cannot independently verify CADDHO’s data.

Remy claimed his team visited the prison on Sunday and told CNN that the remaining convicts are being sent to other facilities, and the prison is now vacant and encircled by police cars.

The Haitian Ministry of Communication claimed in a statement Sunday that police confronted “heavily armed criminals seeking at any cost to free people from custody” and were “unable to prevent the criminals from freeing a large number of prisoners.” The violence damaged multiple inmates and prison officials, according to the report.

On Friday, Haitian gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, popularly known as Barbecue, stated that he will continue to try to remove Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

“We urge the Haitian National Police and military to accept accountability and arrest Ariel Henry. Once again, the population is not our adversary, and armed groups are not your enemy. You capture Ariel Henry for the sake of the country’s liberation,” Cherizier stated, adding, “With these weapons, we will liberate the country and alter the country.”

Cherizier is a former police officer who now controls a gang alliance. The United Nations and the US Department of Treasury have sanctioned him.

Public dissatisfaction with Henry’s inability to quell the unrest reached a boiling point when he refused to resign last month, citing the rising violence.

According to an earlier agreement, he agreed to hold elections and relinquish authority by February 7.

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Haiti Declares State Of Emergency After Mass Prison Escape

Caribbean leaders announced Wednesday that Henry has decided to hold general elections by August 31, 2025.

Earlier, in a post on X, one of Haiti’s police unions appealed for all officers in the capital to have access to automobiles and guns to support authorities in their efforts to keep control of the prison. It warned that if the attacks succeeded, “we’re done.” According to the statement, no one will be spared in the capital since there will be an additional 3,000 bandits.

Multiple security sources in Port-au-Prince told CNN that the most recent rise in violence, which began on Thursday and has targeted police stations, the international airport, and the prison, is unprecedented in recent memory.

The recent fighting occurred while Henry was visiting Kenya to discuss plans with Kenyan President William Ruto for the expected deployment of a multinational security support force to Haiti.

A Haitian law enforcement source told CNN that gangs have targeted various police stations throughout the city since Thursday, murdering at least four people and burning some of them down.

Meanwhile, a shooting near the airport on Thursday caused airlines to cancel flights.

The US Embassy in Haiti issued a security notice Friday, warning of gunfire and traffic interruptions between the domestic and international terminals, as well as other sites such as a hotel and the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police.

haiti

Haiti Declares State Of Emergency After Mass Prison Escape

In a statement sent Sunday, the embassy asked US people to leave the country due to violence and stated that it would operate on a restricted basis on Monday. The French Embassy in Haiti suspended visa and administration services on Monday.

In recent years, Haiti has experienced widespread turmoil and gang violence.

Warring gangs dominate much of Port-au-Prince, cutting off essential supplies to the rest of the country. Gang members have also tormented the urban area, forcing over 300,000 residents to evacuate their homes amid waves of indiscriminate slaughter, kidnapping, arson, and rape.

In January alone, about 1,100 people were killed, injured, or kidnapped, making it the most violent month in two years, according to the UN.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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LeBron James Reaches 40,000 Points To Extend His NBA Career Scoring Record

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Los Angeles (AP) — LeBron James scored 40,000 points on Saturday night, continuing to dominate in his 21st NBA season as he strives to break the career scoring record.

With 10:39 remaining in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 124-114 loss to the Denver Nuggets, James drove past Michael Porter Jr. and hit the historic layup.

“Being the first player to do something, it’s pretty cool in this league, just knowing the history, the greats that’s come through the league, and then you see some of the greats on the floor tonight, it was great to compete,” he added. “But for me, the main thing, as always, is to win, and I hated that it had to happen in a defeat.”

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LeBron James Reaches 40,000 Points To Extend His NBA Career Scoring Record

James did it in 1,475 regular-season games, scoring double digits in the last 1,205. He has largely avoided major injuries while also playing another 3 1/2 seasons’ worth of playoff games on his way to four titles in ten NBA Finals appearances, all while under unfathomable pressure to be the next transcendent player before ever stepping on the court as a professional.

“For the first time in a long time, I’ve seen the commercial played before my first game,” he stated. “I believe they mentioned all of the greatest basketball players of all time, including Big O, Michael, Kareem, and Kobe, and then forgot who else was in the commercial. And then it was like, “Next one, LeBron James.”

“I didn’t see that commercial when it aired, but when I saw it today, I was like, what the hell? That expectation for an 18-year-old kid was absurd to consider.”

Despite these expectations, James worked hard and accomplished something almost unattainable.

James’ unrelenting march saw him break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 38,387 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder on February 7, 2023.

All of that scoring occurred without James intending it to be his hallmark. He is fourth in career assists with 10,847, including nine against Denver, and his average of 7.35 per game is among the top 25.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone, who worked with James as an assistant for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2005 to 2010, noted James’ early focus in all areas. It was already a priority for James to be in prime physical shape, even if the run to the scoring title was unexpected for them.

“I remember being in Cleveland, him being in the weight room with our weight and strength coaches, and there’s no way he’s doing what he’s doing at this stage of his career if he is not putting a ton of time into his body, his diet, his sleep, all those things that really matter,” Malone told reporters before the game.

James’ endurance and continued excellence make it quite possible that he will be the only player to attain 40,000 points.

To put the accomplishment into context, Nuggets centre Nikola Jokic will need to average 25 points over his next 1,057 appearances to join James at 40,000 points. That would be nearly 13 full seasons without an injury or other unforeseen scenario, and the two-time MVP would have continued to produce far until the age of 41.

james

LeBron James Reaches 40,000 Points To Extend His NBA Career Scoring Record

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic is the most likely contender to make a major run since his career average of 28.51 points per game ranks third in league history behind Michael Jordan (30.12) and Wilt Chamberlain (30.07). However, Doncic will need to keep it up for 1,022 more games to match James, which, assuming no interruptions, will push the timeframe into the 2036-37 season.

“There’s just certain things that you just don’t think will happen,” he remarked. For years, many said Kareem’s record couldn’t be broken. I was able to outperform it. But, as I previously stated, you must have extremely good luck, play the game at a high level for an extended period, and then we will see.

As for whether James will ever join the 50,000-point club, a conservative estimate of 25 points per game from now on — essentially matching what he has been producing in his 21st professional season at 39 years old — while playing 55 games each season would put him there in 2031-32.

Malone would not rule anything out.

james

LeBron James Reaches 40,000 Points To Extend His NBA Career Scoring Record

“When you step back, you can’t help but wonder at the longevity. However, he is not having fun with this. “He is playing well,” Malone remarked. “I’m confident he’ll make that decision in five or six years. ‘Do I still play effectively?’ “And he is.”

If anyone would dare to take on the impossible, it could only be King James.

“I come to work and prepare and prep, mentally, physically, spiritually every night when it’s time to play, and I just try to go out and contribute,” he said. “I’ve been able to do that for over 20 years, including this year. When I get on the floor and feel good, I can make plays.

“I can still accomplish the same things I did ten years ago. And other things I was doing 20 years ago, which is strange to admit.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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