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Of the 35 players originally selected for the U.S. player pool, only four are in China for the World Cup. The U.S. lost to France in the quarterfinals, ending a streak of seven major international tournaments — four Olympics and three World Cups — where the Americans captured a medal, the last five of them being gold. “I can only say, you can’t help but notice and remember who you thought you were going to war with and who didn’t show up,” Colangelo said. “I’m a firm believer that you deal with the cards you’re dealt. All we could have done, and we did it, is get the commitments from a lot of players. So with that kind of a hand you feel reasonably confident that you’re going to be able to put a very good representative team on the court. “No one would have anticipated the pull-outs that we had.”
Marcus Morris: I knew @usabasketball should of let @Carmelo Anthony play! 🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️
Myles Turner: From 1-12 top to bottom this team this roster has sacrificed so much for our nation. our summers, our bodies, our mental. We came up short can’t nobodies more upset than us but I refuse to tolerate any Slander for our play you cannot question our heart, Our character, or are spirit we layed it all out on the line each and every game. Don’t disrespect us this coaching staff or USA Basketball as a whole but respect the world basketball is an international game these countries are talented. JB, Khris, JT, Dmitch, Mason, Marcus, Kemba, D White, BrooK, HB, Joe it’s been an honor I’d go to war with any of these fellas any given night. #Godspeed fellas let’s head home with a Dub 🇺🇸
Joe Vardon: More bad history for Team USA. Lose two straight for first time since 2002, falling 94-89 to Serbia. Best Americans can do at World Cup is seventh, worst since NBA players took over in 1992.
“It’s all sort of sinking in right now,” the Nets’ Joe Harris said. “They outplayed us from the get-go, really. We were reacting the whole night. “You put in a lot of a time, a lot of work, you build up a special bond with these guys and the coaches. And then for it not to come to fruition at the end of it all, it’s a tough pill to swallow.”
One locker-room observer suggested afterward that, in his time in the league, he had never seen such a despondent scene after a loss. Harris, unprompted, made multiple mentions of the “39 days” that this group spent together trying to establish sufficient continuity to get through eight games and make their summer more of a non-story.
Turner had a brilliant game Monday against Brazil, and he may have let it get to his head. He compared himself to Gobert and said, “He’s the defensive player of the year, according to some.” Well, the French players saw the quote and showed it to Gobert. “Yeah we saw it and we showed it to him,” said Nicolas Batum, of the Hornets. “We know he’s great on defense, so we’re going to use it to motivate him tonight.”
“A lot of guys played well,” Popovich said. “(Gobert and Fornier) were outstanding, but they have a basketball team. All the pieces fit and they’re all playing defense. Their sharing the basketball. They made good decisions. There weren’t too many mental mistakes. I think the switching bothered them for a while and we got back in the game and went ahead. In the end, I think their experience and their execution showed. It wasn’t just two guys.”
“To hear Donovan be so passionate about wanting to play (was great),” Ingles said. “I was like, ‘Oh, are you going to pull out because everyone else is?’, and (Mitchell said), ‘No, I’m going to play for my country.’ He’s obviously like really proud to do that. Obviously Rudy is (too). I know in the past with (former Jazz guard) Ricky (Rubio of Spain, who’s now with Phoenix), and playing against Ricky for so long, there’s genuine love (for playing on the national team). “You’ve got to respect, to a certain extent, guys’ decisions (not to play) because there is career (impact). Some guys are in contract years this offseason, and there’s a lot that goes into it. I think for us, for me, it’s – I’m all Australia right now, and as soon as we’re done with that I’ll switch right off and go to Jazz mode.”
The exciting thing, however, is that they beat the USA by being among other things taller. Coach Gregg Popovich had to play small against Rudy Gobert, but the small ball didn’t affect at all the French game plan. “We knew, and we didn’t want to adjust to that,” explained Batum after the game. “We wanted to keep him on the court. Because… he is our best player. He is the back-to-back defensive player of the year. We know what he can bring in defense and offense as well. That’s why the coach kept him on the court. We knew that his defense would help us. And he also help us on offense. He got better, and that will be the next step for him. He has shown some improvement, he moves better, he knows how to get inside, and if he gets to be like we want him to be, it will be the next step.”
Rudy Gobert: Encore 2. 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/WhDGGoIuAG

http://twitter.com/rudygobert27/status/1171828162734563329
Rudy Gobert has now got some “bragging rights” over his Utah Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell following the historic win of France over Team USA in the World Cup quarterfinals. However, the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year will leave trash talk aside for now since he can imagine how much this defeat hurt his teammate. “I don’t think that’s the way I am,” Gobert said. “I like to talk a little trash. But this kind of competition….I just lost to Australia. I love Joe but I wanted to stop him. It hurts. I think this experience is going to make Donovan better. We have to go hard when we go for the national team, but we also have to go that way with Utah. I’m excited for both.”
Team USA coach and five-time NBA champion Gregg Popovich didn’t want to hear any discussion about the squad’s numerous absences, following the eliminating loss to France in the World Cup quarterfinals. A result that marked USA’s first defeat in an official game in 13 years. “I think it’s a disrespectful notion,” Popovich said following a question to USA guard Donovan Mitchell on if he wanted to see some other NBA players at his side. “To even bring up something like that up: ‘Hey if you guys had this guy and had that guy’. That’s disrespectful to France or whoever else is in the tournament. France beat us. It doesn’t matter who is on the team. I couldn’t have been more proud of these 12 guys who sacrificed their summer to come here. Having never played together before. They put themselves in the arena and competed and they deserve credit for that. Just like France deserves credit for winning. It’s not about ‘well, the USA didn’t have their other guys’. There’s no such thing as ‘other guys’. These are the guys who are here. They did a great job and I’m very proud of them.
Tim Reynolds: Enormous credit to the disappointed USA players who came out and talked to us tonight -- Kemba, Donovan, Joe Harris, Harrison Barnes, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, I might be missing some, and no one ducked requests. First class.
You would expect a celebration after France’s wins but that was not the case. There were smiles but things were pretty quiet and there was a reason for that. France had beaten the host country and their longtime nemesis Spain back in the 2014 FIBA World Cup quarterfinals. Nobody really remembers that, however, since Serbia beat France in the semifinal. And Even Fournier remembers it: “We have won the quarterfinals, but if we lose the next one, we will return to Paris like suckers. We have seen it when we were beaten by Serbia back in the 2014 World Cup and then we relaxed. It’s obvious that it’s an experience that will help us”.
Marc J. Spears: Team USA had won 58 straight in “international tournaments” overall with NBA players on its roster. America's last loss came 13 years ago against Greece in the semi-finals of the 2006 FIBA World Championship. There is one more game at the @FIBAWC for @usabasketball.
Mark Woods: Spain beat Poland 90-78 to set up a World Cup semi-final against either Australia or Czech Rep. Mike Taylor’s man still in hunt for an amazing Olympic berth.
Serbia forward Nemanja Bjelica made his self-criticism while praising his team’s camaraderie following the eliminating loss to Argentina in the World Cup quarterfinals. “We weren’t ready for this game. Especially mentally. Especially myself. I take complete responsibility for it. I know we are a team but as one of the leaders… I must say I played like s–t,” Bjelica said in the post-game presser.
“They deserved this victory today. What I can say for us is that we are a great group of guys. We didn’t lose this game because are arrogant or we think that we are something special. We just didn’t prepare ourselves the right way. I can talk for hours but this loss is very tough. It’s hard. But it’s basketball.”
Jorge Sierra: Major upset at the World Cup: Argentina, without a single NBA player, beats a Serbian NT with Nikola Jokic, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nemanja Bjelica and Boban Marjanovic. The Serbians won their first four games of the tournament by an average of 40.7 points. Life comes at you fast.
Playing significant minutes at power forward in Tatum's place and even playing occasionally at center, Brown's flexibility and intensity have been a needed injection. "I feel like I'm not a position player, I'm a basketball player. 4-3-2, whatever coach needs me to do, I will make the adjustment," Brown said. "Obviously with Jayson out, there's a little more opportunity and maybe it was a little more visible. But every time I take the floor, I want to be aggressive."
Brown is sometimes quiet, but he's not meek. That attitude has been positive this summer. "Chemistry is built when you hit adversity together and you've got to push through it," Brown said. "We've been challenged multiple times on this trip. We started Aug. 4 and now it's Sept. 10. We've seen a lot together."
Stadium:Good news for the Celtics and USA Basketball, per NBA Insider @ShamsCharania: Jayson Tatum has a strong chance to make his return for Team USA in quarterfinals against France on Wednesday.

https://twitter.com/Stadium/status/1171169282077667333
"We're thrilled that we qualified for the Olympics," said San Antonio Spurs mastermind Popovich, whose team will now face France on Wednesday in the World Cup quarter-finals. "With this new situation of qualifying, you don't want to have to do that every year. So it's a pretty big grind," said the 70-year-old.
Many journalists, especially from the USA, reacted negatively to Thanasis Skourtopoulos resting the Greek Freak in the fourth quarter against Team USA, and on Monday after failing to qualify to the quarter-finals, he addressed the criticism he’s faced. “If we had the opportunity to set up a team from the start for Giannis… I constantly read comments online saying why the Greek national team doesn’t play like the Bucks, and I don’t know how to react. We’re not the Bucks; it’s that simple. We don’t need to say anything else”, he said.
Skourtopoulos, 54 also talked about the differences there are between the way Milwaukee uses him and the situation in the national team: “The Bucks are a well-structured team with Giannis as a centerpiece. We are a team that also has Antetokounmpo as a centerpiece, but with some players around him who have their own personality, and value and they are also a big part of the team.”
Joe Vardon: Greece beats the Czech Republic, which guarantees the Americans a spot in the FIBA World Cup quarterfinal. However, due to tie breaker rules, the Czechs are in good position to make it, too. Just need a win by USA over Brazil
Vasilije Micic may not be available for Serbia’s clash with Argentina, due to the passing of his mother on Monday (09/09). The player’s club, Anadolu Efes, announced the sad news earlier today. It is likely that Micic will leave China and will return to Serbia to attend the funeral of his mother.
Joel Rush: After not getting a foul call on a Marc Gasol and Juancho Hernangomez trap, Nikola Jokic yells at the ref, and gets ejected from the game. #FIBAWC #SerbiaSpain

http://twitter.com/JoelRushNBA/status/1170694935881736194
ESPN Stats: Despite the win, Team USA's 69 points today are the team's fewest in a FIBA World Cup game since 1998. It's their fewest in a FIBA World Cup victory since NBA players began participating in the FIBA World Cup in 1994.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brother Thanasis Antetokounmpo had to be separated from members of Team USA after a controversial foul triggered emotions at the FIBA World Cup on Saturday night.
The teams didn't have the traditional postgame handshake. USA coach Gregg Popovich gathered his team on the floor to allow the Greeks to leave so the two teams wouldn't meet in the tunnel. "Yeah, I said something to Giannis. Well, Giannis said something to me," Jaylen Brown said. "But we've got bigger fish to fry. So we move on."
The Americans were angered not just by the foul but also because Thanasis Antetokounmpo didn't initially apologize for the perceived cheap shot, which happened right in front of the U.S. bench. "The [no apology] escalated it," Marcus Smart said. "At that moment, you've got to take it for what it is. Regardless of whether you feel like it was wrong or right, it was wrong."
Giannis Antetokounmpo was not used in the fourth quarter of the game between the USA and Greece, but he was not benched. As Greek coach Thanasis Skourtopoulos clarified after the game: “It was a decision we took jointly with Giannis. We wanted to protect him and rest as we did with other players of our main rotation. We have a big game coming on Monday, and this is the most important thing for us now”.
Donatas Urbonas: Dainius Adomaitis when asked why three South American referees worked in a game where two great European teams played: "Thank you! Thank you for this question! You don't have to be very smart for this: just give us three European referees! But you should ask this FIBA."
Kevin O'Connor: Greece has no clue how to use Giannis Antetokounmpo nearly as well as the Bucks do. And Giannis not playing a single minute in the fourth quarter is an absolute joke. We got robbed watching Giannis on this team.
Mike Ganter: Nick Nurse with some strong words on Canada’s inability to attract available talent: “I think the biggest thing is we need an introduction, some of the guys need an introduction to the national team, right? I think the guys who are here right now have all played a little bit, continue to grow as they stay together, but some of the guys we need to see, I dunno, I guess they need to find out why or why not they’re gonna play or commit to playing.”
Australia defeated the Dominican Republic, 82-76, in 2019 FIBA World Cup Group L action at Nanjing on Saturday. Patty Mills commanded the charge once again putting up a game-high 19 points, also dished 9 assists. Chris Goulding followed with 15 points. Eloy Vargas went for 16 points, Victor Liz scored 14 and Rigoberto Mendoza had 12 for the losing side. “We were not mentally there in the first half” admitted Landale after contributing to the win with 13 points. “The boys really rallied together. Everybody knows it was just an OK performance. I think we will be ready when the time comes.”
John Schuhmann: Marcus Smart will play Saturday vs. Greece. Asked if he would have played Thursday had it been an elimination game, he said, "Definitely." He felt tightness the day after the USA's win over Turkey. "I was just taking more precaution than anything."
Emiliano Carchia: Marco Belinelli (7 points on 3/16 shooting night) takes blame for loss against Spain: I have played an awful game. I take responsibility for that. I am sorry. A big part of that bad game is on me.
Jorge Sierra: Serbia is winning games by an average of 40.7 points so far. That would be the biggest differential in World Cup history, even ahead of 1994 Team USA with Shaquille O'Neal, Dominique Wilkins, Reggie Miller, Alonzo Mourning and several other pretty decent guys.
Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura will miss Japan's final two FIBA World Cup games because of knee discomfort and general fatigue, it was announced. "While everyone had hoped for Rui to finish the World Cup with Team Japan, the Wizards and Japan Basketball believe it is best for Rui to not play the final two games and have a short period of rest before he must start NBA training camp with the Wizards which begins only three weeks from now," the Japanese Basketball Association said in a statement released through the Wizards.
The leader of the German squad Dennis Schroder got some criticism for the failure, especially for the loss against the Dominican Republic, but he doesn’t have a problem with it: “Either I play my game or I do not play at all. I try to put my teammates in the spotlight, I did that today and the last two games. There will always be criticism, I’m built for it, no problem for me”, he said, per Sport1.
Nurse said he intends on playing a bigger recruiting role. It was tough this time around, he said, because he had his hands full with the Raptors' lengthy season. "I think I have got to try and develop some relationships with some of these guys and see where they are at," Nurse said after practice. "But I need more information. I need a better understanding of why or why not? Will they or will they not participate, and why or why not?"
The United States’ matchup against Japan was always expected to be its easiest in the first round of the FIBA World Cup, but Team USA dominated defensively in a 98-45 won over Japan Thursday. The Americans head into the second round undefeated through three games. First-round points carry over into the next round of group play.
Canada’s men’s basketball team finally has a World Cup victory — and some positive momentum in a FIBA World Cup tournament that had been a non-stop narrative of disappointment. Cory Joseph will take it. "It’s always good when there’s a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, that’s always good," the Sacramento Kings guard said.
John Schuhmann: Turkey, after blowing a potential upset over the U.S., is not going to make the 2nd round. Down 12 w/ less than a minute to go vs. the Czech Republic. Those 4 missed FTs at the end of OT on Tuesday hurt more than we thought initially. Huge win for Sato & crew.
“I think we have to learn how the game is officiated,” Harrison Barnes said. “I think there are some plays that we’re kind of used to how the NBA officiates things. We get the ‘no call’ but then at the other end it just looks like we’re fouling every single time. Whether it’s post defense, whether it’s coming off screens. Whether it’s bumping a guy after driving, so there’s a learning curve we’re getting better at, but tonight it was definitely evident.”
Despite a slow start and a bad shooting night, Spain managed to get a 73-65 win over Iran in Group C of FIBA World Cup. Spain won all three of its games so far and stayed at the top of the group while Iran lost all three and finished last. Puerto Rico (2-1) got the better of Tunisia (1-2) earlier today and advanced further. Marc Gasol led the winning side with 16 points while Victor Claver and Juancho Hernangomez added 11 each. The latter also grabbed ten rebounds for a double-double.
Tommy Beer: Through Serbia's first three games in the FIBA World Cup, Nikola Jokic is shooting 83.3% from the field, and is a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point territory. Oh and he leads his team in assists & rebounds. Serbia is undefeated. Their average margin of victory is 40 points per game
Birch sees the positives in taking part in the FIBA World Cup. And unlike most other NBA types he has no one offering up advice, wanted or not. ““I don’t have an agent as of right now, so no,” he said when asked if anyone tried to dissuade him from coming. “Like I said Khem Birch decides Khem Birch’s career. If I get hurt it’s because Khem Birch got hurt and if Khem Birch wants to do something Khem Birch is going to do it.”
“As you can see I’m doing things I have never done in the NBA that I’m getting to do right now,” he said referring to handling the ball and stepping outside to shoot. “That’s what a lot of guys don’t understand. Coach Nurse gives you the confidence and freedom to do whatever you want. Basically everything you want in the system you have here so I’m lucky.”
Mike Ganter: Khem Birch on his decision to play for Canada: “I don’t let anyone dictate my career or anything. I let Khem Birch dictate what he wants to do and Khem Birch decided to play for his country because I want to go to the Olympics.”
SLAM: Can you talk about your role as ambassador and why you wanted to be involved in the World Cup? Dirk Nowitzki: Well, you know, I’m of course sad that my competing days are done. But I still want to help grow the game internationally. I’ve had great success in FIBA competitions and it’s always been fun competing at the highest level, so when they approached me to see if I wanted to do this, of course I was on board. Growing the game internationally, growing the game here in China—there are some amazing fans here—and we have some of the best athletes [here right now for the World Cup], so it should be a fun few weeks. Hopefully we can grow the sport even more.

https://twitter.com/BillSimmons/status/1168898801765093377
Storyline: World Cup
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Lowry is certainly going to give it. In all matters. As a member of the players’ association competition committee, he worked with the league in setting up every facet of life for the 22 teams that are now gathered near Orlando for the resumption of the suspended season later this month. He was involved in developing testing protocols, scheduling, what is allowed and what’s not, and has made it clear to his teammates how important that is. He is the franchise’s conduit to a healthy existence.
Storyline: Coronavirus
July 13, 2020 | 3:40 pm EDT Update
The Knicks are continuing to work through the process of the search for a head coach and have completed second interviews with all candidates. Knicks president Leon Rose described his process on MSG Network last month of conducting informal talks and then formal interviews with the 11 confirmed candidates. The Knicks completed the second round last week, holding talks with the candidates who are not headed into the bubble for the restart of the NBA season.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search
Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant called out those players that took issue with the conditions, saying that he wasn’t a “silver spoon guy” and that the options have been fine. Redick agreed with that assessment on Sunday during his media availability with reporters. “Getting outside and golfing yesterday was key. The bubble life has been fine. I think Ja Morant said it best: The hotel is fine, the food is fine, everything is fine. We’re here to play basketball, to further our mission. We have a responsibility and a job to do. It’s fine.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Craig Robinson, who served as the Knicks’ vice president of player development and general manager of the G League’s Westchester Knicks since 2017, has accepted a position as executive director for the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Robinson was not expected to remain with the Knicks, having been brought on by Steve Mills, who was dismissed earlier this year. The contracts of Robinson and most of the front-office personnel are expiring shortly.
July 13, 2020 | 2:32 pm EDT Update
His path from experiencing poverty in Greece to becoming a multimillionaire MVP included sacrifice, which he refuses to lose sight of despite his current status. “I’m in a situation where I’m extremely blessed and I cannot complain. Obviously, it doesn’t matter where you are in life, there’s always something to complain, there’s always a problem and an issue,” Antetokounmpo said. “But I try to kind of not focus on that. So as I said, my apartment in Greece, when I was younger, with my four brothers, was way smaller than the suite that I have in the hotel, so I’m just trying to enjoy the moment.
“This is something special,” he continued. “Hopefully, this pandemic never happens again so we never are able to come back in the campus, but at the end of the day, this is part of history, so just being able to be here, participate in this, I’m just trying to be in the moment, trying to enjoy every moment, trying to enjoy basketball. I’m happy that we’re back playing basketball, something that I love doing, so there’s nothing really to complain about.” Even before entering the NBA’s campus at Walt Disney World, Antetokounmpo said he thought “this is gonna be the toughest championship you could ever win” because of the circumstances. He jokingly admitted that he “sucked” during the Bucks’ first five-on-five scrimmage at Monday’s practice but thinks everyone will shake the initial rust once the ball is tipped for real competition.
Rodriguez, who last starred with the Yankees, and fiancée Lopez have put $300 million of their own money toward the bid. Other investors include future Hall of Fame offensive lineman Joe Thomas, who spent his entire career with the Cleveland Browns, two-time NBA All-Star Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards, and Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee. “Being a former athlete and having a chance to be a part of a group trying to purchase a professional team, it’s pretty cool,” Urlacher told ESPN on Monday. “It’s especially cool to be involved with Alex. Alex is the man. You’ve got Kelce, Joe Thomas, DeMarco Murray. It’s great to be in a group with them.”
July 13, 2020 | 1:31 pm EDT Update

Russell Westbrook tests positive for COVID-19

Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook says he has tested positive for coronavirus. Westbrook tweeted Monday that he tested positive before his Rockets teammates were scheduled to travel to Walt Disney World for the resumption of the NBA season Westbrook tweeted he is “currently feeling well, quarantined, and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared.”
4 hours ago via ESPN
This rumor is part of a storyline: 296 more rumors

Houston Rockets' Bruno Caboclo breaks quarantine

Houston Rockets forward Bruno Caboclo unintentionally broke quarantine, making him subject to an extended quarantine period and enhanced coronavirus testing, league sources told ESPN. After players entered the league’s bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort last week, anyone who either is caught leaving for an unauthorized reason or who broke the initial quarantine period (which covered being confined to your hotel room until passing multiple coronavirus tests in a longer-than 24-hour span) will be subject to the league’s re-entry protocols.
This means having to undergo enhanced coronavirus-19 testing – meaning the ones with the long swab up the nose, as opposed to the less invasive ones players are getting during their time in the bubble — in addition to a 10-day quarantine period in their hotel room. Caboclo left his room during the initial quarantine period, a source said. He was unaware that he was not allowed to do so, despite the league informing all players and staff of the protocol. “He should’ve known,” the source said. “It was no secret.”
Sources told ESPN that Caboclo’s time in quarantine is now down to eight days. He is expected to rejoin the team once his quarantine is complete. The Rockets are still awaiting the arrival of stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook in Orlando, as well as forward Luc Mbah a Moute. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said Sunday that all three are likely to rejoin the team sometime this week.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Since the G League season was officially ended during the league’s stoppage of play and NBA team rosters were expanded for the remaining seeding games and playoffs, Bol has joined the Nuggets in the bubble and has been practicing with the team. “He (Bol) only practiced with us in Denver a few times during the season,” Malone said Saturday. “To see him out there playing and doing things that a lot of people can’t do, it’s really remarkable. I have to remind myself how young he is. He is extremely talented and skilled.”
The Los Angeles Lakers trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Quinn Cook tried to get some 2K action going to pass the time in the bubble, and the results turned out to be catastrophic. Things did not really go as planned, with the servers crashing even before they could get a game in. As it turns out, there were too many spectators on the feed, so the 2K servers were unable to cope.
July 13, 2020 | 11:39 am EDT Update
Rivers: If he was in an era 10 years ago, Boban would be a big-time player. He’s just in an era where he’s 10 years too late. And he’s still in the league doing his thing, but make no mistake about it, if he was in 2003, 2006, Boban would be a force to be reckoned with. Van Gundy: I’ve always wondered if I, you know, should’ve played him more. You get so concerned with the defensive end of the floor, but with what he can do offensively, I’m not sure we wouldn’t have been better off playing him more and dealing with whatever defensive problems came up.
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