Jay King: Refs told Stevens they could not call a perso…

More on Officiating Complaints

Michael Lee: I spoke to referee Danny Crawford a few years about if MJ pushed off in ‘98 & he said you can’t blow a whistle on “what you thought you saw” in real time. “It wasn’t an egregious play where you thought, ‘Oh, no. You can’t do that.’ It was a tough play that could go either way.”
Michael Lee: I spoke to referee Danny Crawford a few years about if MJ pushed off in ‘98 & he said you can’t blow a whistle on “what you thought you saw” in real time. “It wasn’t an egregious play where you thought, ‘Oh, no. You can’t do that.’ It was a tough play that could go either way.”
After his complaints to the referees didn't receive the desired response, Doncic wanted to be sure that the reason for his displeasure was on the record. "They hit me in the face, and that should be a foul," Doncic said. "They should look at it. I think the rule is when you get hit in the face, they've got to look if it's flagrant or no, right? Like I said, I was hit in the face three times. Two of them was not a foul."
After Oladipo hit two free throws to push the Pacers' lead to three points with 13 seconds remaining, Doncic confronted referee Tyler Ford during the timeout. "He can't f---ing hit me in the mouth!" Doncic shouted at Ford. "They didn't care," Doncic said after the game. "It was clear. Everybody saw on the Jumbotron."
Brad Townsend: Actually, Cuban's total fines -- at least the ones that have been announced -- add up to closer to $3 million: $2.9M to be exact. When he was fined $600,000 in 2018, that pushed his totals to 20 fines for $2.4 million. Again, those are just the ones that have been announced.

https://twitter.com/BobbyMarks42/status/1235999757673410560
John Karalis: Marcus Smart fine is official pic.twitter.com/l9D2UvLkpB

http://twitter.com/RedsArmy_John/status/1235606417228390403
I know you have a lot of thoughts about how the NBA hires and trains its refs. If you were put in charge of revamping the process of hiring and training refs, what are some things that you’d change? Mark Cuban: This is very, very simple: I’d bring in people who are professionals at hiring and training. That’s it. We have none. Just because you’re great at selling, that doesn’t make you a great sales manager. Just because you’re a great reporter, that doesn’t make you a great publisher or editor. You can pick any industry; if you’re great at doing the primary job in that industry, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be great at managing people within that industry. We never learned that lesson in the NBA and that has cost me a lot of money. But it’s an easy change and one of the first things to change.
Brad Townsend: I’m told the full Mavs protest-evidence report probably won’t be filed until Monday, which is to be expected because the deadline is midnight Monday. Unclear whether Hawks have filed their report. Then, I’m told, commissioner Adam Silver will have up to a week to render decision.
Brad Townsend: I’m told the full Mavs protest-evidence report probably won’t be filed until Monday, which is to be expected because the deadline is midnight Monday. Unclear whether Hawks have filed their report. Then, I’m told, commissioner Adam Silver will have up to a week to render decision.
Brad Townsend: Mavs protest update: Mavs and Hawks have until midnight Monday to submit their evidence to the league. As of yet, that has not happened, per source. After those submissions, clock starts ticking on Adam Silver’s decision. This will take a while, folks.
SiriusXM NBA Radio: "We have a really good chance of winning this protest." @mcuban joins @EvCoRadio and @Mitch_Lawrence to discuss why his latest frustrations with the officiating in the NBA spilled onto Twitter. #MFFL
Cuban doubled down on his disapproval of NBA officiating and of the decision yesterday on SiriusXM NBA radio. He also said that he thought there was a “good chance” the team would win the protest and the final seconds of the game would be replayed. “Everybody presumes that there’s no chance you ever win a protest, but I think we have a really good chance,” Cuban said.
“I think we tell them that if it didn’t impact the playoff standings, we don’t care if we replay it or not, because there’d be no point to it,” Cuban added. “But if it comes out the way we hope it will, they’ll start the game from the 9.5 seconds left to go with a center-court jump ball and Mavs down by two.”
NBA G-League coach Chase Buford used a postgame interview as an opportunity to vehemently criticize the poor officiating he felt his team, the Wisconsin Herd, received in a 126-117 loss to the Grand Rapids Drive on Sunday. Buford was especially displeased with referee Matt Rafferty. "The officiating definitely went right for Grand Rapids," Buford began, speaking to WFRV-TV in Green Bay. "That was as unprofessional as an officiating performance — I hope you tweet this out and tag the league, because that was embarrassing. Matt Rafferty is a (expletive) clown."
"That being said, we have to be so much better at the end of games," Bufford said. "We can't blow a 21-point lead with 12 minutes to go. However bad and biased and unfair and illegal and cheating the referees are, we have to be better closing games. So that's the way I feel." Buford played college basketball at Kansas as a reserve and is the son of five-time NBA champion general manager R.C. Buford. Buford was hired by the Milwaukee Bucks, which oversee the Herd, in July as the team's second-ever head coach. Prior to that he was an assistant for the G-League's Delaware Blue Coats and Erie BayHawks.
Cuban contends that the game should be replayed from the point of the incorrect goaltending call, according to sources. In that case, the game would resume with a jump ball with 9.7 seconds remaining and the Hawks leading by two points.
The beauty of the NBA is that it waits for nothing and no one. The Mavericks felt like they got robbed against the Hawks, but as usual with tough losses, a lot of things contributed to it, not just the tough whistle that went against the Mavs in the final seconds. They can’t afford to dwell on it. They have a home game Monday against the Minnesota Timberwolves and need to take care of their court, which hasn’t been easy this season, before they depart on a four-game trip.
Even Cuban, who lashed out at the NBA’s referee system and its management teams past and present after the 111-107 loss in Atlanta, knows that taking care of business now has to be front and center for his team. He said that even before the Atlanta game. “We got to win to hold our spot and hopefully move up,” Cuban said, referring to the tight Western Conference standings. “It’s not going to get any easier. The Western Conference is still the Western Conference.”
Cuban's rant began with a tweet after Atlanta's John Collins converted on a follow shot, which was credited after a goaltending call was overturned. The basket sealed the game for the Hawks with 8.4 seconds remaining. "So they call a goaltend," Cuban's tweet began. "They literally blew the whistle that it was a goaltend. There was a putback after the whistle. After review they said no goaltend but count the basket? WTF is that? That's NBA officiating." In a follow-up tweet, Cuban said, "1 of the refs told us it was an inadvertent whistle, so it was not goaltending. Doesn't matter that people stopped. They thought the whistle came after the putback. So the basket counted. So what where they reviewing if it wasn't a goaltend?"
The NBA fined Clippers forward Paul George $35,000 on Thursday for publicly criticizing officials after a loss in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Following the 110-103 defeat, George said he believed the Clippers played well but that “there was some home-court cooking tonight, to say the least.” Asked whether he was referring to calls by officials that the Clippers either did not receive or were not called at all, George responded about the differential in foul calls: “I mean, it was 19 to 11. You all figure out what those numbers are. It was 19 to 11.”
Sean Cunningham: Kings coach Luke Walton after picking up a technical in the 3rd quarter, calls over to Luka Doncic and says: "Hey Luka, do me a favor, give him your autograph after the game. (points at official) - He's a fan, he's a fan of yours." 😂😂

http://twitter.com/SeanCunningham/status/1227839546210959362
In a game the Mavericks controlled most of the night, Walton versus Dončić was the most compelling part of a second half dominated by the Mavs. “(Walton) said something I didn’t like about me. That was just it,” Dončić told Fox Sports Southwest in his on-court postgame interview.
“I don’t know,” Walton said. “I have all the respect in the world for him. He got what he wanted tonight, wherever he wanted. I wasn’t saying anything to him. I don’t know if he thought I said something to him, but he had a great game, he’s a great player and he led his team to victory, so give him credit.”
“I think Russ and James shot 31 between the two and our team only shot 25,” Smart said after he had calmed down some. “That’s a big discrepancy.”
Some of Smart’s frustration stems from not feeling he’s getting a benefit of the doubt. As he’s done in the past, Smart feels like he doesn’t have the respect of the officials. “Thought I did. First team all defense, one of the best defensive players in the league, I would think so. Up for defensive player of the year, they’re talking, but obviously not," he said. “Continue to keep working. I mean, we have Jayson Tatum, we have Kemba Walker, all-stars, we have Jaylen Brown, potential all-star, we have Gordon Hayward, was an all-star. We got star guys, too. If that’s the case we should be getting the same calls that those stars are getting.”
Erik Horne: Marcus Smart, who hasn't played in 10 minutes because of foul trouble, felt compelled to come over after the halftime buzzer and argue with officials. Celtics coaches had to step in between him and officials while everyone was walking off the floor. Technical foul on Smart.
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard will not be fined by the league for his postgame remarks and tweets directed at officials following a missed goaltend that resulted in a loss to the Utah Jazz on Friday night, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Lillard was interviewed by the league on Saturday, sources said.
Sources said the explanation officials provided to a few members of the Trail Blazers on the court at the time of the controversy was that it “wasn’t even close” to a goaltend, which further infuriated the team. "We get to the last play of the game, and they miss an easy call," Lillard said during his postgame address after the 117-114 loss. "And then they tell us that's an easy no-call, like that was obviously not a goaltend. It cost us a f---ing game, man.”

http://twitter.com/tribjazz/status/1226041066052145152
Mark Cuban: This is not an aberration. In our Jan 25th game the NBA admitted there were 3 missed goaltends IN A SINGLE QUARTER ! They blamed the misses on mechanics. ‘That’s something the NBA should look at’: Donovan Mitchell and Jazz agree league officials’ failures deseret.com/sports/2020/2/…
CJ McCollum: Mood 👀

http://twitter.com/CJMcCollum/status/1226039180733476865
It wasn’t just the Blazers that knew the officials were wrong. One by one, Jazz players said that they saw the replay and saw clear goaltending, including the offender. “Obviously after watching the replay you can see that it was goaltending,” Gobert said.
Casey Holdahl: The other thing that really seems to be sticking in the collective craw of the team was the explanation from the officials. According to multiple players, officials said it “wasnt even close” to a goaltend.
Casey Holdahl: I’ve known @Dame_Lillard since his predraft workout in Portland. I have never, EVER, seen him as mad as he was in the postgame locker room. Pure, uncut anger.
Jamie Hudson: Talked w/ tonight's referees. Here's the question I asked: Was Lillard’s shot reviewable for a goaltend, and if so, why was it not reviewed? "No, it was not reviewable, since no goaltending call was made on the floor. Goaltending is only reviewable if we actually call it."
Jusuf Nurkic: That’s all folks

http://twitter.com/bosnianbeast27/status/1226023916080001026
Enes Kanter: 🤦🏻‍♂️ ROBBED ⌚
Adrian Wojnarowski: NBA fines Orlando coach Steve Clifford $25K for "abusing" officials in Thursday loss to Knicks --- after L2M report concluded that officials failed to see/hear him asking for timeout with 4.4 seconds left and missed a foul call on Knicks with four seconds left.
Oleh Kosel: Mike Malone has been tossed out! Wow. His assistants had to physically restrain him before exiting the arena. He wasn't happy with the late foul call on Brandon Ingram -- although it seemed to be the right call albeit late.
Taking to journalists after leading the Milwaukee Bucks to the win against the Boston Celtics on Thursday evening, Giannis Antetokounmpo confessed that can improve in terms of earning fouls. “The way NBA is built, it wants you to flop. It kinda wants you be weak,” the Greek Freak noted, “When you’re strong and going through contact, they don’t call the foul.”
Attempted 20 free throws for the night anyway. Made ten of those shots en route for the team-high 30 points. Accounted for 17 rebounds, seven dimes and a pair of blocks as well. “That’s not who I am. I am just going to going to power through the contact,” he added, “Sometimes they are going to grab me or push me. I got to show it more. I think I’ve done a better job showing it more.”
John Denton: According to the NBA’s Last 2 Minute report, @Phoenix Suns G Devin Booker should have been called for a foul when @Orlando Magic C Nikola Vucevic posted up with 22.1 seconds left. Down 2, Vucevic lost the ball after “Booker (PHX) wraps Vucevic (ORL) in the post,” per the L2M report.
Pacers coach Nate McMillan said Jimmy Butler should have been given a second technical foul, resulting in an automatic ejection, after T.J. Warren’s ejection during Wednesday’s Heat win at Indiana. “They said [Warren] was clapping at Butler, but Butler was also kissing at him,” McMillan said. “None of the officials saw [Butler blowing kisses]. Both guys should’ve been ejected in that situation. Emotions, they’re going to happen.”
Only Warren was ejected, for clapping his hands in Butler’s face after Butler was called for an offensive foul against him. “We needed to see some fight,” McMillan said. “We needed to see some scrap. I like that Warren was trying to get aggressive defensively and Butler reacted to the pressure defense. I don’t think it was anything dirty by Warren. He didn’t slam him to the floor or anything. Butler responded by getting into his face.”
Brad Townsend: @luka7doncic on Rick Carlisle’s assertion that teams are beating the s*** out of him. "It's true, I'm not going to lie, but, you know, it's just basketball. It's a physical game. If the refs see it, they're going to call it. If they don't see it, they're not going to call it. But I've just got to keep going. "
Andrew Greif: A technical foul has been called on Kawhi Leonard. He was being really vocal toward official Eric Dalen earlier, wanting an out-of-bounds call to go the Clippers' way. Doc Rivers spoke to officials at half's end about the tech.
The NBA has seen a rise in offensive numbers over the last 10 years, as the league has prioritized its rules to cater to high-scoring games. While the trend has helped offensive output, it has caught the ire of both Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who hopes to see subtle rule changes going forward. "I would like to see a slight reversal in what we're trying to accomplish as a league," Kerr said prior to Tuesday's game against the Spurs. "I think we've gone overboard in rewarding offensive players. And what I mean by that is we've rewarded offensive players for fooling the officials and attempting to fool the officials."
"I think we need to get back to the point where players need to earn fouls and earn it by beating their man," Kerr said, "and drawing contact in a natural way and not flopping and flailing and grabbing arms and that's going on all over the league. "We have to decide as a league, are we going to call fouls that people would laugh about at a pickup game? That's what we have to decide ultimately. And to me that's where we've gone overboard."
Storyline: Officiating Complaints
More HoopsHype Rumors
August 6, 2020 | 10:55 am EDT Update
Damian Lillard on high school basketball: The other thing that makes it sad is the level of complacency because you’ve been told like you’re gonna make it and you’re gonna be a draft pick and you know, you don’t got to earn nothing. You don’t feel like you gotta work for nothing. And it’s sad when it’s time for them to make the NBA and they don’t make it. Like, either they don’t get drafted. Or they get drafted and they ain’t built to survive where everybody’s good. You know what I’m saying? Like, you’re talented and you, you know, you got all these gifts, but everybody got that. You know, I mean, like, if you if you’re 20 years old, or 19 or whatever, and you think you either come in here and just do whatever you want against Chris Paul, Pat Bev… Like if you think you bout to come in here and have your way, you don’t get embarrassed. You know, I’m saying like… Don’t nobody care about the hype. I don’t care what your agent told you. I don’t care what your manager, whoever is the person had been handling you since 10th grade… I don’t care what they told you. Once you get up here, you got to do it. And if you’re not prepared for it or mentally build for it, you’re not gonna make it. And that’s where you see a lot of these dudes. They get here and they don’t stick because they’re not built to make it here. And a lot of that has to do with the culture of high school basketball.

Former G League player Aaron Craft retiring

Ohio State alum Aaron Craft is officially focusing on medicine, he announced via a post on his personal Twitter account. “The new chapter has begun!” he wrote, “Excited, a little nervous, and extremely grateful to start a journey I’ve thought about for so long. I’ve always liked our home white jerseys!” From the beginning of the 2019-20 season prior to the coronavirus pandemic, he revealed his intentions to retire as a player after being accepted to the medical school at Ohio State University.
Statement from ESPN senior writer Jackie MacMullan: About three weeks ago during a discussion on the podcast The Hoop Collective, I misspoke when I expressed my opinion regarding the business practices of the Indiana Pacers, and inferred that Larry Bird had been frustrated during his time as team president. It was a careless remark, based solely on my opinion, and therefore should have never been said. Larry Bird never expressed those feelings to me, and I apologize to both Larry and team owner Herb Simon for poor choice of my words.
August 6, 2020 | 9:51 am EDT Update

Kevin Durant surprised by Caris LeVert

ON CARIS LEVERT … KD was surprised at how good his new teammate is. “He is definitely better than I thought. He’s different. He can score that thing. He can pass it. He’s quick. His thing is about being efficient, and I think that’s what you’re seeing. The shots he’s taking now, it’s like all of his lane. Not a lot of threes, a lot in the mid-range, getting to the cup. I think his IQ is what surprised me the most.”
KD said he’s been playing some with other NBA players, including Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin and Allonzo Trier. “I’m playing a lot of one-on-one lately, so what comes with that is your handle is a little better, You’re more quicker with your moves. You’re less indecisive with what you want to bring out. So I’m just crafting that, that playground style of ball even more, just working out by myself or with two or three guys. “That’s the cool part about it because it’s hard to get that type of play in a regular season because you’re going through the team aspect, you’re training with the team and you want to preserve your body for the season. So if I’m playing 1-on-1 or 2-on-2s, it’s just going to help my creativity. That’s the timing thing that every injured player goes through. Just finding that rhythm again. Hopefully I gain it over time and once I get into real games it translates real fast.”
Kevin Durant and his manager Rich Kleiman have produced some interesting content through their company Thirty Five Ventures, from ESPN+ show The Boardroom to documentaries like Basketball County and Q Ball. And Durant has been a frequent guest on other podcasts, from The Bill Simmons Podcast to Pull Up With CJ McCollum to Knuckleheads (with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles) to Play For Keeps. Now, Durant and Kleiman are starting their own podcast network, and they’re teaming up with established podcasting company Cadence13 (now owned by radio conglomerate Entercom) for that. Here’s more from a Cadence13 release:
Dapper Labs has closed a $12 million funding round led by National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Spencer Dinwiddie, Andre Iguodala, JaVale McGee, Aaron Gordon and Garrett Temple, according to a press release shared with CoinDesk. The funds will be used for further development of blockchain games including the eventual launch of NBA Top Shot out of private beta, Dapper Labs founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou told CoinDesk in a phone interview. “Sports are our most important vertical now,” Gharegozlou said.
Arenas also took a shot at Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams, who said he visited the Magic City strip club in Atlanta for food after leaving the bubble in Orlando for a funeral in July. “I would never eat at a strip club. I don’t go to the strip club to eat wings,” Gilbert told TMZ. “I can go to Wing Stop for some wings. I go to the strip club to see strippers.”
August 6, 2020 | 7:54 am EDT Update

Giannis Antetokounmpo very likely to win MVP, DPOY

If you thought this vote was going to be close based on LeBron James‘ run before the league’s stoppage, think twice. Per our poll, Giannis Antetokounmpo will be the near-consensus MVP after improving his scoring, rebounding and three-point percentage numbers from a season ago. By securing back-to-back MVP awards, Antetokounmpo will join Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell as the only NBA players to do so.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 298 more rumors
What attracted you to Brooklyn? Was it Kyrie going there? Or what made you want to be there? Kevin Durant: We went together so I think we talked about it together. I think they had a young core that was hungry for success, that played in the playoffs before. They had some young coaches that was looking forward to a new experience in the NBA. You know, I felt like there was a fresh organization that needed like an extra push, you know. You get two guys that can score the basketball. It just felt right.
Storyline: Durant-Irving Dynamic
August 6, 2020 | 3:26 am EDT Update
“In this situation with the NBPA, he wasn’t the only one that had a problem with what was potentially going to happen in the bubble. Like, everybody had concerns,” Durant said. “But obviously, he’s Kyrie—the biggest one—and that’s going to sell papers. At this time, especially during the pandemic, nobody making money, so you get an opportunity to get some clicks, it’s easy to use Kyrie. But it’s 80, 90 players who had the same questions he had.” Contrary to reports that Irving organized a group of NBA players to express their disapproval for the NBA restart, KD says that things transpired in a more organic way. “Kyrie wasn’t the one, like, ‘Yo, let’s get everybody together,'” he said. “Five or six people called one another, like, ‘Oh shit, I’m feeling that way too.’ Then, another 10 people called…But Kyrie the biggest voice out of ’em all, and because he relates to everyone in the league.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Isaiah Thomas: I’m fine with being a backup, At the end of the day I want to be apart of something and when my name is called I’d be more than ready!!! That goes for any team

Storyline: Isaiah Thomas Free Agency
Chances are, if you are reading this story on Anthony, you’ve heard the noise. And chances are, several of you are part of the noise. “When we got him, everybody had something to say about him,” Blazers star Damian Lillard said. “What he gonna do defensively? … He’s older … He’s done … Where’s he gonna fit in? … How is he in the locker room? … Why didn’t it work out with these other teams?”
All that “noise” has long ago been dismissed by the 36-year-old Anthony. But it hasn’t been forgotten by his teammates, who have come to adore the player they once worshipped from afar. “I say everybody who was talking, or said something negative about him, they need to apologize, you know?” Gary Trent Jr. said. “It’s Carmelo Anthony. He went through tough times. He battled, stayed resilient and for him to come back and bounce back like it’s nothing? That’s why he’s Carmelo Anthony and why he does what he does.”
With one of the most open NBA postseasons in years, there’s no clear title favorite right now, but the LA Clippers picked up one big endorsement: Kevin Durant. “If I had to choose — and I hate doing that s— because you never know what could happen, you seen that with us last year — but if I had to choose, I’ll go with Clippers and Bucks for the championship,” Durant said on the “Play For Keeps” podcast. “And I’ll go with the Clippers.”

Gregg Popovich compares Nikola Jokic to Larry Bird

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. became only the third rookie since 2000 to post consecutive 30-point double-doubles but it was Nikola Jokic who left Gregg Popovich feeling like he had just faced a Hall of Famer. “Porter is a fine young talent,” the San Antonio Spurs coach said. “And Jokic, he’s like a reincarnation of Larry Bird. He does everything. He’s amazing. They were great.”
Bell was drafted by Chicago in the second round in 2017 and traded to Golden State on draft night. But after two seasons with the Warriors, he signed a free-agent deal with the Timberwolves last summer. Then, Bell was traded in February as part of a four-team, 12-player deal in which he was first traded to Houston and then moved to Memphis the next day. He experienced a flood of emotions as he processed the trade, and it opened his eyes to the “business” side of the NBA. “When it happened, I was down, I was sad, I wanted to cry,” Bell said. “I wanted to be mad, I wanted to cuss somebody out, I wanted to fight somebody. But I still had a chance to play basketball in the NBA. There’s not a lot of people who get to say that.”
So Zion is important and not just for the sake of the New Orleans Pelicans. The big question hanging over the league is whether he’s capable of shouldering it all. Dr. Brian Sutterer, of sports injury YouTube fame, has been watching intently and has his concerns. “He’s in a race against his own body,” Dr. Sutterer said over the phone. “If you go watch his Duke highlights compared to now, the difference is profound. In my opinion, his athleticism and conditioning have regressed substantially. He’s less explosive, less conditioned, slower on defense, has already had a portion of his meniscus removed from his knee after an injury, and he’s still under close monitoring from the medical staff.”
Storyline: Zion Williamson Injury
In a Wednesday morning telephone interview with Fox & Friends, Trump said he turned off N.B.A. games “when I see people kneeling” and “disrespecting our flag and disrespecting our national anthem.” Asked about Trump’s comments after the Lakers’ 105-86 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder later in the day, James fired back. “The game will go on without his eyes on it,” James said at his postgame news conference from the N.B.A.’s so-called bubble at Walt Disney World in Florida. “I can sit here and speak for all of us that love the game of basketball: We could care less.”

A day after delivering a pre-game history lesson on racial injustice, Gregg Popovich dove into the topic once more on Monday. This time, the Spurs head coach told reporters that Hispanics have also been the victims of systematic racism in the United States. “Black and brown people are the two major groups that suffered these injustices,” Popovich said in a Zoom media session. “Obviously, the Black population, for hundreds of years. But our brown brothers and sisters have suffered the same discrimination in a lot of ways that reflect the same system that has created such inequality in wealth across the board for Black and brown peoples,” the coach said.

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