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DeMar DeRozan almost caused an international incident

Good morning. We have that and more in Wednesday's NBA newsletter.

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Good morning. Let's basketball.

AND ANOTHER ONE: Team USA didn't play particularly sharp basketball in Oakland on Tuesday, yet beat China by 50 in an exhibition. I'm starting to think China is going to have trouble winning games in the Olympic tournament. Meanwhile, DeMar DeRozan tried to put someone on a poster with a 360. I mean, DEMAR, that's just unnecessary. (It's so necessary.)


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ADVANCE DECISION: Why Russell Westbrook is being forced to make his free agent decision on whether to stay in Oklahoma City a year early.


WE NEED A BOUQUET, STAT: Amar'e Stoudemire is retiring after 14 NBA seasons. More on him later today. He signed a contract to retire as a Knick, but Paul Coro writes that he'll always be remembered as a Sun. Jason Concepcion waxes on STAT's Knicks legacy.

SPEAKING OF PAST-THEIR-PRIME KNICKS BIG MEN ... Chris Herring on how much the Knicks need Joakim Noah to exceed expectations to make their playoff dreams a reality.

HARK! THE AGENTS SING: Damn Portland. They gave Moe Harkless $40 million over four years.

OH OH IT'S THE MAGIC: Zach Lowe digs deep into the Magic's new plan of attack, including Aaron Gordon as a primary ballhandler.

HARRYPIN TURN: Harrison Barnes comes off as completely sympathetic in the whole Durant-to-Warriors escapade. It reads as if he's at peace with everything, and the massive piles of money will help heal any psychological wounds from being cast aside in the manner he was. But what a weird summer.

WHY YOU GOTTA BE SO RUDY: The Kings have been dangling Rudy Gay as trade bait all summer. So it's no surprise that he's mighty critical of the franchise's instability, as he is in this interview with Blake Ellington.

IN YOUR EARS: Prada and Epstein's audio tour of the NBA continues with a Lakers podcast.


CULTURE CHANGE: Mike Olson of Denver Stiffs with a long interview of Michael Malone, who is proud of changing the Nuggets' team culture in Year 1.

Happy Wednesday. See you next time.