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Iman Shumpert

I'M NOT GUMBY DAMMIT

... Ditches Signature Hairdo

7/2/2015 12:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

It's the end of an era in the NBA ... 'cause Cavs star Iman Shumpert just ditched his signature Gumby-style high top cut ... for a brand new dreaded up man bun.

Shumpert was out in L.A. with his pop star girlfriend Teyana Taylor when we noticed that he didn't bring something with him on his trip to the coast ... his one-of-a-kind hair.

Check out the clip -- Iman ... who's just signed a $40 million dollar deal with Cleveland ... says he just wanted a change and that Teyana supports his new 'do 100%.

Somewhere Chris (Kid) Reid is crying ...

J.R. Smith

Scooter Frenzy

NBA Exposure Created Bigger Boom Than Bieber

6/20/2015 12:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0619-jr-smith-phunkee-duck-finals-GETTY-01Bieber has one ... so does Jamie Foxx and Chris Brown -- but the guy who ignited the biggest sales boom of those new 2-wheeled scooters is Cavs star J.R. Smith ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

It's called the PhunkeeDuck -- a foot-controlled motorized scooter -- and Smith was often seen zooming around on one during the NBA Finals ... watched by roughly 18.5 million people. 

We spoke with PhunkeeDuck founder Max Waxman who tells us sales exploded thanks to the NBA Finals exposure ... "We did almost as many in sales as we had done in the prior 5 or 6 weeks."

And that's HUGE considering Bieber had been showing off his PhunkeeDuck to his 30 million Instagram followers and Foxx had brought his on "The Tonight Show."

"The exposure J.R. got us helped a tremendous amount. To have the whole NBA Finals audience see and talk about our product made a huge difference."

Metta World Peace

LeBron Shoulda Passed More!!!

6/17/2015 6:09 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

LeBron James was too damn ball hoggish during the NBA Finals -- and needed to share the rock with his teammates -- so says Metta World Peace.

The former NBA champ was out in Hollywood Tuesday night when we asked how he felt about the Golden State Warriors winning the whole thing in Cleveland. 

Metta made it clear he thinks LeBron is amazing ... but says, "I wish that early in the series that he would've passed to his teammates and you know ... got them in a rhythm."

"I think he could've played better with his team." 

Boom.  

Rachel Dolezal

I'm a Huge LeBron Fan!

6/16/2015 6:41 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

She doesn't just identify as black ... Rachel Dolezal also identifies as a LeBron James fan! 

Dolezal was walking through LaGuardia airport last night, where she touched down for her "Today" show interview -- when she was asked who she's got in the NBA Finals. 

So, does liking LeBron make her more black? Or more white? 

Discuss. 

Dwyane Wade

Studied LeBron

During Harvard Course

6/15/2015 4:56 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0615_lebron_dwade_tmz_instagramWhen Dwyane Wade hit the books at Harvard last week, he probably had an edge on his fellow classmates -- 'cause one of the topics was his BFF LeBron James ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

FYI -- Wade took part in a 4-day course called "The Business of Entertainment, Media and Sports" ... which required him to live on campus, eat at the student dining hall and basically study his ass off for 4 straight days. 

We're told Wade didn't coast through the course -- several Harvard faculty members tell us D-Wade was very impressive and had one hell of a work ethic.

Wade and his classmates were required to brush up on case studies on several high profile people and sports teams ... including Beyonce, Real Madrid and LeBron. 

0615_dwayne_wade_sub_instagramNFL superstar Brandon Marshall took the course last year ... and came back to speak to the 51 students in the class this year -- and today, he told "TMZ Hollywood Sports" what it takes to make the grade. 

It's no joke ... Marshall says the course is super tough and super competitive ... but he also told us the #1 thing athletes should take away from the class. 

Pay attention. 

The Game

On LeBron's Penis:

'You Gotta Get Right!'

6/12/2015 6:28 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

You can't blame LeBron James for accidentally exposing himself while adjusting his wiener on national TV ... so says The Game who says it's hard to move well when your dong's in the wrong spot. 

The rapper was out in L.A. last night when we asked about King James and his royal scepter ... and that's when Game explained why the pre-game penis shirt is absolutely imperative to an NBA star. 

In fact, Game says he can relate ... "You ever try to go outside and live your life but your package ain't in the right place? You gotta get that thing to the left side, jiggle it, you know what I'm sayin?"

Yes Game, yes we do. 

LeBron James

Royal Penis Exposed

... During NBA Finals

6/11/2015 9:52 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

LeBron James didn't go balls out in Game 4 of the NBA Finals ... he went dong out instead.

Moments before tip off Thursday night, LeBron went to adjust himself below the waist ... and it just so happened to be at the same time an ABC camera moved in for a close-up.

James opened his shorts a little too much ... and boom -- LeBron's penis was introduced to roughly 18.5 MILLION viewers.

If you really wanna see it ... click here -- but WARNING, it's a penis.

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NBA's Matthew Dellavedova

Props from Australian Ambassador

6/10/2015 8:12 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0610-matthew-cavs-australia-getty-01He is playing OUT OF HIS MIND ... and now Cleveland Cavaliers star Matthew Dellavedova is getting props from the Australian ambassador's office. 

TMZ Sports spoke to a spokesperson for Kim Beazley, the Aussie ambassador to the U.S., who tells us the entire country is pumped up and proud of the Australian-born star. 

"The ambassador is very engaged in this series," the rep tells us ... "He's watching it very closely. We all are. We're so excited."

We're told the entire office feels Matt's performance has been incredibly inspiring -- "He shows people you don't have to be 6'8" to be a great player."

But the office isn't "All In" for the Cavs ... because there's another huge Aussie star playing on the Warriors, Andrew Bogut.

"The reality is we have two Australians playing on the biggest stage, with the best players, and Australia is very proud of that. This is great for our country."

LeBron James

Generating Big $$$ For Local Biz's

'We Should All Kiss His Ass'

6/6/2015 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0604_lebron_james_sales_up_gettyLeBron James is a 1-man stimulus package in Cleveland -- with several businesses around the Cavs arena telling TMZ Sports they've been CRUSHING IT during the playoffs ... and they're all crediting #23. 

Don't forget, the Cavs didn't make the playoffs once during the 4 years LeBron was in Miami -- which means 4 years of low foot traffic for the restaurants and stores near Quicken Loans Arena. 

But with this year's run, Cleveland has already hosted an additional 7 playoff games (with more to come) ... and the 8 establishments we spoke with say the extra business has been HUGE. 

Here's what a few of the owners and managers told us.

"Every business owner, hotel, restaurant, grocery store owner ... anyone who owns a business in downtown Cleveland should be kissing [LeBron's] ass, including me."
-Owner, Zocala Mexican Grill

"It's certainly a nice bonus for local businesses and we are happy to have LeBron back here. On the day of home playoff games, I'd say business increases by more than 40 percent."
-Manager, The Greenhouse Tavern

"We just opened in the beginning of the year. One of the reasons we came to downtown Cleveland is because of the downtown boom, and a lot of that's LeBron James being back in Cleveland."
-Owner, A Bar + Kitchen

All hail the King.

Ex-NFL Lineman

Warns Kyrie Irving

... Don't End Up Like Me!

6/5/2015 8:43 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0605-lecharles-bentley-getty-01A former NFL lineman has a STERN WARNING for Kyrie Irving ... don't let the doctors pressure you into coming back early ... or you could wind up with an OBLITERATED KNEE!!!!

The man behind the warning is LeCharles Bentley ... a former 2-time Pro Bowler who played for the Cleveland Browns ... who suffered a pretty major knee injury of his own during his playing days. 

As for Kyrie -- the Cavs said he'd been suffering from a "bad case of tendonitis" over the past few weeks and wanted him to play last night. Kyrie's father had reportedly been pushing for Irving to take it easy. 

Enter Bentley ... who added his perspective on social media after the game:

"So the doc tells Kyrie it's 'just tendonitis' ... Yea, I tore my patella from having 'just tendonitis'. I tried to 'tough it out'... ."

He then posted a picture of what his knee looks like now -- and said, "Oh, 'it just tendonitis'... I'm out, about to go 'tough out' this leg workout. Could be worse! #Blessed."

Bottom line -- Bentley says, "Athletes better listen to their bodies, not Twitter & Docs."

0605-lecharles-bentley-twitter

Lebron James

All Hail The Spelling King

...Sends Swag To Spelling Bee Champ

6/2/2015 12:26 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0602-lebron-james-getty-01Game respects game ... at least when it comes to LeBron James ... who was so impressed with the kid who won the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee -- that he just sent him a whole bunch of awesome Cavs swag ... TMZ Sports has learned.

The kid who popped up on LeBron's radar -- Gokul Venkatachalam -- is a HUGE Cavaliers fan who rocked a LeBron #23 jersey underneath his button down shirt ... while dominating the spelling bee. 

A rep for the Cavs tells us LeBron and the team were so impressed by the performance ... they hooked Gokul up with a pair of Nike Lebron XII's ... inscribed with a personal message from King James ... plus a bunch of team apparel.

We spoke to Gokul, who hasn't yet received the swag ... but says he is "pumped" that LeBron and the team recognized his accomplishment.

Pretty cool, right?

0602-gokul-cavs-twitter

Mark Curry

LeBron Is DOOMED

... Steph Curry's Gonna Whoop Dat ASS

5/31/2015 12:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

LeBron James won't be "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper" anytime soon ... 'cause the star of the '90's sitcom Mark Curry tells TMZ Sports the KING has NO CHANCE against his Warriors in the NBA Finals.

Mark was at LAX when we asked the Oakland native if he's scared his hometown Warriors' championship run is in peril now that they're matched up with the Cavs -- and LeBron -- in the NBA Finals.

Check out the clip -- not only is Mark not afraid of LeBron ... he's straight up CALLING HIM OUT ... saying that Steph Curry and the boys from the Bay are gonna smack the crown right off Bronny's head (basketball wise).

Be careful, Mark ... don't count your confetti just yet.

President Obama

J.R. Smith Can't Outshoot Steph Curry

5/28/2015 10:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0528_OBAMA_GETTYPresident Obama just took a stand on the NBA Finals ... saying there's no way J.R. Smith has a chance to outshoot Steph Curry ... despite the fact Smith has been ON FIRE in the playoffs. 

Obama went to Twitter to answer some questions ... when someone wrote: 

"Can JR Smith out shoot Steph Curry and lead the Cavs to a championship?"

Obama's response -- "jr smith having a great season but the heart of the Cavs is Lebron. And no one can outshoot Curry - maybe Korver if wide open."

So far, no response from Smith ... but we're guessing it's coming. 

0528_obama_tweet_SUB_twitter

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