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Lamar Odom Blasts Stephen A. How Dare You Mock Crack Addiction?!

6/23/2017 4:24 PM PDT
Breaking News

Lamar Odom is FURIOUS at Stephen A. Smith -- and unleashed his lawyer to tear the ESPN star a new one for mocking his crack addiction on the air.

Odom's pissed at a segment from Wednesday's "First Take" -- when Smith was ripping NY Knicks president Phil Jackson for running the team into the ground and brought up the time he signed Odom. 

"His very first move as executive was to sign Lamar Odom ... WHO WAS ON CRACK," Smith said on air. The clip went viral. 

Now, Odom's attorney, Saam Zangeneh, has fired off a letter to ESPN saying, "Mr. Smith chose to jokingly disparage Lamar for a having a disease."

"Mr. Smith chose to shout out the fact that Lamar was sick, and to use his disease as the butt of a joke."

"To say that his conduct was outrageous and unacceptable does not scratch the surface."

"Imagine the effect this grotesque statement would have on any young athlete who is privately fighting this disease. To become the punch line of a vulgar joke."

Zangeneh continued, "We hope those at ESPN will actively voice their disdain for Mr. Smith's inappropriate statement and take the proper action to support those that are fighting this disease."

"We should hope that your network would use this situation as an opportunity to become more actively involved in this cause."

Stephen A. Smith released the following statement through ESPN:

"Because of my personal affection for Lamar Odom -- and only for that reason -- I want to return to my comments about something I've repeated quite often over the last few days: the flagrant ineptitude that I feel has been on continual display by New York Knick's President Phil Jackson. 

My comments were NOT to put any more focus on Lamar Odom's much publicized drug use and addiction. He was not the target of my ire.
   
The sole focus of my comments were directed at the unmitigated disaster that Phil Jackson has created since he's arrived in New York. In my opinion, he simply couldn't leave soon enough.

Lamar Odom is simply one of the nicest athletes any of us have encountered, and has always been a gentlemen to everyone in NBA circles -- including me -- which is something I've repeated throughout the years. 

That's why it's worth repeating: Lamar Odom was not the focus of my ire. My comments were entirely, totally, meant for Phil Jackson. Anyone who loves the NY Knicks, who've witnessed what has been transpiring over the last three years, know exactly who I was directing my comments to.

And Why!"

Jason Derulo Don't Blame Me for Hank Williams ... I'm Just Here for 'MNF'!!

6/10/2017 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Jason Derulo wasn't scared away from doing the "Monday Night Football" theme by the controversy surrounding Hank Williams Jr. ... because working on the song's too big to pass up.

Some people were shocked ESPN brought Hank back for 'MNF' after he was fired in 2011 for comparing Obama to Hitler. But Derulo isn't fazed by Hank's past comments ... he says he's just excited to be part of the legendary football song's revival.

Long story short -- Derulo is down to work with Hank, but when it comes to how he feels about him personally ... he's not going there. It's just business ... and all about that Monday night party.

Chris Berman Support from Big Stars ... After Wife's Death

5/10/2017 8:05 AM PDT
Breaking News

The sports world is rallying around Chris Berman after news broke that his wife died in a car wreck ... with huge stars sending their condolences and messages of support to the ESPN legend. 

Russell Wilson -- "Truly sad to hear Mrs. Kathy Berman is no longer with us. Praying for you Chris as I know you always told me she was your rock."

WWE legend Jim Ross -- "So unfortunate for the #ChrisBerman family. My sincere condolences. #KnowTheFeeling"

Buffalo Bills -- "Chris Berman has been a friend of the Buffalo Bills for many years and we are all heartbroken to learn of the passing of his wife, Kathy. We will circle the wagons for Boomer and his family."

Chris Long -- "Prayers with Chris Berman over the loss of his wife. Unimaginable."

Justin Tuck -- "Prayers to Chris Berman and his family!!"

Rob Dibble -- "Thoughts and Prayers to Chris Berman and his family, his wife Kathy passed away yesterday. RIP"

Hunter Strickland -- "Thoughts and prayers for Chris Berman and his family. Deeply saddened to hear this news."

Dick Vitale -- "Like many of u I am Heartbrokrn over the news of the tragic passing of Kathy Berman / Prayers go out to Chris & his family May she RIP"

Jamal Anderson -- "Thinking of Chris Berman and his family. Rest in peace, Kathy. Awful news."

Mike Greenberg -- "There are times when words are obviously insufficient. Thoughts are with Chris Berman and his family today. Unimaginably sad."

ESPN's Chris Berman Wife Killed In Car Accident

5/10/2017 5:55 AM PDT
Breaking News

The wife of ESPN legend Chris Berman was killed in a bad crash in Connecticut on Tuesday ... when her car slammed into another vehicle, killing both drivers. 

According to the police report obtained by TMZ Sports, 67-year-old Katherine Berman was driving her 2003 Lexus around 2:15 PM when she slammed into the back of a Ford Escape.

Officials say Katherine's car veered off the roadway and overturned into a small body of water, as seen in a photo from the scene, obtained by NBC Connecticut

The other car collided with a utility pole and landed on its roof.

The driver of the other car -- an 87-year-old man -- was transported to a nearby hospital but did not survive.

In a photo of the crash scene obtained by WTNH, you can see the other driver's car (behind the red Ford) was completely totaled.

Chris and Katherine have been married since 1983 and have 2 kids together.

Chris was reportedly at the Giants vs. Mets game at Citi Field when he was notified of the crash by NYPD officers.

ESPN President John Skipper issued a statement saying, "This is a devastating tragedy and difficult to comprehend."

"Chris is beloved by all his ESPN colleagues and for good reason: he has a huge heart and has given so much to so many over the years. We know how much his family means to him and all we can do at a moment like this is give him the love and support he will surely need at this hour."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris, Meredith, Doug and the entire family."

Byron Scott Lakers Can Be NBA Champs In 5 Years ... With Magic's Help

2/21/2017 3:25 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Byron Scott is expecting BIG things from the Lakers now that his friend, Magic Johnson, is running things -- telling TMZ Sports the Lake Show will be right back on top of the league in less than 5 years.

Scott not only coached the Lakers from 2014 to 2016 ... but he also won multiple championships with Magic during his first 10 years playing for the Lakers.

Byron and Magic are still close -- in fact, Magic wrote the foreword for his new book, 'Slam-Dunk Success.'

Which is why we also asked if Magic offered him a job with the organization -- would he take it?

Check out his answer -- and watch for a special cameo from ESPN's Rachel Nichols who issues a full-on threat to Magic if he tries to poach Scott from "The Jump."

ESPN's Brent Musburger Angrily Defends Joe Mixon Comments ... I'm Rooting for Him!

1/3/2017 6:27 AM PST
Breaking News

ESPN's Brent Musburger didn't seem to understand why people would criticize him for wishing Joe Mixon well in the NFL ... and lashed out at his critics LIVE during the Sugar Bowl. 

It all started in the 2nd quarter, when Musburger -- who was announcing the game -- said he hopes Mixon makes the most of his 2nd chance and goes on to have a career in the NFL. 

Social media went crazy asking how Brent can support a guy who brutalized a woman ... which led to Brent's very agitated response live in the 3rd quarter.

As for Mixon, he led Oklahoma to a victory over Auburn ... despite chants from the crowd of, "He Hits Women."

We reached out to ESPN for comment and got this statement: 

"We have covered this sensitive and important topic aggressively across our entities and will continue to do so. The initial discussion during the game telecast was an attempt to put everything into context and should have also included the impact on the young woman."

"Brent followed up in the second half because he wanted to reiterate and clarify how strongly he felt about the horrific actions captured on the recently released video."

Skip Bayless FS1 Trolls ESPN ... Billboards In Bristol

8/29/2016 11:15 AM PDT

Skip Bayless just left ESPN -- but he still lives on in Bristol -- courtesy of his new employer, FS1, which just put up a handful of billboards trolling the mothership right in the center of ESPN country. 

Of course, Skip recently ended his 23 year run on ESPN and is about to launch his new show, "Undisputed," on FS1 ... which debuts next week. 

Which is why it's probably no coincidence that a couple of billboards just went up on a main road near ESPN headquarters -- where ESPN staffers will undoubtedly notice them. 

By the way, the ads happen to show an image of Skip freeing a bird from its cage.

How's that for symbolism? 

Ahmad Rashad Remembers John Saunders 'Wonderful, Beautiful Man'

8/11/2016 6:28 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The sports community is reeling from the sudden, shocking death of ESPN's John Saunders -- and Wednesday night, Ahmad Rashad explained why he was so loved. 

"I did know him personally. He was a wonderful, beautiful man."

NFL legend Tony Gonzalez also talked about the broadcaster -- saying, "He was part of my childhood."

"It's a sad day."

Saunders passed away Wednesday morning at his home in NY. He was 61. 

ESPN's John Saunders Dead at 61

8/10/2016 8:07 AM PDT
Breaking News

Beloved ESPN host John Saunders has passed away unexpectedly at 61 ... this according to ESPN. 

The details surrounding Saunders' death are unclear -- but officials tell us he died in New York and there is NO suspicion of foul play. 

Saunders joined ESPN in 1986 and went on to co-host "NFL Primetime." He also anchored "SportsCenter."

ESPN tweeted, "We are heartbroken to report longtime ESPN personality John Saunders has died. He was 61."

Adam Schefter tweeted, "Sickened and saddened to hear of loss of our colleague and friend, John Saunders. What a nice man. What a great man."

Saunders is survived by wife, Wanda, and daughters, Aleah and Jenna.

Story developing ...  

Jon Gruden & Wife Rich People Problems

7/13/2016 11:27 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

What's the budget like when Jon Gruden and his wife go shopping on Rodeo Drive? Depends who you ask ... 

Check out this funny moment when Gruden's wife, Cindy, told us she doesn't keep score when hittin' the shops in Bev Hills. Clearly, Jon does. 

BTW, Gruden is reportedly the highest paid on-air personality at ESPN -- with one insider claiming he rakes in roughly $6 MILLION per year!!! 

So, budget?? Ha. 

Team USA's Christen Press I Love My Nude Pics ... But I Ain't Doing Playboy!

6/25/2016 12:10 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Team USA soccer goddess Christen Press says she LOVES the way her nude pics turned out in ESPN's Body Issue -- but says her bun-bearing days are over ... even if Playboy calls.

We got the World Cup champ out at LAX -- where she told us why she decided to bare all for the mag. 

Everyone is raving about Christen's physique -- and the pictures spread on social media like wildfire. So, we had to ask ... what did your parents think?

Check out the video -- Christen's super nice and super honest ... and super hot. 

ESPN to Bomani Jones: Please Cover Up 'Caucasian' Shirt (Update)

4/7/2016 8:56 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

11:32 AM PT -- A rep for ESPN tells TMZ Sports, "As the show progressed, we felt Bomani had made his point and had openly discussed why he was wearing the shirt, and we wanted to keep the focus to the topics of the day."

A cover-up at ESPN ... well, more a like a partial cover-up ... when Bomani Jones was asked to cover up his t-shirt that had the word, "Caucasians" printed across the chest. 

The shirt is mocking the Cleveland Indians logo -- which many people find offensive. The shirt also flips the script by replacing the image of Chief Wahoo with a blonde white guy with the dollar symbol poking out from the back of his head. 

Sources tell us, "ESPN freaked out" and asked Jones to cover up his shirt. We're told midway through the show, BJ slightly compromised and partially zipped up the front of his hoodie ... hiding part of the image. 

We reached out to ESPN for comment -- so far, no word back. 

Erin Andrews Awarded $55 MILLION In Peephole Case

3/7/2016 2:25 PM PST

2:58 PM PT -- Andrews released a statement thanking the Nashville court personnel and jury for their service. She also said, "I've been honored by all the support from victims around the world. Their outreach has helped me be able to stand up and hold accountable those whose job it is to protect everyone's safety, security and privacy."

2:50 PM PT -- Lawyers, jurors and Andrews herself have been invited to speak to the media. Press conference streaming above. 

Erin Andrews just won big in her lawsuit against Marriott ... to the tune of $55 million.

The jury divided the responsibility for paying the award ...  pervert Michael Barrett must pay just over $28 mil, and the hotel is on the hook for nearly $27 million. 

Erin was asking for $75 million, but this is a clear victory on her part. She may never see a penny from Barrett, but she'll be able to enforce the judgment against the hotel.

The jury deliberated for 6 hours before reaching a unanimous verdict. 

After the jury was dismissed, some of the jurors hugged Erin and one asked for her autograph.

Erin sued a Nashville Marriott for the stalking incident in which Barrett, secretly videotaped Erin in her hotel room. She claims the hotel was negligent by giving Barrett a room next to hers, at his request.

Barrett already pled guilty to interstate stalking and served 2 years in prison. 

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