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

2/21/2017 3:25 PM PST

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

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

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

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

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. 

Keith Olbermann SUSPEND HOPE SOLO U.S. Coach Is a Disgrace

6/10/2015 7:26 AM PDT

Hope Solo should be suspended from the U.S. Women's soccer team IMMEDIATELY ... in the wake of the allegations stemming from her domestic violence arrest ... so says ESPN's Keith Olbermann

K.O. went off on Solo -- and the honchos at Team USA women's soccer ... essentially saying it's a DISGRACE that no one in the organization has taken any action against the goalie. 

In fact, Olbermann says Team USA coach Jill Ellis and and U.S. soccer president Sunil Gulati are the "worst possible role models." 

As we previously reported, Solo allegedly TRASHED police officers during her 2014 domestic violence arrest ... calling one cop a "bitch" and telling him she'd "kick his ass" if she wasn't in handcuffs.


Jay Z Has Insane Advantage At Fantasy FB ... Says ESPN Expert

6/4/2015 2:59 PM PDT

Jay Z might be the GREATEST fantasy football player alive ... so says ESPN's Matthew Berry ... who says the rap mogul might have more inside information than anyone else in the fantasy game. 

FYI -- Berry is a fantasy football god ... one of the top FF experts in the world. In fact, he's been invited to Jay's live draft for the past 3 seasons in a row. 

So, why does Hova have such an advantage? 

"He knows EVERYONE in the league. There's no one he can't text to get info," Berry says. 

The clip is great -- Berry also lists the ballers that Jay has invited into his ultra-exclusive league. 

BONUS -- Berry also gives some tips on who YOU should take in your fantasy draft ... and his #1 pick is a surprise while not being a surprise at all. 

'Around the Horn' Star Scores Gig on 'Good Morning America'

4/10/2014 6:31 AM PDT
Breaking News

The rise of "Stat Boy" continues -- Tony Reali has just been called up to NYC where the host of ESPN's "Around the Horn" will now be featured on "Good Morning America."

Reali -- who started off as the research guy on "Pardon the Interruption" -- has signed a new gig to cover social media on "GMA." 

To accommodate his new job, "Around the Horn" will move from from Washington D.C. to NYC ... where it will be taped in a new studio close to the "GMA" building.

Reali told the Hollywood Reporter, "I love sports and I love ESPN, but there's a lot outside of sports that I like, too."

ESPN Announcer Did He Drop an F-Bomb During NBA Broadcast?

3/8/2014 11:30 AM PST

During last night's game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Chicago Bulls, ESPN's Jon Barry either dropped a very causal F-bomb or ... well, we really don't have another option.

As Grizzlies center Marc Gasol drained a midrange jumper, Barry remarked, "four f**king jumpers he's knocked down."

It's possible Barry said something else (one site postulated he was trying to say "flat-footed" jumpers), but it's clear he got a little tongue-tied.

[h/t the ironically named Fire Jon Barry]