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Tom Brady, Belichick, Kraft Call BS on ESPN Report

1/5/2018 8:18 AM PST
Breaking News

Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft have united to call BS on an ESPN report that their relationship has been fractured ... calling the report "unsubstantiated."

In a joint statement, the 3 most powerful members of the Patriots organization said:

"For the past 18 years, the three of us have enjoyed a very good and productive working relationship. In recent days, there have been multiple media reports that have speculated theories that are unsubstantiated, highly exaggerated or flat out inaccurate."

"The three of us share a common goal. We look forward to the enormous challenge of competing in the postseason and the opportunity to work together in the future, just as we have for the past 18 years."

"It is unfortunate that there is even a need for us to respond to these fallacies. As our actions have shown, we stand united."

Robert Kraft Chillin' in Hollywood Hours Before Bombshell ESPN Report

1/5/2018 6:01 AM PST

Pats' owner Robert Kraft was chattin' with TMZ Sports and hanging with fans hours before ESPN published a report about alleged issues with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick ... but Kraft didn't seem worried. 

In fact, he was smiling and letting a hotel valet take pics with his Super Bowl ring at Chateau Marmont on the Sunset Strip ... and endorsing Steph Curry and Diddy as future NFL owners. 

Of course, over in Bristol, ESPN was finalizing a report alleging a fractured relationship between Brady, Belichick and Kraft ... and questioning if the legendary dynasty has reached "the beginning of the end."

As for the report, ESPN essentially says the 3 are having major disagreements over Tom Brady's personal trainer, Belichick's coaching style and the future of the Patriots franchise. 

Kraft obviously knew the report was coming ... but didn't seem fazed one bit. 

Charles Woodson Joining Raiders Coaching Squad? 'Never Say Never'

1/2/2018 2:04 PM PST

Jon Gruden becoming the next Raiders coach ain't a done deal yet ... but if and when it happens, Raiders legend Charles Woodson says he might be open to joining his staff.

We got Woodson at LAX ... and despite him doing analyst work for ESPN, he told TMZ Sports there's no chance he'd replace Gruden on "Monday Night Football." 

But, he left the door open to coaching alongside him -- "Never say never."

It'd be a hell of a reunion -- Woodson was a Pro Bowler all 4 years Chucky coached the Silver and Black (1998-2001), and also played opposite him in Super Bowl 37 (aka the "Gruden Bowl"). 

So, if Gruden gets the gig ... coach should probably hit up Charles.

Scottie Pippen I'm Better Than LeBron ... Count the Rings!

12/20/2017 6:17 AM PST

Scottie Pippen is amending his stance on LeBron James ... telling TMZ Sports, "LeBron ain't better than me until he gets 6 titles."


Remember, it was just last week Scottie sent Stephen A. Smith's blood pressure through the roof when he told the ESPN star LeBron is "probably ahead of [Michael Jordan]" when you compare career numbers."

So, we had to follow up when we saw Pippen leaving Madeo with his wife Larsa ... and Scottie laid down the gauntlet! 

For the record, Scottie and MJ each have 6 rings. LeBron has 3. 

John Skipper ESPN Staffers 'Stunned, Saddened' ... After Resignation

12/18/2017 9:54 AM PST
Exclusive Details

Multiple ESPN staffers tell TMZ Sports they're in complete shock over John Skipper's sudden resignation and admission of substance addiction ... with everyone we spoke with telling us he was extremely well-liked.

We spoke with people from all facets of ESPN -- current talent, producers and past employees -- and the sense we get is that no one saw this coming

As one current ESPNer tells us, "People are just stunned ... a lot of us truly respected him."

"You will be hard pressed to find anyone with a negative word about him."

Another staffer told us, "I'm shocked. I liked the guy a lot." 

Moments ago, Dan Le Batard went on the air on his ESPN show and got emotional talking about how much Skipper has meant to him. 

ESPN President John Skipper Resigns, Admits 'Substance Addiction'

12/18/2017 8:12 AM PST
Breaking News

Bombshell from ESPN ... longtime president John Skipper has suddenly resigned -- and says it's to focus on a secret battle with "substance addiction."

"Today I have resigned from my duties as President of ESPN," 61-year-old Skipper said in a statement.

"I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction. I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem."

"I have disclosed that decision to the company, and we mutually agreed that it was appropriate that I resign. I will always appreciate the human understanding and warmth that Bob displayed here and always.

"I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down.

"As I deal with this issue and what it means to me and my family, I ask for appropriate privacy and a little understanding.

"To my colleagues at ESPN, it has been a privilege. I take great pride in your accomplishments and have complete confidence in your collective ability to continue ESPN's success."

Skipper is one of -- if not THE -- most powerful man in sports. He's been running ESPN since 2012. He's been with ESPN since 1997. 

J.R. Smith Debuts 'Ugly Sweater Hoodies' ... Shot at Stephen A.

12/11/2017 6:50 AM PST
Exclusive Details

J.R. Smith is taking his hoodie beef with Stephen A. Smith to the next level -- dropping brand new "ugly sweater hoodies" for the holiday season ... and TMZ Sports has the first pics. 

In the spirit of the "ugly sweater" holiday traditions -- J.R. decided to evolve the look to the hoodie ... complete with the phrase, "Merry Swishmas."

Remember, J.R. and Stephen A. beefed a few months ago when the ESPN star ripped J.R. for wearing a hoodie on the bench during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. 

Stephen A. said, "You've got a lot of those white folks in the audience that are going to think this is Trayvon Martin being revisited and I'm not joking about it. The bench is no place for someone to be wearing a hoodie."

Smith fired back on Twitter saying Stephen A. was "reaching."

J.R.'s reps at New Generation Management tell us the NBA star plans on rocking the new hoodie on Thursday (when the Cavs play the Lakers) and will offer them up for sale on Fresh Brewed Tees

Wonder what Stephen A. will think? 

Ric Flair Sues Ex-Manager You Stole My '30 for 30' Money!

11/17/2017 12:20 AM PST

Ric Flair claims he was supposed to pocket $25,000 for the ESPN "30 for 30" special on his life -- but his manager stole the money ... and now he's out for legal justice. 

Nature Boy is suing Legacy Talent and Entertainment -- the management company he used from 2009 until October 2017. 

Flair says he had a feeling something fishy was going down behind the scenes so he hired a lawyer to investigate his finances ... and realized he was missing huge amounts of cash. 

Among the missing money ... Flair says he learned Legacy Talent had received $25,000 from First Row Films, the production company behind Flair's "30 for 30" special. Flair claims he was never informed of the payment nor was given his cut. 

He also noticed a $12,000 royalty advance from Jake's Fireworks -- a company he signed an endorsement deal with earlier this year. 

Flair says he reached out to Legacy to find out why he never got the money and was told they were using the funds to pay legal bills. Flair is calling BS, saying he never authorized Legacy to do that. 

Flair says he's owed at least $46,000 -- and he wants his money back, asap. 

Report: NFL Owner on Protests: 'Can't Have the Inmates Running the Prison'

10/27/2017 7:28 AM PDT
Breaking News

7:57 AM PT -- McNair just issued a statement saying, "I regret that I used that expression. I never meant to offend anyone and I was not referring to our players."

"I used a figure of speech that was never intended to be taken literally."

"I would never characterize our players or our league that way and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it."

The owner of the Houston Texans is in hot water after reportedly saying when it comes to players kneeling in the NFL, "You can't have the inmates running the prison."

Bob McNair made the comments during an owners meeting at NFL headquarters in NYC last week, according to ESPN

But the comment didn't go unchecked -- Troy Vincent, a former NFL player who is now the NFL's Exec. V.P. of Football Operations stood up and told the group he was offended.

Vincent reportedly told McNair that he had been called all sorts of terrible slurs during his NFL career -- inlcuding the N-word -- but never felt like an "inmate."

According to ESPN, McNair later pulled Vincent aside and apologized -- explaining his words weren't meant to be taken literally. Vincent was reportedly accepting of the apology. 

Jemele Hill 'I Deserved That Suspension' ... Not Mad at ESPN

10/21/2017 8:16 AM PDT

Jemele Hill is breaking her silence -- telling TMZ Sports she doesn't blame ESPN for hitting her with a 2-week suspension over anti-Jerry Jones tweets saying ... "I put ESPN in a bad spot."

Hill was put in the penalty box for encouraging people upset with Jerry Jones' national anthem policy to boycott his sponsors. ESPN claimed her comment was a violation of the network's social media policy. Several of Hill's coworkers, celebrities, athletes and activists spoke out against ESPN ... and Hill says she appreciates all the support, but believes she was treated fairly by the network.

"I deserved a suspension," Hill told us at LAX ... "I violated the policy. Going forward we'll be in a good, healthy place." 

As for her public statements against Donald Trump ... Hill says she won't take back what she said -- but she regrets putting her show in a bad position. She's moving forward with ESPN, saying ... "I don't feel suppressed. I love ESPN as much as ever. I am okay. I feel good." 

We spoke with Hill about a ton of stuff -- which you can see in the raw video below. 

Jemele says she will return to work on Monday.

Jalen Rose to Trump: Stop Attacking Jemele Hill ... 'She's Family'

10/10/2017 12:04 PM PDT

ESPN host Jalen Rose tells TMZ Sports he wishes Donald Trump would stop going after his colleague Jemele Hill ... and focus on the "bigger issues" in our country. 

The former NBA star is one of the more prominent figures on the network -- so with Trump tweeting about his co-worker, we asked for his thoughts. 

"I just wish the President would focus on the larger issues we have to deal with in our country ... straight up, real talk ... as a tax paying citizen."

He added, "Jemele is family."

ESPN's Josina Anderson Fires Back at Trump ... Stop Attacking Jemele!

10/10/2017 6:34 AM PDT
Breaking News

One of Jemele Hill's ESPN colleagues says she's sick and tired of Donald Trump's attacks on the "SportsCenter" host ... and is publicly calling for POTUS to back off. 

Josina Anderson -- an NFL sideline reporter/insider -- tweeted, "Stop attacking our colleague Jemele Hill, any other journalists or media entities. We are doing our work."

Trump had previously tweeted that Hill was responsible for "tanking" ratings on the sports network -- this after she was hit with a 2-week suspension for comments about Jerry Jones

Josina and Jemele are pretty tight off the air -- and it's clear Josina is upset with how things are going down. 

FYI, Lindsay Czarniak‏ -- who also works at ESPN -- voiced her feelings about Hill's suspension on Monday saying, "The suspension of my friend @jemelehill is sad and disappointing on a number of levels."

Judge Mathis Jemele Could Sue ESPN ... And Win

10/10/2017 12:50 AM PDT

Judge Mathis has Jemele Hill's back in a big way -- and says if she tried to sue ESPN over her 2-week suspension, "I think she'd win."

"I support her 100% in everything she has done to express her 1st amendment rights," Mathis told us ... "and if it violates policy of ESPN then perhaps ESPN has a policy that's unconstitutional."

Mathis says he has no doubt Hill would be victorious in court -- but a nasty drawn-out legal battle could cost Jemele her career ... and she needs to decide if the juice is worth the squeeze. 

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