With Blake Griffin and the L.A. Clippers heading into the NBA Playoffs, one question MUST be answered! Or so our camera guy thought, "Hey, ask a stupid question ..."
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Lamar Odom Gets Props
For SAVING Ex-College
Star From Streets
4/4/2013 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Former college basketball star Ryan Pearson credits his entire career to Lamar Odom ... claiming L.O. rescued him from the streets when his family was poor and gave him a chance to be successful in life.
Pearson -- who was an Associated Press All America honorable mention during his stint at George Mason -- is now playing pro basketball overseas ... and believes it's only possible because of Odom's charitable support.
We spoke with Ryan's mother, Leslie Pearson, who tells us Ryan first met Lamar at a basketball event when he was 11 years old ... when Pearson's family was struggling financially.
Pearson says Lamar saw potential in him ... and knew he needed help ... so L.O. put him on a "life scholarship" and paid for Ryan to play on a traveling team, so he could develop his game and become visible to college programs.
Leslie says Lamar "paid for everything ... including team travel, team registration fees, buses, and meals. He also funded entire basketball tournaments around New York."
Leslie believes at least some of the funding came from Odom's Cathy's Kids charity.
We're told Lamar also paid for Ryan to attend a private high school so he could get a top-notch education and elite basketball coaching.
Odom's plan worked -- because Ryan was recruited by some of the top basketball programs in the country and eventually selected GMU -- where he majored in sports management.
As for the reports that Lamar is a scam artist who ran a shady charity operation, Pearson says there's no way that's possible ... because Lamar is a "saint" who only ever wanted to help people.
"Lamar always showed up to support the basketball team and he would have BBQs at his house for all the families and players."
AAU Basketball DENIES
Receiving ANY Charity Donations
4/3/2013 9:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Lamar Odom's charity, Cathy's Kids, never donated a single dollar to the AAU basketball program ... despite L.O.'s claims ... at least that's what the president of the Amateur Athletic Union tells TMZ.
We spoke to Henry Forrest ... who tells us, "Cathy’s Kids has never donated to us. They have never, ever contributed to us. On Sunday morning it was mentioned that Cathy’s Kids has contributed to AAU Basketball teams ... that is an incorrect statement."
Forrest is responding to the "Outside the Lines" report, in which ESPN showed documents seemingly proving $1.3 million of the $2.2 raised by the charity was donated to "AAU team sponsorship."
When asked about the specific programs Cathy's Kids helps to support, Odom told the reporter, "A lot through AAU basketball in my neighborhood where I come from in South Jamaica, Queens."
But Forrest tells TMZ it's simply not true -- though he does say it's possible Odom used the money to finance an independent local team that was allowed to participate in AAU events.
“It is possible that Cathy’s Kids sponsored [an independent] team that registered to play in an AAU event. But teams like this only register to play in our events, they are not affiliated with AAU."
Forrest explains, "AAU doesn’t have anything to do with local organizations that put together independent teams. We don’t manage those teams or deal with those local teams put together. They only register to play."
11:15 AM PT -- A source close to Lamar has confirmed what the AAU president suspected, telling us, “Lamar had teams he funded for their expenses for AAU sanctioned events. Money did not go directly to the AAU, it went directly to the teams for their expenses.”
Lamar Odom Is NOT
a Charity Scam Artist!!
4/3/2013 6:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Khloe Kardashian is finally coming to her husband's defense -- claiming Lamar Odom is not the shady charity scammer he was made out to be in an ESPN report.
Mrs. Odom lashed out in a statement posted on her website ... saying, "It is unfortunate that my husband has been the target of an attack on athletes’ charities, although he has personally contributed approximately $2.2 million to his foundation, Cathy’s Kids, to fulfill its charitable purposes that include helping underprivileged inner-city youth."
Khloe is clearly going after an "Outside the Lines" report that said there was NO evidence that any of the $2.2 million raised by the charity went towards cancer research, as the mission statement for the charity said it would. Instead, the report says a majority of the cash went towards two "elite" youth basketball teams.
During the "OTL" report, Lamar bizarrely explained, "It's my money" ... and now Khloe is trying to clear up Odom's comment ... saying her husband personally contributed "more than 90% of the money raised by the foundation."
She adds, "All of the funds donated by Lamar and the other contributions to Cathy’s Kids were used for one of the foundation’s intended charitable purposes. Not one penny went to help Lamar personally or any member of his family. No charitable funds were misused, and the IRS has repeatedly given Cathy’s Kids a clean bill of health, confirming that there were no improprieties."
"Cathy’s Kids was formed with several purposes in mind, including benefitting underprivileged youth and cancer research. A decision was ultimately made that the charity should focus on one of those purposes -- to help enrich the lives of underprivileged inner-city youth."
"It accomplished that goal. Cathy’s Kids helped fund multiple AAU basketball teams providing underprivileged youth with opportunities enriching their lives, providing financial support for coaching and travel to tournaments, helping inner-city youth on a path toward success and leading many participants to go on to college.”
Charity Accused of Stiffing Cancer Patients
4/2/2013 10:53 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Lamar Odom is facing allegations the tax exempt charity he created is being sketchy with its money ... and not donating ANY cash to cancer research, despite the charity's mission statement.
Lamar established the charity -- Cathy's Kids -- in memory of his mother, who died from cancer when he was 12 ... and initially stated that the purpose of the charity was to help underprivileged kids and raise money for cancer research.
But according to official records -- obtained by ESPN's "Outside the Lines" -- there is no evidence any of the money ever went to fight cancer.
There is proof, however, $1.3 million of the $2.2 million that was raised went toward funding two "elite" youth basketball teams -- the insinuation is that the kids on the teams were so good, they were already on college radars for scholarships and other financial help.
Of the remaining $900k, there is no evidence based on available documentation that any of it went to cancer research. In fact, according to OTL, there's no evidence whatsoever of where the money went.
Lamar sat down for an interview with ESPN producers -- he brushed off questions about where the money went by saying it was all his dough, despite the fact the money was raised through solicitations on his website, Khloe Kardashian's website and others.
We called reps for Lamar and Khloe -- so far, no word back.
I'm Not Banging
3/20/2013 9:13 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The Game tells TMZ, he is NOT schtupping Khloe Kardashian ... despite reports to the contrary.
Photos surfaced today showing Game and Khloe -- who's married to Lamar Odom -- hugging it out in L.A.'s Runyon Canyon Park last month ... where Game's been doing a "60 Days of Fitness" program.
You'll recall, Khloe's brother Rob Kardashian is also doing the program ... and Game tells us, Khloe is too, which is why they were hanging out.
The Game says, "The pictures that they see of us out together are because she is a part of my 60DaysofFitness team."
The Game adds, "Khloe is my friend. She is like a sister. We have never and will never be sleeping together. Lamar is my homie and her husband and I wish people wouldn’t spread such false rumors."
Member of the Lil Wayne
Celebrity Visitor Club
3/16/2013 11:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Lil Wayne had no shortage of famous visitors last night -- Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul and his wife Jada stopped by Cedars-Sinai to see how the famous rapper was doing.
Cameras also caught Drake, Weezy's protégé, visiting Wayne last night as well.
As TMZ first reported, Wayne was hospitalized twice this week for seizures. His situation was dire last night, but his condition eventually stabilized. According to our sources, Wayne went on a Sizzurp binge between his hospital visits and doctors had to pump his stomach three times to flush the drugs from his system.
I'm good everybody. Thx for the prayers and love.— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) March 16, 2013
The Perks of Losing
the Super Bowl ...
3/11/2013 7:50 AM PDT BY Johnny Lopez
San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick may not have a Super Bowl ring, but he still managed to get one perk ... courtside seats at the Clippers game on Sunday.
The 25-year-old brought along a few of his burly pals to watch the Clippers destroy the Detroit Pistons, 129 -97.
It's also fun watching other people lose.
NBA Star Ronny Turiaf
Slapped w/ THREE Tickets
... Welcome BACK to L.A.!
3/10/2013 4:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Los Angeles Clippers Star Ronny Turiaf is finally playing ball again in L.A. ... and the welcoming committee presented him with THREE traffic tickets in one day.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ, Turiaf -- who signed with the Clippers back in July after a 5-year absence from L.A. -- was driving in Santa Monica Friday when he caught the attention of cops, because Ronny was blasting music with the windows down.
Police quickly noticed Ronny's whip was one big moving violation -- his front windshield was tinted (violation), he had no front license plate (violation) and he didn't have the proper registration sticker (violation).
Ronny got three fix-it tickets -- meaning he can skate with a small fine if he corrects the problems.
Welcome to L.A.. We Love It!
Fighting Baby Mama
In Custody Case
3/5/2013 11:41 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Lamar Odom is in a New York courthouse right now ... battling it out with baby mama Liza Morales over child support and visitation ... and it must be exhausting because Lamar fell asleep on a bench in the hallway.
Lamar told TMZ ... he was exhausted with jet lag, which is why he fell into a deep sleep before the hearing. Cops actually became concerned because the Clippers star wasn't moving, so they nudged him awake.
On Liza's way out of court, we asked her if she happened to see Lamar snoozing ... and she laughed, saying, "He's tired."
In addition to child support and visitation, they're reportedly bickering over whether their son and daughter can appear on their reality TV shows. Lamar is on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." Liza was on a show called "Starter Wives."
And get this ... we asked Lamar about being in the same restaurant last night as Kris Humphries. As we reported, they didn't speak ... but Lamar told us he didn't see Kris and would have gone up to him and said, "What's up," if he knew.
Bros before ...
L.A. Clipper Ronny Turiaf
It's Not a Man Purse,
It's a Birthday Cake!
1/11/2013 4:15 AM PST BY Johnny Lopez
NBA player Ronny Turiaf has his birthday in the bag ... a fancy schmancy women's Louis Vuitton bag.
The L.A. Clipper celebrated his 30th birthday with a bash at a ritzy Beverly Hills home last night ... and a cake made to look like one of Paris Hilton's expensive leather purses.
No tiny dog was injured in the baking of this cake.
Clippers Owner's Son
Dead of Apparent OD
1/2/2013 6:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The 32-year-old son of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was found dead Sunday night.
Sheriff's Homicide Detectives were sent to a home on the 22600 block of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu around 11:30pm last night, where they found the body of Scott Sterling.
The coroner's office says he died of a possible drug overdose, but the cause of death will be confirmed by an autopsy.
No other details were immediately available.
Scott's father, Donald, bought the Clippers in 1981 for $13 million.
Story developing ...
Kim K. Pregnant
Uncle Lamar Celebrates ...
12/31/2012 4:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Lamar Odom was so excited about his sis-in-law Kim Kardashian's pregnancy announcement ... he hit the club to toast her ... by himself.
Okay ... LO was probably heading out anyway, but we caught up with him outside Greytsone Manor shortly after Kanye West dropped the baby news -- and he summed up his joy in 3 words: "Great. Great! Awesome."
Alright, it was 2 words ... with a repeat.
Lamar tweeted a few more, saying ... "There's nothing like bringing life into this world! Let's keep Gods blessings coming!
I'm excited for Kanye and my sister! There's nothing like bringing life into this world! Let's keep Gods blessings coming!— LAMAR ODOM (@RealLamarOdom) December 31, 2012
If you think it's odd he was solo -- check out the video -- Uncle LO addressed rumors about his missing wedding ring ... and he and Khloe possibly breaking up.