It's not just the Lakers who will take a hit with Kobe Bryant out the rest of the season -- local L.A. restaurants are also concerned ... telling TMZ Sports business is significantly slower when the Mamba isn't on the court.
FYI -- Staples Center is located right next to L.A. Live ... a major entertainment center packed with restaurants often trafficked by people before and after events at the arena.
But with Kobe going down with a torn rotator cuff, several restaurant staffers tell us everyone is going to suffer.
We spoke with Mike Zislis -- owner of Rock ‘N Fish at L.A. Live -- who tells us, "We feel like we’re gonna lose at least 10 percent of our sales per home game."
"Last year when Kobe was out we calculated we lost $250k in revenue," Zislis says, noting that Kobe only played in 2 home games during the '13-'14 season.
"Lakers fans generally spend more than Kings or Clippers fans so when they suck and Kobe isn’t there to draw fans, it hurts."
We also spoke with staffers at Katsuya at L.A. Live who echoed Mike's statements. One staffer told us, "When Kobe is out, the restaurant is empty and business is slow. It sucks for the staff because less people equals less tips."
Of course, there's one simple solution to the problem -- the Lakers could go on a winning streak and bring the fans back to the arena.
No pressure Swaggy P.
Byron Scott Divorce
Wife Demands Baller Lifestyle
I Can't Live Without My Gucci!
1/15/2015 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
She lived the Gucci lifestyle before the divorce ... and now Byron Scott's wife is demanding the Gucci lifestyle AFTER the split too -- telling a judge the Lakers coach needs to pay up so she can continue to live like a BOSS!
We broke the story ... Byron filed for divorce from his college sweetheart Anita Scott last year after 29 years of marriage -- right before he signed a $17 million contract with the Lakers.
But Anita says they were living large way before the Lakers gig -- and in new court docs obtained by TMZ Sports, she spells out why Scott needs to open up his checkbook.
Here's a sample of the life Anita says she was accustomed to during her marriage to Byron:
-- Anita says the couple lived in several insane cribs over the years (8 bedroom pad in NJ, 7 bedroom house in New Orleans, swanky 4 bedroom penthouse in Cleveland).
BALLER SHOPPING SPREES
-- Anita says she "regularly" bought clothes from Chanel, Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton ... with no specific dollar limit.
-- Anita says she dropped at least $600 every six weeks for hair upkeep ... and $500-per-month on manis, pedis and massages. Plus another $400-per-month on facials and "other personal maintenance."
-- The Bahamas. Once a year. First class airfare. Suites at top-rated resorts. Oh, and they'd often pay for additional family members to join along.
Anita says she needs spousal support asap, since she doesn't have a job and is living in a cramped 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom condo in Culver City which is "not comparable to the lavish and spacious homes we purchased during the marriage."
Quadruple Rabbi Blessing
... Before Beating Lakers
1/15/2015 12:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Look closely at the photo above ... one of these guys is a professional NBA player.
The other 4 dudes are rabbis ... who have a stellar reputation for blessing athletes before big games.
Which could be why Dwyane Wade made a kosher pit stop before the Miami Heat took on the Lakers in L.A. on Tuesday.
TMZ Sports has learned ... the Heat used the facilities at the JEM Community Center in Beverly Hills to warm up hours before their game. And before they left, Wade met up with Rabbi Hertzel Illulian ... who offered up a "quadruple rabbi blessing" before the game.
Turns out ... the Jews came through -- with the Heat beating the Lakers 78-75.
The win brings the rabbis to 2-0 when it comes to blessing NBA players -- after bestowing a "triple rabbi blessing" on Kevin Durant last year before he went on to beat the Clippers in the playoffs.
Ex-Laker Kareem Rush
Sings 'Stay With Me'
... From His Kitchen
1/14/2015 5:14 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Coming to you from his kitchen ... in a tank top ... former L.A. Lakers baller Kareem Rush singing Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" -- and dude can definitely hit the high note!
As we previously reported, Rush is laser focused on growing his music career -- something he's been passionate about for years. In fact, Rush dropped a single back in 2010.
Now, with a new album on the way ... Rush put his pipes on display on "TMZ Hollywood Sports" -- busting out a ridiculously tough song with no warm-up, no backing track and only basement level acoustics.
Check out "TMZ Hollywood Sports" on Reelz -- weekdays 6PM ET, 3PM PT.
I'm Just Like Timberlake
... The Next Big Pop Star
1/14/2015 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
His days with the Lakers are over ... but ex-NBA player Kareem Rush is still gunning to sell out the Staples Center ... as the next big superstar in pop music.
The 34-year-old tells TMZ Sports he's focusing on a singing career -- "I'm a cross between Timberlake and Maxwell."
Rush has been working on his craft for years ... and even dropped a single back in 2010 ... before he officially retired.
But now that he's done hoopin', Rush says he's putting everything he's got into music -- and plans to drop a brand new album later this month.
In fact, Rush says he also has his sights set on getting another ex-NBA player to join him in the studio ... one of the biggest stars in the history of the sport.
Steve Ballmer Can Dance!!
Better Moves Than Me!
1/8/2015 7:01 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
It got all "Stomp the Yard" in the Staples Center last night ... when Clippers owner Steve Ballmer busted out some EPIC dance moves during the game ... and Magic Johnson LOVED IT!!!
It all went down when Fergie came out to perform during the Clips vs. Lakers game ... when the music took hold of Ballmer's body ... and the body parts began to fly!!!
"That's an owner who can dance and own the team all at the same time," Magic told us on his way out of the arena. "He got better moves than me!"
Lakers' Jesse Buss
Are You Drunkenly Urinating In Public?
12/29/2014 6:18 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Here's video of Los Angeles Lakers part-owner Jesse Buss stumbling out of a Hollywood nightclub early Monday morning ... and it sure looks like he stopped to pee on a dumpster on the way out.
The 26-year-old -- who is also the team's Director of Scouting -- was being helped out of Greystone Manor by friends just after 1AM when he stopped ... and spent some time pressed against a dumpster in the parking lot.
So, was Jesse taking a whiz?? You can see what appears to be the classic "dip and zip" move as he finishes up ... but we can't be certain.
Eventually, Jesse finishes up whatever it was he was doing and makes his way to a car ... and a flock of attractive females follow. It appears some got in the car. One was definitely turned away.
Another piss poor night for the Lake Show.
L.A. Lakers Player
Drops $200k on Aston Martin
... Merry Xmas to Me!
12/25/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Swaggy P ain't the only Lakers player rollin' around on some fresh new wheels ... TMZ Sports has learned teammate Wesley Johnson just dropped $205k on a pimped out Aston Martin!!
We're told ... the 4th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft recently hit up Roadstarr Motorsports in L.A. looking to get a Christmas gift for himself.
He picked out a 2014 Aston Martin Rapide -- 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds -- and customized it with a pearl white paint job that featured a matte black center.
The interior ... burgundy Italian leather with white stitching -- plus 10-inch monitors on the back of the front seats.
Plus ... 20-inch rims (we're told Wesley was adamant about dubs.)
Who needs Santa when you've made $13 million playing basketball???
Iggy Won Xmas This Year
'I Can't Top Her Gift'
12/23/2014 6:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
If Christmas is a battlefield ... Nick Young is France -- 'cause he just surrendered in the war for the best Xmas gift after his GF Iggy Azalea hooked him up with a sick classic car.
The Lakers star was rollin' around L.A. in his brand new '62 Chevy Impala -- which Iggy delivered to him outside the Lakers facility Monday -- when we asked if it was even possible to top Iggy's gift.
The short answer ... no ... and Nick knows it -- admitting that she "won" the holiday gift exchange this year.
Swaggy also had some things to say about Kobe Bryant. Check out the clip ...
I'M HIS SECRET LOVECHILD
... Woman Claims
12/22/2014 5:31 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The war over Jerry Buss' fortune just took a shocking turn -- with a mysterious woman claiming she's the secret daughter of the late Lakers owner ... but Jerry's family is calling B.S.
According to heavily redacted legal docs filed in L.A. County Superior Court, the woman describes herself as an "omitted child" ... who is entitled to just as much of Jerry's estate as his other 6 children.
It appears from the docs that the woman claims she's the oldest of Jerry's children ... but all of the details about why she's convinced she's the fruit of his loins is redacted in the legal papers.
However, the woman has met staunch resistance from Jerry's most famous daughter, Jeanie Buss -- who filed legal docs of her own calling the woman a liar who deserves JACK SQUAT.
Of course, Jerry was reportedly worth in excess of $600 million -- so there's a lot of money on the line.
A hearing on the matter is set for Tuesday morning -- and a judge could decide if the mystery woman has a leg to stand on. Stay tuned ...
Nick Young's Xmas Gift ...
A BRAND NEW CAR!
12/22/2014 3:27 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Santa Claus ain't got nothin' on Iggy Azalea ... who just hooked up Nick Young with one helluva Christmas present -- a 1962 Chevy Impala ... complete with a red bow.
Iggy personally delivered the ride to Swaggy P outside the Lakers practice facility -- where Nick got the chance to show off his new whip in front of all his boys.
No word on how much Iggy paid for the ride ... but some '62 Impalas have been appraised around $100k.
Question is ... how's Nick gonna compete with that?
Taps 'Project Runway' Designer
... For Xmas Card Dress
12/22/2014 9:02 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Vanessa Bryant takes her Christmas card photo VERY SERIOUSLY -- so seriously in fact that Mrs. Mamba tapped one of the top designers from "Project Runway" to make her dress.
Kobe Bryant's wife called upon MTCostello -- who has designed clothes for huge stars like Beyonce and Ariana Grande.
They got together and picked out MTCostello's signature "Black Widow" gown -- which comes with a $6,500 price tag!!
Vanessa had flirted with a bronze version of the dress during an earlier fitting ... but ultimately, decided to go with black.
Sources close to the situation tell us ... Vanessa has always been passionate about Xmas cards. As one person put it, "She takes great pride and puts great thought into celebrating because she's very religious."
Kobe, Hit Me Up!
I Can Save Your Season
12/20/2014 12:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Master P has a sure fire plan to turnaround this painful Lakers season -- just give him a little run, and he'll do what Kobe Bryant hasn't been able to do ... not yet, anyway.
Mr. "Make Em' Say Uhh" told us he can provide something for the Lake show no one else can. Master P even called out the Mamba, saying ... "I played against Kobe. He knows what's up!"
It's true ... P did play in a couple of NBA preseasons with the Hornets and Raptors in the late '90s. We're guessing Kobe doesn't remember much about their match ups.
Still ... the Lakers season couldn't get worse, right? Check out P's plan -- and also his take on athletes repping the "I Can't Breathe" t-shirts. Solid perspective.