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Metta World Peace

Kobe Won't Call Roy Hibbert

... Until He Proves Himself

7/28/2015 12:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Kobe Bryant is NOT the Lakers welcoming committee -- and won't call new teammates like Roy Hibbert and Lou Williams until they EARN a phone call ... so says Metta World Peace

Metta knows what he's talking about -- he played with Kobe for years ... and says it's not Kobe's responsibility to call the new guys and make them feel welcome. It's on them to prove they belong. 

BTW -- this all stems from the Lakers introductory news conference when Roy, Lou and Brandon Bass were asked if Kobe had reached out ... and the response was awkward silence. 

So ... no. 

But it's not just Kobe who busts out the cold shoulder for newbies -- Metta says notorious nice guy Tim Duncan gave a 19-year-old Tony Parker the silent treatment for AN ENTIRE YEAR until the pup earned his stripes.

We checked ... it's true. Damn, Timmy so cold.

New Lakers

Kobe Who??

7/22/2015 1:59 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Three new Lakers were silenced by Kobe Bryant ... or at least a question about Kobe -- and the video is super awkward.

The Lakers held a news conference to introduce Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams, and Brandon Bass to the media -- and, naturally, one of the first questions was Mamba-related: "Any of you guys heard from Kobe, and if so, what did he say?"

Y'know when they say silence is deafening? This clip is full-on Helen Keller.

Apparently, these guys have learned the first rule of the Kobe Club.

6'9" Mitch Kupchak

Lakers G.M. Flies Southwest

... At Least I'm In 'Group A'

7/13/2015 8:37 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

He's worth MILLIONS, but Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak saved a couple of bucks this weekend by stuffing himself into a coach seat on Southwest airlines ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

Kupchak -- along with other members of the Lakers staff -- flew from LAX to Vegas ... where the team played against the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA summer league game. 

By the way, Kupchak is 6'9" tall -- so it's a tight squeeze, even for a 45 minute flight!!!

The good news -- Mitch was the second guy on the plane so he was able to lock down the emergency exit row ... scoring himself a few extra inches.   

But here's where things get interesting ... Lakers part-owner Jim Buss was also at LAX that day to fly to Vegas -- but did NOT get on the same Southwest flight. 

Private jet, perhaps?? 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Car Crash at UCLA

... Wearing Lakers Jersey

7/7/2015 7:03 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0707-kareem-abdul-jabar-accident-tmzKareem Abdul-Jabbar is having a rough year ... the NBA legend got into a car wreck at UCLA yesterday ... and TMZ Sports has the pics. 

Kareem was arriving to UCLA Medical Center, where he underwent quadruple bypass surgery earlier this year, when he got into a collision with another vehicle. 

Sources connected to the Hall of Famer tell us he's doing OK -- no major injuries -- and it appeared the other person in the wreck was also fine. 

People recognized Kareem at the scene ... not just because he's huge, but also because he was wearing his old Lakers jersey at the time of the crash. 

Cops showed up ... but we're told there were no major issues, just your usual fender bender. 

update_graphic_red_bar10:04 AM PT -- Kareem's rep tells us, "Kareem is fine and was not injured, but his car was severely damaged. The accident was caused by the other person -- not Kareem."

Phil Jackson

Porzingis Is a Good Investment

7/2/2015 6:38 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

NY Knicks honcho Phil Jackson seems to be VERY AMUSED by all the criticism surrounding Kristaps Porzingis -- but says when push comes to shove, the Latvian is a good investment. 

Jackson was having dinner with coach Derek Fisher at Ago in West Hollywood last night ... when we brought up the #4 pick in the draft. 

Check out the clip ... long story short, Jackson says ... "Porzingis is some stock to invest in."

Fisher agrees -- and says he likes the guy ... and hopes he has a nice long career. 

Sidenote -- We also asked Jackson about L.A. Dodgers star Yasiel Puig and reports that his teammates don't like him.

Jackson makes it clear he's a fan of the guy -- but when we brought up criticism Puig's getting for having a temper, Phil chalked it up to his Cuban heritage ... "it's part of their thing."

The Game

I Dropped $40,000

On Lakers Floor Seats!

6/30/2015 8:01 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

The celebrities are finally feelin' the Lakers again -- especially The Game who tells TMZ Sports he just dropped $400,000 on courtside seats!!!!

Game was leaving Playhouse nightclub in Hollywood this week when someone asked him to sign a basketball (he's a huge hoops fan). 

But instead of inking his own name, Game signed the name of L.A.'s top draft pick -- saying, "I'm putting my money on D'Angelo Russell!"

He even added the number "5" -- and said that's what D.R.'s  jersey should be. 

As for the seats, Game says he believes in the team so strongly, he bought 4 courtside season tickets -- which sell for $2,500 a pop.

No pressure, D'Angelo. 

Brian Shaw to Lakers Rookie:

Might Need to 'Bow Down' to Kobe

... Over 'Rapist' Tweet

6/26/2015 2:29 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

How should newly drafted Lakers rookie Larry Nance Jr. deal with the fact he called Kobe Bryant a "rapist" on Twitter back in 2012?? 

He might need to "bow down" and beg for his forgiveness ... so says Bryant's former teammate Brian Shaw

Shaw -- who played for the Lakers from '99 to '03 -- acknowledged things are gonna be awkward between the two players when we saw him at LAX on Friday ... but he says the real lesson is simple:

"You just gotta be careful what you put out there ... 'cause it always comes back."

Lil Wayne

'Lakers Fan Til I Die'

6/17/2015 9:03 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

"Ya'll know you won the Finals tonight if you're a Golden State Warriors fan ... but f**k all that n***a, I'm a Laker 'til my mother f**kin' death baby!"
           -- Lil Wayne

Weezy was performing at Heat Ultra Lounge in Orange County, CA Tuesday night when he started talkin' basketball ... while smokin' on (what appears to be) a fat blunt. 

Weezy's from New Orleans ... but has said he's been a die-hard Lakers fan ever since Kobe joined the squad. The two have become pretty tight over the years.  

Might be a good time for to be a rich Lakers fan, 'cause with Jack Nicholson's enthusiasm for the team fading ... there might be some good courtside seats available next season. 

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Jahlil Okafor

Crushes Lakers Private Workout

'He Could Be One Of The Best'

6/10/2015 12:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0610-jahlil-okafor-getty-01The crush between Jahlil Okafor and Los Angeles is a full on love affair now ... 'cause sources within the Lakers organization tell TMZ Sports Jahlil MURDERED his private workout with the team today.

We spoke with a high ranking source in the Lakers organization who tells us the team put Jahlil through an up close and personal workout this morning -- just like they did with Kobe back in '96 -- and the 19-year-old was nothing short of spectacular.

"Just off what we saw out of today’s workouts, Jahlil has the potential to not just be one of the best big men in the league but one of the best to put on a Lakers jersey."

In fact ... we're told that the team is so enamored  with Okafor that they plan to have reps spend the entire day with him ... culminating with a wine and dine sesh at a fancy L.A. restaurant later tonight.

That number 2 pick is looking like a wide open slam dunk ... unless of course you're Marreese Speights.

Jahlil Okafor

Runnin Thru L.A. With His Woes

... At Swanky Rooftop Party

6/9/2015 10:16 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0608-duke-players-TMZ-SPORTS-01Good news Lakers fans ... potential 2nd pick Jahlil Okafor looks right at home in the SoCal sun ... chillin' with his college teammates at an upscale L.A. rooftop party this past weekend.

Jahlil, along with fellow Dukies Tyus Jones, Amile Jefferson and Matt Jones hit up the rooftop pool of the very swanky SLS hotel in Beverly Hills this past Saturday, partying with celebrities like Too Short, and Charlamagne Tha God.

We're told the crew had some lovely ladies in their cabana, but there was no drinking and the guys mostly just chilled out and kicked back while things got crazy at the pool.

As for Jahlil, he has a workout this week with the Lakers ... but let's face it, the team could use all five guys.

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Karl-Anthony Towns

Lunch With Lakers Prodigy

'I'd Love To Play With Kobe'

6/5/2015 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Pay attention Lakers fans ... you could be looking at the future of the Purple and Gold -- 'cause Karl-Anthony Towns is in L.A. and just had a meal with Lakers prodigy Julius Randle.

Here's the backstory ... it's still unclear who will fall to the Lakers at pick #2 of the upcoming NBA Draft -- but most believe it's between Towns and fellow college hoops phenom Jahlil Okafor.

Which is why it was interesting to see Towns in Beverly Hills at Il Pastaio having lunch with Randle on Thursday -- who, like Towns, played his college ball at the University of Kentucky.

Both guys insisted the lunch wasn't a recruiting meal ... but Towns told us he'd love to play with a "legend" like Kobe Bryant.

We also asked how he felt about possibly going to Minnesota. Check out what he said. 

The NBA Draft is June 25th -- stay tuned.

Nick Young

Married Life Is Gonna Be Boring

6/2/2015 3:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Nick Young's days of raging and having fun are over ... 'cause now that he's engaged to be married, Swaggy says he's trading in the fast life -- for bingo. 

Moments after he proposed to Iggy Azalea, Young shot a video talking about what his life is going to be like after trying the knot. 

"I've retired my jersey man, I'm done. I'm gonna go play bingo and cards ... that's my life now."

Moments later, one of Nick's friends poured out some liquor for Nick -- saying, "To my dead homie."

Soooo ... congrats!? 

#R.I.(swaggy)P.

Iggy Azalea

I'M ENGAGED

Lakers BF Proposes At BDay Party

6/1/2015 10:25 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

Iggy Azalea is officially on her way to becoming Mrs. Swaggy P-- her NBA star boyfriend Nick Young popped the question ... and she said, "Yes!"

It all went down at Nick Young's 30th birthday party Monday night -- with the L.A. Lakers star getting down on one knee and busting out a fat 10 carat yellow diamond ring. 

The two started dating back in 2013 -- for their first date, Nick took her to a Target to go shoppping.

From there, they hit it off quickly -- with Nick once taking her home from a club and bragging, "What I'm about to do with this shouldn't be legal!"

Soooo ... congrats!!!

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