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Lakers Owner Jeanie Buss Pumped on Lonzo Ball: 'The Future Is Bright'

7/10/2017 6:55 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Lonzo Ball made a good impression on the woman who signs his checks -- with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss telling TMZ Sports, "The future looks bright."

Buss was leaving Madeo in Bev Hills on Sunday when we asked about all the action in Vegas -- where the Lakers' summer league games are in full swing. 

FYI, summer league tix for Lakers games are in super high demand -- they face value for $30 but have been fetching $250 and more on ticket resale sites. 

We asked Buss if Lonzo is the reason for the renewed interest in the Purple and Gold -- and it's clear, she's excited about what Ball brings to her squad.

Ball stunk up the court on Friday night in his summer league debut but bounced back with a triple double on Saturday. The Lakers play again Monday night against the Kings.

Buss says she'll be in Vegas to watch that one in person.

LaVar Ball Praised By Lakers' Owner ... Loved WWE Cameo

6/28/2017 6:13 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

LaVar Ball is already making the right impression on his son's new boss -- with Jeanie Buss telling TMZ Sports the Big Baller did a "terrific job" on WWE's 'Monday Night Raw.'

The Lakers owner was leaving Craig's in West Hollywood when she dished out praise for Lonzo Ball and his dad ... and credited Magic Johnson for bringing the family on board.

"I have complete confidence that Magic Johnson has put together the pieces that we need."

She added, "Him and Rob Pelinka, our general manager, have really REALLY re-energized the roster."

The praise continued ... "Our coach, Luke Walton, is a coach that understands the modern NBA and I'm just looking forward to summer league which starts next Monday in Las Vegas!"

We also asked about her ex-boyfriend, Phil Jackson, and his situation in NY -- but Jeanie wasn't havin' it.

The Game: Lonzo Will Make Lakers Champs ... In 1 Season!

6/26/2017 6:14 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The Game has a message for LeBron James ... GET ON THE LONZO BALL BANDWAGON!!!

Seriously, Game tells TMZ Sports the Lakers rookie will bring a 'chip to L.A. in ONE SEASON -- and advises LeBron James to come to join the Purple and Gold squad so he can be a part of the magic. 

When asked if he thinks Lonzo would play second fiddle to LeBron, Game shot back -- "Lonzo don't need no help."

LaVar Ball (and Grandpa Ball) is LOVIN' this clip. 

Grandpa Ball LaVar Learned Everything From Me!

6/23/2017 1:24 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Here he is ... the man who REALLY created the Big Baller empire -- Grandpa Ball -- and he's spilling some family secrets to TMZ Sports

LaVar's dad was at LAX after returning from the NBA Draft -- and says LaVar treated the entire Ball family to one of the best meals of their lives after Lonzo Ball got picked #2 by the Lakers. 

"I had the best of everything!" 

Grandpa says he couldn't be more proud of his son and grandson -- but revealed some interesting differences about his parenting style. 

He also revealed his nickname for his son -- and why he doesn't call him "LaVar" like everyone else. 

It's great video ... and he even dishes out some words of wisdom for Lonzo when it comes to money. 

Lonzo Ball I'm A Laker ... Officially!

6/22/2017 4:47 PM PDT
Breaking News

It's official -- Lonzo Ball is an L.A. Laker!!

The ex-UCLA Big Baller was selected with the #2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft ... and now dad LaVar Ball can rest easy knowing his son will suit up for the Purple & Gold next year.

In case you've been living under a rock for the past few months, LaVar constantly guaranteed that L.A. would pick Zo ... and even told us earlier this week that it was a sure thing.

Let the games begin.


Shaq To Knicks: Keep Porzingis 'Trade Everybody Else'

6/21/2017 5:59 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

If you're a NY Knick who's NOT from Latvia, pack your bags ... 'cause Shaq thinks it's time for you to go. 

The NBA legend was at an American Express Teamed Up event in NYC on Tuesday when we asked about reports that Phil Jackson is taking calls about possibly dealing away Kristaps Porzingis

"Keep Porzingis and trade everybody else around him," Shaq said. 

"Try to build around him. This kid's got a great future."

We also asked Shaq how he felt about the Lakers most likely taking Lonzo Ball with the #2 pick in Thursday's NBA Draft (despite some back and forth trash talk with his dad, LaVar). 

Shaq's all for it ... "He's a great player. He makes his teammates better."

Stay tuned ...

Gunnar Peterson Lays Out Gym Plan for 'New Lakers'

5/29/2017 12:35 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Get the ice ready, 'cause the Lakers' new strength and conditioning director, Gunnar Peterson, says he ain't playing around when it comes to getting the squad in championship shape. 

Peterson -- who trained the Kardashians, Magic Johnson and some of the biggest stars in the world -- tells TMZ Sports he plans on making an immediate impact with his customized gym plan. 

"The new Lakers will be very different from what people are expecting."

He also has BIG hopes for Lakers star Brandon Ingram -- saying he's followed BG's career from Duke and claims the guy is a "special athlete."

"I'm gonna make sure he upholds the standard that I know he's capable of."

No pressure! 

Magic Johnson Lavar Ball Is Like Kris Jenner ... Here's How

5/25/2017 8:54 AM PDT

Magic Johnson says LaVar Ball reminds him of Kris Jenner ... and that ain't a bad thing.

Johnson was asked about LaVar Ball when he joined 'Afternoons with Marcellus and Kelvin' on ESPN radio ... and not only did he compare L.B. to Kim Kardashian's mama, Magic said he's got no problem with Papa Ball.

"The Kardashians, we didn't say the mom was bad. She made them a lot of money, right? She bragged on her daughters. And I think it's the same here. He's saying, 'hey, my son is great.'"

"There's nothing bad with that. We're not looking at LaVar being a problem if we're blessed to have an opportunity to draft Lonzo."

And Magic isn't the only Lakers decision maker to endorse LaVar. Lake Show head coach, Luke Walton, told TMZ Sports earlier this week LaVar's big personality doesn't scare him ... 'cause his own dad was a character.

Lonzo to the Lakers is lookin' more and more like a sure thing.

L.A. Lakers Hire Kim Kardashian's Trainer ... New Strength Coach

5/24/2017 12:10 PM PDT

The Los Angeles Laker's asses might be bustin' out the back of their shorts next year ... 'cause the team just hired Kim Kardashian's personal trainer (ass guru) Gunnar Peterson as their new strength coach.

Kim ain't the only famous client Gunnar has trained. He's worked with The Rock, Khloe KardashianKate BeckinsaleCiaraAntonio Brown, and Russell Wilson ... to name a few.

The team announced the hire Wednesday morning ... saying "Peterson will design and implement a strength and conditioning program for the team with the goal of keeping the players performing at elite levels throughout the NBA season."

Of course, we all know the Kardashians love it when NBA players perform at elite levels!

Charles Oakley Carmelo + Lakers = Bad Fit Wouldn't Make Playoffs

5/22/2017 3:25 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Charles Oakley says Carmelo Anthony should stay far away from the Lakers when he looks for a new NBA home ... telling TMZ Sports, the future ex-Knick needs to play for a contender.

There have been rumors that L.A. could be a destination for the All-Star ... who has final say in where he plays 'cause of a no-trade clause in his contract.

Oak was leaving Catch in L.A. when we brought up the possibility of Melo joining the Lake Show ... and if that'd be a good fit for Anthony and the organization.

Hell no, Oak says ... 'cause Carmelo needs to play for a title contender, and L.A. just ain't got the pieces ... even with Melo on the squad.

We also got Oakley's opinion on Lonzo and LaVar Ball ... and, unlike previous ballers like Dennis Rodman, C.O. is fully supportive of the Ball fam.

Luke Walton LaVar Ball Doesn't Scare Me My Dad's A Character Too!

5/22/2017 7:03 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Lakers coach Luke Walton ain't scared of LaVar Ball ... telling TMZ Sports the big personality on Lonzo's dad isn't an issue 'cause Walton's already dealt with a celebrity papa ... his own dad, Bill.

We got Luke at the Tour de Pier charity event in Manhattan Beach and talked to him about the most discussed family in basketball (maybe ever) ... and whether anything LaVar does turns Luke off as a coach.

The Big Baller had a hell of a week last week, getting into a televised sparring session with a TV host, and making remarks about Kyrie Irving's upbringing that some thought crossed a major line.

None of it seems to bother Walton ... he GUSHED about Lonzo when we brought him up, saying whatever team gets him is going to get better, and reminding us his own dad was a "big personality."

That #2 pick is starting to look like a sure thing.

Kobe Bryant Bails H.S. Kids Out Of Final Exam 'He Made My Day!!'

5/19/2017 10:41 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

For a guy who wasn't big on passing ... Kobe Bryant delivered a HUGE assist to a high school class in Indiana by bailing them out of their final history exam!!

Here's the deal ... Ben Davis H.S. senior, William Pate, got his U.S. Govt. teacher to agree to cancel the final exam if he get could Kobe to publicly acknowledge him on Twitter. 

Sounds impossible, right? Wrong. 

Kobe saw Ben's online plea -- and Tweeted at him saying, "Hope you have an A in this class."

The teacher held up his end of the bargain and gave the entire class a "Get Out of Finals Free" pass. As you can imagine, Pate's become a local hero. 

Byron Scott LaVar Has Huge Ego ... But Magic Can Handle Him

5/19/2017 8:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Magic Johnson will keep LaVar Ball in line while Lonzo is tearing it up in L.A. ... so says former Lakers coach Byron Scott who tells TMZ Sports Magic is too tough to fear the Balls.

It's the million dollar question right now ... is Lonzo's basketball artistry worth having to deal with LaVar every day? Scott said yes when we talked to him, and the reason he gave us was 6'9".

"If he's there at the #2 sport you gotta draft him. Earvin 'Magic' Johnson and Jeanie Buss are very strong minded people. I think they can handle Mr. Ball and his big ego."

Here's the thing, Scott ain't exactly a fan of LaVar, who he said is "sticking his foot in his mouth" when it comes to his son's playing career, but still thinks Lonzo's the best option for the Purple & Gold.

... unless the Celtics take him first.

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