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Lamar Jackson I'm Excited to Learn from RG3

4/27/2018 6:10 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Lamar Jackson is STOKED to be on the same team as another Heisman Trophy winner -- telling TMZ Sports he can't wait to LEARN from RG3

After Jackson was selected by the Baltimore Ravens with the 32nd pick in the draft, Lamar was hanging with his family in Dallas and celebrating the moment. 

There's talk that there could be some tension between Jackson and Robert Griffin III because of their similar playing style -- but Lamar doesn't see it that way at all ... describing RG3 as more of a mentor. 

Jackson also says Kobe Bryant sent him a signed Lakers jersey as a show of support before the draft -- and now, he can't wait to return the favor ... and hook Mamba up with some signed Ravens threads. 

Pretty great stuff. 

Derek Fisher Proposes to Gloria Govan ... She Said 'Yes!'

4/24/2018 10:03 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

11:48 AM PT -- Matt Barnes has weighed in on the engagement ... saying he's happy for EVERYONE involved!

"I have two beautiful boys from my ex we are both focussing on co-parenting & providing the best atmosphere & childhood for them," Barnes said ... "They love him, so I love it."

"Despite not seeing eye to eye initially w Derek he & I are on the same page & communicate weekly about Isaiah and Carter."

"With that being said congrats on the engagement!"

Good news for Derek Fisher ... the ex-NBA star popped the question to his girlfriend, Gloria Govan -- AND SHE SAID, "YES!"

We've learned ... 43-year-old Fisher got down on one knee during a small shindig at their Los Angeles-area home on April 7, surrounded by their kids and Gloria's nephew. 

Derek had some of Gloria's friends take her out during the day so he could decorate the house while she was gone ... candles, flower petals ... it was romantic!

And yeah ... the ring's pretty big. We got a photo and you can see the diamond is the size of her knuckle!

Derek and Gloria have been dating since 2015. Both were previously married but have since divorced their significant others. 

Of course, Gloria was married to Matt Barnes -- which caused some legendary drama between Derek and his ex-Lakers teammate. But Barnes recently said the beef is over and the two are now cool. 

No word on when the two plan on officially tying the knot -- it's still early though. 

Congrats!!! 

Lonzo Ball's GF Flaunts Baby Baller Bump ... Still Smokin' Hot!

4/19/2018 9:12 AM PDT
Breaking News

Lonzo Ball’s pregnant GF is starting to show in a BIG way -- but that ain't stoppin' her from slaying the Gram!

TMZ Sports broke the story ... Lonzo's high school sweatheart, Denise Garcia, got a Ball in the oven late last year, and they're expecting a baby girl in July.

Now, with Denise in Month 6 of her pregnancy, her body is still bangin' ... and she's showing it off in a tiny string bikini. 

Lonzo has said he's excited for the kid -- and even got some advice from his own dad, LaVar, on their reality show, "Ball In the Family."

"He's a Ball -- he's gonna be a great dad," LaVar said ... noting that little girls are WAY harder to raise than little boys.

Lonzo said he hopes his kid will love him as much as he loves his own parents. 

Congrats, Zo -- on the future kid ... but mostly on the current baby mama.   

Lakers Player Comes to the Rescue For 'This Is Us' Star!

4/16/2018 12:05 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Could you imagine getting on an airplane ... WITHOUT YOUR PHONE?! 

Nightmare, right?! 

Well, that's ALMOST what happened to "This Is Us" star Sterling K. Brown ... if not for the heroic actions of Lakers rookie Josh Hart

Brown tells us he left his phone in the car and ALMOST had to suffer an entire flight without Twitter, Instagram and all the movies and TV shows he had on his cell. 

Well, thankfully for him ... Hart was there to save the day!

We caught the whole thing on video -- and afterward, Hart told us he wants to treat Brown as his guest to a Lakers game next season! 

Pretty cool, right? 

Kenny Smith Andre Ingram Has a Future in the NBA

4/11/2018 4:05 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The 32-year-old Lakers rookie who just had one of the craziest debuts in NBA history is just getting started -- so says Kenny Smith

We got The Jet the day after he watched Andre Ingram drop 19 points on the 1st-place Houston Rockets ... after 10 YEARS waiting for a G-League call-up. 

Kenny told us not to sleep on the veteran rook -- 'cause 1-hit wonders don't got stroke like Andre!

"He’s gonna get an opportunity -- if not with the Lakers then somebody else. At least to be part of their training camp," The Jet told TMZ Sports.

Kenny says he was blown away with Ingram's story just like the rest of us ... and we got a feeling it's only a matter of time before someone goes Hollywood with it.  

FYI, Andre suits up for Game 2 Wednesday night vs. the Clippers. Can't freakin' wait.

Nicki Minaj Courtside at Lakers For Andre Ingram's Insane Debut

4/11/2018 8:03 AM PDT

Nicki Minaj thought she was gonna sit courtside at a regular old Lakers game Tuesday night -- turns out, she had front row seats to one of the best rookie debuts EVER! 

Despite celebs like Richard Sherman and Will Ferrell in the house, the REAL star at Staples Center was Andre Ingram ... the 32-year-old rookie who dropped 19 on the first place Houston Rockets! 

Ingram's story is pretty awesome ... he's been grinding it out in the G-league for the past decade hoping to get a shot in the NBA ... and Tuesday night, he made the most of his big chance. 

In fact, toward the end of the game, the crowd began chanting "MVP" at Ingram -- who later called the whole thing a "once in a lifetime" experience.

The Rockets ended up winning the game 105-99 -- but no one seemed to care ... it's ANDRE-MANIA in Los Angeles!!!

Master P I Almost Fought Kobe Bryant Once ... Lamar Odom Stopped It

4/10/2018 1:38 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Master P says he and Kobe Bryant nearly came to blows in the Lakers facility years ago -- and it would've DEFINITELY gone down if Lamar Odom hadn't played peacemaker.

P was on "The Red Pill With Van Lathan" podcast talking about his business ventures, hip-hop legacy and basketball career ... when he broke down how things got heated with Black Mamba. 

"We had a couple words," P says ... noting that he's more about action than talkin'. 

Here's the thing -- P wouldn't say what specifically led to him and Kobe's face off, but you can tell it got very real for a second, and that Odom intervening might've cost us all a much better story.

We have to ask the question -- you knew we were gonna do it -- if it had gone down, who ya got?

Answer: Chris Childs.

Lonzo Ball & GF We're Havin' a Girl!!

4/5/2018 2:07 PM PDT
Breaking News

Lady Baller Alert ... Lonzo Ball and his girlfriend are having a baby girl!!

TMZ Sports broke the story ... Zo's H.S. sweetheart Denise Garcia is pregnant with a Baby Baller. Zo talked with Mike Trudell about his kid on the way on Thursday, revealing the baby is due July 16.

We're told the pregnancy is going well and the baby is looking healthy. Denise's family is excited to meet the baby. Zo says adding a girl to the BBB empire is gonna be a big change.

"It’s crazy. My whole family is all boys. We only have like two girls in the whole family," Ball says. "It’s just my mom and her mom. My dad has five brothers (and two sisters), I have my two brothers (obviously). All boys."

Congrats! 

Gary Payton Lakers Need a Leader Not Another Ball Brother!

3/29/2018 11:42 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Gary Payton is stompin' out all the LiAngelo Ball-to-L.A. buzz -- saying what the Lakers need is a damn superstar, not Lonzo's little bro!! 

GP's son, Gary II, is on a 2-way deal with the Lake Show this season ... so he's been keeping a close eye on the squad and, of course, the Ball fam.

Gary only had nice things to say about 'Zo and LaVar ... but when it came to L.A. grabbing 'Gelo in the NBA draft, the Hall of Famer wasn't having it. 

"I don't believe in that," Payton told TMZ Sports. "I don't think teams are ignorant like that ... what the Lakers need is a big-time star, a leader."

Of course, we had to ask if he thought that leader was one LeBron Raymone James -- and GP dished.

LiAngelo Ball Declares For 2018 NBA Draft ... Agent Says

3/27/2018 6:56 AM PDT
Breaking News

From Lithuania to the Lakers?

Looks like that's exactly what LiAngelo Ball is trying to do, because according to his agent Harrison Gaines, the middle Ball brother has declared for the 2018 NBA draft!

Gaines told Yahoo! Sports Ball has filed the paperwork to make himself eligible, and he's expected to work out for NBA teams when his season playing for Vytautas Prienu is finished.

Before you scoff at the kid, 'Gelo is actually doing pretty well overseas -- averaging over 15 points while shooting 45% from beyond the arc.

In the past, LaVar has promised LiAngelo would team with Lonzo in L.A. ... but the question is if they, and everyone else passes on the kid ... what then?

We don't know, but we're sure LaVar's got a plan.

Kenny Smith I Don't Want LeBron in Houston ... Stay in Cleveland!!

3/9/2018 4:45 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The entire city of Houston is gonna shun Kenny Smith after watching this clip* ... 'cause the Jet tells TMZ Sports why LeBron should NOT join the Rockets in free agency this summer.

We spoke with Smith about reports claiming LBJ could bail on Cleveland for the Sixers, Lakers or Rockets this off-season ... and he says moving to H-Town would be unfair.

Smith says Bron Bron can keep his throne on the shores of Lake Erie and still compete for a ring every year ... 'cause he can just recruit players to Cleveland, instead of the other way around.

*We're kidding. Everyone loves the Jet.

Meanwhile, LeBron looked awfully comfortable and happy chillin' at his L.A. crib while in town to play the Clippers and the Lakers. 

FYI, L.A. was a nice 70 degrees and sunny today. Cleveland was 32 and snowy.

Just sayin' ... 

Metta World Peace I Love Lonzo's Game ... AND His Raps

2/27/2018 4:00 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Metta World Peace says Lonzo Ball isn't just killing it on the court, he's destroying the mic, too, telling TMZ Sports he's a huge fan of both of Ball's careers.

Metta was at LAX when we asked what he thought about Ball's return -- which has led to two pretty convincing blowout wins for the Lakers over the Mavericks and Hawks.

MWP says he thinks Lonzo's return to the court is a big reason for the Lakers mini-run of dominance, but then, out of nowhere, tells us that's not where his fanhood ends.

"He's a rapper, he's a really good rapper. I like his music actually."

Somebody's trying not to be a small baller.

Steve Nash Lakers 'Definitely' Making Playoffs ... Next Year

2/26/2018 8:53 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Get happy, L.A. fans ... ex-Laker Steve Nash (remember that?) says the Lakers are "definitely" making the playoffs next year and they can do it with BOTH Lonzo Ball AND Isaiah Thomas on the team. 

We got Nash and asked him about the great guard quandary in Tinseltown ... can Thomas and Ball share the backcourt together, or does one guy (looking at you, IT) got to go?

Not only did Nash say the guys can totally get along together, but when asked if the team -- currently 11th in the West -- will make the playoffs next year, Steve's answer was short but sweet.

"Definitely."

No pressure, Luke (but if it doesn't happen you'll most likely be fired).

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