You'd THINK Los Angeles Lakers star Metta World Peace would be one of the FIRST one's to know that Dwight Howard ditched the team for the Houston Rockets ... turns out, he was one of the last.
Metta was leaving Mastro's in Beverly Hills on Saturday night with his GF Shin Shin when we asked how he felt about the move -- but to our surprise (and his), Metta told us he had NO IDEA Howard picked the Rockets.
The reaction seems legit ... considering Shin Shin seemed just as shocked.
"I don't know what happened," Metta said ... "He's going to Houston?"
Metta explained he doesn't pay attention to basketball in the off-season (he spends his time watching TMZ) ... but says he'll call Dwight to figure out what the hell went wrong.
Fans Shouldn't Burn Their Dwight Howard Jerseys
... BUT I AM!
7/7/2013 8:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Do as Game says, not as he does ... because while he plans on torching his Dwight Howard jersey, he recommends another mode of destruction for other Los Angeles Lakers fans.
Our photog caught up with Game outside Katsuya in Hollywood last night, where he actually defended Dwight's decision to bolt for Houston and thinks the Lakers will be just fine without him.
As for the jersey destruction ... Game has a suggestion for LA fans that is a little safer than simply putting a match to it.
1 Word for Dwight Howard
7/6/2013 7:11 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Kobe Bryant is pissed at Dwight Howard ... so much so he did the worst possible thing you can do to a person ... he UNFOLLOWED HIM ON TWITTER.
Pause for reaction.
That's right, just after Howard announced he was ditching the L.A. Lakers for greener pastures ... i.e. the Houston Rockets ... Kobe made sure to axe D12 from his Twitter feed.
Fellow Laker Pau Gasol also unfollowed Howard -- but reportedly changed his mind 20 mins later.
Which is kind of more pathetic, yeah?
I'm Going to Houston!
7/5/2013 3:21 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Dwight Howard has decided to make the entire city of Los Angeles hate him (except for the ever-growing number of Clippers fans) by spurning the Lakers and signing with the Houston Rockets.
No word on whether he will sign outright with Houston or work out some sort of sign-and-trade with the Lakers (which would net him more money).
D12 cannot officially sign any deal until July 10.
Howard spent one disastrous, injury-plagued year with the Lakers after they acquired him in a trade from the Orlando Magic.
The Black Mamba will not take this lightly.
****IT IS WORTH NOTING****
While severeal well-respected writers have reported the move, Dwight's agent says he has not made a decision ... and Howard is known to change is mind. So stay tuned ...
Pau and Marc
14 Feet of Gasols
... on a 50 Foot Yacht
6/26/2013 6:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
With a combined net worth somewhere in the $100 million range (maybe more) ... NBA superstar brothers Pau and Marc Gasol saved a few bucks by yachting TOGETHER in Spain this week.
With the 2012-13 NBA season officially over ... and zero combined championship rings to show for it ... the two 7-footers decided to chill on a fancy boat in Menorca, Spain.
... don't you ever forget!!!
Kim and Kanye
Baby Blocked in Maternity Ward
... By Dwight Howard
6/20/2013 6:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
When Kim Kardashian first arrived to Cedars-Sinai to deliver her baby, she didn't get the fancy celebrity suite she had hoped for 'cause they were all in use ... and one of the VIP occupants was Dwight Howard's newest baby mama, TMZ has learned.
Sources connected to the births tell us ... before Kim went into labor, she had made arrangements to stay in one of the fancy suites at the L.A. hospital. But the baby came 5 weeks early, and the fancy suites were all booked. So Kim was placed in another unit.
But while Kim was laid out in bed, Kanye roamed the maternity ward ... and bumped into NBA superstar Dwight Howard, whose lady was giving birth to his child.
FYI -- Dwight's a seasoned vet when it comes to the maternity ward ... he's reportedly fathered 3 other kids (with 3 different women).
We're told Kanye and Dwight got along great ... with Yeezy giving Howard a preview of his new album "Yeezus."
As for Kim ... we're told she's finally out of the hospital -- and mother and the baby are shacked up in a private location.
I REFUSE to Watch
the NBA Finals!
6/19/2013 6:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
When the Heat and the Spurs went into OT during last night's dramatic Game 6 of the NBA Finals ... Dwight Howard was busy eating dinner -- telling TMZ he didn't have the stomach to watch.
Howard hit up Crustacean in Beverly Hills last night -- at the very same time LeBron and Co. were taking on Tony Parker and the rest of San Antonio.
Sources inside the restaurant tell us ... The L.A. Lakers star (at least for now) was nowhere near the TV during the game ... and focused on dinner with his buddies the entire time.
On his way out of the restaurant, Dwight explained why he chose not to watch -- telling us, "I'm not watching ... I'm not playing so ain't no need to be [watching]."
He added, "I don't want to see nobody win a championship."
At least he's honest.
Kobe Bryant Auction
Who Wants My
Tacky Diamond Ring!?
6/17/2013 12:20 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
It's the stuff that caused a war between Kobe Bryant and his parents -- a collection of the NBA star's tacky jewelry, shoes and jerseys -- and now it's officially up for auction.
A diamond-encrusted NBA Championship ring complete with the words "Bling Bling" engraved on the side ... prototypes of Kobe's shoes ... Bryant's high school jersey -- it's all up for sale.
As we previously reported, Kobe sued his mom to prevent her from selling the memorabilia ... claiming she had no ownership rights to the merchandise.
But Pamela Bryant -- along with her husband Jellybean -- fought back ... claiming Kobe had gifted the stuff to them over the years and they had every right to sell it.
Last week, the two sides hammered out a settlement agreement ... in which Kobe allowed his folks to sell off 10% of what they had originally tried to auction ... and the items are pretty interesting.
As part of the settlement, half the proceeds from 4 key items -- including Kobe's palladium 2000 All-Star ring -- will go to support one of his favorite causes: the social action campaign around the anti-bullying documentary "Bully."
Lakers Exec Johnny Buss
6/16/2013 12:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Los Angeles Lakers executive Johnny Buss -- oldest son of deceased Lakers owner Jerry Buss -- has filed for divorce from his wife, who happens to be an ex-Clippers dancer, TMZ has learned.
Johnny -- who's currently the V.P. of Strategic Development for the Lake Show -- filed divorce docs in L.A. County Superior Court ... seeking to end his marriage to Christy Curtis Buss ... a marriage that began in 1991.
Here's the weird part ... in the court docs, obtained by TMZ, Buss states that he and Christy separated back in 2000 ... which means they've been split up for 13 YEARS!
Apparently, Johnny finally felt like cutting the cord ... because he filed the docs himself on June 11, 2013. It's unclear why he waited so long. They have no minor children.
In the docs, Buss blames the split on irreconcilable differences ... but checked the box that acknowledges he'll have to pony up spousal support.
Christy is no slouch ... after she danced for the Clip squad, she went on to be a successful choreographer for the L.A. Sparks and various TV shows including "Days of Our Lives," which she worked on for 19 years.
SETTLES With Mom
In Memorabilia Suit
6/10/2013 6:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Kobe Bryant has ended his legal war with his mother ... settling the lawsuit over his basketball memorabilia.
As TMZ reported ... Kobe went after his mother for trying to auction off jerseys, rings, trophies and scores of other items. Pamela Bryant claimed her son gave her the stuff, but Kobe claimed she was full of it and she was just pissed because he wouldn't buy her an expensive house in Vegas.
Now Pamela and Kobe's dad agreed to issue a letter of apology to the Lakers' star, according to ESPN. In return Kobe agreed to let Pamela sell off just under 10% of the items.
So the legal issue is now resolved. As for family relations, we're guessing that's a whole other Oprah.
Bryant's parents released a statement that reads, "We regret our actions and statements related to the Kobe Bryant auction memorabilia. We apologize for any misunderstanding and unintended pain we have caused our son and appreciate the financial support he has provided over the years. We also apologize to Goldin Auctions for their inadvertent involvement in this matter and thank them for their assistance."
Lakers Star Steve Nash
Judge Rules GF
Can Fly with Kids
6/7/2013 11:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
L.A. Lakers star Steve Nash just won a victory in his custody war with his ex, but it's small potatoes compared to what's ultimately at stake.
A judge in the case just ruled ... Steve's live-in girlfriend, Brittany Richardson, is allowed to accompany the 3 kids without Steve from L.A. to Arizona and back. Steve's ex, Alejandra Nash, had objected to Brittany taking charge of the kids on grounds she wasn't a family member.
The judge ruled ... Brittany was as much a family member as the nanny, who is allowed to care for the children.
There's a bigger issue on the line. Both Steve and Alejandra are waiting for the judge to rule on whether she can move from Phoenix to L.A. Steve has objected ... he says because L.A. is a lousy place to raise kids. Alejandra scoffs at Steve's objection, saying it's a smoke screen and the real reason he doesn't want her to move is because a California judge would nail him with child support.
The judge is expected to rule any day.
Metta World Peace
Picks NBA Finals Winner
Loses Spelling Bee
6/5/2013 8:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Lakers star Metta World Peace went out on a limb -- making a bold prediction on who will win the NBA Finals ... and then the limb snapped when he tried to spell his pick.
We'll tell you this much ... Metta's riding with the San Antonio Spurs to take down LeBron James and the Miami Heat -- but you gotta hear how he spells it.
He might have been joking, but then again ...
Fun fact: Metta attended St. John's University from 1997 to 1999, and majored in math.
Stars and Scars
You Be the Judge
6/1/2013 6:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Crazy week for celebrities ... and speaking of crazy, we gotta ask ...