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Jeremy Lin J.J. Redick Ain't a Racist Didn't Say Chinese Slur

2/19/2018 6:48 AM PST
Breaking News

Jeremy Lin is going to bat for J.J. Redick after he was caught on video using a Chinese slur ... saying he's 100% convinced J.J. didn't say mean to use the C-word in a hateful way. 

Redick dropped the c-bomb in a commercial for NBA China that was released over the weekend -- clearly saying, "I wish all of the NBA ch**k fans of China a very Happy New Year."

The whole thing was puzzling -- leaving many wondering why the hell J.J. would use that word in that context. 

Naturally, the 76ers star got DESTROYED by fans for his slip-up.

But Jeremy -- the NBA's first full Chinese/Taiwanese-American player -- says he spoke at length with J.J. over the phone, and "I truly believe he didn’t say a racial slur and that he has a great deal of respect towards Chinese people."

Lin acknowledges the word should NEVER be used, but says all the "hateful language" J.J.'s getting from fans needs to stop since it was an accident. 

Redick released a lengthy apology on social media Sunday night, saying -- “I ask your forgiveness. . . . I am so sorry for upsetting anyone."

"I was intending to say 'NBA Chinese fans' but it sounded weird in my mind so I changed it mid-sentence to 'NBA fans in China.' It came out the wrong way."

"That is not a word in my vocabulary but I now understand how it sounds on the video."

"That is not who I am — as a person, a player, a husband and a father.”

ESPN's Jemele Hill Jamie Foxx's Fit Over Katie Holmes ... Bizarre, Unnecessary

2/19/2018 6:27 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

ESPN star Jemele Hill says the way Jamie Foxx shut down a live "SportsCenter" interview over a Katie Holmes question was bizarre ... since EVERYBODY knows they're dating! 

Hill's good friend and former "The Six" co-host Michael Smith was the one asking the Katie Holmes question Friday when Foxx stopped the interview and walked off

Hill says she and Smith both respect Foxx a lot -- but in this particular instance, "I thought he unnecessarily made Mike look bad."

"I thought it was kind of bizarre why he acted that way ... like I thought [Jamie's relationship with Katie] was pretty public and that everybody knew, but apparently everybody doesn't know."

Hill has a point -- Jamie and Holmes were sitting together last month at Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy party -- a VERY high profile event. So, it's not like people don't know. 

Hill says the question was not supposed to be hard-hitting journalism -- just a jokey, fun question in a lighthearted interview about the NBA All-Star game.  

Mariah Carey Advice to Fergie ... Don't Listen to the Haters!

2/19/2018 6:06 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

It ain't ALL hate for Fergie after that bizarre national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game -- with Mariah Carey dishing out some advice on how to deal with the negativity. 

A glammed up Mariah was leaving Sweet Chick on Fairfax Sunday evening -- when she gave Fergie one very simple tip. 

By the way, Mariah has some experience in this department ... the haters came out in force for her New Year's Eve performance a while back -- but it didn't seem to faze her. 

Aside from Mariah, Takeoff from Migos and NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns also had Fergie's back.

Not everyone has been so supportive ... "Saturday Night Live" star Leslie Jones hated it -- and judging by Draymond Green's face, he wasn't a fan either. 

Still haven't heard from Fergie yet -- but we'd LOVE to hear her thoughts on it. 

Stay tuned ... 

Fergie at NBA All-Star Game Roasted for Slow & Sexy Nat'l Anthem ... Hollywood Piles On

2/18/2018 7:39 PM PST

Fergie sang the National Anthem to kick off the 2018 NBA All-Star game, and most everyone seemed to hate it ... including Hollywood.

Tons of stars blasted Fergie for her sultry rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner Sunday night ahead of a mega showdown between Stephen Curry and LeBron James' all-star squads. Charles Barkley wanted to dive right in afterward ... but Shaq wouldn't let him.

Leslie Jones had some thoughts, too ... wondering "Why did this happen?" and even suggesting the organizers might as well have had her sing it.

Hell, even a state senator from Oklahoma got in on the hating. 

Draymond Green's reaction was probably the best, though. It was live and raw, and there was no hiding how he really felt about it ... LOLOLOL. Yeah, that about sums it up.

Keep your head up, Fergie. There's always next year ... or not.

The Game Chill Over Cardi B's Crip Diss ... She Meant No Harm

2/18/2018 1:17 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The Game wants everyone who's pissed at Cardi B for dissing the Crips to chill out and let the whole thing go ... 'cause he says she meant nothing by it.

We got the Compton rapper Saturday night at Penthouse in WeHo, where he'd just seen Cardi perform ... one of 3 stops she's making for All-Star weekend. He says he spoke to her about her inciting Crip comment, acknowledging the seriousness of the situation.

Our camera guy asks if he defused anything between Cardi and the Crips, but he denies getting involved. He does come to her defense, though ... telling folks who were offended to relax, and to also respect Cardi's position as an East Coaster.

Not sure if that'll go a long way coming from a guy who's Blood affiliated. But hey, take it for what it's worth. 

Jamie Foxx Schools Byron Scott in Three-Pointers ... Jamie-3, Byron-0!!!

2/18/2018 12:15 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Jamie Foxx The Renaissance Man strikes again -- this time sending NBA legend Byron Scott back to school during an impromptu shooting contest. 

Jamie and Byron were attending an All-Star-themed event Saturday night at the Jeremy hotel in WeHo, where they got into a little three-point shooting contest on the fly. 

Eyewitnesses tell us Jamie drained at least 3 shots from distance out of 10 ... while Byron hit NONE. Yes, Byron Scott -- who's known as a three-point guru -- hit zero 3-pointers.

The discrepancy didn't go unnoticed, especially by Jamie. He points out what most everyone already knows about the dude -- he can kinda do it all. Game, hats. 

NBA All-Star Game WAGS Invade L.A. ... Everybody Wins

2/18/2018 12:10 AM PST

Team LeBron or Team Steph??

It doesn't matter -- the REAL winners of All-Star Weekend are the super hot wives and girlfriends flocking to town for all the festivities ... as if L.A. needed any more beautiful women.

We all know about Bron Bron's lovely wife, Savannah, and Curry's better half, Ayesha ... but don't forget about newcomers like Karl-Anthony Towns' GF, Kawahine Andrade, and Bradley Beal's smokin' lady friend, Kamiah Adams.

The game probably isn't gonna be too competitive, so feel free to go through the pics as many times as you'd like.

John Wall I'm Great with Gortat!!!

2/17/2018 12:53 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

John Wall's not mincing words about his relationship with his Wizards teammate, Marcin Gortat ... he straight up tells us everything's cool!

We got the injured NBA star leaving Mastro's in Bev Hills Friday night -- he's in town for All-Star Weekend festivities -- and asked if there's any ongoing beef between him and the Wizards center ... he shoots it down right away.

Here's the backstory -- Gortat tweeted about a great "team" victory after Washington won its first few games without Wall, which many considered a shot at the star. Wall responded by saying he gives Gortat "the most spoon-fed baskets ever."

The 2 reportedly had a meeting to hash out their issues last week ... and it seems like it worked.

Wall's recovering from a knee injury, and the team's hopeful he'll be back in time for a playoff push.

NBA All-Star Weekend Celeb Game Features Bieber, Foxx and Jordan

2/17/2018 7:39 AM PST

NBA All-Star Weekend did not disappoint Friday night ... a slew of players and celebs took the court.

The celeb game went down at Los Angeles Community College ... check out Nick Cannon, Justin Bieber, Quavo from Migos, Jamie Foxx, "Black Panther" star Michael B. Jordan, Sterling Brim and "Stranger Things" kid Caleb McLauhlin. Quavo scored 19 points and earned MVP honors.

You gotta love the Biebs shooting way above the head of "Black-ish" star Miles Brown.

As for the Rising Stars Team USA vs. The World ... that game was played at Staples Center and The World beat Team USA 155 to 124.

Tonight's gonna be epic, with the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, JBL 3 Point Contest, and the Verizon Slam Dunk competition. Sunday's the actual 67th NBA All-Star Game. 

Magic Johnson I have Come to Praise LaVar Ball ... Not to Bury Him

2/17/2018 6:55 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Magic Johnson is the consummate diplomat, turning LaVar Ball's threat to yank Lonzo from the Lakers into a testament on parenthood.

The beloved President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers was leaving Mastro's in Bev Hills Friday night with his wife Cookie, when our photog asked about LaVar's ultimatum -- put my 2 other sons on the team or say goodbye to Lonzo.

Magic doesn't miss a beat ... heaping praise on the elder Ball.

As for taking in a screening of "Black Panther" this weekend ... well, there's one thing more pressing.

Cardi B, Migos Swarmed by Massive Crowd .. During NBA All-Star Weekend

2/17/2018 7:06 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Cardi B, and the guys from Migos were swallowed up in a gigantic crowd waiting for them as they arrived for an event for NBA All-Star Weekend.

Cardi, her fiance Offset, Takeoff and Quavo all showed up in an SUV at Murano in WeHo. Victor Oladipo, a guard for the Indiana Pacers, was along for the ride.

Cardi made 6 figures for hosting the event, and she's expected to make a bundle more during the weekend festivities. She's also hosting at Penthouse and Ace of Diamonds.

The security is massive ... the hired muscle is especially vigilant after Cardi dissed the Crips during Super Bowl Weekend.

LaVar Ball LeBron Will Sign w/ Lakers Lonzo Will Make Him Better!

2/17/2018 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The house-cleaning in Cleveland was all for nothing -- because LeBron James is leaving the Cavs to sign with the Lakers in the off-season ... at least, that's what LaVar Ball believes. 

The Big Baller was at his pop-up shop in L.A. when we asked about the possibility of Bron coming out West to play with Lonzo when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season. 

LaVar is not only convinced it's going to happen -- he tells TMZ Sports, "Lonzo is gonna make HIM a better player!" 

He also loves the idea of having "two stars" on the same team -- and already has a nickname for the duo. 

The Lakers will reportedly take a run at LeBron in the off-season -- they have the money to sign two max-contract players -- and with LeBron having homes and businesses in L.A., there's definitely a chance it could happen. 

T.I. Lonzo Ball Ain't a Real Rapper ... No Chance I'd Collab!

2/17/2018 12:15 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Lonzo Ball is "a ballplayer," not a rapper -- so says T.I. ... who tells TMZ Sports he's got ZERO interest in hitting the studio with the rookie MC.

Don't get it twisted -- T.I. thinks it's great Lonzo dropped a track in honor of LaVar ... but the King of the South ain't convinced Ball's serious about mastering the craft. 

"He would have to establish himself and really, really put in the work as an artist, and he'd really have to dedicate himself to the arts, in order for me to take him seriously," T.I. told us at LAX.

Don't think T.I. realized 'Zo released a full 17-track mixtape, but the bottom line -- Ball's got A LOT of bars to spit to get respect in the rap game.

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