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NFL Stars

DROPPING MAJOR $$$$

On Diamond & Gold Mouthpieces

1/29/2015 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Talk about putting your money where your mouth is ... pro athletes are now spending THOUSANDS of dollars to pimp out their mouthpieces with diamonds and gold ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

In fact, NBA star Nate Robinson is part of the "pimp your mouthpiece" movement -- and recently picked up a $5,300 customized mouthguard that's chock-full of real gold foil.

The man behind the piece is Dr. Michael Wright of "The WrightGuard" ... who tells us high-end custom protection is becoming a major trend with athletes in a variety of sports ... from hoops to football and boxing.

In fact, Wright says he was recently approached by a NFL star who's playing in the Super Bowl (Wright says he can't reveal the player's ID) ... who requested a mouthpiece with some massive diamonds flanking the front.

"The Super Bowl athlete brought his own diamonds," Wright says ... "I don't know how many carats, but they were huge."

Wright says his mouthpieces are just as functional as they are flossy -- and says he has a special 3-layer process to make sure the gold, silver and/or diamonds are sealed in a way that it won't harm the user. 

Wright says he's gotten some crazy requests from some of his athletes -- some people want team logos others want their Twitter handles -- and says team reps sometimes oversee the process to make sure the mouthpiece complies with uniform standards. 

With so much customization at the pro level (mouthguards, cleats, etc) ... keep an eye out for the platinum diamond-encrusted jockstrap in the future. 

#OnlyAMatterOfTime

Cameron Diaz & Benji

Kiss Cam Makeout Session ...

At Lakers Game

1/28/2015 6:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

012815_camron_diaz_kiss_cam_launchFinally, a highlight at the Lakers game. 

For some reason, Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden decided to hit up Staples Center in L.A. Tuesday night to watch the Kobe-less Lakers go down in flames to the Washington Wizards. 

But during a break in the action, the newlyweds (married just 3 weeks ago) were put on the "Kiss Cam" ... and they came through strong with some PDA as several fans clapped and cheered. 

Might as well ... nothing else to applaud for that night.

Bill Simmons

Hey Shaq & LeBron

Your TV Shows Will Probably Fail

1/28/2015 6:07 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Shaquille O'Neal ain't gonna be the next Seinfeld ... and LeBron James is no Alex Trebek ... so says ESPN's Bill Simmons who thinks both NBA stars are likely to crash and burn with their new TV projects. 

As we previously reported, Shaq's got a sitcom in the works based on his real-life business empire ... and LeBron's production company is partnering with NBC to create a new primetime game show. 

But Simmons tells TMZ Sports ... neither venture looks promising -- "I wouldn't invest in either of those."

Simmons on Shaq -- "I don't have a lot of high hopes for that sitcom. I don't see the sitcom thing happening."

Simmons on LeBron -- "I think game shows usually don't work. I probably have more high hopes for the Shaq show."

Everyone's a critic ...

Mayweather & Pacquiao

COURTSIDE STARE DOWN

... At Miami Heat Game

1/27/2015 5:14 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

012715_manny_pacquiao_launchFloyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are both at the Miami Heat game RIGHT NOW -- sitting across the court from each other. 

Sooooo ... STOP THE BASKETBALL GAME ... FIND SOME GLOVES AND LET'S DO THIS RIGHT NOW!!!

#WishfulThinking

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JaVale McGee & D.J. Swearinger

NBA Star and NFL Star Unite

To CRUSH L.A. Strip Club

1/28/2015 12:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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What do a 7'0" center for the Denver Nuggets and a 5'10" safety for the Houston Texans have in common?

A love of dat ass ...

Cause JaVale McGee (the center) and D.J. Swearinger (the safety) were both at a L.A. strip club this past Monday CRUSHING it ... showing more than $16K on some of the hard working ladies.

The two stars hit up Ace Of Diamonds in L.A. -- the hottest new shake spot in the city -- and from what we're told the two went BANANAS inside the joint, spending some serious green on the ta-ta talent.

For those keeping count, our booty club sources say JaVale -- who makes about $12 mil-a-year -- dropped around $10K while D.J. -- who "only" banks about $800K a year -- precipitated an impressive $6K.

It ain't trickin' if you got it ...

Dwight Howard

Uncle Is the D.A.

In Child Abuse Investigation

1/26/2015 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Fact: The child abuse investigation into NBA star Dwight Howard has just been kicked to the Atlanta PD. 

Fact: If charges are brought against Dwight, the matter would be prosecuted by the Fulton County District Attorney's Office. 

Fact: The Fulton County District Attorney ... is Dwight Howard's uncle. 

We broke the story ... the Cobb County PD was initially handling the investigation into allegations Dwight beat his 6-year-old son Braylon with a belt buckle. 

But the CCPD tells us investigators now believe the alleged incident occurred in Fulton County, where Dwight's uncle has been the head prosecutor in charge since 1997. 

So, what does it mean? Paul Howard is almost certainly going to have to recuse himself from the case ... which would likely mean the prosecution would be handled by the Georgia Attorney General (and judging by his photo, we're guessing there's no relation). 

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If Paul doesn't recuse himself, you could bet the alleged victim will put up a helluva fight ... for obvious reasons. 

We reached out to the Atlanta PD and the Fulton County DA for comment. So far no word back.

Kobe Bryant

Hits Up Paintball Park

After Shoulder Injury

1/25/2015 8:53 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

0125-anderson-silva-soldiers-INSTAGRAM-01Just days after being diagnosed with a season-ending rotator cuff injury, Kobe Bryant his up a popular paintball park in L.A. this weekend ... to kick it with Anderson Silva.

Kobe and the UFC legend were hanging at the Hollywood Sports park in Bellflower, CA on Saturday -- where Silva and his kids go paint splatterin' every other weekend.

Seems unlikely Kobe got in on the action -- since everyone else in the pic is dressed for combat and Kobe's not ... and also, he's still nursing that injury.

At the very least, it's good to see he's not moping around the house.

NBA's Mark Jackson

RIPS ROGER GOODELL

... He's a Terrible Commish

1/24/2015 11:52 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Deflate-gate -- or anything like Deflate-gate -- would NEVER happen in the NBA ... because Adam Silver doesn't SUCK like Roger Goodell ... so says ex-NBA coach Mark Jackson.

The former Golden State Warriors head coach strongly believes the issues in the NFL trickle down from horrible leadership -- and says the buck ultimately stops with Goodell.

"The issue is how poorly the Commissioner and the league is handling the entire situation [Deflate-gate]," Jackson says ... "It's been a horrible year."

"I think they're doing a bad job as far as leadership in the National Football League."

Kobe Bryant

Injury Hurts Local Restaurants

Expecting Fans to Bail

1/24/2015 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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It's not just the Lakers who will take a hit with Kobe Bryant out the rest of the season -- local L.A. restaurants are also concerned ... telling TMZ Sports business is significantly slower when the Mamba isn't on the court. 

FYI -- Staples Center is located right next to L.A. Live ... a major entertainment center packed with restaurants often trafficked by people before and after events at the arena. 

But with Kobe going down with a torn rotator cuff, several restaurant staffers tell us everyone is going to suffer. 

We spoke with Mike Zislis -- owner of Rock ‘N Fish at L.A. Live -- who tells us, "We feel like we’re gonna lose at least 10 percent of our sales per home game."

"Last year when Kobe was out we calculated we lost $250k in revenue," Zislis says, noting that Kobe only played in 2 home games during the '13-'14 season. 

"Lakers fans generally spend more than Kings or Clippers fans so when they suck and Kobe isn’t there to draw fans, it hurts."

We also spoke with staffers at Katsuya at L.A. Live who echoed Mike's statements. One staffer told us, "When Kobe is out, the restaurant is empty and business is slow. It sucks for the staff because less people equals less tips."

Of course, there's one simple solution to the problem -- the Lakers could go on a winning streak and bring the fans back to the arena. 

No pressure Swaggy P.

Justin Bieber

NBA PAL MAKES ALL-STAR TEAM

Thanks to Pop Star's Support

1/23/2015 6:03 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

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Maybe he really IS  the most powerful man in the NBA ... because Justin Bieber's pal Kyle Lowry has been voted to be a starter in the NBA All-Star game ... and it seems Bieb's support put him over the top. 

As we previously reported, Lowry was 3rd in All-Star voting for the Eastern Conference backcourt position behind Dwyane Wade and John Wall ... that is, until Bieber tweeted to his 60 MILLION followers to vote for the Toronto Raptors star. 

Well, Bieber's plan worked ... with Lowry surging ahead in the voting at the last minute to secure a starting spot ... beating out Wade by 15,000 votes. 

Belieb dat.

Spurs Star Danny Green

PERMISSION GRANTED

To Wear Stuart Scott Shoes

1/22/2015 3:39 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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San Antonio Spurs star Danny Green has been given the green light to rock a special pair of sneakers dedicated to Stuart Scott for TONIGHT'S GAME ... the NBA tells TMZ Sports

Green had approached custom shoe designer Jake Danklefs and ordered up a special pair to pay tribute to his fellow North Carolina Tar Heel ... and was only waiting tor permission from the league. 

Well, we spoke with Tim Frank  -- Senior V.P. of Communications for the NBA -- and asked if everything was a go for tonight and here's what Tim said:

"He is ... Danny was asked and given permission to wear them for one game. Unlike some reports you might have read, he was never told 'no.'"

It's a great night for Green -- since the Spurs vs. Bulls game will be nationally broadcast on TNT.

#Booyah

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T.I.

I Won't Buy the ATL Hawks ...

NBA Owners Are Powerless

1/22/2015 6:32 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

012215_ti_launchSeems T.I. has taken himself out of the running to buy the Atlanta Hawks -- telling us NBA owners have no real power and the whole thing seems like a waste of money.  

T.I. was leaving Ricardo Steakhouse in NYC Wednesday night -- when he told us he's "excited" about how well the Hawks are doing this season ... but says he's flat out "not interested" in ownership. 

"The thing about me owning a NBA franchise ... you never get bigger than the NBA," T.I. says. 

"So, whatever it is that you do, it'll be controlled by a bunch of people who probably have more money than you. And who have been involved with the organization for longer than you. So you won't be able to do a lot of the things that you want to do. So, I'm not interested."

FYI -- according to Forbes, the Hawks are worth roughly $825 million ... and the price is probably going up -- considering the Hawks are ON FIRE ... winning their 14th game in a row Wednesday.

NBA Star

OUT-THUNDERSTORMS NFL STAR

... At L.A. Strip Club

1/21/2015 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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One made it THUNDERSTORM ... the other made it drizzle. 

TMZ Sports has learned ... L.A. Clippers star Glen "Big Baby" Davis and Tampa Bay Bucs star Dashon Goldson were two of the stars that hit up the grand opening of Ace of Diamonds in L.A. on Monday. 

For the record, Goldson signed a $41.2 million contract in 2013. Davis has made about $26 million in his NBA career. 

Which is why it was a bit shocking when Big Baby created his own indoor monsoon that dwarfed Goldson's mini-downpour.

Our strip club sources tell us Davis was throwin' so much cash around, 4 dancers left with $3k each ... and that doesn't include the $5k he dropped around the stage.  

Check out the pic below which shows one dancer's take from Davis. 

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As for Goldson, as one strip club source put it -- "He made it sprinkle." 

No one said being fiscally responsible was fun.

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