Justin Bieber is hoping his 60 MILLION twitter followers can make a dent in NBA All-Star voting ... and he's putting his weight behind a guy who plays in Canada.
Bieber is pushing for Kyle Lowry -- a point guard for the Toronto Raptors who's having a pretty good season ... and is currently 3rd in the All-Star voting behind John Wall and Dwyane Wade.
The Canadian pop star tweeted, "Toronto has been killin it and @Klow7 deserves to be an nba all star. Make sure to vote for him. #WeTheNorth. Good luck buddy."
The All-Star game "starters" are chosen based on fan voting -- so if Bieber can mobilize his army, there's a good chance Lowry can leapfrog the other two guys in the Eastern Conference backcourt.
Stay tuned ...
Back On Probation
For Illegal Fireworks Bust
1/19/2015 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Gilbert Arenas is back on probation ... stemming from an illegal fireworks bust from 2013 ... TMZ Sports has learned.
The former NBA superstar -- who was famously involved in a NBA locker room gun showdown back in 2010 -- was arrested in L.A. with 100 POUNDS of illegal explosives in June 2013.
The timing couldn't have been better for Arenas ... who had completed probation from the gun incident roughly one year before the fireworks arrest. Talk about a close call.
As for the fireworks bust ... Arenas was charged with misdemeanor fireworks possession and was facing jail time -- but ultimately cut a deal with prosecutors to get probation instead.
According to official docs obtained by TMZ Sports, Arenas pled no contest ... and in exchange was hit with $41,240 in fines, penalties and other fees. Plus, he was ordered to complete 10 days of community service pertaining to "fire prevention."
Court docs show Arenas paid the fines and completed the community service -- and will remain on probation until January 2016.
Translation -- probably best to leave the fireworks to the pros this year.
Johnny Gill To Kareem Rush
Your Singing Needs Work
... But There's Hope
1/18/2015 12:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
R&B legend Johnny Gill has some good news and bad news for ex-Lakers player Kareem Rush and his dream of being the next big thing in music.
The Good News? He doesn't suck.
The Bad News? He needs a whole lotta work.
As we previously reported, Rush is attempting to score in the studio these days -- dropping a new pop-R&B album later this month.
The former NBA baller even made an appearance on "TMZ Hollywood Sports" earlier this week and gave the whole crew a sample of the goods -- busting out an a capella version of Sam Smith's "Stay With Me."
So when we ran into Johnny out in Hollywood this week ... our camera guy decided to play a little "TMZ Sports Idol" with the multi-platinum artist to see how he really feels about Kareem's pipes.
Check out the clip -- ever hear the phrase "brutally honest?"
I'm Not Buying the Brooklyn Nets
1/16/2015 8:07 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Donald Trump is taking himself out of the running to buy the Brooklyn Nets ... telling TMZ Sports he won't even consider making a bid for the NBA team now that they're up for sale.
Of course, Trump flirted with the idea of buying the Buffalo Bills last year ... and it seemed like the guy was pretty serious about adding a major professional sports team to his portfolio.
But last night, after having dinner with L.A. Clippers President Doc Rivers, Trump told us Mikhail Prokhorov will have to find another rich person to take the squad off his hands.
Clippers' Doc Rivers
My Son Won't Get Special Treatment
Now That He's On My Team
1/16/2015 6:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
L.A. Clippers President Doc Rivers says the NBA ain't Little League ... telling TMZ Sports his son Austin Rivers won't be treated ANY DIFFERENTLY now that he'll be joining his team.
FYI -- The Clippers acquired the 22-year-old in a 3-team trade that went through on Thursday.
Hours after the deal, we saw Doc leaving a power dinner with Donald Trump at Boa Steakhouse in West Hollywood and asked him if he was worried that the players thinking Austin will get special treatment because of their relationship.
Rivers is adamant he'll treat Austin just the same as everyone else -- not easier, not harder.
A father has never coached a son in the NBA before -- so the minute Austin takes the court, he'll be making history.
Pretty cool, right?
Gettin' Some Dome Work
... In Beverly Hills
1/15/2015 6:24 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The royal cranium has been pampered, Your Highness.
LeBron James has landed in L.A. to take on the Lakers Thursday night -- but before the game, The King found a few minutes for some "me time" in Beverly Hills.
James and his posse stopped in to Bella Nails -- where a team of beauticians rubbed down his head and gargantuan feet.
LeBron LOOOVVEESS this particular nail salon -- and brought a bunch of his old teammates with him last year back when he was with the Miami Heat.
Byron Scott Divorce
Wife Demands Baller Lifestyle
I Can't Live Without My Gucci!
1/15/2015 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
She lived the Gucci lifestyle before the divorce ... and now Byron Scott's wife is demanding the Gucci lifestyle AFTER the split too -- telling a judge the Lakers coach needs to pay up so she can continue to live like a BOSS!
We broke the story ... Byron filed for divorce from his college sweetheart Anita Scott last year after 29 years of marriage -- right before he signed a $17 million contract with the Lakers.
But Anita says they were living large way before the Lakers gig -- and in new court docs obtained by TMZ Sports, she spells out why Scott needs to open up his checkbook.
Here's a sample of the life Anita says she was accustomed to during her marriage to Byron:
-- Anita says the couple lived in several insane cribs over the years (8 bedroom pad in NJ, 7 bedroom house in New Orleans, swanky 4 bedroom penthouse in Cleveland).
BALLER SHOPPING SPREES
-- Anita says she "regularly" bought clothes from Chanel, Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton ... with no specific dollar limit.
-- Anita says she dropped at least $600 every six weeks for hair upkeep ... and $500-per-month on manis, pedis and massages. Plus another $400-per-month on facials and "other personal maintenance."
-- The Bahamas. Once a year. First class airfare. Suites at top-rated resorts. Oh, and they'd often pay for additional family members to join along.
Anita says she needs spousal support asap, since she doesn't have a job and is living in a cramped 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom condo in Culver City which is "not comparable to the lavish and spacious homes we purchased during the marriage."
Quadruple Rabbi Blessing
... Before Beating Lakers
1/15/2015 12:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Look closely at the photo above ... one of these guys is a professional NBA player.
The other 4 dudes are rabbis ... who have a stellar reputation for blessing athletes before big games.
Which could be why Dwyane Wade made a kosher pit stop before the Miami Heat took on the Lakers in L.A. on Tuesday.
TMZ Sports has learned ... the Heat used the facilities at the JEM Community Center in Beverly Hills to warm up hours before their game. And before they left, Wade met up with Rabbi Hertzel Illulian ... who offered up a "quadruple rabbi blessing" before the game.
Turns out ... the Jews came through -- with the Heat beating the Lakers 78-75.
The win brings the rabbis to 2-0 when it comes to blessing NBA players -- after bestowing a "triple rabbi blessing" on Kevin Durant last year before he went on to beat the Clippers in the playoffs.
Ex-Laker Kareem Rush
Sings 'Stay With Me'
... From His Kitchen
1/14/2015 5:14 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Coming to you from his kitchen ... in a tank top ... former L.A. Lakers baller Kareem Rush singing Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" -- and dude can definitely hit the high note!
As we previously reported, Rush is laser focused on growing his music career -- something he's been passionate about for years. In fact, Rush dropped a single back in 2010.
Now, with a new album on the way ... Rush put his pipes on display on "TMZ Hollywood Sports" -- busting out a ridiculously tough song with no warm-up, no backing track and only basement level acoustics.
Check out "TMZ Hollywood Sports" on Reelz -- weekdays 6PM ET, 3PM PT.
Rips Nets Owner
'Can't Believe He's Bailing Already'
1/14/2015 8:32 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
George Lopez ain't a fan of Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov -- saying he's not just shocked the guy is "bailing" on the team ... but couldn't believe he would do something as "low" as trading the coach.
Lopez was out in D.C. when he heard the news that Prokhorov is looking to sell the team -- less than 5 years after buying the majority share of the Nets for $223 million.
"That guy's bailing on them already?" Lopez asked ... "it's shocking to me."
Lopez also ripped Prokhorov for trading away head coach Jason Kidd to the Bucks last year -- "Trading a player, that's what they normally do. But trading a coach? That's low."
Check out the clip -- Lopez says he's also planning to round up some of his huge celebrity friends like Jennifer Lopez and Eva Longoria to buy the franchise.
He's probably (obviously) joking ... but god we hope he's not.
I'm Just Like Timberlake
... The Next Big Pop Star
1/14/2015 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
His days with the Lakers are over ... but ex-NBA player Kareem Rush is still gunning to sell out the Staples Center ... as the next big superstar in pop music.
The 34-year-old tells TMZ Sports he's focusing on a singing career -- "I'm a cross between Timberlake and Maxwell."
Rush has been working on his craft for years ... and even dropped a single back in 2010 ... before he officially retired.
But now that he's done hoopin', Rush says he's putting everything he's got into music -- and plans to drop a brand new album later this month.
In fact, Rush says he also has his sights set on getting another ex-NBA player to join him in the studio ... one of the biggest stars in the history of the sport.
NBA Star Chris Andersen
All My Tats Were Free
'I'm A Walking Billboard'
1/14/2015 12:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
More than half his body's covered in tats ... which can cost a FORTUNE ... but NBA stud Chris Andersen tells TMZ Sports he hasn't paid a single cent for any of his artwork.
So, how did Birdman get the low, low price of "on the house" when it comes to his ink?
"I'm a walking billboard," Andersen says.
We're guess what he means is ... tattoo artists LOVE having their work displayed on a 6'10", 245-pound canvas that gets seen by millions and millions of people every week.
Translation -- it pays to be famous ... so you don't have to pay.
SHAQ'S OUT FOR REVENGE
... After Xmas Tree Attack
1/13/2015 6:57 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Payback's a bitch ... so says Kenny "The Jet" Smith who says he's constantly looking over his shoulder -- waiting for Shaq to try to get his revenge for that infamous Christmas tree shoving.
You remember the incident ... Smith tossed Shaq into a tree on the set of "Inside the NBA" ... leaving the Big Fella flat on his ass covered in broken branches.
"I thought it would be funny ... but I didn't know it was gonna be THAT funny," Smith said.
As for Shaq's revenge, Kenny says he knows it's coming -- it's just a matter of time.