Dwight Howard says he was NOT behind the wheel when his car blew through a red light in Florida back in April ... telling TMZ Sports the culprit was his BROTHER.
We broke the story ... Howard's license was suspended in FL after officials say he ran a red and never paid the fine. Records also show Howard ran 9 MORE reds in 2012.
But Dwight's rep tells us they can explain the April incident -- his BROTHER was driving the car at the time. Dwight was in Houston playing the Spurs.
In fact, records now show the fine has been paid (after our story went up) and his license has been reinstated. Total cost to Dwight -- $345.
We asked about the other 9 violations ... but Dwight's people told us they're not sure who was driving the car back then. A rep for Dwight tells us he bought the car for his brother to use.
Either way -- stop for red lights, people.
DROPS NEW $20K WATCH
... It's Part Alligator!
9/17/2014 8:31 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Dwyane Wade's back in the watch game -- dropping a brand new $20k timepiece with Hublot ... and it's made with real alligator.
It's called the Classic Fusion Dwyane Wade -- designed with Miami Heat colors -- and it includes 18 karat gold parts, sapphire and an alligator strap.
The watch it Wade's second design with the company -- they released one back in 2011.
Wade isn't the first superstar to release a watch with Hublot -- Jay Z partnered up with 'em last year and released a version of his own.
Interesting to see whose watch will sell better in the long run ...
NBA Star Paul George
COPS ARREST BURGLARY SUSPECT
Allegedly Jacked Rings, Air Jordans
9/17/2014 6:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Indiana Pacers superstar Paul George is one step closer to JUSTICE -- after cops say they busted the man who BURGLARIZED his home back in April, taking $15k worth of important stuff.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan PD arrested 43-year-old Michael Lewis -- and claim they were led to the suspect through evidence recovered at the scene of the crime.
As we previously reported, George claimed someone broke into his home on April 28 and stole his platinum All-Star ring, a pair of Air Jordan 4 'Toro' shoes and more.
Cops say they do NOT believe George was specifically targeted -- "detectives believe it was a random act."
The bad news ... officials say none of the stolen property has been recovered.
The PD did issue this statement though -- "Detectives would like to thank the community for providing information and the media for their continued coverage of this case."
OPEN MIC NIGHT
At Legendary Comedy Club
9/17/2014 6:21 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
What do Blake Griffin and Michael Richards have in common? They both tested their comedy chops at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood. Safe to say, one went better than the other ...
The L.A. Clippers superstar appeared at the legendary Sunset Strip comedy club to perform at open mic night ... and decided to read some of his "Slam Dunk Poetry."
Griffin's been reciting some of his work -- inspired by snap-off warm-up pants, mouthpieces and bobblehead dolls -- as part of an ad campaign for Vizio.
Now, it seems he's taken his show on the road. And so far, people seem to be diggin' it.
At the very least ... his comedy club debut went better than Kramer.
Blows More Reds Than Communist Hooker
9/16/2014 8:03 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Dwight Howard might be color blind -- 'cause officials in Florida say he ran 10 RED LIGHTS in 2-and-a-half years -- and now his license has been suspended ... TMZ Sports has learned.
According to official records, the NBA superstar was captured by those red light cameras in Orange County, FL over and over again ... starting in 2012, when he was busted 9 times in 10 months.
Then, after a year-and-a-half without a violation, Howard struck again in 2014 -- blowing through another red light on July 1st ... his 10th overall infraction.
Officials from the Orange County Clerk of Courts tell us ... Howard's license can be reinstated if he pays a $285 fine.
We're guessing he can afford it.
We reached out to Howard's reps for comment -- so far, no word back.
NBA Star Andrei Kirilenko
OPENS UP ABOUT BURGLARY
I'm Most Upset About ...
9/16/2014 6:12 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
NBA star Andrei Kirilenko says he's shocked that burglars broke into his Salt Lake City home and jacked a bunch of his stuff last week -- telling TMZ Sports they took a few special items that made him really upset.
The Brooklyn Nets player was heading to the Celebrity Dodge Barrage charity event at Basketball City in NYC -- when he opened up about the incident ... saying, "I know Utah is the safest place in the world and I'm very surprised it happened there."
Overall, AK47 (who played for the Jazz for 10 years) says he's staying positive about the incident -- even though cops have yet to make an arrest -- but it's clear he's bummed out that he'll probably never see some of his most treasured possessions ever again.
Makes Peace With Photog
After Hollywood Freak Out
9/15/2014 12:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Lamar Odom's war with the paparazzo he went after in the street last year is over -- TMZ Sports has learned the photog is dropping his lawsuit ... and all signs point to "settlement."
You remember the incident ... Lamar jacked a photog's bag in July 2013 and threw his camera equipment all over the street -- while a Hollywood tour bus drove by!
The photog claimed Odom caused more than $15k in damage to his camera stuff -- and demanded more than $500k for assault, stealing property and more
Now, we know the photog has filed court docs asking the judge to drop the case without prejudice (so he can't sue Lamar for the incident again.)
Smells like a settlement was struck between the two sides -- but when we called Odom's lawyer, all he would say was "no comment."
ATL Rapper Killer Mike
Hawks Owner's NOT A Racist
... He's A Businessman
9/14/2014 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
ATL Hawks owner Bruce Levenson is being UNFAIRLY labeled a racist over his now infamous email -- so says ATL rapper Killer Mike who tells TMZ Sports the only color on BL's mind was GREEN!
The email (from 2012) went viral last weekend -- and in it, Levenson explained that the high percentage of black people at his games was scaring off rich white people.
Mike, who's signed to T.I.'s Grand Hustle label, says there's NOTHING WRONG with making those observations.
"It's not remotely racist at all. What I read was a business man trying to fill up his seats with the demographic that spends the most money."
Mike adds, "I own a barber shop. I make it a point for people to know I cut white people's hair. If white people 30 to 55 aren't coming to Hawks games, you have to do whatever you need to do to get them there."
Mike does admit that the email was "crass" -- but he thinks people should stop being so quick to throw that word "racist" around.
"We should save that outrage for a time when it's really warranted."
MEETS WITH NBA
Over Handling of Racist ATL Hawks Owner
9/12/2014 7:04 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Al Sharpton tells TMZ Sports ... he's been a part of discussions with NBA Commish Adam Silver on how to handle the situation with racist Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson.
Sharpton -- who previously sat down with Adam Silver in the middle of the Donald Sterling crisis -- tells us, "In the discussions we've been having with the Commissioner, they said they were gonna vet everyone out [before allowing a sale of the team]."
The Rev says, "We challenge the NBA Commissioner Silver and others to not just go from one billionaire to another without opening up the diversity of ownership in the NBA."
"We only have one team. Michael Jordan owned by a black [Charlotte Bobcats] ... yet look at the percentage of players that are black."
Of course, Levenson just announced he would be selling the Hawks over a super racist email he wrote in 2012 -- complaining about too many black people at his games.
NBA Star Paul George
For Stupid Ray Rice Tweet
9/11/2014 6:41 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
10:47 AM PT -- Larry Bird (President of the Pacers) just ripped George over the comments ... saying, "Paul George's tweets from earlier were thoughtless and without regard to the subject of domestic violence and its seriousness in society."
Paul George's leg must be okay ... 'cause he's backpedaling HARD after tweeting out some STUPID comments about the Ray Rice situation.
The Indiana Pacers star came under fire IMMEDIATELY after writing, "I don't condone hittin women or think it's coo BUT if SHE ain't trippin then I ain't trippin.. Lets keep it movin lol let that man play!"
Then it got worse ... with George writing, "If you in a relationship and a woman hit you first and attacking YOU.. Then you obviously ain't beatin HER. Homie made A bad choice! #StayUp"
Were you even watching the same tape?? It wasn't exactly self defense, dude.
Didn't take long for George to realize he screwed up -- and less than an hour later, tweeted, "Let me apologize to the women and to the VICTIMS of domestic violence people my intent was not to downplay the situation."
Gunning to Buy Atlanta Hawks
9/10/2014 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
With racist-ass racist Bruce Levenson on the outs ... TMZ Sports has learned NBA legend Dominique Wilkins is actively trying to become the next owner of the Atlanta Hawks.
Multiple NBA sources tell us ... Dominique is "extremely interested" in becoming the next owner of the Hawks -- and has already been pre-approved for ownership by the NBA.
We're told Wilkins -- who has amassed his own small fortune over the years -- has partnered up with a "very well-known businessman" who believes Wilkins would be the best person to lead the Hawks back to NBA glory.
Of course, Levenson recently tendered his letter of resignation as current Hawks owner after an incredibly racist email he wrote back in 2012 came to light ... in which he complained that too many black people were attending his games.
Wilkins played for the Hawks for 12 years during his NBA career ... and was a 9-time All Star ... and they still LOVE him in the ATL.
So far, it's unclear who else is in the hunt for the team -- but ya gotta figure Wilkins is the local favorite.
Is Adam Silver a Better Commish
Than Roger Goodell?
9/9/2014 6:56 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Doc Rivers is no stranger to national controversy (see: Donald Sterling) ... so the question we had to ask -- could NBA Commissioner Adam Silver have handled the Ray Rice situation better than Roger Goodell?
Of course, Silver was hailed as a hero for his swift and thorough handling of the Sterling scandal -- when he sent a team of NBA investigators to L.A. ... who quickly gathered facts and independently verified the authenticity of the Sterling recordings.
On the other hand, Goodell is being accused of bungling the Rice case -- after admitting he screwed up on Ray's initial punishment and claiming he was never able to get his hands on the elevator security footage.
As for Doc ... watch the video, he doesn't attack Goodell -- but makes it clear, he's THRILLED to have Silver as his Commish.
Atlanta Hawks Owner
I Pulled a Donald Sterling
Outs Himself for Super Racist Email
9/7/2014 10:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson abruptly announced he's selling the team because he's guilty of sending an email so racist ... it would make Donald Sterling cringe.
Levenson admits he sent the email to team execs back in 2012, urging them to get more suburban white fans at games. He then laid out all the problems with the current fan base, listing the following:
- it's 70 pct black
- the cheerleaders are black
- the music is hip hop
- at the bars it's 90 pct black
- there are few fathers and sons at the games
- the concerts [after games] are either hip hop or gospel
Levenson continued in the email ... "My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a significant season ticket base." He also complained that he's told team execs, "I want some white cheerleaders ... I have even bitched that the kiss cam is too black."
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says Levenson copped to the email in July -- about 2 months after Donald Sterling was banned -- and immediately informed the league he would sell the team.
Levenson apologized to fans in a statement, saying ... "If you're angry about what I wrote, you should be. I'm angry at myself too."