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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar More Athletes Should Run for Office 'They Have the Popularity'

8/23/2016 11:24 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Steve Largent did it ... so did Heath Shuler and Jack Kemp -- and now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is calling on MORE pro athletes to run for political office. 

The NBA legend recently appeared on "SI Now" and made the case for Dwyane Wade to run for mayor of Chicago ... claiming he's smart and tuned into the city and could really make a difference.

So, when we saw KAJ in NYC Monday -- he told us it shouldn't stop with Wade -- saying people like Kobe Bryant should also consider politics ... because athletes have the popularity to be great leaders. 

Soooo .... is President LeBron James out of the question?? 

Damian Lillard Kobe Can Be the Next Magic Johnson ... Off the Court

8/23/2016 6:52 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

With Kobe Bryant launching his own $100 million venture capital fund, he's right on pace to be the next Magic Johnson of the business world ... so says Damian Lillard

The Portland Trail Blazers superstar says Kobe's got all the right skills to follow Magic's lead -- he's smart, driven and a winner. 

So, we asked Lillard if he would team up with Bryant. His response -- "The question is ... would HE team up with ME?"

Brandon Jennings Carmelo Anthony Is The GOAT ... Of Olympic Hoops

8/22/2016 3:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Carmelo Anthony is the single greatest Olympic basketball player in history ... so says his Knicks teammate Brandon Jennings ... who says Melo is no doubt the international GOAT.

We got Brandon out in L.A. Sunday and asked about Anthony taking home his record-breaking 3rd gold medal ... and if it puts him ahead of other greats who've donned the red, white, and blue.

Brandon says Melo has done more than enough to prove he's the MAN on the world's biggest stage.

One thing's for sure ... Michael Jordan is gonna be annoyed by this.

Oh, and get this ... Jennings also explains why he has ZERO desire to play for Team USA. 

Check out the clip. 

Karl Malone Hey, Military Flood Responders ... I'm Paying Your Bill!

8/22/2016 2:33 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0822-karl-malone-national-guard-military-INSTAGRAM-01Karl Malone came through with an assist John Stockton would be proud of -- hooking up 5 members of the National Guard on Louisiana flood relief duty with free food and cigars. 

Malone was at Walk-On's Bistreaux in Baton Rouge on Thursday -- when he ran into Staff Sergeant Doug Sevier and 4 of his fellow responders.

We're told Malone -- who's from Louisiana -- thanked the guys for their service ... and refused to let them pay their tab. 

But the coolest part, Staff Sgt. Sevier says Malone went to his car and grabbed 6 cigars from his personal collection -- and handed them out (with one for himself, of course). 

"He was very, very easy to talk to," Sevier tells TMZ Sports. "He was engaging and seemed to genuinely care what each of us had to say. It was an extremely positive experience."

#MailmanDelivers

Dwight Howard I'd Beat LeBron In MMA Fight ... Lemme Explain

8/22/2016 9:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

NBA star Dwight Howard is a huge UFC fan -- so when we got him leaving UFC 202, we had to ask ... who would win if you stepped into the Octagon with LeBron James??

Howard ain't no bitch -- and says he'd put his money on himself. 

Look, he was just joking around ... but let's check out the tale of the tape:

Dwight -- 30 years old, 6'11", 265 lbs with a wingspan of 7'4".

LeBron -- 31 years old, 6'8", 250 lbs with a wingspan of 7'0". 

So, who YOU got???

Check out the clip ... Howard also says he's a big WWE fan and would be down to follow Dennis Rodman's lead and do a little wrastlin' himself at some point. 

"I'll get out there and scream and yell and suplex sombody! RKO outta nowhere!"

Heads up, McMahon family.

Jerry Stackhouse Michael Jordan NEVER Sang To Me ... My Ex-Teammate LIED

8/21/2016 12:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Ex-NBA star Jerry Stackhouse says claims that Michael Jordan would taunt him back in the day by singing Anita Baker lyrics to him are BS ... and he called the guy spreading the lies to rip him a new one. 

We got Stack at LAX and asked about his former 76ers running mate Roshown McLeod's claim that His Airness had serenaded Jerry with some Anita Baker during an NBA game to throw him off.

Cool story ... but Stackhouse -- who had a reputation as one of the league's most terrifying players -- says the whole story is a Ryan Lochte (shame on you) ... and he had to call his boy and let him know.

Check out the clip ... and tell the truth, people.

Blake Griffin Baby #2 On the Way? Hits Hawaii with Preggo GF

8/20/2016 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0819-blake-griffin-brynn-cameron-splash-01Good news for Blake Griffin ... his girlfriend is pregnant ... again!

The NBA star was spotted out in Hawaii this week with his longtime GF, Brynn Cameron. The two already have one son together who was born back in 2013. 

Now, it seems the kid's getting a new sibling -- because Brynn is clearly pregnant again! 

FYI, Brynn -- a former college basketball player -- also has another child with ex-boyfriend Matt Leinart.

Congrats!

Gilbert Arenas Off-Roading In Maybach ... Blows a Tire

8/17/2016 3:37 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

It cost more than $350,000 when he bought it roughly 10 years ago ... but now, Gilbert Arenas has relegated his fancy Maybach to off-road duty ... and it SUCKS on the trails.

Mr. No Chill documented his luxury breakdown on Snapchat ... telling the harrowing tale of a Maybach that lost a paw on his ranch ... and the trusty hands that helped him get on the road again.

WARNING -- Gilbert definitely goes racist ... saying the guys who came to his rescue are "illegal Mexicans" who he's been hiding ... ever since Donald Trump threatened to "send 'em back."

One thing we know about Gilbert at this point ... he doesn't care if you're offended. 

Fabolous I Was WRONG About Porzingis ... Dude Can Ball

8/17/2016 6:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

A real man can admit when he's wrong -- and Fabolous says he was WAY OFF when he predicted doom for the Knicks when they drafted Kristaps Porzingis

The Brooklyn-born rapper was pissed when his squad took the Latvian phenom with the 4th overall pick in the 2015 draft -- and at the time, told us the Knicks were totally screwed. 

But that was before KP killed it in his rookie season. 

Check out the video to see how Fab changed his tune. 

LeBron James Here's Another Gift, Ohio Sends 5,000 Kids to Amusement Park

8/16/2016 2:35 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0816-lebron-james-tmz-facebook-01LeBron James is putting that new $100 million contract to good use, 'cause the Cavs superstar brought 5,000 kids and their families to an amusement park on Tuesday.

The annual trip to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio encourages Akron kiddos to focus on their education before entering LBJ's "I Promise" initiative -- which offers a free college education after high school.

TMZ Sports spoke with a rep from CP, who tells us, "It’s an honor to work with a wonderful, dedicated group of people who provide so much to Northeast Ohio – and we’re happy to provide a 'Best Day' experience for their program families here at the park.”

LeBron teamed up with Chase Bank to help pay for the shindig ... which also offers an opportunity to attend a sit-down convo with the King himself.

Free college AND free roller coasters? Where do we sign up?

Russell Westbrook Dominates '90s Party ... Nice Overalls, Bro

8/15/2016 3:32 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0815_dorell_wright_party_launch_2If Will Smith could pull it off, why not Russell Westbrook ... right? 

Russ stole the show at Dorell Wright's '90s-themed charity event in L.A. this weekend -- rocking the overalls, no shirt, gold chain, pink hat and glasses look ... with an ugly yellow jacket to match.

TLC WOULD APPROVE!

0815-90s-overalls-fresh-prince-tlc-sub-asset-GETTY-01A bunch of other NBA stars hit up the party too -- including James Harden (lame outfit), Nick Young (decent outfit) and Gilbert Arenas (weird zipper outfit).

The event raised more than $10,000 for the D Wright Way Foundation which helps underprivileged youth.

Check out the pics ... and be pissed you tossed out your Cross Colours.

NBA's O.J. Mayo I'm Appealing Drug Suspension 'I'll Be Back Soon'

8/15/2016 1:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

O.J. Mayo says he's fighting his ban from the NBA after allegedly violating the league's drug policy -- and tells TMZ Sports he expects to be back on the court soon. 

The league handed down the punishment back in July -- and said he'll be eligible to apply for reinstatement in 2 years. The league has not released any details about the substance that triggered the violation. 

But when we got Mayo out in L.A. Monday he told us he's not taking the situation lying down -- saying he filed an appeal and the process is already "in the works."

(UPDATE: There's some debate over what Mayo says in the clip. Some people believe he says, "I already appealed it. It didn't work." Our photog says he believes he heard "it's in the works." Listen to the video and judge for yourself.)

As for the alleged violation, Mayo says he will tell his side of the story soon -- and noted that he's been focused on recovering from recent foot surgery. 

Mayo is only 28 years old -- and clearly isn't ready to be done with basketball just yet.

Gilbert Arenas 'You Can't Treat Boys Like Girls' ... Even When They're 4

8/15/2016 8:51 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Gilbert Arenas says he's so hard on Nick Young's 4-year-old son ... because he doesn't want the kid to be a "vagina" when he grows up. 

Gilbert has been posting videos with 4-year-old Nick Young Jr. -- doing things like throwing his scooter across the yard to toughen him up. He also mocked the kid for crying when he got hit with a basketball. 

So, when we saw Gilbert at Skateland over the weekend for Dorell Wright's '90s-themed charity event -- we asked if he thinks he's going TOO hard on the youngster. 

"Hell naw! That's how you're supposed to treat boys," Arenas said ... "can't treat boys like little girls." 

"I'm worse off the camera to him. He used to be a vagina, now he's good."

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