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Drake's Dad I 'Love' LaVar Ball 'Cause He Don't Kiss Ass!!

2/25/2018 12:45 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

LaVar Ball just got the stamp of approval from one of the most famous dads in the world, not named LaVar Ball -- 'cause Drake's pops says he's ALL ABOUT the Ballfather!!

We got Dennis Graham out at TAO in L.A. -- and he laid out the #1 reason why he's got nothing but respect for the BBB patriarch.

"I love him because he's outspoken," Graham told TMZ Sports

"He's an outspoken guy and that's what you gotta be. Gotta speak your mind."

Dennis wasn't done there ...  telling us that LaVar wilin' out on the Lakers, UCLA, Trump and anyone else in his warpath is exactly what he should be doing! 

"People have been kissing butts for too long ... he doesn't do that."

Wonder if Drake feels the same way ...

Isaiah Thomas Lakers Should Probably Ditch Him ... Says Former Laker

2/24/2018 12:15 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Isaiah Thomas and Lonzo Ball miiight be able to mesh ... but the Lakers are probably better off letting I.T. walk this summer -- so says former longtime Laker Devean George.

We got Devean at LAX on Monday ... and the 3-time NBA champ wasn't ready to close the book on the Zo-I.T. era just yet.

"They're the same position, but they do different things. I.T. comin' in tryna score that thang, and you got somebody tryna dish it, so it might be able to work," George told TMZ Sports.

That said, D.G. told us the Lakers should look at other free agents before paying Isaiah a dime.

"I'd wait and see who else is on the market first."

Here's who else -- Chris Paul, DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George ... oh, and LEBRON -- who LaVar Ball told us is a lock to join Lonzo in L.A.

Matt Barnes Ex-Wife Rejects Olive Branch ... Trashes NBA Star Instead

2/23/2018 8:49 AM PST
Breaking News

Matt Barnes asked his ex-wife last night if they could finally make peace -- instead, a war ensued -- with the two sides trashing the hell out of each other online. 

It started when Matt posted a message to Gloria Govan on social media saying, "Wanna wish the mother of my children a very Happy Birthday! Hope this day is everything you hoped for and more."

"Although things have been rocky to say the least the last 4yrs I hope that for the sake of our two beautiful baby boys we can come together & co parent them to the best of our abilities! No more games or bullshit.. They need both of our love & support equally!"

"We lead different lives now but we still on the same team."

Seems harmless and well-intentioned, right? Gloria didn't take it that way and fired back ... 

"Thank you, I think? And yes One can only continue to pray that you take your own advice and learn to peacefully co parent! But until then I'll see you in court next week because you love a frivolous lawsuit. But hey let's keep co-parenting."

Yeah ... Olive Branch attempt REJECTED. 

Of course, Matt responded with some thoughts (and allegations) of his own ... 

"Well ... stealing money my social security # & forging my signature to buy your parents night club & house is pretty serious but hey .. I tried! See you in court! Oh & happy bday."

So much for burying the hatchet ... 

Markelle Fultz & Huge Stars Named In Bombshell Hoops Corruption Investigation

2/23/2018 6:07 AM PST
Breaking News

Markelle Fultz -- along with a slew of huge names and top college basketball programs -- have been named in a bombshell report into NCAA hoops corruption involving illegal payouts to players. 

The report centers around ex-NBA agent Andy Miller and his ASM Sports agency. Yahoo! Sports obtained hundreds of pages from an FBI probe which appear to show ASM Sports employees working with programs and players to ultimately get them to sign with the agency. 

Fultz -- the #1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft -- allegedly took $10,000 from the agency while in high school. He did not end up signing with ASM. 

Other names ... 

Dennis Smith Jr. (North Carolina State) allegedly took $73,500. 

Isaiah Whitehead (Seton Hall) allegedly took $37,657. He signed with ASM, but later left for Roc Nation Sports.

Kyle Kuzma (Utah) allegedly took $9,500.

Bennie Boatwright (University of Southern California) and/or his father allegedly took $2,000.

A bunch of guys who currently play in the NBA are on payout sheets obtained by federal investigators  including -- Kyle Lowry, Nerlens Noel, Fred Van Vleet and Kyle O'Quinn

The docs also show ASM met with Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, "Villanova coaches," and the family of former top high school prospect Mitchell Robinson. 

At least one ASM employee has been arrested in connection to the investigation. 

Tim Donaghy Off The Hook In Agg. Assault Case

2/22/2018 3:59 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Tim Donaghy ain't goin' back to prison ... 'cause officials in Florida are NOT filing charges against the ex-NBA ref after allegedly threatening a man with a hammer ... TMZ Sports has learned.

We broke the story ... Donaghy was arrested on December 19, 2017 and booked for aggravated assault -- a 3rd-degree felony. He was facing up to 5 years in prison.

For his part ... Tim claims he was only trying to rescue his daughter ... who he believed was doing drugs, and in a dangerous environment. 

Good news for Donaghy ... according to a court doc filed earlier today, prosecutors in Manatee County will not file charges ... meaning he's off the hook.

The one catch ... the state still has the right to file charges in the future ... but that seems unlikely.

Bottom line, Donaghy's free and clear.

Atlanta Hawks' Celeb DJ to Hawks Honchos: Give Quavo a 10-Day NBA Contract!!

2/22/2018 2:30 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Atlanta Hawks resident DJ Big Tigger is callin' on his squad to make the biggest pickup of the NBA season -- Quavo!!

"I think we should give Quavo a 10-day (deal) -- I don't know if he can play any defense but he can get us a couple buckets," Big Tigg told TMZ Sports outside the V103 radio station in ATL.

You'd think the former BET host was joking, but let's face facts ...

-- Quavo CRUSHED the NBA All-Star celeb game, winning MVP after Eurosteppin' on fools like James Harden.

-- Quavo's one of the biggest rap stars in the world right now, especially in his home state, and the Hawks have the lowest attendance in the league.

-- The Hawks are also last in the East, so they really got nothing to lose!!

Better move fast ... the L.A. Clippers are already trying to swoop on Huncho.

Kid Ink Advice For NBA GM's DRAFT TRAE YOUNG #1

2/22/2018 11:49 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Hip-hop superstar Kid Ink has some advice for NBA GM's looking to hold on to their jobs long-term ... TAKE TRAE YOUNG AS EARLY AS YOU CAN.

We got Ink out at a party for Ethika underwear when he began raving about the record-breaking Oklahoma freshman, who Ink says is his favorite basketball player on the planet.

Ink says Young -- who's averaging 28 points and 9 assists a game (that's after a mini-slump, mind you) -- should be the first player selected cause the dude's got game ... and SWAG!

There's only one point the Ink-Young lovefest won't go to, and that's when we asked Kid if he'd be getting a tattoo (he has hundreds) of Young to show his respect for him.

"That's taking it a little too far."

We get it.

Mark Cuban Worst Day Ever Fined $600k for Tanking

2/21/2018 1:06 PM PST
Breaking News

Mark Cuban was just fined $600k by the NBA for openly admitting to tanking ... less than 24 hours after a bombshell report was released exposing "predatory sexual behavior" in the Mavs' workplace.

"Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been fined $600,000 for public statements detrimental to the NBA," the league said in a statement. 

Cuban made his tanking comments on Dr. J's podcast earlier this week, saying -- "I'm probably not supposed to say this, but I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night ... and I said, 'Look, losing is our best option.'"

The fine's chump change for a billionaire like Cuban ... but the timing couldn't be worse.

Sports Illustrated published an article Tuesday night alleging crude sexual harassment on the part of former Mavs president and CEO Terdema Ussery. The article also claims a former writer for the Mavs' website kept his job despite committing multiple acts of domestic assault.

Both employees -- as well as the Mavs' head of HR -- are no longer with the team ... and Cuban has since hired an independent law firm to investigate.

Mark Cuban Defended By 'Shark Tank' Partner ... 'No Problems Here'

2/21/2018 9:44 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

One of Mark Cuban's "Shark Tank" business partners says the billionaire always acted like a consummate pro with her ... and she'd be SHOCKED if he really did know about the horrible things happening with the Dallas Mavs. 

We spoke with Raven Thomas who got Mark to invest in her gourmet food business -- The Painted Pretzel -- during a 2012 episode of "Shark Tank."

Thomas had nothing but positive things to say about her 6-year work relationship with Cuban -- and says he's always been a respectful partner and honorable business owner. 

In fact, Thomas says she was "shocked" by the allegations that the Mavs' front office was a nightmare for women ... saying, "I would be surprised, shocked if he had any knowledge of this and didn't do anything about it."

Thomas says she's also spoken with other people who work with Mark and has not heard anything negative about their experiences. 

"I have not heard one other entrepreneur say they've had a problem with [Mark] at all."

Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban 'Embarrassed' After Report Slams Team Office 'Corrosive, Misogynistic'

2/21/2018 6:07 AM PST
Breaking News

Mark Cuban says he's already begun firing and suspending Dallas Mavericks front office employees over a Sports Illustrated article that paints the company as a nightmare place for female employees. 

The article came out late Tuesday and contains quotes from several current and former female employees who say they experienced sexual harassment and "predatory sexual behavior" while working with the Mavs.

Among the allegations in the article ... former Mavericks president and CEO Terdema Ussery allegedly told one female employee, "You're going to get gang-banged, aren't you?"

When the woman told Ussery she was actually going to the movies with friends he replied, "No, you're definitely getting gang-banged." Terdema has denied the allegations.

Another claim from the article ... a former Mavs website writer committed multiple acts of domestic assault, including against a female employee he was dating. 

Both employees -- Ussery and the writer are no longer with the team.

Cuban has essentially said he didn't know about the alleged incidents -- claiming he would speak with his head of human resources and was assured he didn't have a problem in the Mavs organization.

When he learned of the incidents via the Sports Illustrated reporters, Cuban says he immediately took action -- hiring an independent law firm to investigate and a 3rd party company to handle harassment complaints. 

Cuban says he's also fired his head of H.R. 

"I want to deal with this issue," Cuban told SI ... adding, "There's a problem in the Mavericks organization and we've got to fix it."

He later said the team is bringing in "experts" to educate his staff and will offer a hotline for "counseling and support services as well as personalized services and in depth training for all employees and related staff, including myself."

Golden State Warriors Exec She's the Real All-Star ... Doubles Up Team Steph's Donation!!!

2/20/2018 12:14 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Steph Curry's All-Star team lost to LeBron's Sunday, meaning his charity of choice received less than half the donation as Bron's ... until now.

Brotherhood Crusade was picked by Curry as the community outreach program to rep for the All-Star Game, which ended up getting $150k since Team Steph lost (LeBron's charity got $350k).

Charisse Bremond, president and CEO of the organization, tells TMZ ... Warriors exec Erika Glazer felt bad it didn't get the winning money, so she pledged to match the donation and give an extra $150k from her own pocket. We're told the check will be there by week's end.

Bremond says Glazer's donation and the Team Steph donation -- $300k total -- will go toward operating costs, bolstering a variety of programs for its kids, providing mental health services and paying its high-quality staff.

Brotherhood Crusade helps around 3,000 kids a year in South L.A. and was the unanimous choice by the stars on Team Steph to play for. Several kids from the program attended the All-Star festivities last weekend and got to meet the players.

This is Brotherhood Crusade's 50th year serving the community.

OKC Thunder's Steven Adams Twitter Girl Still Wants a Date Better Late Than Never!

2/20/2018 10:43 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The chick who missed her shot at Steven Adams on Twitter 3 YEARS AGO says she's pumped the NBA star finally got back to her ... and she's still VERY down to go on a date!! 

Social media has been blowing up after Adams went DEEP into his Twitter history to respond to a 2015 tweet from Lauren Myers -- who asked him to be her date to her law school prom.

On Monday, February 19, 2018 ... Adams wrote back, "Absolutely."

Better late than never right?! Well, that's how Myers feels. 

In fact, the 28-year-old lawyer (she's since graduated law school and passed the bar) tells TMZ Sports she's down for a basketball game, dinner, bowling ... "anything would be fun!" 

Myers says she initially hit Adams up because he was a young, unknown player at the time and she thought there was a good chance she'd get a response. She never imagined hearing back now!

Steven ... HIT THIS GIRL UP!!!

Malik Monk NBA Rookie In Car Crash ... Cited By Cops

2/20/2018 7:11 AM PST
Breaking News

Charlotte Hornets rookie Malik Monk -- the 11th overall pick in the draft -- was involved in a car accident early Sunday morning ... and was cited by cops for careless driving. 

According to police documents obtained by TMZ Sports, Monk was driving near the University of Arkansas around 5:46 AM when his red 2002 Lexus ran off the road and crashed into a gate. 

University police responded and cited the 20-year-old for careless driving and no proof of insurance. 

The car was pretty jacked up and was towed to a nearby impound lot. Monk was allowed to retrieve his personal items which included money, basketballs, shoes and jerseys. 

Monk told police, "I was driving, looked down for a second then I just hit a bump. Happened fast."

No word if he was injured in the wreck. The Hornets don't play until Thursday. 

Monk was born and raised in Arkansas. He played college ball at Kentucky. 

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