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NBA's Kermit Washington League's Not As Violent Now ... There's More to Lose

2/2/2016 1:35 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

The NBA is a much more peaceful place now than it was back in the '70s ... so says a guy who would know, Kermit Washington

Besides having a 15 year run in the league -- Kermit infamously threw the punch that ended Rudy Tomjanovich's career back in 1977 ... one of the most brutal moments in the history of the NBA. 

So, when we saw Kermit in L.A. Tuesday-- we had to ask how he felt about the recent wave of NBA violence ... including Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes and even the Kobe vs. Samaki Walker fight. 

You gotta hear what Kermit says -- he actually gives props to today's players ... and says there's a good reason why they're on their best behavior -- $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. 

Check out the clip. 

Doc Rivers Blake's a Good Guy Something Positive Will Come from This

2/1/2016 7:51 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Video

Blake Griffin is no villain -- he's a "good guy" -- so says Clippers head coach Doc Rivers who tells TMZ Sports he's confident something positive will come from the whole Toronto fight saga. 

Rivers was leaving Mr Chow this weekend -- when we asked if his opinion on the fight changed now that we know Blake had been drinking in the hours before he attacked Matias Testi last month. 

Rivers shook his head 'no' -- and then went to bat for the NBA star ... saying, "He's a grown man ... and he's a good guy."

It's another big endorsement for Griffin -- who appeared to have the support of NBA commish Adam Silver last week ... who also defended BG as a "good guy."

Earlier in the week, Rivers called for people to forgive Griffin by comparing him to a former U.S. president ... saying, "You have to forgive people at some point. I believe that. We built Richard Nixon a library.”

Mark Cuban Gunning to Start 'League of Legends' Team

1/31/2016 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0129-mark-cuban-league-of-legends-TMZ-01Mark Cuban is setting his sights on "League of Legends" domination -- telling TMZ Sports he's interested in starting his own team to compete against the best in the video game world.

FYI, "League of Legends" is a HUGE business -- with 36 MILLION people who watched the 2015 'LoL' World Championship ... and clearly, Cuban has taken notice.

We spoke with Cuban who tells us he's kicking around the idea of "starting [a team] as the backer and operator" ... which means he would fund the team and be in charge of personnel ... kind of like what he does with the Dallas Mavericks.  

"I've played and know a fair amount, but I'm in no rush," Cuban says. 

He wouldn't be the first NBA personality to helm a 'LoL' team -- Rick Fox bought one back in December, reportedly spending $1 million on his squad ... and renamed it "Echo Fox."

There's millions of dollars in prize money to be won in global competitions -- and it seems to be getting bigger every single day.

Game on. 

L.A. Clippers Teammates Upset at Blake 'Letting the Team Down'

1/30/2016 12:54 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0129-blake-griffin-tmz-01Blake Griffin isn't just in the doghouse with Clippers management -- but multiple teammates are also upset with the NBA star ... with one player telling TMZ Sports, "He let the team down."

We've spoken with several people in the Clippers organization -- including players -- who tell us people are sour on Blake because he acted "selfishly" when he punched the team's equipment manager. 

Our sources tell us ... Blake and Matias Testi had been arguing pretty intensely at Sotto Sotto in Toronto -- but it escalated when Testi called Blake a "bitch" ... and Blake felt disrespected. 

The players we spoke with say they feel bad for both Blake and Testi -- both are well liked in the organization -- but they're more upset with Blake because his stupid mistake really hurts the team. 

Is the situation fixable? From what we're told, yes ... but it's on Blake to win back the team -- and the owner -- who had issued a statement essentially saying Griffin was a disgrace to the team. 

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NHL Legend Luc Robitaille Shaq Deserves Statue Thank God It's Not a Free Throw Pose

1/30/2016 12:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

NHL God Luc Robitaille says the people designing Shaq's Staples Center statue are no dummies -- 'cause if you're gonna immortalize the Diesel ... it should be dunks and NOT free throws.

We got Luc out at LAX asked about Shaq joining Magic, Kareem, Wayne Gretzky and Oscar De La Hoya with a statue outside of Staples Center.

Luc's the perfect guy to ask ... 'CAUSE HE FREAKIN' HAS A STATUE TOO ... from his time of being Wayne's right hand man with the L.A. Kings.

Check out the clip -- Luke says it's past time that O'Neal gain entrance into club statue ... but as far as his pose Robitaille says sculptors are following the golden rule ... AVOID THE FREE THROW LINE. 

Blake Griffin Kia Mum On Future with NBA Star

1/29/2016 12:26 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0129-blake-griffin-tmz-01Kia isn't exactly rushing to the defense of their superstar pitchman Blake Griffin -- with the car company refusing to say if they'll stand by the NBA star in the wake of his fistfight in Toronto. 

We reached out to Kia to ask if Blake's job is safe ... this is all we got back: 

"Kia is not offering comment on this matter."

Not exactly a rousing show of support for a guy who's had a working relationship with Kia since 2011. 

We're guessing Kia's just waiting to see how the NBA investigation shakes out before committing to any course of action ... can't really blame 'em. 

As for Blake, he's already had the most powerful man in the NBA go to bat for him -- so, he's probably not too worried. 

NBA's Adam Silver Blake Griffin's a Great Guy ... He'll Learn from This

1/28/2016 12:20 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Two pretty great parts of this video with NBA Commish Adam Silver

First ... Silver goes to bat for Blake Griffin ... saying he's a "great guy" who knows he screwed up and is ready to accept the consequences. 

Silver says the investigation into Griffin is still ongoing and he's hoping to gather more information -- but if you're Blake, this video probably makes you very happy. 

Second ... SILVER SAYS HE'S TRYING TO GET DRAKE TO JOIN THE NBA ALL-STAR GAME HALFTIME SHOW!!!

For real. 

We all love Sting ... but there was some head-scratching when he was announced, being that the game is in Toronto, Drake's hometown. 

Fear not, it's Silver to the rescue again!!!

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Blake Griffin Drinking Before Fight ... Witnesses Say

1/27/2016 12:34 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0127-blake-griffin-TMZ-01Blake Griffin -- along with at least one teammate and the team's equipment assistant -- had been drinking in the hours leading up to the fight in Toronto ... multiple witnesses tell TMZ Sports.

According to several witnesses, Griffin and the equipment manager were seen fighting outside of Sotto Sotto restaurant in Toronto  on January 23rd. 

Before the fight, witnesses say Griffin's crew was spotted at Coco Lezzone -- across the street from Sotto Sotto -- where the group ordered a couple rounds of drinks. 

We're told the guys left Coco and went to Sotto ... where they spent roughly 2 hours before witnesses saw the men fighting in the street. 

Clippers president Doc Rivers has said he does NOT believe alcohol was a factor -- though he did point out the guys are old enough to drink ... and drinking alone is not a crime. 

We spoke with a rep for the Toronto PD who tells us there is no record of an incident involving Griffin -- however, "It is highly possible that police were in the area at the time and may have dropped in. In Toronto it is very likely and possible."

As we previously reported, cops say there is no investigation into Griffin -- and won't be unless someone files a formal complaint, which has not happened. 

When reached for comment, a rep for Sotto Sotto had no comment. 

We also spoke with the Clippers and reached out to Blake's rep -- but they have all declined comment as well. 

L.A. Clippers Blake Griffin Disgrace to Team ... Will Be Punished

1/26/2016 1:05 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0126-blake-griffin-noThe L.A. Clippers have come out strong to condemn the actions of Blake Griffin -- confirming he punched a guy on Jan. 23rd ... and calling his actions disgraceful. 

The team issued a statement saying, "Griffin suffered a spiral fracture of the 4th metacarpal in his right hand throwing a punch on Jan. 23rd in Toronto."

"His conduct has no place in our organization and this incident does not represent who we are as a team."

"We are conducting a full investigation with assistance from the NBA. At the conclusion of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken."

The statement comes in the wake of reports Griffin punched the team's assistant equipment manager during a dispute at a restaurant. 

The Clippers say Blake already had a surgical procedure done on his hand early Tuesday morning -- and will need 4 to 6 weeks to recover. 

As TMZ Sports first reported, police in Toronto are NOT investigating the incident ... claiming no one filed a report against the NBA star. 

Tracy McGrady Yeezys Are Terrible For Basketball ... But I Need 'Em!!!

1/26/2016 8:27 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Tracy McGrady has a message for NBA players -- NEVER BALL IN YEEZYS!!!!

The ex-NBA star loves the shoes ... but says Nick Young's decision to play in 'em earlier this season was downright stupid -- 'cause they'll murder your feet.  

That being said ... T-Mac says he NEEDS to get some of Kanye's shoes in his collection -- and makes a pretty hilarious plea to the rapper for a few pairs. 

The best part ... when we asked why he wouldn't just buy a pair, Tracy said -- "Why should I buy 'em?? I'm with Adidas ... I AM ADIDAS!!"

You gotta watch the clip ... Tracy's awesome.  

Kobe Bryant PUNCHED ME OVER $100 IN 2002 ... Ex-Teammate Says

1/26/2016 7:01 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

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Kobe Bryant sucker punched a former teammate in the face -- over $100 -- back in 2002 ... and it almost caused a nuclear war between the players ... this according to the punchee, Samaki Walker

Walker -- who played on the Lakers from 2001 to 2003 -- appeared on Brown and Scoop on CBS Radio's Play.It  and detailed the entire incident ... saying Bryant struck him on the team bus in an effort to collect a gambling debt. 

Walker says Kobe had won a half-court shot game the team often played -- where everyone throws a $100 in the pot -- and the person who hits the shot collects.  

Walker told Brandon "Scoop B" Robinson and Jake Brown that Kobe confronted him on the team bus and hit him up for the cash ... and when Walker told him he'd pay him later, Kobe unleashed the fist. 

“It was a sucker punch. Right to the face," Walker said ... "Out of nowhere. I’m sitting down on the bus and I said this man is crazy."

Eventually, Walker says Shaq's bodyguard, Jerome, got Kobe to apologize ... but it's clear, he's still pissed about it. 

We reached out to Kobe's rep and the Lakers for comment -- so far, no word back. But we'll update as soon as we hear. 

[H/T Brown and Scoop

Baron Davis My Comeback Is On Schedule And I Have A Huge Vase Of Flowers

1/26/2016 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Former NBA star Baron Davis says he's very close to being a current NBA star ... and he's saying it while carrying a huge vase of roses ... for reasons unknown to TMZ Sports.

Davis was leaving The Nice Guy in West Hollywood when we asked how his NBA comeback was going -- he recently signed with a D-League team to work his way back into the league. 

Check out the clip -- Baron says his return is going "great" and he could be back in the league next season. Great news ... but once again ... why a massive vase of flowers at a nightclub?

It's not his birthday ... we checked ... but we promise to bring you answers.

Stay tuned.

LeBron James NFL Tight End Scores Gig On New TV Show

1/25/2016 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0122-lebron-james-mercedes-lewis-TMZ-01LeBron James' Hollywood success is trickling down to the NFL -- 'cause a Pro Bowl tight end just booked a role on his new TV show ... TMZ Sports has learned.  

Jacksonville Jags star Marcedes Lewis confirms ... he just locked up a gig on "Now We're Talking" -- a scripted comedy about 2 washed up QBs who try to become broadcasters. 

The show is being produced by Warner Bros. in conjunction with LeBron's Uninterrupted sports-entertainment network for Verizon’s Go90 mobile-video service.

As for Marcedes' part -- he tells us he plays a pro football player who's taking broadcasting courses in the hopes of landing a gig ... and runs into a bunch of old football buddies trying to do the same. 

Lewis says Steelers WR Martavis Bryant will also be in the show ... but brags, "I got extra scenes!" 

The show is expected to debut in the spring. 

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