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NBA's Richard Jefferson I'm NOT Retiring 'Gonna Play a Couple More Years'

6/30/2016 6:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Richard Jefferson says he's definitely NOT hangin' 'em up -- telling TMZ Sports he has no plans to retire and wants to ball for "a couple more years." 

The 36-year-old Cleveland Cavs star initially announced his retirement in the locker room -- right after his squad beat the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA championship. 

But he's been walkin' that statement back ever since -- and Wednesday at The Solution (an IV hydration spa in L.A.) he told us pretty definitely "I'm not retiring."

Question is ... is he gonna stay in Cleveland? We asked. Check out what he said. 

Kyrie Irving My Yacht Party Wasn't Racist ... I Love Black Women

6/29/2016 4:27 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Kyrie Irving says allegations that his yacht party was a "No Black Girls Allowed" event is complete BS -- calling the rumors complete "nonsense."

The Cleveland Cavs star came under fire from social media trolls who saw the footage of Kyrie on a boat with a bunch of women ... many of whom were white. 

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Now, Kyrie is firing back at the critics -- saying, "I'd never think I would have to address something as ridiculous as a yacht party, but I wasn't raised to discriminate against any race let alone any race of women, especially my own."

"I was raised by the black women in my family and for me to be connected to some nonsense like a 'No black girls allowed' party is embarrassing and an inaccurate portrayal of who and what I represent as man."

Irving apologized to the people who were offended without knowing the facts -- but says, "that story has no truth to it and I wanted to clear the air on all of this B.S."

"But now, I would like to continue celebrating this championship. Thank you."

NBA Rookie Demetrius Jackson Orders Custom Suit ... With My Face On It!!!

6/29/2016 4:06 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0629_Demetrius-Jackson_jacket_getty_ESQ-ClothingNBA rookie Demetrius Jackson has gone next level with his wardrobe personalization -- ordering up a sick custom jacket ... WITH HIS OWN FACE INSIDE IT!! 

The Boston Celtics rook -- 45th pick in the draft -- hit up Ge Wang at ESQ Clothing and asked for 3 unique jackets. Wang delivered ... with custom lining made specifically for Jackson.

The first jacket featured DJ in his Notre Dame jersey. The second was a tribute to his dog, Obi. The third was ND's famous Golden Dome building. 

0629_Demetrius-Jackson_jacket_getty_ESQ-Clothing_SUBWe spoke with Wang ... who told us, "Demetrius didn't specifically say what to put on them. We tried to surprise him a bit. He's very passionate about his upbringing and his puppy, so we went that route.”

Wang wouldn't say how much DJ paid for his handmade threads -- but said his stuff usually runs about $2k per suit plus another $500 for custom lining. 

Good thing DJ's rich. 

Michael Jordan I Jet Ski, Bro ... But Get Me a Helmet!!!

6/29/2016 2:49 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0629_michael_jordan_jet_ski_italy_launchWho jet skis with a helmet? Michael Jordan ... that's who. 

The NBA legend jumped on a watercraft off the coast of Italy and shredded the waves around some cool cliffs and caverns ... but he made sure to protect his billion dollar brain. 

#SafetyFirst

Thon Maker's H.S. Coach Passport PROVES He's Really 19 ... See For Yourself!

6/29/2016 12:22 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0629_ThonMaker-Expired-Passport_twitterThon Maker's former high school coach believes the NBA rookie's PASSPORT will help end the debate over Thon's real age ... so he posted it on social media. 

In the days and weeks before he was drafted 10th overall, skeptics claimed the Sudan-born superstar is YEARS older than he claims to be ... and has been lying about his age to get a competitive advantage. 

But Sky Smith -- one of Thon's coaches at the Athlete Institute prep school in Ontario, Canada -- believes Thon's expired passport (issued in 2009) will prove he's really 19 years old. 

Check it out for yourself ... Smith says the passport was issued by the Australian government in 2009 -- when Thon was 12 years old. It says his date of birth is Feb. 25 1997. 

Of course, the conspiracy theorists will continue to theorize ... but this seems to be more solid than a probably photoshopped high school yearbook photo. 

Shareef O'Neal Colleges Love Me Check Out the Recruiting Letters!

6/29/2016 9:31 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0629-shareef-o-neal-snap-01Shaquille O'Neal's son is in high demand -- the 16-year-old high school hoops star just got a brand new wave of letters from colleges hoping to land the 6'9" phenom. 

Everyone knows ... Shareef O'Neal has become one of the most high profile prep basketball players in the country -- with big college programs like LSU, Arizona and Cal reportedly offering him a ride already.

Now, a bunch of other schools have joined the race -- Shareef posted a pic of brand new recruiting letters from Colorado, Saint Mary's, Gonzaga and Memphis. 

Shareef says he hasn't made up his mind yet -- but it seems USC and UCLA are in the lead ... because his mom wants him to stay local. 

Stay tuned ... 

J.R. Smith Selling My Body Tatted Tees Making Huge $$

6/28/2016 9:52 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0628-jr-smith-tattoos-shirt-front-GETTY-FRESH_BREWED_TEES-01Tons of people want a body like J.R. Smith -- and now they can have it ... 'cause the NBA star is selling t-shirts of his tatted physique ... and making a TON of cash in the process. 

Smith's inked up physique dominated the Internet when he refused to put a shirt on following the NBA Finals -- and a Cleveland-based clothing company saw a huge chance to cash in on the topless attention.

We spoke with Tony Madalone of Fresh Brewed Tees who immediately commissioned replicas of Smith's upper body for shirts ... and he says they've already sold 1,000 units ($35 a pop) in less than 24 hours. 

What's interesting ... the company realized some of J.R.'s tats could be problematic because they're based off trademarked images ... such as Michael Jordan's "Jumpman" logo. 

0628-jr-smith-tattoos-shirt-back-SUB-GETTY-FRESH_BREWED_TEES-01

So, in an effort to skirt the issue ... FBT altered some of the tats. Some of the changes -- they removed the name "Jordan" from a #23 jersey and modified the "Jumpman" logo. 

By the way, Obama famously told Smith to put a shirt on after the victory ... wonder if this counts? 

Dwyane Wade Banana Boat Pic Immortalized With Wacky Snapchat Filter

6/28/2016 9:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Anyone hoping to see Dwyane Wade, LeBron James & Chris Paul back on the banana boat is in luck ... kinda ... 'cause the most bromantic moment in NBA history is officially a Snapchat filter.

The guys are all back on vacation -- we're not sure where, but it's nice -- and Wade took to Snapchat to document the festivities using a mini cartoon picture of the guys' famous ride.

Check out the vid -- You can tell it's still the beginning of the trip ... but everyone looks like they're ready to turn up, expect for LeBron ... who's obviously a little tired from carrying an entire city on his back.

No word on whether there will be another boat ride ... but even if there isn't, we'll always have summer 2015.

0628-gabrielle-union-lebron-james-dwayn-wade-chris-paul-banana-boat-SPLASH-01

Tracy McGrady Olympics Are Way Too Dangerous ... No Way I'd Play!!

6/28/2016 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Tracy McGrady says there's NO DAMN WAY he'd hoop for the U.S. in the '16 Olympics ... warning athletes everywhere that Zika and the putrid water situation make it not worth it. 

Tons of huge stars have signed up for Team USA -- including Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Kyrie Irving ... while other stars like LeBron, Steph and Russell Westbrook took a pass. 

So, with all the questions about the health risks to the players, we had to ask T-Mac what he would do in the same situation. 

Long story short -- HELLLLLL NO. 

Don't close the door yet, Tracy ... if guys keep dropping out we might actually need you.

NBA's Thabo Sefolosha NYPD Calls BS On Abuse ... 'Force Was Justified'

6/27/2016 3:43 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0627_thabo-sefolosha_nypd_gettyThe NYPD officers who subdued and arrested NBA star Thabo Sefolosha last year were completely justified in their action, so says the NYPD ... despite Thabo's claim he suffered serious injuries during the incident.

You know the backstory ... the ATL Hawks star got into it with NYPD officers back in April 2015 outside of 1 OAK nightclub ... minutes after a fellow NBA player was stabbed nearby. 

Sefolosha was initially arrested for obstructing justice and disorderly conduct -- but he took the case to trial and was eventually exonerated. 

Thabo claimed the officers used excessive force -- striking him with a baton, forcing him to the ground and handcuffing him. Thabo claims he suffered a broken leg and ligament damage.

Thabo had sued the 5 officers and the City of NY seeking up to $50 million in damages.

Now, the City of NY has responded -- and officials are backing the cops.

In court docs obtained by TMZ Sports, the City states, "Any force was reasonable and justified."

As for the alleged injuries -- the City blames Thabo ... saying, "Any injury alleged to have been sustained resulted from [Sefolosha's] own culpable or negligent conduct or the culpable or negligent conduct of others." 

The City wants the judge to throw out the case. We're guessing that ain't gonna happen. 

Stay tuned ... 

Russell Westbrook I'd Play For Obama ... He'd Be A Great NBA Owner

6/27/2016 1:06 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

President Obama's dream of owning an NBA team just got its first superstar endorsement ... 'cause Russell Westbrook says he'd love to lace 'em up for the top man if he ever scored his team.

Westbrook was out in Beverly Hills when we asked about Obama saying he wants to run an NBA franchise when his lease at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue runs out.

Question is, would Westbrook ... who's a free agent after next year .... wanna hoop it up for Obama's dream team?

Check out the clip -- Looks like there's a formula to bring Russ to your NBA team ...

Just add Obama.

Spike Lee Knicks Need to Sign Joakim ... Doubtful On KD

6/27/2016 11:14 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Good news for Knicks fans -- Spike Lee seems pretty optimistic about signing Joakim Noah

Bad news for Knicks fans -- He's not too confident about Kevin Durant

The Knicks mega-fan was at LAX when he told us Noah is "doable" -- meaning he's convinced there's a very real chance NY signs the Chicago Bull. 

He's way less confident about landing KD.

Still, Spike says with Derrick Rose and Carmelo on board -- "We're making the playoffs. That's all I can say."

James Harden Destroys Kid At Basketball ... With Awesome Houdini Move

6/27/2016 9:54 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Beware, children of Earth ... if you dare to get on a basketball court with James Harden you might go viral ... 'cause the Rockets star just totally put a kid in the popcorn machine and it's all on video.

It all went down at Harden's basketball camp where he went 1-on-1 with a kid and probably made the tyke's whole summer.

Check out the clip ... Harden gives him a little shake, a little bake, and a BIG fake ... then finishes the whole thing with a dunk.

Not quite Kevin Durant-level child dominance ... but still ... freakin' awesome.

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