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NBA's Larry Johnson

1st Baby Mama Stands Down

He Doesn't Owe Me Squat

3/27/2015 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Larry Johnson's first baby mama is coming to the ex-NBA star's defense -- telling TMZ Sports he's NOT a deadbeat dad ... claiming he doesn't owe her a dime.

We broke the story ... Johnson -- who made more than $80 million in his NBA career -- filed for bankruptcy and in official docs he listed 4 of his baby mamas as creditors, stemming from back child support payments. 

But Dronda Gillam -- who has a 22-year-old son with L.J. -- says there must've been a mistake ... because she NEVER went after Larry for child support ... ever. 

"We have a great relationship. I've never had a problem with him over money," Gillam says. 

"He’s always been supportive. We never had anything set up through the court system because we didn't need that."

She adds, "He's a really great guy. He just fell on tough times."

We reached out to Johnson and his people for comment -- so far, no word back.

Ex-Lakers Teammate

CALLS BS ON WILT

No Way He Boned 20,000 Chicks!

3/26/2015 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

One of Wilt Chamberlain's former teammates is calling out the NBA legend -- telling TMZ Sports there's NO WAY he took down 20,000 women ... because he was too busy taking down McDonalds. 

We spoke with Tom Hawkins -- who played 2 seasons with Wilt on the Lakers back in the '60s -- and he's adamant that Wilt "The Stilt" must have inflated his numbers in his tell-all book. 

"I played with him for 2 years ... I doubt his numbers are correct."

And why is Tommy (who played 10 solid years in the NBA) so steadfast in his belief? 

"Because too many nights I saw him going back to the hotel with nothing but a bag of McDonalds."

There's more ... a lot more ... just watch the clip.

NBA's Richard Jefferson

Buys Hat Off Dude's Head

... For $700!

3/25/2015 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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You ever see a fashion item that you just NEEDED TO HAVE???

NBA star Richard Jefferson did -- a Vans cheetah-print snapback baseball hat ... and he paid $700 to buy it off some random dude's head!!!

RJ was at Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails in Scottsdale, AZ Saturday night -- when a dude named Andrew walked in with the cheetah cap. 

Andrew tells TMZ Sports ... the Dallas Mavs star beelined it over his way with cash in hand ... and started making offers for the dome piece. Andrew declined at first ... but ultimately gave in for a handful of $100 bills -- 7 in total. 

So, why was Jefferson so obsessed with the hat? Andrew says RJ actually purchased the lid for teammate Chandler Parsons ... who was also eyeing the cap that night. 

The best part of the story -- Andrew says he originally bought the hat for $25. 

Not a bad return on investment. 

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Blake Griffin

Off the Hook

In Vegas Pimp Slap Case

3/24/2015 8:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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The pimp hand of justice just ruled in Blake Griffin's favor -- because officials have decided to DROP the battery case against the NBA star after they couldn't prove he actually slapped a guy in a Vegas nightclub. 

TMZ Sports broke the story ... Griffin was charged with battery stemming from an incident at Tao nightclub on October 19th ... when he allegedly put the 5 fingers to some dude's face for snapping a pic without Blake's permission. The man also claimed Blake grabbed his neck and squeezed.  

Blake denied the allegations --  and now we're told the charge has been formally dropped after Griffin's attorney Richard Schonfeld provided prosecutors with multiple witness statements contradicting the accuser's story.  

It's a big deal for Griffin ... who faced up to 6 months in jail if convicted. 

Gilbert Arenas

NASTY BREAKUP w/ LAURA GOVAN

Allegedly Sells Her $1 Million Ring

3/23/2015 4:49 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0323_Laura-Govan_gilbert_arenas_TMZGilbert Arenas is being sued by his longtime girlfriend Laura Govan -- the mother of his 4 kids -- who claims Gilbert kicked her out of their L.A. mansion and then sold off her $1 million engagement ring. 

TMZ Sports has obtained court docs filed by Govan ... in which she claims her and Gilbert are in the middle of a NASTY split. 

In the docs, the "Basketball Wives LA" star claims she started dating Gilbert in 2002 ... before he made nearly $200 million in NBA contract money.  

The two never had a formal wedding, but Laura claims they "lived together as husband and wife" and Gilbert promised that she would "share equally" in all of his earnings from 2003 on ... as if they were legally married. 

Govan says the relationship fell apart around the end of 2014 ... when Gilbert "notified [Laura] to vacate the premises" of their home. 

To make matters worse, Laura says Gilbert then "forcefully took" the $1 million engagement ring he gave to her in 2008 and sold it without her permission. 

0323_laura_govan_ring_gettyNow, Laura says she wants her cut of the Arenas fortune -- which she says includes profits from a number of marijuana clinics which she says Gilbert owns. 

Attempts to reach Gilbert for comment were unsuccessful. 

Rapper Lil B

I Won't Lift Kevin Durant's Curse

Until He Plays Me In Basketball

3/20/2015 12:18 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0320-kevin-durant-lil-b-TMZ-GETTY-01Kevin Durant actually has bigger problems than being out indefinitely from the NBA ... 'cause rapper Lil B says it's his "BasedGod" curse that's dogging Durant ... and it won't be lifted until Kevin sees him on the court.

The beef between the two started back in 2011 when Lil B says Durant took an unprovoked shot at his rapping skills in a tweet.

Lil B then fired back with a tweet of his own ... hitting Durant with the dreaded "BasedGod" curse and proclaimed that Kevin would never win a title until it was lifted.

So when the news dropped that Durant's foot injury -- which has hampered him all year -- was going to keep him off the court indefinitely, social media began buzzing ... was it the curse?

TMZ Sports spoke to Lil B and he told us Durant's BasedGod curse remains, and it's the reason for all of KD's current career struggles.

"He's still under it. Everyone who disses Lil B pays for it." 

According to Lil B -- who dropped a hilarious song called "F*ck Kevin Durant" last year -- there's only one way to break the curse ... Kevin has to play him in basketball.

"All he has to do is meet on the basketball court for a friendly game of 21. I'm passionate about my game, my defense, if he doesn't beat me 21-0 he should be embarrassed."

"He knows the curse is affecting him. Everyone knows. He needs to see me on the court."

Charles Barkley

Obama Bracket Haters ...

You're Just Racist!

3/20/2015 11:07 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Charlie Sheen -- and anyone else who's mad at President Obama for filling out an NCAA tournament bracket -- is really just an old fashioned racist ... so says Charles Barkley.

Sr. Chuck and his "Inside the NBA" co-star Kenny Smith were leaving the London Hotel in NYC when the two went off on Obama's bracket critics. 

"What, is he not supposed to think about anything else?" Smith said. 

Barkley was more direct -- "Listen, you people in America who are upset that President Obama did a bracket ... why don't ya'll just go say you don't like him because he's black." 

He continued, "Cut through all the BS ... don't say he take too many vacations ... just say, 'We don't like him because he's black.'"

As we previously reported, Sheen ripped into Obama yesterday ... saying POTUS is wasting his precious time on basketball when he should be focused on more important issues. 

Derek Fisher

Files for Divorce

3/19/2015 6:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0318-dereck-candace-getty-tmz-01NY Knicks coach Derek Fisher has filed for divorce from his wife Candace ... just one month after they celebrated their 10 year anniversary. 

Fisher filed the divorce docs in Los Angeles -- citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. 

The couple have two children together, twins ... including a daughter who suffered from a rare form of eye cancer. Fisher was famously let out of his contract with the Utah Jazz back in 2007 so he could spend more time with her and help her with treatment. 

The divorce seems to be as amicable as these things get -- with Fisher asking for joint legal and physical custody of the children. 

He also wants to split the legal costs.  

Fisher issued a statement saying, "This is a difficult time for me personally. For the sake of our children, I ask that everyone respects our privacy during this process."

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Dwyane Wade

Insane Prom Surprise

Free Suits, Watches for Foster Kids

3/16/2015 5:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Dwyane Wade just hooked up 15 kids with a pretty awesome prom surprise -- free custom tailored suits and Hublot watches ... and they're about to get the goods at halftime of tonight's Miami Heat game.

Wade, along with Hublot, hooked up with the local Guardian ad Litem program -- and last week met with 15 kids from different parts of Florida who are all crushing it in the classroom.  

To reward their success in school, Wade and Hublot hooked 'em up with D-Wade's personal stylist -- and a custom tailor -- so they could "suit up" in custom threads for their high school proms. 

And get this ... Hublot also hooked the kids up with a free watch to boot ... and those things ain't cheap!!!

As for prom dates? Some things ya gotta do on your own.  

Shaq

Shootout with Giant Son

3/16/2015 7:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Shaq Vs. .... his 16-year-old son Shareef ... in a long-range shooting contest -- and it was all on video.

Turns out ... Shaq's boy is a rising high school basketball star (in part due to the fact he's 6'7") ... and over the weekend, father and son battled it out in the backyard with a 3-point shooting competition. 

Shaq used the 1-arm technique ... Shareef had the better technique -- and they BOTH hit their shots. 

And get this ... we spoke with Shareef's mom, Shaunie O'Neal, on "TMZ Hollywood Sports" last week who was raving about her son's athletic ability -- but raised one major issue -- shopping. 

You ever try to find clothes or shoes for a 6'7" (and growing) kid? It's harder than you think ...  

NBA's Richard Jefferson

I GOT JACKED FOR $2 Million

... FBI On the Case

3/15/2015 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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It's like a real-life version of "The Wire" ... NBA star Richard Jefferson says he was taken for $2 MILLION ... and played a key role in a covert FBI operation to catch the (alleged) bad guy and recover his cash. 

It's all part of new legal docs obtained by TMZ Sports ... in which the 34-year-old Dallas Mavericks forward claims his former business manager Ted Kritza drew $2 million from Richard's bank credit line without permission. 

Jefferson says he reported the crime to the FBI which launched an investigation -- an investigation that included RJ getting Kritza on the phone and secretly recording a conversation.

During the phone call, RJ says Kritza "confesses to wrong-doing" ... and the incriminating recording is now with the feds. 

BTW -- the bank ended up suing Jefferson for part of the money ... but he wants the court to press pause on that case until the federal investigation into Kritza runs it's course.

We reached out to Kritza for comment -- so far, no word back. 

Terrence Howard

Who's Iman Shumpert?!

3/13/2015 7:56 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

If "Empire" really did rip off one of its characters from real-life NBA star Iman Shumpert -- you can't blame Terrence Howard ... 'cause Terrence says he's honestly never even heard of the guy. 

As we previously reported, Iman suggested that producers based the characters of Hakeem and Tiana after him and his GF Teyana Taylor ... and pointed to their hairstyles as evidence. 

0313-inman-shumpertBut if that's true ... it's definitely news to the star of the show, Terrence Howard ... who told us he doesn't know Iman and he doesn't watch basketball. 

That's ok ... Iman says he doesn't watch "Empire" either. 

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NBA's Iman Shumpert

I Don't Hate 'Empire'

They're NOT Copying My Life

3/12/2015 4:23 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0312-iman-shumpert-teyana-getty-02NBA star Iman Shumpert tells TMZ Sports ... he does NOT hate the show "Empire" -- and does not believe producers ripped off his life for a story line ... despite reports to the contrary. 

Earlier today, it was reported that Shumpert was calling out "Empire" -- claiming two of the characters were direct rip-offs of himself and his GF girlfriend Teyana Taylor ... and even sported similar hairstyles. 

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But Shumpert says the whole thing has been blown out of proportion ... saying, "The 'Empire' story pertaining to myself and my girlfriend Teyana has gotten out of hand."

"Fans of the show and friends have told us on many occasions that couple favors us but we do not at all feel that our lives are being copied/stolen."

Shumpert continues, "I apologize to the actors on the show because they're just being professionals and don't deserve slander that's not what I was trying to portray and I have to be more careful with my choice of words."

"I do not appreciate the writer using his questions with my answers to draw quotes like I was making these elaborate answers but that's the media. The writer took a 2-3 min convo of locker room talk after a GREAT TEAM WIN and made it look like a sit down interview and it wasn't."

"He twisted words to get the point that he wanted to get across. This is not that serious and though we don't watch the show we are not against it."

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