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L.A. Clippers

Got Lakers Permission

For Locker Room Takeover

4/21/2015 12:06 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0421-lakers-clippers-staples-getty-01The Clippers aren't trolling the Lakers by turning the team locker room into an owners lounge for the NBA playoffs -- they asked the team for permission and got it ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

There were rumblings that the Clips were trying to diss Laker Nation by using their space at Staples Center as Steve Ballmer's personal hangout area ... since the Clips are still playing and the Lakers didn't even come close to the playoffs. 

But it just ain't the case -- at least according to Staples Center honcho Lee Zeidman who tells us there was an arrangement made before the 1st playoff game. 

"The team inquired about using the Lakers locker room as a space for the Clippers owner. The Lakers gracefully granted use."

He continued, "People are trying to make something out of this, as if the Clippers are pissing off the Lakers by using their locker room. That's not true at all. We'd never use the Lakers space without asking the team."

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Gary Payton Sued

Accused of Battering Woman

Payton Alleges Shakedown

4/20/2015 5:32 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0420_gary-payton_TMZGary Payton is being sued by a woman who claims the NBA legend beat her up over and over again during a quick getaway to Seattle ... though Payton denies the whole thing and says it's nothing more than a shameless cash grab. 

TMZ Sports has obtained the lawsuit filed by Trishtan Williams -- who claims Payton invited her as his date to an awards function in Seattle back in January ... but after the ceremony, things got violent. 

According to the suit, Gary and Trishtan went to a local bar -- where she claims Payton shoved her over something she said. Williams did not say exactly what set Payton off. 

Eventually, Williams claims they got in a car to leave together and he assaulted her again. 

Williams says Payton struck her a third time when they got back to their hotel room. 

Now, she's lawyered up with Gloria Allred -- and is seeking a ton of money.

We spoke with Payton's agent, Aaron Goodwin, who claims the whole thing is nothing more than a shakedown in an effort to get Gary to cut a fat check.

Goodwin also says Williams has changed her story several times -- and has "no physical evidence to substantiate these claims."

"Unfortunately, with the climate of claims against athletes for monetary gains, Mr. Payton is just another victim and will fight this frivolous lawsuit."

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Quadruple Bypass at Alma Mater

4/17/2015 12:55 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0417_Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar_tmzKareem Abdul-Jabbar underwent emergency heart surgery -- a quadruple coronary bypass at UCLA Medical Center ... and it sounds like he came through with flying colors.

The hospital says the hoops Hall of Famer was admitted earlier this week, and had the lifesaving surgery on Thursday ... to clear major blockage of his heart. Fittingly, for the UCLA legend ... the surgery was performed by the hospital's chief of cardiac surgery, Dr. Richard Shemin.

Doctors say Kareem is expected to make a full recovery ... and he's already looking forward to getting back to normal life activities soon.

Nick Young

The Nightmare Is Finally Over

4/17/2015 6:09 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Lakers star Nick Young says he feels like he woke up out of a nightmare ... now that the squad's historically bad NBA season is finally over ... saying, "It was tough for us."  

After the Lakers capped off the worst season in team history, Young hit up Toast Cafe in L.A. -- and essentially told us he's glad it's finally over.  

As for the two young players who hit the club after the team's final loss, Young says people should cut 'em some slack -- "They deserve to unwind a little bit."

As we previously reported, Jordan Clarkson and Vander Blue went to Warwick on Wednesday night ... but listen to Swaggy P's explanation -- almost makes you wanna buy the guys a beer. 

Lakers Players

HIT THE CLUBS

... After Historic LOSS

4/16/2015 9:05 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Question -- How did the Lakers cope with losing their 61st game of the season last night? Completing their WORST SEASON in team history?! 

Answer -- THEY HIT THE CLUBS ... well, at least two of 'em did. 

Jordan Clarkson and Vander Blue hit up Warwick nightclub in Hollywood -- hours after getting their butts kicked by the Sacramento Kings 122 - 99 in the final game of the season. 

In fairness to the guys, Blue just signed with the team a few days ago ... and Clarkson was just a rookie. 

But still ... cheers to next year?! 

'Basketball Wives' Star

Wives Should Strip, Rub Feet

To Keep NBA Hubbies Happy

4/16/2015 8:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

The NBA playoffs are no joke -- and NBA wives need to do WHATEVER THEY CAN to keep their men happy ... from private stripping to foot rubs ... so says "Basketball Wives" star Jackie Christie

Jackie has some experience -- she's married to ex-NBA star Doug Christie, who played 15 seasons in the league. 

Christie says when the playoffs come around ... NBA wives need to switch into "support system" mode -- "Let him watch ESPN, be their wife, their secretary, their dancer, their stripper ... whatever you need to be to make him comfortable."

Jackie says she doesn't just talk the talk, she walked the walk when her hubby was still playing -- "I'd rub his feet, I ran his bath, cook his dinner, I kept his house quiet. I ran it like a military base."

Interesting strategy ... right Gloria Steinem? 

Shelly Sterling

It Wasn't About the Money

... I Wanted to Stick It to Stiviano!

4/15/2015 3:58 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0415_shelly_sterling_v_stiviano_TMZShelly Sterling says she didn't go after V. Stiviano for the money -- SHE WANTED JUSTICE -- and says she plans to give away every single cent she won in her crushing court victory to a charity. 

Our sources say ... Shelly was "out for blood" from the start -- and really wanted to put the screws to Stiviano for all the crap she put her family through. 

In fact, Shelly told the Associated Press ... her lawsuit was about getting even with Stiviano who had "harmed" her in so many ways.

Of course, Sterling won a $2.6 million judgment against Stiviano -- ordering her to fork over the keys to her $1.8 million condo AND $800,000 in cash. 

Sterling says she doesn't even want the money -- 'cause she's a billionaire -- and to prove it, she's giving every cent to a worthy charity.

How benevolent. 

Donald Sterling

Side Piece Ordered to Return $2.6 Mil

4/15/2015 6:03 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0415-v-stiviano-sterling-tmz-01

Donald Sterling had no right to shower V. Stiviano with lavish gifts, no matter how good of an archivist she was, because the loot he used to buy all the goodies wasn't his to give away.

A judge just sided with Shelly Sterling, concluding Shelly was still very much Donald's wife when he pulled his shenanigans -- giving V. a duplex, a Bentley, a Range Rover and a Ferrari totaling $2.6 mil.

But don't roll out the tow truck -- Shelly doesn't want the cars ... she wants the money. According to the ruling, $830k of the $2.6 mil is due in cash -- with $430k earmarked for the value of the vehicles. 

V. tried in vain to convince the judge Donald and Shelly were separated at the time she scored the goods, so he had every right to shell out the cash. The judge begged to differ, saying Donald had no right to use the Sterling money to fund V.'s lifestyle.

So the question ... how does V. make it right?   

Return, return, return. 

Kyrie Irving

I'm In the Underwear Biz

... Trust Me With Your Junk!

4/14/2015 2:57 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0414-kyre-irving-psd-underwear-getty-01Cleveland Cavs star Kyrie Irving wants to get into your pants ... as the latest NBA star to launch his own mens underwear line ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

We're told Irving has struck a deal with the PSD underwear brand -- which already has endorsement deals in place with NFL stars like Marshawn Lynch and Stevie Johnson

According to PSD, Irving will "work directly with PSD’s designers developing his own underwear line, becoming the face of PSD for the foreseeable future."

Irving is hoping to launch his undie line later this year. 

Underwear is the hot trend with jocks lately -- with everyone from Cristiano Ronaldo to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook getting in the game. 

Good luck.

Masters Champ Jordan Spieth

Calls Out Dirk Nowitzki

... Let's Foursome!

4/14/2015 12:32 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

He's already got a green jacket ... now Jordan Spieth is looking to make another dream come true -- dude wants to golf with Dirk Nowitzki

Turns out the 21-year-old is from Dallas and happens to be a big fan of the big fella -- and when we asked if he could golf with any celeb in the world, the first name that came to mind was Dirk. 

Good news for Jordan ... the feeling's mutual -- in fact, the Dallas Mavericks star fired off a congratulatory tweet at Spieth right after he won the Masters this weekend. So, it seems pretty likely they'll end up on the links together. 

See, sometimes dreams really can come true ... when you dominate one of the biggest competitions in professional sports. 

Thabo Sefolosha

Blames NYPD for Injury

'I'm In Great Pain'

4/14/2015 11:53 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0414-thabo-sefolosha-GETTY-01Thabo Sefolosha is publicly blaming the NYPD for the "significant injury" he suffered during an arrest last week ... saying, "I am in great pain ... the injury was caused by the police."

We broke the story ... the NYPD has already launched an internal affairs investigation into the arrest -- in which you can see several officers physically corralling the NBA player. 

In fact, you can see one cop pull out a baton and swing it -- though it's unclear from the footage if he connects with Thabo. The NYPD has said Thabo was acting in an aggressive manor which justified the use of force.

Thabo reportedly suffered a broken right fibula and ligament damage in the melee ... and now he's issued a statement blaming the police. 

"On advice of counsel, I hope you can appreciate that I cannot discuss the facts of the case. Those questions will be answered by my attorney in a court of law. I will simply say that I am in great pain, have experienced a significant injury and that the injury was caused by the police."

Thabo Sefolosha

Internal Affairs Investigating

Violent NYPD Arrest

4/14/2015 8:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

The NYPD has launched an internal affairs investigation into the arrest of NBA player Thabo Sefolosha -- who claims cops used excessive force during a violent incident last week.

As we previously reported, Thabo was taken into custody early Wednesday morning -- after cops say he was obstructing officers from investigating the stabbing of NBA player Chris Copeland.

We posted footage of the arrest on TMZ Sports -- which showed cops putting Thabo in a headlock and pulling him to the ground. At least one cop brandishes his nightstick. 

Cops say Thabo was acting in an aggressive manor ... which justified the use of force. Thabo's attorney says BS ... and says the video essentially exonerates his client of any wrongdoing. 

Now, an NYPD spokesperson tells us, "The issue has been referred to internal affairs, which is investigating the incident."

Stay tuned ... 

Dwight Howard's Baby Mama

Our Son Is Still Terrified Of Him

4/14/2015 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Dwight Howard's ex Royce Reed is FURIOUS that the NBA star is off the hook in his child abuse case ... telling close friends their 7-year-old son is still "terrified" of his father. 

TMZ Sports broke the story ... Howard was investigated by the Atlanta Police Dept. for allegedly hitting his son with a belt buckle last year. They ultimately decided to drop the case. 

Now, we've learned Reed is fuming over the decision -- with one source close to Reed telling us, "She's extremely upset by the way the system neglected to defend her son."

"She never asked for Dwight to be arrested. She asked for him to get help and take parenting classes. Her child is terrified of his father."

We reached out to Dwight's camp for comment -- and his attorney told us, "Several law enforcement agencies have thoroughly investigated the allegations and all decided against filing charges."

"It is sad that Royce Reed continues to use her son as a pawn with the media, despite court orders prohibiting her from doing so."

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