Just because he can't play in the NBA doesn't mean Isaiah Austin can't BALL UP stars like Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant ... 'cause the ex-NCAA star says he's using his own character to dominate in the NBA 2K15 video game.
You probably know Austin's story by now ... he was supposed to be a 1st round pick in this year's NBA Draft but was forced to end his career after he was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome.
Still, the people at 2K Sports announced they would include Austin as a playable character in this year's video game to "celebrate his remarkable courage."
So, when we got Austin out in NYC the other day -- we had to ask ... what's it like to play with yourself?
Iggy Won Xmas This Year
'I Can't Top Her Gift'
12/23/2014 6:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
If Christmas is a battlefield ... Nick Young is France -- 'cause he just surrendered in the war for the best Xmas gift after his GF Iggy Azalea hooked him up with a sick classic car.
The Lakers star was rollin' around L.A. in his brand new '62 Chevy Impala -- which Iggy delivered to him outside the Lakers facility Monday -- when we asked if it was even possible to top Iggy's gift.
The short answer ... no ... and Nick knows it -- admitting that she "won" the holiday gift exchange this year.
Swaggy also had some things to say about Kobe Bryant. Check out the clip ...
Nick Young's Xmas Gift ...
A BRAND NEW CAR!
12/22/2014 3:27 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Santa Claus ain't got nothin' on Iggy Azalea ... who just hooked up Nick Young with one helluva Christmas present -- a 1962 Chevy Impala ... complete with a red bow.
Iggy personally delivered the ride to Swaggy P outside the Lakers practice facility -- where Nick got the chance to show off his new whip in front of all his boys.
No word on how much Iggy paid for the ride ... but some '62 Impalas have been appraised around $100k.
Question is ... how's Nick gonna compete with that?
Taps 'Project Runway' Designer
... For Xmas Card Dress
12/22/2014 9:02 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Vanessa Bryant takes her Christmas card photo VERY SERIOUSLY -- so seriously in fact that Mrs. Mamba tapped one of the top designers from "Project Runway" to make her dress.
Kobe Bryant's wife called upon MTCostello -- who has designed clothes for huge stars like Beyonce and Ariana Grande.
They got together and picked out MTCostello's signature "Black Widow" gown -- which comes with a $6,500 price tag!!
Vanessa had flirted with a bronze version of the dress during an earlier fitting ... but ultimately, decided to go with black.
Sources close to the situation tell us ... Vanessa has always been passionate about Xmas cards. As one person put it, "She takes great pride and puts great thought into celebrating because she's very religious."
LeBron James Jr.
At 4th Grade Hoops Tourney
12/22/2014 7:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
LeBron James' kid is gooooood.
10-year-old LeBron James Jr. -- aka Bronny -- made some INSANE highlight reel shots at the 2014 Ronald Searles Holiday Classic in Houston.
Bronny is one of the top ranked 4th graders in the country (yes, they rank 4th graders) ... and it's obvious why -- the kid can shoot, dribble and pass like ... well, like his dad.
LeBron tweeted about his son's performance after the game ... saying, "Proud of you son! Great job in Houston and congrats on bringing home 1st place."
I'm With the Boss
Parties with Rick Ross
12/22/2014 7:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Matt Barnes rebounded from a crappy night on the court by hanging with Rick Ross and a bunch of other hip hop stars at a huge Hollywood after party.
Barnes was in the VIP at Supper Club for Rick's performance Saturday night in Hollywood. The Clippers star chilled with Rick, Wiz Khalifa, Mally Mall, and Ty Dolla Sign. Famous booty model Rosa Acosta, "Love and Hip Hop" star Sincere, and singer Anjali World (daughter of Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé) were also there.
Earlier that night ... Matt put up a goose egg in 26 minutes on the floor in the Clippers game against the Bucks, but still won ... 106-102.
Ricky Rozay makes everything better.
No Evidence Khloe's Dating NBA Star
12/22/2014 6:27 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
She's hooked up with jocks before, but the new rumors about Khloe Kardashian dating NBA star Robin Lopez seems like BS ... so says Kim's BFF Jonathan Cheban.
Cheban -- who's super tight with all of the Kardashian sisters -- was leaving Craig's in West Hollywood last night when we asked about reports that Khloe and Robin have become an item.
"I was with her yesterday, I didn't hear anything about that," Cheban told us.
The "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" star said he wouldn't be shocked if Khloe eventually began dating another famous athlete ... explaining that a relationship with a normie can get pretty boring for someone on Khloe's level.
As for Robin, he also shot down the rumors this weekend ... and says the media made up the story.
"Obviously they were looking for two people with a lot of influence on popular culture, on the youth, and they were looking for two movers and shakers," Lopez said.
"Frankly, I’m not surprised they came up with my name."
I'm Gonna Spend My $325 Mil On ...
12/22/2014 6:06 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
He's 25-years-old ... he just signed the largest player contract in the history of U.S. team sports ... so how's Miami Marlins superstar Giancarlo Stanton gonna spend his $325 million???
He's got some ideas.
Stanton was on his way into Greystone in L.A. this weekend with his crew (we're guessing he covered the bill) and talked to the All-Star outfielder about his complex spending plan.
Check out the clip ... though we're guessing Stanton may have been joking ... based on the fact he popped a $20k bottle of champagne hours after he signed the contract last month.
Kobe, Hit Me Up!
I Can Save Your Season
12/20/2014 12:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Master P has a sure fire plan to turnaround this painful Lakers season -- just give him a little run, and he'll do what Kobe Bryant hasn't been able to do ... not yet, anyway.
Mr. "Make Em' Say Uhh" told us he can provide something for the Lake show no one else can. Master P even called out the Mamba, saying ... "I played against Kobe. He knows what's up!"
It's true ... P did play in a couple of NBA preseasons with the Hornets and Raptors in the late '90s. We're guessing Kobe doesn't remember much about their match ups.
Still ... the Lakers season couldn't get worse, right? Check out P's plan -- and also his take on athletes repping the "I Can't Breathe" t-shirts. Solid perspective.
O.J. Mayo Sued by Airline
You Are Not Free to ...
Use Drugs Around Our Cabin
12/19/2014 4:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Milwaukee Bucks star O.J. Mayo has a $19k problem on his hands ... because a charter airline company says he didn't pony up the cash to fly -- and put the crew in danger by using "illegal narcotics" ... TMZ Sports has learned.
According to a lawsuit filed today by Quantum Jets ... Mayo booked a flight from Houston to L.A. on July 16th, but couldn't pay for the entire flight. The airline agreed he could give them a down payment, and pay the rest the next day.
But Quantum claims he never coughed up the dough. Further, they say he used illegal narcotics during the flight. The suit doesn't specify what kind of drugs.
Quantum Jets is suing Mayo for breach of contract and negligence. It wants at least $19,200 in damages, plus interest.
We reached out to Mayo and his reps ... so far no word back.
There Ain't Nothing Wrong
with a Little Manscaping
12/19/2014 12:14 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The 1980s are long over and Milwaukee Bucks forward Jared Dudley says NBA players have evolved ... and now they shave their armpits.
Jared apparently solved a life-long mystery for our photog when he left 1Oak Thursday night ... because our guy was just DYING to know if the NBA made players shave ... or if it was a choice.
Dudley said that shaving was the thing to do these days ... unlike the Patrick Ewing days of yore.
To each their own.
Having Met Kim Jong-un ...
I Know Sony Should Back Off
12/19/2014 12:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Former NBA All-Star Kenny Anderson says Sony Pictures absolutely did the right thing by pulling "The Interview" out of theaters ... and adds he can't figure out why they made it in the first place.
Kenny actually met Kim Jong-un when he went to North Korea in January as part of Dennis Rodman's goodwill team of ex-NBA players. He tells TMZ Sports ... "I was trippin' when I saw the movie preview. Why would they want to ruffle their feathers? They already hate America."
Kenny says Kim Jong-un actually treated him very well while he was there -- but admits he was ignorant to the atrocities committed by Kim's regime ... until he got back stateside.
He says he's confused about the plan to greenlight 'Interview' .. but adds, "I think they might've been trying to make Americans aware of some of the stuff that happens over there."
As for the financial hit Sony stands to take -- Kenny says the money's not as important as human lives. As he puts it, "Sometimes it's best to cut your losses."
I'm Becoming a Gaming Legend
... Thanks to Indiana
12/18/2014 8:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
NBA star Roy Hibbert possesses a specific set of skills -- beyond hooping, that is -- and pretty soon he might be unbeatable ... as long as he keeps playing in Indiana.
The Pacers stud was outside Craig's in West Hollywood when we asked ... what's a city kid like himself do for fun in the heartland? Roy doesn't hesitate -- telling us there's not much to do except get super sharp at a particular video game. As he puts it ... his game is "pretty nice!"
Roy also gets a little nostalgic in this clip about his ex-teammate Lance Stephenson -- who bolted for the Hornets.
But this clip is really just a heads-up to all you gamers ... look out for Roy on the battlefield!