Like you need ANOTHER reason to like Odell Beckham Jr.????
Well, here we go -- 'cause the NY Giants receiver says he turned down an amazing opportunity to join the U.S. National soccer program when he ws a kid ... because he'd miss his family too much.
Beckham Jr. -- who's also a hardcore sneakerhead -- was at the opening of the OG Sole sneaker shop in Jersey this weekend when he explained why he chose football ... instead of leaving his family and pursuing a career in soccer at 14-years-old.
In fact, OBJ also picked his college to stay close to his fam -- choosing LSU instead of any other program in the country ... just so he could stay local.
Things worked out.
Fun Fact -- Odell says he has more than ONE HUNDRED pairs of sneakers ... including a pair of the most sought after kicks in the shoe game.
Check out the clip.
Odell Beckham Jr.
HUMAN HIGHLIGHT REEL
I Can Dunk, Dance & Juggle
12/11/2014 9:09 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
NY Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (the guy who made that insane 1-handed catch) will beat your ass in just about EVERY sport ... and there's video to prove it.
The 22-year-old NFL phenom has been flexing his talents in everything from basketball (#dunkskills) ... soccer (#juggleskills) ... baseball (he can SWITCH HIT!) and even golf (#niceswing).
For the record, OBJ has been a freak athlete his entire life ... and was asked to try out for the U.S. Men's National Team when he was a teenager ... but turned it down to focus on football.
Enough talk ... just watch the video already ... and get your popcorn ready.
WHAT KNEE INJURY?!
Parties In Miami With Hidden Knee Brace
12/5/2014 10:28 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Victor Cruz won't let a busted right knee keep him from hitting the party scene ... 'cause the NY Giants star hit up a huge party in Miami Thursday night -- with his knee brace -- and we've got the pics.
Cruz -- sporting a medical brace under his sweatpants -- hit up a Crooks & Castles party presented by Hennessy V.S for Art Basel Thursday night.
Despite the fact he's recovering from a season-ending torn patellar tendon in his right knee that he suffered during a game back in October, Victor was seen laughing and having a great time at the party.
Meanwhile, back in NY ... Cruz's teammates -- who have lost 7 straight games -- are preparing to take on the Titans this weekend.
Cruz seems to be making good progress on the knee -- he looked pretty spry while walking through a NY mall a few weeks ago ... and told us he expects to be busting out his salsa again very soon.
Odell Beckham Jr.
I GOT TO MEET MY HERO
... Takes Pic with LeBron
12/4/2014 7:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Remember when NY Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said the coolest moment in his life was when his hero LeBron James tweeted about his legendary 1-handed catch???
Well, last night ... OBJ got a new "coolest moment" in life -- when he met LeBron in person and they took a picture together!
As we previously reported, Beckham Jr. had called James his "favorite athlete" and talked about how much it meant when LeBron gave him props for that sick grab against the Cowboys.
The two finally met in person at dinner Wednesday night -- and you can by the look on Odell's face ... dude was stoked!!
In fact, James even posted about it ... writing, "Giving the game to my young king @iam_objxiii tonight at dinner! Keep going homie and #StriveForGreatness #RWTW."
Pretty cool, right?
Odell Beckham Jr.
LeBron Tweeted About Me?!
Best Moment of My Life!
11/25/2014 6:22 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. says he's been BOMBARDED with praise since that one-handed miracle grab ... but the best moment involved a tweet from LeBron James.
OBJ was at Steiner Sports in NYC last night when revealed that LeBron is his all-time favorite athlete ... and when King James tweeted about the catch on Sunday, it blew his mind.
FYI -- here's the tweet LeBron posted after Beckham's catch: "Man I just witnessed the greatest catch ever possibly by Odell Beckham Jr! WOW!!!!"
Imagine your hero writing that about you. Pretty cool, right?!
Still, Odell is modest about the 3-fingered catch, saying the greatest snag ever made still belongs to ANOTHER NY Giants wide receiver.
Check out the clip ...
Odell Beckham's H.S. Coach
I Tried to Get Him to Catch With 2 Hands
... He Wouldn't Listen
11/24/2014 5:06 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Check this out ... we just spoke with Odell Beckham Jr.'s high school coach Nelson Stewart about the insane 1-handed catch -- his quotes are fantastic.
-- "We tried to stop him from catching the ball with one hand in high school ... but then we said, 'This is stupid, he never drops the ball. Let's just let him.'"
-- "Now we have a problem with our players trying to catch the ball with one hand. They say, 'But you let him do it.' I say, 'You are not Odell Beckham!'"
-- "He said he wants to have his high school jersey hanging at the high school one day. We haven't given his number away since -- so I think he's on his way."
-- "His hands were bigger than anyone on our team. He literally never dropped a ball. He redefined everything you could do."
Fun Fact -- OBJ went to Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans ... where Eli and Peyton Manning played their prep ball.
'I LOVE TOM COUGHLIN'
But It's Rough Being a Giants Fan
11/20/2014 7:22 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Don't worry Tom Coughlin, the Jonas Brothers got your back.
With Tiki Barber calling for Coughlin's job, Nick Jonas -- a huge NY Giants fan -- is still supporting his favorite head coach, telling TMZ Sports he loves the guy ... despite the team's 3-7 record.
The G-Men are set to take on the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday ... we'll see if Nick's feelings about Coughlin change after the game.
Former NY Giant
Arrested for Sexual Assault
11/5/2014 5:46 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Luke Petitgout -- who played nine seasons in the NFL, mostly with the New York Giants -- was arrested in New Jersey on Tuesday on a charge of sexual assault and simple assault.
The 6'6", 275-pound Petitgout was arrested at the home of his estranged wife Jennifer, says the NY Daily News. Jennifer is the alleged victim and the paper says she was photographed with bruises.
He was arrested and charged with sexual assault with force and simple assault. He is currently being held on $50,000 bail.
Petitgout's attorney, Patrick J. Jennings, called the charges "baseless" and told the News, “We intend to vigorously defend against the charges.”
Petitgout had reportedly been at a New York Giants reunion Monday night before the alleged incident took place.
Ex Giants Star Steve Smith
Titans QB Needs to Drop His Phone
... Pick Up His Playbook
10/28/2014 4:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Retired NFL star Steve Smith is taking Titans QB Zach Mettenberger to task for that gameday selfie he took before taking a loss against the Texans.
Mettenberger's been getting blasted by fans and players for the Instagram of his new haircut -- hours before Sunday's kickoff ... his first start, by the way. Smith says the kid needs to be more like his ex-QB, Eli Manning.
Smith was shopping in Calabasas when he stated his case ... and it's a good one. Ever seen an Eli or Peyton Manning selfie? Exactly. And Steve's got hardware to back up his argument.
Speaking of which ... you gotta see Steve's jab -- at his OWN Super Bowl ring! Michael Strahan would not approve.
NY Giants Linebacker
Phil Collins Can Help Us Beat Dallas
... We Can Feel It
10/18/2014 5:54 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The secret to beating the Dallas Cowboys?
Well, maybe he can help -- because NY Giants head coach Tom Coughlin turned to Phil's best song to help fire up his team this week ... so says linebacker Mark Herzlich.
Herzlich says Coughlin decided to play some music during practice this week to get the team ready for their HUGE game against the Dallas Cowboys ... and Tom decided Phil's jam could help pump up the intensity.
Mike Tyson approves.
Giuliani to Jets Fans:
DON'T BLAME REX
... Blame His Players!
10/17/2014 7:48 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
He may be a huge NY Giants fan, but Rudy Giuliani has message for Jets Nation -- DON'T GIVE UP ON REX RYAN ... it's not his fault!!!
Rudy was out in L.A. last night -- and RAVED about his G-Men ... and even said he'd rather have Eli over Peyton if given the option!!
But when we started talking about Gang Green and their pathetic 1-6 record -- Rudy explained why Jets fans shouldn't blame Rex ... they should blame his players instead.
You listening, Geno?
NY Giants Kicker Josh Brown
Ray Finkle Was a B*tch
10/14/2014 5:20 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
NY Giants kicker Josh Brown has a message for Ray Finkle -- YOU SHOULDA MADE THE FRICKIN' KICK ... even if the laces were in!!!!
20 years after "Ace Ventura" came out in theaters (yes, it's really been that long) ... we asked Brown how a real NFL kicker reacts when the holder pulls a Dan Marino and doesn't get the laces out.
Brown's response -- MAKE THE KICK!!!!!
"The times that it does happen, you just gotta go through with it ... ya just gotta swing."
What you shouldn't do ... is plot a murderous revenge on the holder on the day of the Super Bowl. That never turns out well.
I'm Praying for Victor Cruz
... But Giants Aren't Screwed
10/14/2014 6:33 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
NY Giants superstar Victor Cruz can rest a little easier ... 'cause one of the Jonas Brothers has his back ... when it comes to prayer.
Kevin Jonas was out in NYC with his wife Danielle -- when we talked about Kev's favorite NFL team ... the Giants ... who lost their big WR to a nasty knee injury on Sunday night.
"I feel bad for Victor Cruz," Kev told us ... "But he's definitely in our prayers."
As for the G-Men, Kevin says he still has hope ... though after that 27-0 loss to the Eagles, he might wanna pray extra hard this week.