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Joel Embiid Surprise Church Appearance ... In 76ers Warm-Ups

4/23/2018 11:10 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

With the 76ers up 3 games to 1 ... Joel Embiid is calling in the big guns for help -- making a surprise appearance at a Philly-area church Sunday night in his team warm-up pants. 

We spoke with officials from St. Kevin Parish in Springfield, Pennsylvania who tell us Embiid arrived around 5:30 PM for the evening mass and stayed about an hour after the service for some personal prayer time. 

But the churchgoers were STOKED to see their hero in the building and several people went up to Joel and asked if it would be cool to take some pics. 

We're told Embiid was VERY cool about it -- chatting up and posing for everyone who came up to him.

One church rep tells us, "He was super nice."

Embiid and the 76ers get back on the court to face the Miami Heat on Tuesday. We'll see if Joel's prayers get answered. 

#TrustJCsProcess

Kevin Hart Claps Back at 'Sucka' D-Wade ... After Game 2 Trash Talk

4/17/2018 8:13 AM PDT
Breaking News

Kevin Hart is getting in the last word after Dwyane Wade buried Hart's 76ers and blasted him on national TV ... telling the NBA star things are about to get REAL in Miami. 

You've seen the highlights -- Wade stared down Hart (and Allen Iverson!) after hitting the dagger in Game 2 of the Heat-Sixers series.

Then, in his post-game interviews, Dwyane made a point to credit Kev for his 28-point night -- "You can thank Kevin Hart for that."

Kev clapped back at D-Wade on his flight home -- and it's hilarious.

"Well played, Dwyane. Well played."

"You gonna blame this on me -- blame Kevin Hart? Oh, I see what you're doing. On ESPN, you gonna say that? WELL LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING, SUCKA! We bout to come to Miami and heat it up, you hear me?"

"I'm frustrated. I'm pissed."

Game 3's Thursday in Miami. Getcha popcorn! 

Dr. J Sorry, 'Rocky' ... My Statues Are King in Philly

4/15/2018 12:01 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

In a super-fight between the Rocky Balboa and Dr. J statues in Philly, it's a KNOCKOUT win for the doc -- so says Julius Erving himself. 

You might've heard ... Erving just got a 2nd statue in The City of Brotherly Love decades after his 1st one was unveiled -- a slam-dunkin' sculpture on the 76ers' Legends Walk.

So when we saw doc at LAX, we had to ask who's effigy gets more love -- his, or Sylvester Stallone's?

Julius told TMZ Sports he gets the nod 'cause he's got 2 ... and 'cause his are "a real person, engaged in real battles."

DOWN GOES ROCKY!!!

Erving also said Sly's an "amazing guy" who reps Philly like a boss ... so don't expect these Philly legends to throw hands over it. 

Dr. J Hey NBA, Sixers Can Win Title ... This Year!

4/13/2018 3:11 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Dr. J doesn't think the baby Philadelphia 76ers have to wait to get to the top of the NBA mountaintop ... telling TMZ Sports he thinks the team can win it all THIS SEASON.

Philly is playing OUT OF THEIR MINDS RIGHT NOW, having won 16 games in a row. Despite that dominance, most experts still think the team is too young to take the whole enchilada THIS SEASON.

"Based on how they're playing now, they can go all the way."

BTW, Dr. J is part of the last team to hoist the O'Brien in Philly, so it's a huge vote of confidence for the young guys.

You hear that Ben Simmons? You listening, Joel Embiid? Don't fail.

Meek Mill Philly Mayor Makes Prison Visit

4/11/2018 1:13 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Meek Mill's prison visitors' list keeps growing, and another high-profile name's been added to it this week -- Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.

Sources at the prison tell us Kenney was spotted leaving the facility Wednesday morning with 76ers owner Michael Rubin, who's visited several times before... including Tuesday when he brought Patriots owner Robert Kraft to visit the incarcerated rapper. 

According to the Mayor's spokeswoman ... Rubin invited Mayor Kenney, and the visit with Meek lasted about an hour. We're told Hizzoner believes the rapper could better serve the community outside prison.

We're told the Mayor believes Meek's case "makes clear and urgent the desperate need to continue working with our partners to reform our criminal justice system."

As we've reported ... Meek is serving 2 to 4 years for a probation violation -- the controversial sentence handed down by Judge Genece Brinkley.

Rubin also brought 76ers players Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons to visit Meek last week.

Meek Mill Prison Visit from Robert Kraft & 76ers Owner

4/10/2018 3:05 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Huge day for Meek Mill ... the rapper got a special visit from TWO insanely rich and powerful guys -- Patriots owner Robert Kraft and 76ers owner Michael Rubin

The two titans arrived together at Chester State Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania to spend some time with Meek who's serving 2 to 4 years for a probation violation

Meek had been on probation stemming from a 2008 drug and weapons case -- but a Pennsylvania judge ruled his two arrests (an airport fight and a reckless driving incident) constituted a violation. 

We know Rubin is a huge supporter of Meek -- he's visited several times before. He's also close with Robert Kraft, so we're guessing he was the driving force in getting Kraft to visit Meek on Tuesday. 

Sources tell us Kraft has also met Meek through business dealings in the past. 

Rubin has previously organized for several of his players to visit Meek -- including Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons who stopped by last week

Meek Mill Prison Visit from 76ers Star Rookies

4/6/2018 7:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Meek Mill got some surprise visitors in prison this week -- Philadelphia 76ers stars Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

We're told 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin organized the visit ... hoping Meek could provide some inspiration for the rookie stars so they can make a push for the NBA playoffs. Rubin's been a huge supporter of Meek while he's been locked up, visiting often and bringing along other players, like Joel Embiid.

One source with knowledge of the situation tells us ... "the conversation was very positive and Meek's spirits are still high. He is also proud of the 76ers."

Meek also dished out some "words of wisdom" for the guys.

Remember, Meek also received a ton of support and love from the Philadelphia Eagles during their Super Bowl run -- so, maybe he's the key to success?!

Stay tuned ...

Kevin Hart I Tried To Recruit LeBron To Philly He Told Me To Kiss His Ass

3/22/2018 7:43 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Kevin Hart is about to break the hearts of a lot of fans in Philly ... because according to the pint-sized funnyman, LeBron James has no plans to come to the cheesesteak land, and Kevin knows, cause Kevin tried.

We got Hart leaving UCLA and asked if he's tried to recruit his buddy, James, to bolt Cleveland and join the young core of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in the city of brotherly love.

Kevin says he definitely put on for his hometown, trying to get LeBron to make a move ... but that LeBron's response was not very promising.

"He said kiss his ass."

Hart said he only sweetened the deal with $40 bucks (c'mon Kev), but when we asked seriously he says no city has a real shot at LeBron, because Hart believes he'll stay put.

"I don't see him leaving, other people think he will ... I don't see him going nowhere." 

Ben Simmons Cozyin' Up With Tinashe ... After Sixers Win

3/22/2018 6:37 AM PDT
Breaking News

Give Ben Simmons the Rookie of the Year award RIGHT NOW ... 'cause the NBA star has finally gone Instagram official with smokin' hot pop singer Tinashe!!

As we previously reported, the "No Drama" singer told us earlier this month that Simmons was her "little boo thang." Things appear to have heated up since then ... with the couple posting identical pics on IG. 

Simmons -- who's averaging damn near a triple-double this season -- captioned his romantic pic with the clever line "This is a dime I can’t pass."

But the winning didn't stop for the 21-year-old phenom ... Philly ended up beating up on the Grizzlies, too, and his Sixers are now tied for the 4th spot in the East!!

Don't turn it over, Ben. 

Joel Embiid Drops $12K on Booze ... at 24th Bday Bash!!

3/19/2018 11:51 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

Joel Embiid turned up in a BIG way for his 24th birthday -- dropping 12 RACKS on alcohol and partying the night away with smokin' hot models and 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin!!

The boozy bday bash went down at LIV Nightclub at Fontainebleau Saturday in Miami Beach ... where we're told the NBA star bought out the bar -- coppin' Magnum bottles of Dom Perignon for all his thirsty friends in attendance.

Other than Rubin, the celeb guest list included Nick Cannon (who was DJ'ing), Diddy's son Justin Combs, Victoria Secret model Jasmine Tookes and IG smokeshow Jocelyn Chew -- who did her best Marilyn Monroe impression and popped out of a cake! 

FYI, the Sixers were off the entire weekend -- so we're pretty sure Embiid had all the clubbers trusting the process til early Sunday morning.

Happy bday!!

Tinashe Ben Simmons is My 'Boo Thang'

3/8/2018 6:41 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Chalk this one up as a HUGE win for Ben Simmons ... 'cause the 76ers rookie is officially R&B star Tinashe's "boo thang" -- this according to Tinashe herself!!

TMZ Sports spoke with the smokin' hot "Faded Love" singer at Craig's in WeHo Wednesday night ... and we asked her to address the obvious IG flirting going on with Ben earlier this week.

"That's my little boo thang" the 25-year-old revealed with a smile.

While Tinashe didn't get into much detail with us ... the paper trail has been there for about a month -- from even more social media flirting to gushing about B.S. being her favorite Sixers player in a recent radio interview.

Simmons has been balling out this season -- he's in the running for Rookie of the Year.

And now that we have the confirmation of his new girl ... this dude really is winning all around.

Good for you, Ben.

Jeremy Lin J.J. Redick Ain't a Racist Didn't Say Chinese Slur

2/19/2018 6:48 AM PST
Breaking News

Jeremy Lin is going to bat for J.J. Redick after he was caught on video using a Chinese slur ... saying he's 100% convinced J.J. didn't say mean to use the anti-Asian C-word in a hateful way. 

Redick dropped the slur in a commercial for NBA China that was released over the weekend -- clearly saying, "I wish all of the NBA ch**k fans of China a very happy Chinese New Year."

The whole thing was puzzling -- leaving many wondering why the hell J.J. would use that word in that context. 

But Jeremy -- the NBA's first full Chinese/Taiwanese-American player -- says he spoke at length with J.J. over the phone, and "I truly believe he didn’t say a racial slur and that he has a great deal of respect towards Chinese people."

Lin acknowledges the word should NEVER be used, but says all the "hateful language" J.J.'s getting from fans needs to stop since it was an accident. 

Redick released a lengthy apology on social media Sunday night, saying -- "I ask your forgiveness ... I am so sorry for upsetting anyone."

"I was intending to say 'NBA Chinese fans' but it sounded weird in my mind so I changed it mid-sentence to 'NBA fans in China.' It came out the wrong way."

"That is not a word in my vocabulary but I now understand how it sounds on the video."

"That is not who I am -- as a person, a player, a husband and a father.”

Charles Barkley I Played One NBA Game Drunk As Hell ... Here's Why

2/15/2018 6:57 AM PST
Breaking News

Charles Barkley says there's one game in his NBA career he doesn't remember -- because he was SO drunk, it's a miracle he even got on the court. 

It all went down in the late '80s after Barkley had been told he was being traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Chuck told "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" he was so happy to be getting out of Philly, he got "blasted" drunk around 11:30 AM that day ... shots, chugging, the whole deal. 

Problem is ... about 3 hours into the booze sesh, Chuck's agent called back and said the deal was off and he needed to be ready to play for Philly THAT NIGHT. 

What ensued, according to Barkley, was a mess. 

Barkley says it's the only time he ever played drunk -- but he played HUNGOVER a bunch of times.

BONUS: Chuck also talks about how many times he's smoked weed and why it's just not his thing. 

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