Michael Jordan's disgusting sweaty shoes from Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals just sold for $104,765 at auction ... TMZ Sports has learned.
The sneaks were worn by Jordan during his famous Flu Game -- when the Chicago Bulls came back to win Game 5 in the '97 finals against the Utah Jazz ... even though MJ was sick as a dog. MJ scored 38 points, with 7 rebounds and 5 assists. The Bulls went on to win the Championship in Game 6.
The Flu Game is one of the most famous games in NBA history.
MJ signed the shoes for a ball boy who worked the game ... and they eventually ended up for auction this month on Grey Flannel Auctions. The auction finally ended this morning.
So far, it's unclear who placed the winning bid.
Brandi Glanville's Racist Comment
Isn't Entirely Untrue
12/12/2013 4:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
"Real Housewives of Bev Hills" star Brandi Glanville wasn't exactly off-base when she "joked" about black people not being able to swim, 'cause the numbers show race is still an issue when it comes to drowning ... so says U.S. Olympic champ Cullen Jones.
Glanville ignited a firestorm on a recent episode of her reality show when one of her castmates revealed they couldn't swim and Brandi quipped, "You’re a black person!”
She later explained, "It was a joke, and my black friends would have laughed [like] crazy, because they don’t go in the pool because they will get their weaves f**ked up!"
But Cullen Jones -- 4-Time Olympic medalist and 1st African American to break a world record in swimming -- tells TMZ, "[Brandi's comments] seem to be more of a cultural indictment rather than a true studying of the facts, but it is true minorities need more access to lessons!"
"It is unfortunate that race is still an issue associated with drowning in the United States, but in many communities due to lack of access to water, training and funds, minorities are still disproportionately at risk to drown."
In fact, a recent study conducted by a University of Memphis professor shows there are some African-American women who refuse to learn how to swim because they are worried about having to get their straightened hair wet.
Still, Cullen says, "Drowning is preventable, we need to address the staggering numbers of unwanted deaths of our future Presidents, doctors, teachers and scientists."
Kobe Doesn't Get Black America
... According to Jim Brown
12/11/2013 6:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Kobe Bryant turned his back on a teammate and his culture by ratting out Shaquille O'Neal -- at least that's what NFL legend Jim Brown thinks. Do you agree with Jim ... is Kobe out of touch with African-American culture?
Plus, the "old guy" in that viral video from an ASU football game ... y'know the one where he straight kicks a student right in the face? Well, he joined us to explain why he went all Chuck Norris -- and turns out there's a baby involved!
And Dwyane Wade and LeBron James melt for another pop star. Hey, at least this time it was Justin Timberlake -- but what the hell's going on with these superstars-turned-fanboys??
Jon 'Bones' Jones
Back Behind the Wheel
License Restored After DUI
12/11/2013 5:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
UFC champ Jon "Bones" Jones is PSYCHED he got his driver's license back this afternoon ... after losing it for 6 months when he drunkenly crashed his Bentley into a pole, TMZ Sports has learned.
We broke the story ... Bones was arrested last May when he totaled his whip while driving drunk in Binghampton, NY, and his license got revoked for 6 months as part of his plea deal.
So why didn't he get his license back when he was eligible last January? We're told he's a bad procrastinator with a busy travel schedule ... plus he just got used to being chauffeured around.
But Jones is pumped to be back behind the wheel (for better or worse) ... and posted a hilarious video to Instagram looking giddier than a 16-year-old who just passed the permit exam.
As for his next car purchase ... his manager tells us "He’s really into pickups. He wants a sporty truck. But who knows. He could change his mind and want a Ferrari tomorrow.”
Tough decisions for a rich guy ... hopefully he'll have some cash leftover for a designated driver.
ASU Fan Brawl
I WAS PROTECTING PREGNANT DAUGHTER
... Says Old Man
12/11/2013 5:08 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The old man who booted an ASU student in the face during a recent football game has finally broken his silence ... telling TMZ Sports he only got violent to protect his pregnant daughter from a pack of aggressive, drunken jerks.
The man who fired the kick, who wants to be identified as "Mark," says the group of students started picking on him because he accidentally wore a blue shirt to the ASU vs. U of A game (blue is one of UA's colors).
Mark -- who insists he's a diehard ASU fan -- says the students not only harassed him verbally, but started closing in on him and his family, which included a pregnant daughter ... and he got scared.
That's when one student finally got too close to Mark's comfort "bubble" ... and he took matters into his own feet.
After the kick, the students piled on Mark, but he says he was barely touched. Mark claims his daughter was hit in the stomach, but she's ok.
Mark says he's not proud of the incident, but believes he did what he had to do to get out of a tough situation.
As for the students, we're told they're saying Mark was the one who had been running his mouth prior to the altercation ... and he's the real bad guy since he threw the first blow.
Who do you believe?
Jameis Winston's Teammate
Accuser's a Liar
She Wanted Sex [Video]
12/11/2013 4:14 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
TMZ Sports has obtained VIDEO of Jameis Winston's teammate telling investigators that the FSU star's accuser was LYING about rape ... and the footage is compelling.
Ronald Darby, who claims he was in the apartment at the time of the alleged rape, spoke with cops last month to recount his side of the story ... and it's clear he doesn't believe Jameis did anything wrong.
"She wanted to have sex. Jameis isn't gonna take fighters, he don't have to do that."
At one point, Ronald turns to his attorney and says, "That girl lying. I don't know why she lied."
On the other hand, the woman who initially called 911 on behalf of the accuser also spoke with investigators and said the accuser was frantic on the night of the incident.
She also claims the accuser was initially afraid to tell her parents about the incident because she was afraid they would be mad at her for boozing underage.
Ultimately, the State Attorney decided NOT to file charges against Jameis, citing lack of evidence.
A-Rod's Sneaky Publicist Is Destroying Our Steroid Case
12/11/2013 2:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Alex Rodriguez' expensive publicist is sneakily trying to torpedo MLB's case to suspend A-Rod over his alleged steroid usage ... so says MLB ... and now the league wants the court to hold the publicist in contempt.
MLB just filed legal docs in A-Rod's ongoing appeal of his 211-game suspension for using banned substances, claiming the Yankees star's publicist is refusing to fly from L.A. to New York to testify in the case ... despite a subpoena ordering him to do so.
According to the docs, Michael Sitrick doesn't want to fly 2,400 miles because it would be "overly burdensome and unfair" ... even though Sitrick's PR company has an office there.
Sitrick's people have offered to make him available via video chat, but MLB is demanding he appear in person.
A judge has since ruled that Sitrick MUST comply with the subpoena ... so Sitrick has filed an appeal of his own in federal court, asking to be excused from flying to NYC. Now, MLB wants a judge to hold Sitrick in contempt and fine him for every day he refuses to show up.
The arbitrator in A-Rod's appeal must make a decision ASAP -- whether to uphold, overturn, or reduce his suspension -- but MLB officials think Sitrick is trying to run down the clock ... in order to force the arbitrator to make a ruling without his testimony.
Although Sitrick said he'd appear by video chat ... ya gotta think he knew MLB lawyers would never accept that -- so he gets to look like the good guy, while effectively stalling.
As a publicist, Sitrick has a lot to lose by testifying -- if other clients start to think he's a blabbermouth, his business could take a major hit.
Mike Shanahan WANTS TO GET FIRED
That's Why He Benched RG3
12/11/2013 10:33 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan benched Robert Griffin III because HE WANTS TO GET FIRED ... this according to the ultimate NFL insider Jay Glazer.
Shanahan is set to make $7 MILLION next year ... and Glazer says if the team gives Mike the ax, they're gonna have to pay him.
Which is why Jay, who was leaving the gym in Bev Hills yesterday, was so adamant that Mike is doing everything in his power to force the Redskins front office to fire his ass ... starting with sending RG3 to the bench.
The math is simple -- millions of dollars for doing absolutely nothing.
But Jay says Mike's gotta be careful, because there's still a chance the plan could backfire.
Check out the clip.
Jameis Winston 911 Call
Alleged Rape Victim Claimed She Was Hit in the Head
'She Kept Blacking Out'
12/11/2013 9:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Florida State QB Jameis Winston's alleged rape victim claimed she had been struck in the head before the assault occurred ... and she could barely remember what happened -- this according to the 911 call placed minutes after the 2012 incident.
The alleged victim's friend placed the 911 call at 3:28 AM on December 7, 2012 -- roughly 30 minutes after the alleged rape -- informing dispatch the girl was "very shaken up" following her encounter with an unidentified man she had met at a local bar (Winston).
The caller sounds distressed, saying her friend's memory of the incident is extremely spotty due to black outs. The caller says her friend does remember waking up in the man's room, but not much before or after that.
When asked if the victim needs an ambulance, her friend says no ... but claims the girl had been hit in the head prior to being raped.
As we reported, Winston was ultimately NOT charged with a crime stemming from the rape allegations due to insufficient evidence.
Kobe Broke Black Code
Doesn't Get African-American Culture
12/11/2013 8:11 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
NFL legend Jim Brown -- one of the most outspoken leaders in the civil rights movement -- says Kobe Bryant not only betrayed Shaq, but African-American men in general ... and it all stems from the rape investigation in Colorado.
Brown appeared on the Arsenio Hall show and went right after Kobe -- saying, "He threw Shaq under the bus" ... referring to when Kobe told investigators Shaq would pay up to $1 million to women to keep them quiet about "situations like this" back in 2003.
Shaq patched things up with Kobe publicly, but Brown is clearly still upset by the situation -- essentially telling Arsenio that it's hard enough for a black man in America, without having to worry about being dimed out by another black man.
"[Kobe] is somewhat confused about culture, 'cause he was brought up in another country ... so it doesn't quite fit what's going on here in America."
Justin Timberlake Takes the Sting Out of Losing
12/11/2013 7:49 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Judging by the giddy smiles on their faces, you'd never guess this photo of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers with Justin Timberlake was taken RIGHT AFTER the Heat lost to the Pacers.
Turns out, JT was in Indiana for a concert and sat courtside at the Heat vs. Pacers game last night. After the game, he met up with some of the players who instantly forgot how terrible they played that night.
In fact, Wade Instagram'd about it ... "Tough road loss but a cool surprise after ... Hanging out with the man himself ... JT ... If yall know me this is my guy."
FYI -- the Heat shot a pathetic 42.9 percent from the field last night ... and only hit 4 of 21 from the 3-point range.
Must be hard to concentrate when you know JT's watching.
Michael Jordan BEAT ME In Golf!!!!
12/11/2013 6:49 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Michael Jordan is no CHUMP on the golf course ... in fact, he actually DEFEATED one of the greatest golfers of all time, Fred Couples ... so says Fred himself.
TMZ Sports spoke with the former Masters champ at LAX yesterday, where he told us about the upset on on the links ... explaining, "He's got skills."
Couples didn't say when he lost to MJ, but said His Airness excels in a ton of different arenas -- "winning, gambling, beating me."
We also talked to Fred about Tiger Woods -- and it's clear, Couples doesn't believe he's as washed up as some people think.
LA Clippers Sued
$5 MILLION FOR SPAMMING FAN
12/11/2013 12:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
An L.A. Clippers fan is suing the team .. claiming the NBA squad is responsible for SPAMMING his cell phone ... and now he wants them to pay up, to the tune of $5 MILLION.
The guy behind the lawsuit is Ari Friedman -- who claims he went to a game at Staples Center and participated in one of those arena games where you can send a text message to the team that could get posted on the stadium scoreboard. (Sidenote: Who does that???)
In a lawsuit, obtained by TMZ Sports, Ari claims the team assured fans they would not share cell phone information or send return text messages ... but alas, Ari claims the Clips broke that promise
After the game, Ari says he got hit with text message spam which traced back to the Clippers. He's pissed because incoming text messages can cost several cents in charges.
Now, Ari's filed a class action lawsuit demanding $5 million from the team for his troubles.
We reached out to the Clippers for comment -- so far, no texts back.