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Shaunie O'Neal Shareef's Heart Surgery Set For December ... I'm An Emotional Wreck!

10/31/2018 11:09 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Shareef O'Neal's heading to the operating table to fix his heart issue in December -- and his mom tells TMZ Sports she couldn't be more nervous for the UCLA superstar.

"I've been an emotional wreck, really. To be honest," Shaunie O'Neal says ... "I just really have. I still am. I'm just trying to push through."

We broke the story ... Shaq and Shaunie's son was diagnosed with an issue that will temporarily halt his hoops career -- and now that a date has been set for the open-heart surgery ... Mom says she's havin' a tough time.

"It's scary. It's scary no matter what. There's nothing anybody can say, do, tell me -- it's scary. And, I'm going to be feeling that way until this is over."

The good news ... Shareef doesn't seem too worried about the procedure -- telling us just a few weeks ago he's already planning for his life after the operation.

In fact, today he was goofing around on the basketball court in his Halloween costume. 

As for Dad ... Shaunie says Shaq's been helping out families who have been put in similar situations as the O'Neals -- giving out iPads and even cash at the hospital.

Only a few more weeks until Shareef's on the other side of all this ... and we're all rooting for him.

Shareef O'Neal Focused On NBA After Heart Issue ... But I Love Fashion Too

10/17/2018 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

UCLA hoops star Shareef O'Neal says, despite being sidelined this season with a heart issue, he's still 100% committed to his dream of going to the NBA ... but admits he also has FASHION on the brain.

We broke the story ... Shaq and Shaunie's son was diagnosed with an issue that will require open heart surgery putting a halt to his hoops career, but according to O'Neal, not a stop at all.

"Basketball is still my main focus," O'Neal said when we got him out in L.A.

But, it's far from his ONLY focus ... because the 6'10" highlight machine says he's gonna use his time away from the court to build his skills in another area he loves.

"The NBA is something I've been wanting to do for a long time, but this is the opportunity to try to find other things if so. I mean, I've been doing a lot of stuff with fashion lately."

Shareef says he gets a lot of inspiration from his big brother Myles, who's making his name as a big-time model. As far as his dad's foray into the clothing world, not as much.

"I'm looking more for a higher-end fashion, I know how his mindset works."

Shout out to Shaquille O'Neal XLG Big & Tall Men's Clothing ... no shade from us.

Matt Barnes Yes, I Faked Ball AT Kobe ... End Of Mystery

10/3/2018 1:31 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

All the Internet detectives can put their magnifying glasses down ... Matt Barnes is ending the debate, telling TMZ Sports he DEFINITELY faked the ball RIGHT AT Kobe Bryant.

And, of course ... Kobe didn't flinch.

The debate over this 8-year-old NBA occurrence started when a Twitter user floated the theory that Kobe's all-time tough guy move wasn't that ... because Matt didn't put the ball directly in his face.

BTW -- If you don't remember the incident we're talking about ... you need NBA league pass ... BADLY.

We talked to Matt -- who was just thrilled to discuss it AGAIN -- and Barnes says he definitely faked the ball at Kobe's face and Mamba kept his cool.

"As far as I know that sh*t went in his face and he didn't flinch. I thought that was a dead story."

See ... 

BTW -- If you want to hear about something IMPORTANT that Matt cares about ... he also talks to us about the medical cannabis initiative he's started with his alma mater, UCLA.

Shareef O'Neal To Undergo Heart Surgery ... UCLA Docs Saved My Life

9/28/2018 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

UCLA basketball star Shareef O'Neal -- Shaq's son -- says he'll be forced to sit out next season due to a heart issue that will require major surgery ... but vows to return ASAP. 

TMZ Sports spoke with the 18-year-old superstar who said he was having a routine checkup recently when the docs "found a medical issue dealing with my heart."

Shareef didn't specify the exact problem -- but said the issue is severe enough that he'll be having heart surgery in the near future. 

"Thank God the UCLA medical staff caught it early," O'Neal tells us. 

Shareef says he's been talking with his dad and mom Shaunie O'Neal about how best to handle the situation -- and will NOT withdraw from school while recovering. 

"During rehab, I'll be attending my classes and being a normal student."

Shareef says he vows to return to the court in 2019 after redshirting this upcoming season -- and describes the ordeal as "just a bump in the road."

"I'll be back in no time."

Shareef was one of the top high school players in the country in 2018 and was expected to have a real impact with UCLA this upcoming season.

He's also a super nice kid and we're all rooting for him. 

Chip Kelly Winless Start Ain't A Problem Says Ex-UCLA & Ballers Star

9/19/2018 4:30 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chip Kelly's first three games at UCLA have been a disaster -- but it ain't time to panic in Westwood yet ... so says ex-Bruins star, Donovan Carter.

Carter -- a former DL and current star on HBO's "Ballers"-- joined the guys on "TMZ Sports" (weeknights on FS1) ... and preached patience when it came to the embarrassing 0-3 start his alma mater is off to under Chip.

"You just gotta be patient," Carter says. "Rome wasn't built in a day!"

Carter says there are plenty of explanations for why Kelly's team can't find a win -- and he tells us once Chip has the chance to recruit HIS guys to the roster ... W's will come.

"We kinda knew this season was going to be tough," he says. "But, we're kinda building for next year."

UCLA Women's Soccer Players Continue Kneeling Protest ... 2nd Season In a Row

9/14/2018 7:52 AM PDT
Breaking News

Two UCLA women's soccer players took a knee during the national anthem before their game Thursday ... and the school tells TMZ Sports its coach is still fully in support of their protests.

Defenders Kennedy Faulknor and Kaiya McCullough -- along with 2 others on the sideline -- dropped to a knee at midfield during the song ahead of their clash with LMU. The pic was captured by Fred J. Robledo

The women have been demonstrating since last season -- and clearly haven't been dissuaded by the constant attacks on kneelers by people like President Donald Trump, who has constantly called for harsh penalties on those who don't stand for the anthem. 

But, UCLA head coach Amanda Cromwell has publicly supported the players from the jump. 

"It's about supporting the cause of racial justice and equality in the world," the coach said to the Pac-12 Networks last fall.

"I love that our team is socially active. We're politically active and we support them across the board."

You'll remember, Colin Kaepernick started the movement back in 2016 -- but the Bruins joined in the protest shortly after Donald Trump called the kneeling NFLers "sons of bitches" in 2017.

FYI ... UCLA is an Under Armour school, but it's clear its players are still riding with the Nike-backed Kaep -- especially after Trump blasted Colin yet again earlier this month.

Ed Sheeran Sings 'Vincent' w/ Don McLean ... Pehaps You'll Listen Now?

8/20/2018 10:40 AM PDT
Breaking News

Question: What's black and white and red all over?

Answer: Ed Sheeran and Don McLean performing 'Vincent' together. And it's beautiful. 

The two got together to perform the song as part of a fundraiser in the Pacific Palisades for UCLA Health and Teen Cancer America ... but before they hit the stage, they got together for a private rehearsal. 

Sheeran brought the guitar -- and his finest red cargo shorts -- and strummed away while he and Don took turns with the verses. 

72-year-old McLean was clearly impressed with his 27-year-old duet partner -- saying, "Ed is a quick study...turned out great"

By the way, 'Vincent' came out in 1971 -- 20 years before Ed was born! 

Ex-UCLA Star Billy Knight Found Dead At 39 After 'Goodbye' Video

7/10/2018 1:50 PM PDT
Breaking News

Ex-UCLA star and renowned basketball trainer Billy Knight was found dead in Phoenix on Sunday after posting an apparent video suicide note ... cops confirm to TMZ Sports

The 39-year-old posted a YouTube video early Sunday morning saying it was "probably my last message on Earth" ... and noting, "My time is up."

In the video, an emotional Knight talks about depression and apologizes to friends and family. He also advises people suffering from mental illness to seek help, so they don't end up like him. 

Shortly after the video was posted, the Phoenix P.D. says officers found Knight's body in a roadway in downtown Phoenix. 

Officers say, "No evidence of foul play was detected," but the body has been sent to the Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death. 

Knight broke out at UCLA in 2001 -- when he started all 33 games and averaged 14 points on 46 percent shooting from the floor.

After going undrafted in 2002, he played in the NBA's D-league for a bit before heading overseas. 

The news of Knight's death has rocked the basketball community ... with ex-NBA star Matt Barnes saying, "Rest Easy My Brotha! Your summer time beach workouts had me in the best shape of my life to start every season!"

R.I.P.

If you or someone you know is suffering from suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Tom Brady Hilarious Temper Tantrum While Golfing with Parents

7/3/2018 7:15 AM PDT
Breaking News

Tom Brady's epic meltdowns aren't just limited to the football field ... 'cause dude even snaps on the links -- in rounds of golf with his folks!!

TB12 hit the course with his mom, dad and niece on Monday in what shoulda been a fun family time ... until Tom needed two mulligans to get off a tee.

The Pats QB snap-hooked his first shot and screeched out a "DARNIT!!"

His next stroke wasn't any better ... leading to a hat toss.

He finally got it straight on the third swing ... but, if you're counting at home -- he's lyin' five when he gets to his ball in the fairway.

Don't worry ... Tom cooled down eventually to take an adorable pic with his fam.

Obviously, Tom was hamming it up for the camera -- still funny though!

By the way ... his niece, Maya Brady, is a legit softball player -- committed to play at UCLA after her senior season at Oaks Christian next year.

Pretty good genes in that family, huh?

Master P LiAngelo Should Go Back To School ... LaVar Don't Know It All

6/23/2018 12:20 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

LaVar Ball doesn't know it all, and the proof is that LiAngelo didn't get drafted ... so says Master P, who tells TMZ Sports he thinks Gelo should go back to school.

LiAngelo didn't hear his name called draft night ... leaving some to wonder what's next for the kid, who LaVar promised would one day join Lonzo on the Lakers.

We got P out in L.A. and he made it clear he thinks it was a mistake for Gelo to leave UCLA in the first place, and told our guy he thinks the 19-year-old should hightail it back to Westwood.

"I mean if he can, I would go back."

P wasn't finished ... saying he thinks the fact that he's currently without a basketball team should be a wake-up call to LiAngelo ... about his father.

"It just show you that Lavar don't have that magic ball like he thought he had."

FWIW, we talked to LaVar and he told us he still expects Gelo to get signed to a free agent deal, but we gotta admit, Big Baller Brand basketball has seen better days.

LiAngelo Ball Mocks China Theft Incident ... In Foot Locker Ad

6/19/2018 10:13 AM PDT
Breaking News

LiAngelo Ball is finally ready to laugh at that whole international crime incident in China ... and he's doing it all for a new Foot Locker commercial. 

Remember, it was just 7 months ago ... Gelo -- along with 2 teammates from UCLA -- were detained in China after stealing several pairs of designer sunglasses and other accessories from multiple stores in Hangzhou. 

UCLA -- along with Chinese billionaire Jack Ma -- worked with Chinese officials to bring the players back home. LiAngelo left UCLA a short time later and moved to Lithuania to play pro ball overseas

Now, Ball is joking about the whole situation for Foot Locker's new "One and Done" campaign ... in which the host brags that the new apparel is an "absolute steal," while cutting to Gelo. 

The host jokingly realizes his mistake and says he meant to say, "The price is so good it must be criminal."

Get it?! Good times ... 

Wonder if UCLA and Jack Ma are laughing?

Tom Brady Runnin' Offense For UCLA Football Team

4/27/2018 2:19 PM PDT
Breaking News

Josh Rosen out ... TOM  BRADY IN!!!

The New England Patriots stud showed up to the UCLA football facilities in L.A. on Friday for a special workout with the Bruins players ... and c'mon, how awesome is that?! 

Brady was throwing the ball around and dishing out advice to some of the players at the Wasserman Football Center in Westwood. One of the prospects pictured is 3-star QB Austin Burton

Interesting considering all the rumblings that 40-year-old Tom might retire instead of coming back for the 2018 season. This looks like a guy ready to hang it up to you? Didn't think so. 

Meanwhile, the UCLA social media team used the workout to throw a little low-key shade at their cross town rival, USC ... tweeting out, "OnlyAtUCLA."

Josh Rosen Opposing Players Hurled Anti-Semitic Insults

4/24/2018 8:51 AM PDT
Breaking News

Josh Rosen says he's been the target of A LOT of anti-Jewish trash talk on the field -- with some opposing players telling him, "Stay the f*ck down, you Jewish bastard."

The former UCLA quarterback opened up about the anti-Semitism in football to NFL.com's Michael Silver ... saying when it comes to trash talk, "I get a lot of Jewish things."

"My nose, particularly. I get, like, 'Stay the f*ck down, you Jewish bastard … I'm gonna break your f*cking nose, you Jew.'"

Rosen says he's unfazed by the insults -- explaining, "I really like when people try to get in my head."

"I like away games more than home games. I like silencing crowds; that's a big thing. One of my best games was at Arizona my freshman year. It was College GameDay and they had a ton of banners; they had my face on the queen from 'Frozen'. They had, 'Josh Rosen's Bar Mitzvah Wasn't Even Lit.'"

"When people really get into me, it gets my competitive juices flowing. I love seeing heartbroken fans. Some stadiums, the fans are really close to you, and they'll call you names: 'Rosen, go back to your hot tub.' And when you beat them and get to turn around and wave? It's the best."

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