NBA's Udonis Haslem I Woulda Fought Michael Jordan ... If He Called Me A Bitch

Breaking News
DON'T DISRESPECT ME

Michael Jordan's motivational name-calling wouldn't have worked with Udonis Haslem -- the Miami Heat star says he would've straight FOUGHT Jordan if he was ever called a "bitch."

"If I’m one of them people Mike talking to like that, I might put hands on Mike," Haslem said Tuesday during an IG Live with Richard Jefferson.

"I might put hands on Mike."

"And, I love Mike to death. Mike the greatest of all time. But, you can’t call me the b-word and the h-word."

"Nah, all right Mike. We gonna have to square off."

Of course, MJ let the expletives fly in an attempt to motivate his Chicago Bulls teammates in the '90s ... which was showcased in the most recent episodes of ESPN's "The Last Dance."

One of the targets of MJ's trash talk was ex-Bulls teammate Scott Burrell -- but when we spoke with SB this week, he said he's not mad about it at all!

THAT'S NOT BULLYING
TMZSports.com

"I loved it! I loved the way he pushed me, I loved the way he motivated me," Burrell said.

"I think Michael had different techniques maybe some people didn't think were great leadership qualities."

One person who did fight back -- Steve Kerr -- who famously punched MJ in the chest during a heated practice, only to get socked right back in his eye.

MJ later said he felt bad about beating up "the littlest guy on the f*cking court."

Haslem, on the other hand, is not a small guy -- he's 6'8", 235 pounds.

Would've been interesting to see how THAT fight would've gone down.

Marcus Jordan Reveals Best and Worst Parts ... About Being MJ's Son

Exclusive
UNIQUE LIFE
TMZSports.com

Can you imagine being the son of the most famous athlete on the planet?!?

TMZ Sports spoke with someone who knows exactly what it's like ... and he's revealing the highs and lows of being Michael Jordan's kid.

SPOILER ALERT -- there aren't many lows.

We spoke with MJ's second son, Marcus Jordan, about growing up with His Airness ... and asked when he realized his dad was Michael freaking Jordan, the global superstar.

"So, in 8th grade, I was playing in middle school and I was number one in the state," Marcus tells us.

"Everybody was coming to our games and we were getting bigger crowds than usual and that's when it really started settling in for me."

Marcus says he started picking his dad's brain ever since ... asking for advice on becoming the G.O.A.T. at anything on and off the court.

Naturally, being MJ's son has to come with a ton of perks ... but when we asked Marcus the best parts about being a Jordan, we realized how awesome it really is.

"I grew up playing Playstation on a private jet."

Baller.

Marcus says his mom did a great job keeping the family humble and reminding them how blessed they are ... but also admits he didn't travel on a commercial flight until his junior year of high school.

Marcus says the worst part is always having to live under the assumption that people are always wanting something from him -- whether it's sneakers or a connection -- but says that one negative is outweighed by all the dopeness.

JUST GETTIN' STARTED
TMZSports.com

We also spoke with Marcus about his own business venture -- The Trophy Room -- which has the latest clothes, shoes and Jordan merch ... and he breaks down the awesome reason for giving the shop its name.

Mamba Sports Academy Removed 'Mamba' from Name ... At Kobe Estate's Request

Breaking News

2:14 PM PT -- Okay, some clarity on the move from The Sports Academy ...

Now, the TSA says the decision to remove "Mamba" from the name was a "mutual agreement made in accordance with the wishes of [Kobe's] estate."

TSA doesn't explain why Kobe's estate wanted "Mamba" out of the name -- but it makes a lot more sense.

In other words, if Vanessa asks you to remove the name, you remove the name.

The Mamba Sports Academy says it will honor Kobe Bryant's memory by removing the word "Mamba" from its name forever.

And, if you're confused ... you're not alone.

Kobe partnered up with The Sports Academy (a youth sports training business) in 2018 -- which led to the name change "Mamba Sports Academy."

Kobe was very involved with the Academy -- and was traveling to a MSA facility in Thousand Oaks, CA with his daughter, Gianna, and several other people when their helicopter crashed on January 26.

Now, Sports Academy founder and CEO Chad Faulkner says the company will make significant changes as a tribute to the NBA legend.

"Today, with respect for an unparalleled legacy, the Academy will retire the 'Mamba' in the Mamba Sports Academy name -- to raise it to the rafters, where it belongs," Faulkner said in a statement.

Faulkner expanded on his decision to ESPN's The Undefeated ... saying, "Our beliefs and thoughts are Kobe is one of one. 'Mamba' is one of one."

"And with that as we carry on as The Sports Academy, it's more appropriate to put Kobe in another Hall of Fame, if you will, and to really respect a legacy that is really unrivaled, frankly, and let that live on its own. We will continue to do the work we do."

"We were fortunate to learn from Kobe. We will carry on much of those learnings that we have in a respectful way."

Of course, there is another school of thought that Kobe would want the Academy to use his name because it would help to attract more young athletes ... but clearly Faulkner doesn't feel that way.

The Sports Academy has already changed its website to reflect its new name -- and says it will make changes to signage at its buildings in Thousand Oaks and Redondo Beach.

Originally published -- 9:50 AM PT

NBA China TV Still Banning Games After Daryl Morey Tweet

Breaking News

As it turns out, time DOESN'T heal all wounds ... 'cause China's state-run TV network is holding firm on blacking out NBA games following Daryl Morey's support for Hong Kong protesters last year.

Remember, the Houston Rockets GM started an international crap storm for tweeting "Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong," with a pic of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong in October.

The Tweet created a ton of backlash in China ... with massive Chinese e-commerce site Taobao yanking all Rockets merchandise and CCTV pulling NBA games from broadcast.

China Central Television released a statement to the Global Times in Beijing earlier this week ... "reiterating its consistent stance on national sovereignty" -- AKA, the NBA is still banned from TV.

The statement comes one day after Michael Ma -- son of CCTV co-founder Ma Guoli -- was named the CEO of NBA China ... which initially led people to believe the NBA could return to programming.

But, all that speculation can be put to rest with CCTV shooting down the rumors.

Sorry to all NBA fans in China hoping to see some action if/when the season returns.

NBA's Darius Morris Accused Of Brutal Attack On Woman ... Accuser Backtracking

Exclusive

Former NBA player Darius Morris -- a Lakers second-round pick in 2011 -- was arrested last month after a woman claimed he brutally attacked her ... but now the woman is insisting she made the whole thing up.

A spokesperson for the NYPD tells TMZ Sports ... on April 18, a woman told officers the 29-year-old pro basketball player beat her up during an altercation at a Manhattan-area home.

The woman told cops she had left the residence, and asked Morris to leave by the time she got back. But, she says when she returned, Darius was still there -- and he exploded on her.

Officers say the 34-year-old woman told them Morris "grabbed her by her hair and dragged her, punching and kicking her in the head repeatedly."

Law enforcement sources say as a result of the alleged attack, the woman sustained bruising and swelling on her eyes, forehead, and ear ... and also suffered a chipped tooth and bruises on her arms and back.

We're told the woman was treated at a local hospital ... and Morris was eventually arrested and booked on charges of strangulation and assault.

Cops say Morris was released ... but was arrested AGAIN just a few days later on April 30, after they claim he violated an order of protection.

We contacted Morris and his rep for comment ... but they offered no explanation.

After speaking with Morris' camp, we were contacted by the accuser, who now says she made the whole thing up and doesn't want to see Morris prosecuted.

Unclear what caused the change of heart -- she told us, "It's private, none of it's true." The accuser also says she will go to the D.A. to drop the case against Morris.

Morris was a star at the Univ. of Michigan, averaging 15 points per game in the 2010-2011 season ... and was ultimately picked by the Lakers with the 41st overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Morris played in the Association from '11-'15 ... and recently, had been playing for a pro team in France prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Scott Burrell Defends MJ's Practice Antics He's No Bully, I Loved It!!!

Exclusive
THAT'S NOT BULLYING
TMZSports.com

Michael Jordan may have seemed like a teammate from hell ... but ex-Bulls player Scott Burrell says he welcomed MJ's tough antics ... telling TMZ Sports he LOVED the way #23 motivated him.

Previously unreleased footage of the '98 Bulls season aired on ESPN's "The Last Dance" doc Sunday ... showing Jordan cussing at, mocking and being extra hard on certain players during practice.

Burrell -- who was on the receiving end of a lot of Jordan's harsh actions -- says it wasn't as bad as it looked ... 'cause he WANTED His Airness to prep him to be a contributing player on a championship team.

"I think Michael had different techniques maybe some people didn't think were great leadership qualities," Burrell says. "I loved it! I loved the way he pushed me, I loved the way he motivated me."

Burrell says the antics worked off ... 'cause the Bulls were ready to take on each team's best shot every night, even when the opponents gave MJ all they had.

"People gotta understand, this is a team that won 5 championships in 7 years, and 2 in a row. People weren't saying 'I'm gonna play Steve Kerr or Toni Kukoc, every team that played Chicago was 'I wanna kick Michael Jordan's butt.'"

Burrell never took MJ's words to heart ... saying he knew Jordan was just trash talking and didn't really mean what he was saying.

Matter of fact, Burrell says he's still tight with MJ ... and they even hit the links together from time to time.

"I'm glad I learned from the best coaches and the best players and I like the friendship we built and the team camaraderie we have."

HE WOULD STACK UP
TMZSports.com

We also asked Burrell -- who also had a brief stint playing baseball in the minor leagues -- about Jordan's brief pro-hardball career ... and he gives the guy props for what he was able to do after so many years away from the diamond.

As for what would happen if Jordan stepped up to the plate with Burrell on the mound?? You'll have to hear what he says!!

WWE's Street Profits Dunk All Over Viking Raiders In Hilarious Hoops Showdown

NEW GAME PLAN
WWE

Two of the baddest tag teams in WWE -- the Street Profits and Viking Raiders -- can't stop arguing over who's the best ... so they took their trash talk to the ring BASKETBALL COURT!!!

Is this a scripted bit? Absolutely.

Is it still hilarious? Yup!!

If you don't know the (gimmick) backstory ... the Profits and the Raiders have a pretty intense rivalry both inside and outside the ring.

The Raiders believe they're just better at things like "Ax tossing, Feast Eating, Boat Rowing, Combat, Cartwheels, and People Tossing."

So, how did things go down when they squared up on the basketball court? Horrible for the Raiders!

Both Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins looked like the Harlem Globetrotters with the way they were clowning Erik and Ivar ... and hitting some really impressive shots in the process.

Ford even hot a half-court shot straight out of Dude Perfect!

Full game airs tonight on WWE's Monday Night Raw -- where we'll find out if the Raiders can mount a 4th quarter comeback after falling behind 55-0.

Spoiler alert ... no.

Michael Jordan I Punched Kerr 'In The F***ing Eye' ... In 1995 Fight

Breaking News

Michael Jordan says he socked Steve Kerr in the face during a fight at Bulls practice back in 1995 ... and said he felt so badly about it afterward, he had to call the guy to apologize.

"I'm in the shower and I'm saying, 'I just beat up the littlest guy on the f*cking court,'" Jordan said. "And, I felt about this small."

Jordan admitted to all of it in the eighth episode of "The Last Dance" docuseries Sunday ... explaining how Phil Jackson calling "ticky-tack" fouls in a training camp workout led to MJ roughing up the future head coach of the Golden State Warriors.

Jordan says in the preseason after his return to the NBA from a failed baseball career ... he was trying to get his new teammates like Kerr to understand what it would take for Chicago to win another championship.

Yet MJ claims Jackson attempted to "tone me down" in one particularly aggressive practice ... and that pissed off the NBA legend to the point where he intentionally fouled Kerr.

That's when Steve says he punched MJ in the chest ... and Jordan responded with this -- "I just haul off and hit him right in the f*cking eye."

Jordan says he knew he was wrong almost immediately ... and called Kerr shortly after to say he was sorry.

"I feel bad," Jordan says he told Kerr.

But, the good news? Kerr says standing up to Jordan was "the best thing that I ever did" ... and says their relationship "dramatically improved" afterward.

Of course, later that season the Bulls won 72 regular-season games and took home the NBA championship ... prompting Steve to say, "that season has to be the best team I've ever been a part of."

Soooooo ... worth it?!

Michael Jordan Signed $15k Check To Trump's Casino ... Hits Auction Block

Exclusive

Michael Jordan's personal check -- signed by His Airness -- made out to Donald Trump's Indiana casino during the '97-'98 NBA season ... just hit the auction block.

The one-of-a-kind check is dated "Feb. 16, 1998" ... and is made out to "TRUMP INDIANA, INC." -- Trump's now-closed riverboat casino in Gary, Indiana -- for 15,000 bucks.

MJ's very recognizable autograph is on the checks signature line ... above the font "JORDAN, MICHAEL J"

Michael's Bulls squad didn't have a game on February 16. They just came off a 99-90 win over the Pistons the night before ... and were set to play the Pacers in Chi-town the following night, February 17.

Did Jordan's gambling affect his play against the Pacers? Nope. Chicago won, and Jordan dropped 27 points on Reggie Miller's team.

MJ's love of gambling is well-documented and was prominently discussed on the "Last Dance" docuseries ... when Michael famously traveled from NYC to Atlantic City during the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals series against the Knicks.

So, yeah, Michael liked the casino ... A LOT.

Goldin Auctions -- who are currently auctioning the check -- believe this is the first time an MJ check made to a casino has become available on the open market.

With Jordan's current resurgence in the news, MJ memorabilia is on fire. Last week, a rookie card from 1986 sold for $96k.

Auction closes on May 16 ... but be forewarned, it's gonna take more than a $15k check to buy this $15k check.

Philip Rivers Call Me Coach After NFL Retirement!!! ... Takes Job At Bama HS

Breaking News
DREAMS DO COME TRUE

Philip Rivers won't wait long for a new gig after his NFL career ends ... the QB just agreed to become a HS football head coach post-retirement -- and he got emotional accepting the job!

The new Indianapolis Colt made the announcement at a press conference at St. Michael Catholic HS in Fairhope, AL ... getting choked up explaining why taking the job means so much to him.

"It's a special day for me and my family really," the 38-year-old said. "I, um, I knew I was going to get a little emotional."

"I had two childhood dreams. And one was to play in the NFL ... and the other is to be a high school football head coach as my dad did. So, it's an exciting day. It really is. I'm going, 'Wow, how blessed am I to be able to live both of those out?!'"

Rivers is so passionate about coaching HS football because his father, Steve Rivers -- whom Phil famously played for at Athens HS in 1999 -- was a HS honcho for decades.

"My dad was my high school football coach," Phil said. "So I want to coach my boys and I want to coach young boys down the road."

It's unclear when exactly Phil will officially put on the headset for the school ... the QB said at the presser he still believes he's got some good football left in his body despite a down year in 2019.

As for why Alabama and St. Michael Catholic ... Phil said, "I know a few people in the area, and then this particular school, not only athletically what I believe they're trying to grow to, but it really aligns with what I believe in spiritually and academically."

Rivers signed a $25 MILLION contract to play for the Colts this year ... but the deal expires next offseason. So, could it be "Coach" Phil by this time in 2021???

Stay tuned ...

Report: Michael Jordan Wouldn't Allow Horace To Eat ... After Bad Bulls Games

Breaking News

Michael Jordan hated losing so much, he wouldn't allow HIS OWN teammate to eat after bad games -- reportedly taking food off Horace Grant's table some nights in the '90s!

Legendary Bulls reporter Sam Smith revealed the insane story this week ... saying players told him MJ would make airline stewardesses skip Grant on team planes after games if he sucked earlier in the day.

"Players would come to me over the years and said, 'You know what he did? He took Horace's food away on the plane because Horace had a bad game,'" Smith said on the Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks Podcast.

"He told the stewardesses, 'Don’t feed him, he doesn’t deserve to eat!'"

Of course, Jordan and Grant won A LOT together -- so it's unclear how often MJ pulled the savage move ... but it's well known the two didn't exactly have the best relationship regardless.

Their friction has been touched on several times in ESPN's "The Last Dance" documentary ... with Jordan even accusing Grant on the show of leaking stories in the '90s to paint him in a bad light.

For his part, Grant says he wasn't the snitch ... claiming, "Not one thing I divulged to Sam Smith."

LeBron James Outraged Over Ahmaud Arbery Shooting 'We’re Hunted EVERY DAY'

Breaking News

LeBron James is sickened by the shooting death of 25-year-old black man Ahmaud Arbery ... saying African-Americans are "literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!" ... and he's demanding justice.

Back in February, Arbery was jogging when he was chased down and killed by a white man named Travis McMichael.

Graphic video of the fatal shooting surfaced online this week ... which has prompted a nationwide call for justice as McMichael has not been arrested or charged.

LeBron is joining the fight for Ahmaud ... speaking out against the horrific shooting on Twitter.

"We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!" James says.

IN COLD BLOOD

"Can’t even go for a damn jog man! Like WTF man are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!? No man fr ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!"

McMichael has not been arrested because he and his father claim they were attempting a citizen's arrest ... claiming Ahmaud fit the description of a suspect in a string of recent break-ins in the area.

LeBron -- who also previously protested over the death of Trayvon Martin -- joins a list of athletes including Reggie Bush and Ed Reed, who spoke out after the video surfaced on Tuesday.

"I’m sorry Ahmaud (Rest In Paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to the heavens above to your family!!" LeBron added.

"#StayWoke #ProfiledCauseWeAreSimplyBlack"

Michael Jordan Secret Supermarket Shopping?! ... Sounds Baller As Hell!

Breaking News

Michael Jordan was SO insanely famous in Chicago during his Bulls days -- he couldn't even shop for groceries without being mobbed.

So, the guy would pay staffers to keep the store open JUST FOR HIM so he could cruise the aisles alone in peace!

Pretty baller, right!?

Jordan's former Bulls teammate Brad Sellers explained to The Undefeated ...

"You saw MJ doing laundry in the first few episodes [of ESPN's 'The Last Dance'] and that was him back then, the country side of him, just living like a regular dude."

“But, he just got bigger and bigger in basketball and to a point where he couldn’t go out. I remember saying to him one day, ‘Hey, M ... how do you eat?'"

"He told me he would call Jewel-Osco [a supermarket chain based in Chicago] about 15 minutes before they closed, and let them know he was coming in. They would stay open later to let him shop."

Sellers says MJ would break off staffers with a fat ass tip for their troubles.

So, MJ got his own version of "Supermarket Sweep" and the workers got some extra bread and the chance to see the most famous dude in Chi-Town?

Sounds like a sweet deal for everyone!

Charles Barkley 'Feels Sadness' Over Fallout With Jordan ... But He Can Call Me!!!

Breaking News
HIT ME UP!!!
Waddle & Silvy / ESPN Chicago

Charles Barkley says he's still VERY sad about his broken friendship with ex-BFF Michael Jordan ... but he's down to bury the hatchet if MJ would just give him a call.

"The guy was like a brother to me for, shoot, 20-something years," Barkley said Tuesday on ESPN radio's "Waddle and Silvy" show. "At least 20-something years."

"And I do, I feel sadness. But, to me, he's still the greatest basketball player ever. I wish him nothing but the best. But, there's nothing I can do about it, brother."

Barkley says MJ cut off their friendship back in 2012 when Sir Charles criticized basketball's G.O.A.T. for being a crappy owner of the Charlotte Hornets.

"I'm pretty sure I said, 'As much as I love Michael, until he stops hiring them kiss-asses, and his best friends, he's never going to be successful as a general manager,'" Barkley said.

FYI -- Jordan HASN'T exactly been the greatest owner ever ... the team's seen the postseason just two times since he became the majority owner in 2010.

Sir Charles says he felt like it was his duty as a broadcaster to be honest about Michael's failures ... and even says he thought that's why he and Jordan had such a good relationship to begin with.

"Part of my job [as an analyst] is, because I can't go on TV and say, 'Another general manager sucks' and then just because Michael's like a brother to me say, 'He's doing a fantastic job,'" Barkley says. "That would be disingenuous."

Barkley has previously said he won't apologize to MJ for doing his job.

The former Phoenix Suns superstar says it's all actually really sad ... but says the ball is in Jordan's court when it comes to mending the bridge.

"Oh, he's got my number. He can call me."

Patrick Ewing My Dream Team Gold Medal Was Stolen ... So I Got a New One!!!

Breaking News

Patrick Ewing says some scumbag actually broke into his home and STOLE his 1992 Olympic gold medal -- the one from the Dream Team -- but he never talked the burglary ... until now!!

“My house got broken into in New York at one point and they stole my medals," Ewing said Tuesday on "The Dan Patrick Show."

FYI, Ewing won TWO gold medals in his career -- representing Team USA in 1984 and 1992.

Patrick didn't reveal the date of the burglary -- but says the crooks made out with both gold medals AND the 1984 NCAA Championship ring he won during his run at Georgetown.

But, don't worry ...  this story has a happy ending on two fronts.

First, Ewing said sometime after the break-in, he placed a call to Jerry Colangelo -- who runs USA Basketball -- and he was able to get replacement medals!

And, as for the college championship ring ... "somebody tried to sell it on eBay and I was able to get that back."

So, someone out there has an original gold medal from the greatest Olympic basketball team ever assembled.

Yeah, it's probably worth a fortune -- but it's STOLEN PROPERTY!

Ewing seemed to insinuate he was targeted by someone looking to get his high-profile items ... saying, "sometimes it sucks to be well known."

Metta World Peace Changes Name Again ... 'Metta Sandiford-Artest'

Breaking News

Metta World Peace is no more ... the former NBA superstar says he's changed his name again -- this time to Metta Sandiford-Artest.

The ex-Lakers forward, formerly known as Ron Artest, revealed the latest moniker swap on "Inside the Green Room with Danny Green" this week ... saying the newest change was to honor his wife, Maya Sandiford.

"I actually took my wife's last name and ended it in my last name," Metta said.

Of course, Metta gained GLOBAL fame back in 2011 when he changed his name to Metta World Peace ... explaining at the time he wanted "to inspire and bring youth together all around the world."

But, Metta revealed to Danny Green on the show that he actually was initially embarrassed by it ... saying he thought to himself early on at NBA games, "This is the dumbest thing ever."

In fact, Metta even said there was a time when he was debating changing it all to "Queensbridge" or "So Hood."

But, Metta told Green he eventually got used to "World Peace" ... and didn't feel the need to change it again until this year.

"What's funny is I got married," Metta said, "and my name now is Metta Sandiford-Artest."

By the way ... when it comes to those reports that Metta had changed his name to "Panda Friend" when he moved to play ball in China in '14 -- he said those were just not true.

"People said, 'Metta's changing his name to 'Panda Friend!'" Metta explained. "So I just rode with it!"

Hilarious!!!

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!