Carter came out SWINGING ... hitting Odom with as many punches as his body could handle ... but it was clear from the jump -- Odom was in control.
The 6'10" Odom and 6'0" Carter duked it out for 2 rounds at the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City ... but the Lakers champion was gonna have no issue handing the former pop star in the ring.
But, ultimately, Carter didn't have the same luck he had against Shaq ... 'cause it was Odom's hand that was raised at the end of the night.
Odom finished Carter in the second round ... but it was all love -- both guys hugged it out after Aaron went down midway through the second round.
Odom told us before the fight ... he was planning to put Carter to sleep ... and while he didn't make that happen, he still came through with the dub.
What's next for Odom?? Dude says he's down to take another fight ... as long as the money's right.
Charles Barkley thinks the Brooklyn Nets roster is unfairly stacked -- so he's decided to openly root against 'em in the playoffs.
In other words, "I’m not a fan of superteams."
Barkley spelled out the whole thing during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday ... explaining the combination of James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Blake Griffin is simply off-putting for him.
"If they win it, they win it. But I want to make it perfectly clear -- I’m rooting against those guys. I’m rooting against all superteams. I’m old school."
The Nets are on fire at the moment -- coming off a 125 to 86 blowout victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, which gave Brooklyn a 2-0 lead in their playoff series. Game 3 is set for Thursday night.
Barkley says he'd rather see a team like the NY Knicks get to the NBA Finals -- because he likes the team and the atmosphere better.
"The Brooklyn Nets got a much better team, but when they play it’s like a mausoleum," Barkley said ... "And they got a much better team. I want [the Knicks] because that place was on fire, and I’m hoping they keep getting better because that place was fire. I’ve been there when it’s been on fire."
The Knicks balled out this season -- finishing 4th in the eastern conference during the regular season and showing real potential moving forward.
Just don't sign too many superstars this off-season ... or Barkley will jump ship.
[h/t NY Post]
LeBron James' iconic #23 is no more ... the Los Angeles Lakers superstar is officially switching back to #6 for the start of next season.
So ... why the change?? Bron initially decided to gift #23 to Anthony Davis when he joined the Lakers in 2019 ... and said he would wear #6 -- a number he wore with the Miami Heat and Team USA -- instead.
Nike famously vetoed the number trade ... saying it would lose WAY too much money if the guys swapped, so they put the exchange on ice for a bit.
.@KingJames says he's still gonna give his No. 23 jersey to AD after this season.— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 5, 2020 @BleacherReport
Bron was going to switch back to No. 6 last summer before Nike delayed the plan because it "could not accommodate the request," per @ChrisBHaynes pic.twitter.com/eGSQTFmXkt
But, this is where things get tricky -- The Athletic is reporting AD is NOT taking LeBron's #23 and will keep #3 ... which means James' move is a bit of a head-scratcher.
There's one potential reason LBJ wants to go through with the change -- James dons #6 in the new "Space Jam: A New Legacy" flick ... so maybe he wants the movie to be as REAL as possible??
Either way, expect LBJ's new look to be at the top of NBA jersey sales again next year ... 'cause everyone's gonna need to update to that #6.
Pat Riley opened his mouth ... and now he's gotta open up his wallet.
The Heat prez has been hit with a BIG fine for comments made about a potential reunion with LeBron James in Miami ... with the NBA determining he broke the league's anti-tampering rule.
Riley -- who orchestrated the Heat's Big 3 of LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh that won 2 titles in 4 years -- recently opened up about James in an interview with Dan Le Batard ... saying he'd welcome the King back to South Beach with open arms.
"I would leave the key under the doormat if he would call me and let me know that he's coming," Riley said Friday. "I would do that, but I doubt very much that key -- that key is rusted now."
He added ... "LeBron, look, he's one of the greatest of all time and for 4 years down here, if we want to go back and remember what those 4 years were like, it was 4 years in the Finals, 4 years of excitement, 2 world championships."
"It was the best time for the Heat. So, I wish him nothing but the best, and if he ever wanted to come back, I'll put a new shiny key under the mat."
Of course, LeBron is signed with the Lakers through the 2023 season, and execs aren't allowed to make comments about players under contract that could "entice" them to join their franchise.
The Association got wind of Riley's comments ... and slapped the legend with a $25,000 fine on Wednesday.
Now, that's a pretty hefty punishment, but if it gets LeBron thinking about taking his talents back to South Beach?? Worth every penny.
8:54 AM PT -- 6/9 -- Williams is finally responding to KD ... saying the incident 100% happened, but admitting he was "probably wrong" for airing out the interaction in public.
"I stand by my story," JWill said on ESPN Wednesday ... adding he's done going back and forth over the ordeal.
"I wish KD nothing but love and all the best success. I hope they win a championship."
No word on whether Durant will respond ... but it appears Williams is waving the white flag.
Here's the deal -- Williams recently shared an interaction he claims he had with KD at a holiday party a few years ago ... saying the Brooklyn Nets star confronted him over a comparison to Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Williams claims Durant was HEATED and said, "'Yo, don't you ever compare me to Giannis again! Don't you ever do that!"
Williams claimed he tried to explain the context behind the comments ... but KD wasn't having it.
"He's like, 'Nah, don't ever compare that dude to me, don't do it!'" Williams said on "Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin."
Naturally, the anecdote began to spread on social media like wildfire ... especially since the Nets and Bucks are currently duking it out in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
But, Durant is calling BS on the whole thing ... saying the incident never happened the way Williams made it out to be.
"This is a F***in lie," Durant said on IG Tuesday. "Jay Williams can NEVER speak for me, ever."
Williams has yet to respond ... but we're sure it's only a matter of time before he addresses the 2014 MVP's claims.
Originally Published -- 6/8 -- 8:13 AM PT
Remember, Pippen said he was "not too pleased" at the way he was portrayed in MJ's acclaimed docuseries "The Last Dance" ... and was so upset, he addressed the issue with Jordan directly.
"I don’t think it was that accurate in terms of really defining what was accomplished in one of the greatest eras of basketball, but also by two of the greatest players – and one could even put that aside and say the greatest team of all time," Pippen told The Guardian.
Fast forward to Wednesday ... Pippen revealed he's dropping an "unflinching memoir" called "Unguarded" reflecting on his life, including his time with the Bulls -- and the official summary on the Simon & Schuster website is teasing some serious tea.
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First ... Pippen claims "there's no 'Michael Jordan' as we know him" without him -- adding, "The 1990s Chicago Bulls teams would not exist as we know them."
"Pippen details how he cringed at being labeled Jordan’s sidekick, and discusses how he could have (and should have) received more respect from the Bulls’ management and the media."
But, then a more direct shot -- criticizing MJ's leadership.
"[Pippen] discusses what it was like dealing with Jordan on a day-to-day basis, while serving as the real leader within the Bulls locker room."
So ... shots fired??
Book drops in November -- guess we'll find out soon enough!
Ever wonder what it'd be like to have a golf simulator AND an insane Kobe Bryant themed-court at home?!?
For billionaire hedge fund exec Jeffrey Feinberg, that just became a reality ... 'cause the dude just bought a $44 million mansion in Los Angeles -- THAT COMES WITH BOTH!!!
Feinberg just purchased the property recently, the house’s developer, Ramtin Ray Nosrati, told The Wall Street Journal -- and it's one of the most ridiculous places you'll see.
There's 7 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, it's 54,885 square feet AND it sits on over 1.2 acres of land.
But, the best part of it? It's got a custom Kobe court that would make NBA arenas jealous.
Check out pics of the place ... it's got Kobe's signature, his jersey numbers and his famous Mamba logo emblazoned on it.
As for the rest of the crib ... it's got it all -- a room devoted to a golf simulator, an indoor pool and spa, a bar and so much more.
Still great to be rich, ain't it?
Of course, Clarkson and Bryant grew close as teammates on the Lakers for two seasons ... and JC has consistently paid tribute to the late NBA legend following his tragic death in January 2020.
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While it's usually weird to see a player rep a different team before a game, players across the league have made an exception when honoring Kobe.
Clarkson is making it known he's got Kobe's signature "Mamba Mentality" leading up to the Jazz vs. Clippers matchup in the Western Conference semis on Tuesday ... wearing the classic #8 Bryant wore for 10 seasons while meeting with media.
BTW -- Clarkson has had by far the best year of his career in 2021 ... averaging 18.4 points a game and winning the Sixth Man of the Year honors.
We must add ... there could also be another reason behind the Kobe jersey -- trolling -- after all, the Clippers have always HATED the Lakers.
Either way, it seems Clarkson has enough motivation going into the series.
LeBron James will be rockin' some brand new kicks when the Tune Squad and Goon Squad face off in "Space Jam: A New Legacy" ... and he's finally revealing the special sneaks to the public!
King James and Nike shared the first images of the "LeBron 19" sneaker on Tuesday ... and the folks at the Swoosh say the design is inspired by the new flick starring the hooper and Bugs Bunny.
The shoes have an eye-popping colorway, which matches the orangish-yellow-blue scheme of the new Tune Squad jerseys ... with an Air Max heel and Zoom Air forefoot.
Designer Jason Petrie spoke about the look ... saying, "In designing the LeBron 19, we were definitely guided by what was happening in the film."
"We wanted to give LeBron a brand-new feeling that was synonymous with an otherworldly, space-age kind of look."
In addition to the sneaks, Nike is also releasing a bunch of merch, game jerseys and Looney Tune-inspired LeBron 18s ... with color schemes inspired by the classic cartoon showdowns between Bugs and Marvin the Martian, Tweety Bird and Sylvester and Road Runner and Wile. E. Coyote.
The shoes and other SJ items are set to drop next month -- right around the July 16 debut of the flick.
No word on how much the shoes will set you back -- but no doubt these things will fly off the shelves and hit the re-sale market QUICK.
44-year-old Billups -- an assistant coach with the L.A. Clippers -- has been mentioned as a top candidate for teams in need of a new head coach this offseason ... including the Blazers and Boston Celtics.
Superstar Damian Lillard even listed Billups on his short wish list to replace Terry Stotts ... and Rip says the feeling's mutual.
"Me and Chauncey was actually just talking," Hamilton said on Rodeo Drive on Monday.
We asked if his old teammate told him he wants to coach the Blazers ... and Rip responded, "Yeah!"
"Chauncey wants to coach right now. Hopefully, he gets his opportunity."
Of course, the Blazers won't be able to reach out to the 2004 NBA Finals MVP until after the Clippers' season is over ... but The Athletic reports Billups is the "likely" choice to end up in Portland.
Rip has a message for the Blazers -- and pretty much the rest of the NBA -- saying, "Chauncey Billups is one of the best leaders that I've ever been around. I think he'll be great for whoever gets him."
The ex-Dallas great made the revelation to TMZ Sports while heading into Staples Center on Sunday to catch the Mavs-Clippers Game 7 ... and, yeah, it's BIG praise!!!
"He's playing unbelievable," Dirk said after explaining Luka "already has" eclipsed him as the greatest Mav ever.
Of course, Luka went on to lose the big game against the Clips in front of Dirk ... but the 22-year-old arguably STRENGTHENED the big man's claim despite the L.
Luka went bananas in the elimination contest -- dropping 46 points, 14 assists and 7 rebounds ... so maybe Dirk's got a point???
As for if Dirk was just being nice ... we're sure that's the case, Luka's been amazing -- but he's got a loooooooooong way to go to catch Nowitzki.
Dirk's a 14-time All-Star, a league MVP AND a Finals MVP ... and he averaged 20.7 points per game over a 20-YEAR span.
Luka, meanwhile, has made two All-Star teams in 3 years and is averaging 25.7 points per game -- but, clearly, there's work left to do to beat Dirk in Dallas!
Here it is -- college hoops superstar Cade Cunningham's first TMZ moment ... and it's adorable as heck!!
Of course, the 19-year-old point guard is widely projected to be the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft next month ... after averaging more than 20 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game.
So, what do you do when you're about to be an instant millionaire?? You hit up one of L.A.'s hottest dinner spots with your cute daughter, of course!!
Cunningham brought along his 2-year-old, Riley, for a fancy dinner at Craig's in West Hollywood ... and even chopped it up for a bit with us as he arrived.
We chatted about how he was handling the hype leading up to the draft ... and Cunningham said, "I feel great, man. It's all blessings, for sure."
We also had to ask if there were any teams, in particular, he was eyeing ... but naturally, he handled the question like a pro.
BTW -- Cunningham was an All-American during his one year in college ... and was voted Freshman of the Year by several outlets.
It may have been the first time Cunningham spoke with us at an L.A. hotspot, but it certainly won't be the last -- the guy's about to have one hell of a career in the Association!!
What do you get a man who has everything?!? How about being immortalized with a statue -- 'cause Chris Duhon says Mike Krzyzewski deserves the honor after announcing his retirement this week.
Of course, Duhon was part of the incredible 2001 Duke national championship team -- one of 5 Coach K-led squads to win it all.
We spoke with the former Duke star about his beloved coach deciding to hang it up after the 2021-22 season ... and he's already got ideas on how the Blue Devils can preserve his legacy.
"I think a statue is next and they already named the court -- the only thing I can think is if they ever think about remodeling Cameron, it would be under his name," he tells us. "That's the only thing I think you could do left."
Coach K was honored with the court naming at Cameron Indoor Stadium back in 2000 ... after his 500th win at Duke.
"They've done everything, he's accomplished pretty much everything. So, I don't know much more you can do to honor him."
But, the Blue Devils will be in good hands after this season -- Duhon says he LOVES the decision to go with former player Jon Scheyer moving forward.
"I think it was the right call, excellent call," Duhon says. "Jon has a great basketball mind and obviously being under the tutelage of Coach K for all these years, ya know, coach was just kinda grooming him."
Duhon also has a special message for his former coach ... and any hoops fan is gonna want to check it out.
NBA fans gotta keep the water bottles, spit and popcorn to themselves ... so says NFL tight end Gerald Everett, who tells TMZ Sports the wild spectators need to cut the crap and keep sports a peaceful place for everyone.
There have been several instances of fans crossing the line at NBA games over the past week -- with superstars like Trae Young, Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook having objects -- or liquids -- hurled in their direction.
On top of that, one fan even ran on the court during Game 5 of the Wizards vs. Sixers matchup on Monday night ... before getting absolutely leveled by arena security.
We spoke with 26-year-old Everett about the rise in fan-related incidents over the past week ... and he says it's extremely important to keep sports a fun place for everyone -- especially during tough times.
"Man, we just gotta realize that it's a team sport," Everett told us at LAX. "We're doing it to bring everybody together and it's just like a crazy time right now -- coronavirus and everybody's still tryna make it through."
"Sports is the only thing we have left so we have to use that as a key element to bringing people back together."
Everett says he's excited for fans to be back in NFL stadiums this season ... that is, if everyone behaves.
There's more ... we also talked to the Seahawks TE about Julio Jones' future in the league ... and the 12 will wanna catch what he says!!
Kasich was candid with our photog out in Beverly Hills on Friday afternoon ... explaining this week's Lakers playoff exit means NOTHING for Bron.
"He's the greatest, you know," Kasich said. "He's the king."
In fact, Kasich tells us LeBron's window for winning titles is still WIDE open!
"He's not done yet," the 69-year-old politician said. "Nope, not yet."
As for what needs to change next year ... Kasich stated the obvious -- Anthony Davis needs to get healthy, and the Lakers need to get those two more help.
Damian Lillard, you listenin'???
Drake's 3-year-old son got a taste of Lakers playoff basketball, and even though it wasn't very good ... he didn't look like he cared too much.
Billboard's Artist of the Decade brought Adonis to the Staples Center Thursday night to watch L.A. take on the Phoenix Suns and try to avoid elimination.
Dad kept him a little farther away from the action than courtside -- we're guessing it's a safety thing -- but did sit with him for a bit to point out some players on the court ... and probably give some fatherly hoops advice.
Adonis was decked out in a dope LeBron jersey and headphones as he entered the arena with Drake. We don't know if he was listening to hype music for the Lakers, but if so ... it didn't work. They got trounced 113-100.
So, Bron and the Lakers won't be repeating as NBA champs, but this father-son basketball outing's still pretty cool. Best of all ... no tears this time!
You'll recall, Drake recently brought Adonis to the Billboard Music Awards -- just outside Staples Center -- and the kid was way more emotional.