Terrence Clarke Honored With Gym In Boston ... By Celtics, NBA

The Boston Celtics and the NBA continue to honor the late Terrence Clarke -- this time, with a brand new basketball gym at a community center featuring his name.

The newly renovated gym will be at the Boston Centers for Youth & Families Vine Street ... which is where Clarke grew up playing basketball.

It's an amazing tribute ... featuring the former Kentucky guard's initials and #5 jersey in a blue heart at center court and an honorary banner.

It also has a quote from Clarke on the sideline -- saying,  "I want to be that guy for everyone in the city."

There's also a Terrence Clarke memorial inside the entrance with a wall mural and a locker.

The Clarke family -- plus Celtics players, personnel, New Balance and BCYF -- will unveil the TC gym on Nov. 21.

As we previously reported, the 19-year-old baller was killed in a car crash in Los Angeles on April 22 -- just months before the 2021 NBA Draft.

Clarke -- who averaged 9.6 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds at UK -- was projected to be drafted.

The NBA paid tribute to Clarke by making him an honorary pick at the Barclays Center during the draft ... with commissioner Adam Silver saying, "His extraordinary talent, commitment and dedication to the game deserved to be recognized on this stage."

L.A. Clippers' Brandon Boston Jr. -- who was there when the fatal crash happened -- paid tribute to his Kentucky teammate by tatting a portrait of Clarke on his leg.

#RIP

Dick Vitale Stoked To Call UCLA Vs. Gonzaga Game Between Chemo Treatments

BACK TO THE BROADCAST

THIS IS AWESOME, BABY!!!

Dick Vitale just announced he's returning to the broadcast booth next week after doctors gave him the green light to call college basketball games again between his chemotherapy treatments.

Vitale is slated to provide color commentary for the huge UCLA vs. Gonzaga game on Nov. 23 in Las Vegas ... and in an emotional video that he posted on Friday, he said he's PUMPED for the night.

"I'm on cloud nine right now," the 82-year-old said ... "I can't wait. Tuesday night, I will do my first game, and what a game to do! No. 1 Gonzaga versus No. 2 UCLA."

"There's nothing that will be better medicine than sitting at courtside, meeting all my buddies down there, having a blast."

As we previously reported, the legendary broadcaster was diagnosed with lymphoma in October -- just months after surviving a battle with melanoma.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Dickie V said part of his treatments to beat the disease would be six months of chemo -- and he had hoped he could call games during the treatments.

Now that Vitale -- who just had a chemo treatment earlier this week -- is able to do that, he said it's provided him a big boost.

"It's going to be special, special for me," Vitale said. "The best medicine that I could receive."

Vitale -- who's been calling games since the 1970s -- also thanked his family, friends, coworkers and fans for sending prayers and giving him strength.

"I'm telling you," Vitale said, "I'm going to work my hardest to beat this disease."

Penny Hardaway Devastated By Young Dolph's Murder ... 'I Just Don't Get It'

ALWAYS REMEMBER
@iam1cent / Instagram

Memphis hoops coach Penny Hardaway says he's devastated by Young Dolph's murder -- explaining in an emotional video message Thursday he's hurting badly over the rapper's death.

"A guy that came from Memphis, 901 born, in the city all the time, giving back to his community," Hardaway said ... "to get murdered like that, it just doesn't sit well with me, man."

Dolph was killed inside of a local cookie shop in Memphis on Wednesday ... just minutes before he was set to give away Thanksgiving dinners in his old neighborhood.

MOMENTS AFTER THE SHOOTING
Low Key/Facebook

Hardaway -- who was born in Memphis and has coached men's basketball at the university since 2018 -- is clearly angered by it all ... and flat-out floored this could happen in his hometown.

"We have to do better," Hardaway said. "This is a guy that was coming back to give back to his community."

"I just don't get it," he continued. "My condolences, my prayers, but we just as a people just have to do better."

No word yet on if Hardaway's program is planning to honor the slain 36-year-old at an upcoming game -- we've reached out to the school for comment, but so far, no word back yet.

Star athletes and coaches from around the sports world, meanwhile, have been in mourning since the news broke Wednesday -- with everyone from Deion Sanders to Memphis Grizzlies star Jaren Jackson Jr. sending out their thoughts and prayers.

Tristan Thompson Epic Rant After Loss ... 'I Don't Need No F***ing Coach To Inspire Me'

INSPIRE YOURSELF!

Tristan Thompson went OFF after losing to the Timberwolves on Wednesday ... unleashing a passionate rant in which he said, "I don't need no f***ing coach to inspire me!"

The Kings' big man unloaded in the postgame press conference following the 107-97 defeat ... after a reporter had asked if the team needs more inspiration from Luke Walton and the Sacramento staff.

"No man in this world should rely on another man to inspire them, point blank period," a visibly pissed-off Thompson said. "You can put that in all capitals."

"No one should ever need a coach to inspire you."

Thompson then started cussin' -- saying, "I'm not with that s***. My teammates aren't with it."

"This is not no frickin' 'Glory Road' s***," he continued. "No, you gotta be ready to play. Your number is called -- you in the damn game -- I don't need no f***ing coach to inspire me."

"Never that. Never have. Never will. The day I need a coach to inspire me, is the day I'm f***ing retiring. I'ma go play with my kids in the park."

It's not hard to see why Tristan was so frustrated ... the Kings had entered last night's game losers of 4 of their last 5 games -- and are currently in 11th place in the Western Conference.

Thompson clearly thinks it's all an effort issue, not a coaching one ... so, maybe his rant is all the team needs to turn it around?

Kanye West Michael Jordan Still Beefing W/ Me ... Over 'Facts' Lyrics

It's been six years since Kanye West dropped his famous "Yeezy just jumped over Jumpman" lyrics -- but the rapper says it STILL has Michael Jordan furious with him.

Ye made the revelation on Revolt TV's "Drink Champs" this month ... saying MJ had big beef with him after he released "Facts" in 2015 -- and is still holding a grudge over it all.

"Jordan still won't meet with me," Kanye said. "I'm trying to meet with Michael Jordan. I'm like, 'Man! It's a song, man!'"

Ye's '15 hit is filled with Swoosh disses -- West raps over and over again in the song, "Yeezy, Yeezy, Yeezy just jumped over Jumpman." -- and, of course, Jordan took exception to it.

West, though, tried to apologize to His Airness in 2016 ... writing in a tweet that it wasn't meant at all as a shot at MJ -- but rather a top Nike exec Mark Parker, who Kanye had issues with stemming from their previous collabs.

"I'm sorry Michael Jordan," Ye wrote in the tweet. "I love and respect you. My beef was with Mark Parker. I respect you so much."

Kanye, though, says the apology still hasn't been accepted all these years later.

"Michael Jordan said this thing like, 'Why y'all acting like Virgil made me hot? These shoes is hot!'" West said. "This is from somebody that met with Michael Jordan that used to work with me."

West, who clearly wants to repair things with the NBA legend, still continued to take shots at Nike nonetheless ... saying, "Nike really ain't had s*** since the Yeezys."

No official response yet from Jordan, but we're sure it'll look something like this if it ever does come.

Kenny Smith Calm Down, Laker Fans ... Kobe Statue Will Fix Arena Name Change

IT'S INSIDE WHAT COUNTS
TMZSports.com

The Staples Center's name change will NOT erase the history Kobe Bryant made inside the building ... so says Kenny "The Jet" Smith, who tells TMZ Sports fans will get over the big switch once the Lakers build a statue honoring the Black Mamba.

The iconic venue will officially be referred to as Crypto.com Arena starting Christmas Day ... as part of an insane $700 million deal.

While it's good news for the team (that's a LOT of money), some fans are livid with the move ... especially because Staples is often referred to as "The House That Kobe Built."

We spoke with the "Inside The NBA" analyst about the switch ... and he thinks Laker Nation will forget all about the gripe once Kobe gets honored outside the venue -- no matter what it's called.

"The statue outside with Kobe in front, that’ll settle everything down," The Jet told us Wednesday. "Still, the name of the arena always changes, but what happens inside of it never changes."

Of course, Kobe is the first Laker to have two jerseys retired in the organization ... with both #8 and #24 hanging in the rafters.

Kobe's statue will one day join names like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal, Magic Johnson and more outside the venue ... and Smith's certain it'll mean just as much to fans even if the Staples name is gone.

Tracy McGrady On NBA 75 List ... Dwight Should've Had AD's Spot!!!

The debate over the NBA's anniversary team rages on ... this time Tracy McGrady has big beef with the list -- saying he believes it's insane that Anthony Davis made the squad over Dwight Howard.

“You're trying to tell me if Anthony Davis was to retire right now he has a better career than Dwight Howard?!" McGrady said this week. "No way."

The former NBA superstar went in on the NBA 75th Anniversary Team to Sports Illustrated ... saying Howard's exclusion from the list is a straight-up "travesty."

"Dwight Howard deserves to be on that list," McGrady said. "For eight straight years that kid was extremely dominant. And I just can't believe some of the guys they have on the list."

The former Magic and Rockets great -- who also did not make the list -- made it clear that he wasn't shading AD with his comments ... saying he means "no disrespect" to the Lakers star.

But, he did add, "Before [Davis] got to LeBron James and won that Championship with the Lakers, I mean ..."

The league revealed their highly controversial list at the beginning of this season ... and some of the snubs had players like Howard and Klay Thompson furious.

Howard claimed he was kept off due to politics ... while Thompson questioned if he was naive to think he's earned his spot.

Bottom line ... Howard was one of, if not, the most dominant big men in the league during his tenure in Orlando -- so maybe T-Mac has a point.

Coach K Grandson's Arrest Is 'Violation Of Our Standards' ... 'We're Handling It'

STRICT STANDARDS
Carolina Blitz

Mike Krzyzewski is clearly upset over his grandson's weekend arrest ... 'cause the Duke coach told reporters Tuesday he considers it a "violation of our standards."

The 74-year-old -- who's in his final season as the Blue Devils' head man -- spoke for the first time publicly about Michael Savarino's Sunday arrest ... and he promised he and his team will "handle that."

Unclear what any sort of punishment will be -- but it should be noted, Savarino, who's been playing for Coach K since 2019, was not spotted at Duke's game Tuesday against Gardner-Webb.

"We're already handling it," the coach said after beating Gardner-Webb, 92-52. "But, it's a violation of our standards. That's it."

As we previously reported, Savarino was arrested after cops say he showed signs of impairment during a routine traffic stop Sunday at around 1:10 a.m.

Authorities say the 20-year-old blew a .08 while in custody ... and was ultimately hit with three charges, including DWI.

His passenger, Duke star Paolo Banchero, was also hit with an aiding and abetting charge over the incident ... but unlike Savarino, Coach K allowed Banchero to start Tuesday.

The freshman forward played 26 minutes in the win, scoring 10 points.

"It's two different situations," Coach K said of why he started Banchero but sidelined Savarino. "Two entirely different situations. Headlines might make it look like it's the same -- it's not."

Krzyzewski added, "The decisions we made are in conjunction with our authorities -- our superiors. We're taking action. We took action and we will continue to take action."

Both Savarino and Banchero are due in court for hearings on the matter next month.

Staples Center Call Me Crypto.com Arena ... Iconic Venue Getting New Name After 22 Years

Staples Center is no more ... the iconic building that the Lakers and Clippers have called home since 1999 is getting a new name -- Crypto.com Arena.

Officials announced the stunning name change Tuesday night ... explaining the rebrand will take effect on Christmas Day next month.

The new name will stick for the next 20 years as part of the new agreement, officials say ... and the new deal will all reportedly cost the cryptocurrency app around $700 MILLION.

Of course, the announcement was hardly met with joy from L.A. fans -- as the building has only been known as Staples Center for YEARS to Kings, Sparks, Lakers and Clippers fans.

Still, officials were pumped over the move nonetheless ... sending out a mock of how the new signage will look on the top of the building in 2022.

In the announcement of the new deal, officials also promised "large-scale, premium branding and signage throughout the interior and exterior" of the new Crypto.com Arena.

As for how Kobe Bryant's family is reacting to the news -- considering Staples has been dubbed "The House That Kobe Built" -- Vanessa Bryant shared a photo of the building on social media following the announcement, putting a crown emoji on her late husband's head.

Coach K Grandson Busted For DWI Star Teammate Also Cited

3:29 PM PT -- Sounds like Banchero won't be punished over Sunday's incident -- at least not yet -- he's in the starting lineup for the Blue Devils as they take on Gardner-Webb Tuesday night.

Mike Krzyzewski's grandson -- a member of the Duke U basketball team -- was busted for DWI early Sunday morning ... along with his future NBA star teammate, Paolo Banchero, who was also cited for aiding and abetting.

TMZ Sports has confirmed that 20-year-old Michael Savarino was pulled over by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol around 1:10 AM in Orange County, NC ... after cops say he blew a stop sign.

During the traffic stop, police say Savarino -- whose mom is Coach K's oldest daughter -- showed signs of impairment ... so he was arrested.

While in custody, Savarino blew a .08 BAC, cops say.

Savarino was ultimately charged with Driving While Intoxicated and released. He also received a ticket for failing to stop at the stop sign.

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Banchero -- a projected top 5 pick in next year's NBA Draft -- was a passenger in the car.

He was cited for Aiding and Abetting DWI.

It's unclear what exactly cops allege Paolo did to aid and abet.

Coach K -- coaching his last season at Duke before retiring -- addressed the incident involving his grandson and star player.

"We are reviewing a legal matter involving two members of the men's basketball team, Any further actions as a result of this situation will ultimately be determined by the Vice President/Director of Athletics and University officials."

Both men were scheduled to play in #7 ranked Duke's game Tuesday night against Gardner-Webb at Cameron Indoor ... but their status is now unclear.

Originally Published -- 7:03 AM PT

Iman Shumpert Hits LeBron Celly While Shirtless ... In Epic 'DWTS' Routine

A topless Iman Shumpert lifted his partner over his head AND shouted out LeBron James in his "Dancing With The Stars" routine Monday -- and it was epic!!

The former Knicks star -- who became the first ex-NBA player to advance to the finals of "DWTS" this week -- pulled it all off during his jazz dance with Daniella Karagach.

The two grooved to Kanye West's "Dark Fantasy" ... opening up the performance with Shumpert hoisting Karagach over his head before walking her down the stairs and onto the stage.

The duo put on quite the show ... and then Shumpert broke out LBJ's signature "Silencer" celebration.

Check out the clip, you can see Shump -- who won a championship with LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2016 -- pushed his hands down violently, like James does, before beating his chest in classic LBJ-fashion.

The two scored a 38 out of 40 for the work ... and are now set to compete for the Mirrorball trophy with three other couples next week.

Good luck, Iman!

WNBA's Asia Durr Cleared to Play After Missing 2 Seasons Due to COVID-Related Issues

"OFFICIALLY CLEARED!!!"
@asiadurr / Instagram

Amazing news from Asia Durr -- the New York Liberty guard just announced that she got the green light to return to the court ... after missing two WNBA seasons due to COVID-related symptoms.

"I have been cleared to play basketball! Yeaaah! Let's go!!!" Durr said on her IG live on Monday.

Remember, Durr -- the #2 overall pick in the 2019 draft -- was diagnosed with COVID in June 2020 ... and was sidelined for the entire 2020 season.

And, she had serious health issues ... saying on HBO's "Real Sports" earlier this year she lost 32 pounds and major lung problems due to the virus.

The symptoms didn't go away and the 24-year-old also missed the entire 2021 season ... but after an extensive amount of testing, AD is officially good to go for 2022.

"I will be training every single day to play next year. I'm officially cleared to work out," Durr said.

"Man I remember when I was so sick, bro. I remember praying and asking God for this day like 'God, if I can just see one more if I can play again'. Literally."

Her prayers were answered ... and AD gives big credit to her family and fiancée, Ashley, for helping her get through it all -- getting tears in her eyes as she thanked them.

"God has really blessed me with a strong support system. I feel like if I didn't have them, I don't know where I would have been. I'm getting choked up talking about it, for real."

Several WNBA stars like Sabrina Ionescu congratulated Durr on her recovery -- as well as NBA star Donovan Mitchell, saying "YESSSSIRRRRRRR"

Durr was drafted by the NY Liberty in 2019 after four seasons with the Louisville Cardinals, where she was a 2-time ACC Player of the Year.

In the 2019 season, she averaged 9.7 points per game with a 46% shooting percentage.

Welcome back!

Celtics' Enes Kanter Challenges Joe Biden On China ... 'Stop Playing Games With Bullies'

Enes Kanter has a strong message for President Joe Biden -- ahead of POTUS' scheduled virtual summit with Chinese prez Xi Jinping -- do what you promised and "Prioritize Human Rights".

Joe and Xi will take part in a 2-day online summit, starting today. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the leaders will discuss relations between the countries, but added Biden won't avoid difficult topics.

"Throughout, President Biden will make clear U.S. intentions and priorities and be clear and candid about our concerns with the PRC," Psaki said.

But, the 29-year-old Boston Celtics center -- a 12-year NBA vet -- isn't so sure that'll actually be the case.

"@potus Stop playing games with bullies & do what you promised to the world! Prioritize Human Rights!" Kanter wrote on social media.

"Will Joe Biden ask about Uyghur Genocide or assault on Tibetans in Hong Kong?", continuing ... "Or will they pat each other on the back?"

It's interesting ... talking about China in an unfavorable way has become a third-rail issue for the NBA.

Daryl Morey, then Houston Rockets GM, was forced to apologize in 2019 after he tweeted support for protestors in Hong Kong. Even after saying sorry, Morey -- who now works for the 76ers -- is on China's bad side. The country doesn't feature Philadelphia's games or highlights for its 1.4 billion citizens.

But, Enes -- who has long been outspoken about human rights issues across the world -- clearly isn't intimidated.

Kanter specifically pointed to the Uyghur population in China ... a group of over 1 million mostly Muslims who have been kept in "re-education camps," according to the BBC.

He also raised human rights issues facing Tibetans.

The Biden-Jinping summit is scheduled to start shortly.

Ex-NBA Player Corey Benjamin Daughter Socked Two Girls ... Weeks Before Viral Sucker Punch

POINTLESS PUNCHES
TMZSports.com

The daughter of ex-NBA player Corey Benjamin was involved in another on-court fight just weeks before her viral sucker punch ... new video, obtained by TMZ Sports, shows.

The violent altercation went down in mid-September in Del Amo, Calif. -- just two months before she sucker punched a girl during a youth basketball game near Anaheim last weekend.

In the footage, you can see the teenager was jockeying with another girl to try to gain position inside the key ... when she suddenly snapped.

Video shows Benjamin's daughter threw several punches at the girl -- before sprinting toward another girl on the court and throwing even more haymakers.

We're told officials later hit her with an indefinite ban from the venue over the altercation.

You'll recall, Benjamin's daughter was hit with a similar punishment following her actions during a game this past Saturday.

RIDICULOUS REACTION
@hammyalice / Instagram

In that incident, the girl laid out her opponent after she felt she was fouled on a jump shot. The mother of the teenager who was punched tells us she has filed a criminal report against Benjamin's daughter over it all.

Benjamin has issued an apology over his daughter's actions, telling NBC L.A. this week, "As a father, I'm shocked and disappointed at my daughter's behavior as this is not a reflection of the values and standards that my family holds. Nor does it exemplify the values, character and spirit of sportsmanship that the game of basketball requires."

"My daughter made a mistake," Benjamin continued. "One that she will need to make right. I am committed to getting my daughter any help she may need and support her in taking accountability for her conduct."

Seattle U's Jim Hayford Men's Basketball Coach ... Resigns After Alleged N-Word Use

Jim Hayford -- Seattle University's men's basketball coach -- has resigned from his position ... after he allegedly used the n-word on multiple occasions.

Hayford was initially placed on administrative leave last week ... after Stadium Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman reported that the coach had used the racial slur during a scrimmage.

According to the report, Hayford -- who is white -- said the n-word last Thursday after a player had used it.

Goodman reports this was not the first time Hayford had been accused of using the term around his team.

Hayford reportedly apologized to his squad over it all on Nov. 6, but according to Goodman, some players refused to accept the mea culpa, and ultimately vowed to never play for him again.

Seattle U's Athletic Director, Shaney Fink, issued a statement Thursday announcing Hayford's resignation, saying, "It is clear to me that coach Hayford is no longer able to effectively lead this team."

"The top priority within the Athletic Department is, and always will be, to support the wellbeing and success of our student athletes -- in and out of the classroom and in their chosen sport."

Fink continued, "We are committed to advancing an athletic community that is inclusively excellent. We will take additional steps to ensure any concerns within the program are addressed and that all our student athletes are seen, heard, and supported."

Hayford had been at the helm for Seattle U since 2017 ... leading the team to a 65-55 record overall.

Kyrie Irving 4th Best Point Guard Ever ... Says Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala believes Kyrie Irving is the 4th greatest point guard of all time ... and you can keep your comments to yourself, 'cause he says it's not up for debate!!

The Warriors forward recently told The Athletic that in his mind, Kyrie has cemented his spot as one of the top 20 NBA players EVER -- and on top of that, he's cemented his spot on the Mount Rushmore of point guards in NBA history.

"Magic (Johnson), Steph (Curry), Isiah Thomas. They're the only guys that I will allow you to say are better than Kyrie," Iggy said, adding he's open to the idea of adding Chris Paul to the mix ... but makes it clear his pick is Uncle Drew.

The list of greatest point guards is always a topic of discussion ... but Iggy is leaving out some legends that will certainly have some folks up in arms over the comments.

We're sure Jason Kidd, John Stockton, Oscar Robertson, Steve Nash, Allen Iverson and many more would like to have a word with Iggy ... 'cause they didn't make the cut.

It's possible Dre is speaking from recency bias or personal experience ... 'cause he knows firsthand just how skilled Kyrie is ... his ridiculous crossovers and scoring ability make him one of the most exciting players in the NBA.

After all, he got to witness up close and personal in the 2016 NBA Finals.

And, we all know how that turned out -- *cough* 3-1 lead *cough* --- but regardless, brace for an influx of NBA Twitter hitting your feed over this one, Iggy.

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