Robert Horry Claims Phil Made 'Master' Comment ... But He's No Racist!!!

YA CAN'T SAY THAT, PHIL!
PodcastOne / Big Shot Bob

7-time NBA champ Robert Horry is defending Phil Jackson ... saying he does NOT believe the man is racist -- but admits there were times he had to "check" the legendary coach for comments made towards his players.

Horry is responding to bombshell allegations Scottie Pippen made earlier this week ... when the Hall of Famer told the 'Dan Patrick Show' he believed Jackson was racist.

Big Shot Bob -- who played for Jackson on the Lakers from 1999-2003 -- shared his personal experiences with the coach on his podcast this week ... saying straight-up -- "I don't think Phil is racist."

Horry explains there were times he had to call out Jackson over his choice of words ... but he did not believe the coach had racist intent.

"We were in the huddle and Phil was like, 'You need to know the sound of your master's voice,'" Horry said on the 'Big Shot Bob Pod' on PodcastOne. "I looked at him, I was like, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, nah, we don't do that. I'm from the South."

Horry says Jackson was quick to backtrack ... claiming he didn't mean it the way it came out.

"I said, 'Dude, that's too close, that's too close,' and I knew where he was trying to come across as saying, because, in the arenas, you need to understand and hear your person that is trying to lead you."

Worth noting -- Phil has been dubbed the "Zen Master" due to his coaching techniques ... but given Horry's description of the exchange, that wasn't really what he was going for either.

Horry continued ... "I understand, I said, but there's certain words you can use and I'm like, 'We ain't that close yet.'"

Regardless, Horry says he does not agree with Pippen's take.

"I don't think Phil is racist at all. I don't."

Chauncey Billups Addresses '97 Sexual Assault Allegation ... Blazers Stand By Hiring

"EVERY DECISION HAS CONSEQUENCES"
Portland Trail Blazers

Chauncey Billups was introduced as the next head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday ... but before he talked hoops, the ex-NBA star opened up on his sexual assault allegations from more than 20 years ago.

Back in 1997, Billups -- a player for the Boston Celtics at the time -- was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at teammate Antoine Walker’s home.

The woman claimed she blacked out during the attack ... and woke up with injuries to her cervix, rectum and throat.

Billups was NOT charged with a crime ... but reportedly settled a lawsuit filed by his accuser.

During Billups' intro presser on Tuesday, Portland GM Neil Olshey insisted the organization took the 1997 allegation very seriously ... even hiring an independent team of investigators to look into the troubling claims.

"ADDRESS SOME OF THE FEEDBACK"
Portland Trail Blazers

Olshey said the investigators dug around and determined Billups' claim that the encounter was consensual was corroborated.

The team did not elaborate on the findings of the investigation.

Billups personally spoke about the allegations as well, saying, "There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about how every decision that we make can have a profound impact on a person's life."

"This experience has shaped my life in so many different ways."

He added ... "I really, really look forward in providing insight, leadership to our guys who are young and taking on a lot of responsibility as I was at that time."

"But, just being able to support them and walk them through situations is something that I'm gonna take as a responsibility."

Members of the media tried to ask follow-up questions about the alleged incident ... but Blazers PR shut it down.

The Blazers gig is Billups' first as a head coach. As a player, Chauncey was a 5-time All-Star and NBA Finals MVP over his 16-year NBA career.

Stephen Jackson Gets Emotional Talking George Floyd ...'The Tears Will Never Go Away'

"I LOST A FRIEND"
Charges With Rex Chapman

Stephen Jackson says "the tears will never go away" when it comes to George Floyd ... with the ex-NBAer breaking down as he opened up about his close friend's death.

Of course, Jackson and Floyd grew up together in Houston, TX ... and Stak often referred to him as his "twin."

Jackson -- who has been at the forefront of the social justice movement since Floyd's death in May 2020 -- described his emotions a year later ... and it's heartbreaking.

"The tears will never go away because I really lost family," Stak said on Portal A's "Charges With Rex Chapman" podcast.

"My momma will tell you. She even thought that was her son at times when she saw him. That's how much we looked alike."

"It just took me back to that place for a second, man. These tears are not fake. They're real, so when I feel it, they come out."

Jackson's "All The Smoke" podcast co-host Matt Barnes reflected on the protests that broke out throughout the country following the tragedy ... and said it's time to keep pushing the message even further.

"It's not white vs. Black, Black vs. Asian, white vs. Mexican," Barnes said. "It's love vs. hate because again, hate comes in all shapes, forms and colors."

"We fought, we rioted, we burned things down and that's got a little bit of attention. But, now that they're actually listening, what are we gonna do with our minds to help better, not only us but our kids' future."

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Derek Chauvin -- the Minneapolis cop who kept his knee on Floyd's neck during the incident -- was just sentenced to 22.5 years in prison ... but as Jackson said last week, it won't bring his friend back.

Stak also gives Barnes his flowers during the powerful moment ... saying the ex-NBAer continues to help him fight for Floyd -- with or without the cameras around.

"That's why I love Matt so much because those people are nowhere around now. I'm still doing the work."

Nia Long Hyped For Fiancé's Celtics H.C. Gig ...'Expect Great Things!!!'

Nia Long is showing some serious love for her fiancé Ime Udoka ... praising her soon-to-be hubby on becoming the new head coach of the Boston Celtics!!

The Cs officially announced the former Brooklyn Nets assistant as Brad Stevens' successor at a press conference on Monday ... and the "Boyz n the Hood" actress couldn't help but gas up her man.

"Today you are officially the Head Coach of the Boston Celtics," Long said on IG. "Big love to the entire staff for the warm welcome. I am beyond proud of this man."

Long is already getting used to rockin' the green and white -- sporting a #18 Celtics jersey, with the digits symbolizing Udoka becoming the 18th head coach in franchise history.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

"The legacy continues. #coachudoka18."

FYI -- Long and Udoka have been together for 10 years ... and she's been by his side as he's moved around the league in hopes of someday getting that head coaching spot.

Long is confident Udoka will thrive in Beantown ... saying, "expect great things because that's what he does."

As for coach, Udoka raved about the gig, saying, "I look forward to having success with you guys."

"The relationships have been great. I look forward to building those. As far as the players and the roster, I'm very excited, honored to be a part of it and let's go for 18 [championships]".

This is Udoka's first gig as head coach ... he's been an assistant coach for 3 teams (Spurs, Sixers, Nets) since 2012 and won a championship in 2014.

Udoka's already getting a ring with Nia ... but Cs fans gotta be hoping there's plenty more in his future!!

Scottie Pippen Calls Phil Jackson A Racist 'I Was In The Locker Room With Him'

Scottie Pippen just unleashed some serious allegations against Phil Jackson ... claiming the legendary NBA coach is a "racist" in a bombshell interview Monday.

The ex-Chicago Bulls great has been going OFF on his former team over the past week ... including making a bold claim that Jackson's decision to set up a game-winning play for rookie Toni Kukoc in the 1994 playoffs was a "racial move."

Pip doubled down on his stance on the "Dan Patrick Show" on Monday ... when he was asked to clarify if he meant Jackson is actually racist.

Here's the exchange:

Dan Patrick: "By saying a 'racial move,' then you're calling Phil Jackson a racist."

Pippen: "I don't got a problem with that."

DP: "Do you think Phil was, or is?"

Pippen: "Oh, yeah."

While he did not give specific instances to back up his claim, Pippen went on to bash the coach for writing a "tell-all" about Kobe Bryant after leaving the Lakers in 2004 ... just to return a year later.

"Who would do that?" Pippen said. "You name someone in professional sports that would do that. I think he got to expose Kobe in a way that he shouldn't have."

"You're the head coach. You're the guy that sits in the locker room and tells the players, 'This is a circle, and everything stays within the circle' because that's what team is about."

Scottie added ... "But, you as the head coach open it up and now you go out and you try to belittle at that time, probably one of the greatest players in the game."

Patrick fought back, saying that would bring Jackson's loyalty -- not alleged racist views -- into question ... but Pippen was adamant his personal experiences speak for themselves.

"I was in the locker room with him," Pippen said. "I was in practices with him. You're looking at him from afar."

Pippen also went in on Michael Jordan, claiming he was always well aware of when the cameras were rolling ... and would ham it up to cater to his legacy.

Master P Signs W/ Roc Nation Sports Agent ... Serious About NBA Coaching Gig!!!

IT'S GETTING REAL
TMZSports.com

Master P wasn't kidding when he said he wanted to coach the Pelicans ... telling TMZ Sports he's signed with one of the biggest agencies in sports to help him get the job!!!

Remember, the rap legend told us earlier this week about his desires to lead his hometown team ... saying he'd be the guy to bring in wins and keep young superstar Zion Williamson happy.

We caught up with P out in Beverly Hills to get an update on his mission ... and he's already taking the necessary steps to make it happen!!!

"Right now, I just hired a sports agent," P says. "So, you know, to be an NBA coach, you have to have a sports agent."

But, it's not just any sports agent -- P says he's teaming up with Roc Nation Sports' Raymond Brothers ... a fellow Louisiana guy who's repped players from the Ball Bros. to Caron Butler to Zach Randolph.

"He's a good friend of mine and he knows what he's doing," P added.

As for his knowledge of the game, P says he's more than capable of a leadership role with the Pels.

"I'm not an X and O coach, but I understand people management. We don't need another X and O coach. (Stan) Van Gundy was an X and O coach, it didn't work."

"Times have changed. I think I have the best people management skills than any NBA coach can have."

Get this -- P says he can bring NOLA to greatness even if Zion wants out ... telling us he'll be able to help the remaining players reach their full potential.

6/18/21
CHANGING THE GAME
TMZSports.com

As for his coaching staff?!? He's already got a guy lined up.

"I talked to John Lucas, he's willing to support me and come with me on this journey. So, I will have John Lucas that knows the X's and O's on the staff with me to make this happen. So, I got all the pieces to the puzzle."

"I think this will be history!!!"

Brandon Jennings Pippen Needs To Quit Bashing KD He's Better Than You!!!

LEAVE KD ALONE!!!
TMZSports.com

Scottie Pippen better think again before he continues to crap all over Kevin Durant's legacy ... so says ex-NBAer Brandon Jennings, who tells TMZ Sports KD is way better than Pippen ever was!!!

Of course, Pip UNLOADED on the Brooklyn Nets superstar in an interview with GQ this week ... saying KD's selfish playing cost his team a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Naturally, KD fired back on Twitter ... reminding Pippen he's the guy who refused to play in the final seconds of a 1993 semifinals game because coach Phil Jackson drew up a play for Toni Kukoc instead.

We spoke with Jennings about the Wagyu-quality beef between the two guys ... and he tells us Pippen's resume cannot live up to KD's, so he better respect the greatness.

"I mean if I'm KD I wouldn't listen to Scottie," BJ said outside Crustacean on Thursday. "I mean, KD is better than Scottie."

When we pointed out the ring count -- Scottie has 6, KD has 2 -- Jennings says it's bigger than that.

"At the end of the day, KD was shorthanded, and at the end of the day, he did the best that he could do just like when Mike left the Bulls back in the '90s and Scottie had a chance to be the man."

Jennings admits both guys have the right to say whatever they want -- they're both amazing ballers -- but KD is essentially untouchable.

"Nah man, leave KD alone, man!"

Matt Barnes Agrees With Kerr ... Durant Is More Gifted Than MJ!!!

HE'S GOT A POINT
TMZSports.com

Matt Barnes says Steve Kerr is absolutely right ... telling TMZ Sports Kevin Durant is, in fact, "more gifted" than Michael Jordan!

"He didn't say a better player," Barnes told us out at LAX this week. "He just said more gifted."

Kerr -- who played with His Airness in the '90s -- told NBC Sports Bay Area this week Durant's skill set is just flat-out better than Jordan's was.

"He's the most talented basketball player on earth," Kerr said of Durant. "If not of all-time."

Barnes definitely didn't disagree with the Warriors headman when we asked about the comments ... saying he respects Steve's opinion.

"For someone who played with Michael Jordan and coached Kevin Durant, I definitely respect his point of view," Barnes said.

The former Lakers star added, "And, if you think about it, K.D. is 7 foot and he can do everything your favorite point guard does."

Speaking of guard skill sets, we also asked Barnes how he liked the shimmy move from Trae Young in the Hawks' Game 1 win over the Bucks ... and Matt told us he loves it -- and wants more of it!

"If you don't like it, you've got to stop it," Barnes said. "Plain and simple. If you don't like something, you've got to stop it. Until they stop it, keep shakin' on 'em!"

Mark Cuban Pumped For Jason Kidd Hire ... 'He's Going To Be Great For Luka'

KIDD'S OUR MAN
TMZSports.com

Mark Cuban is FIRED UP for the Mavericks' hiring of Jason Kidd ... telling TMZ Sports he thinks the dude is "going to be great" for Dallas and its star point guard, Luka Doncic.

The Mavs owner spoke with us leaving Victory The Podcast in L.A. just hours after making the hire official ... and it ain't hard to tell, Cubes is expecting greatness from his team's new headman.

"I'm excited about it, obviously," the 62-year-old said. "J. Kidd is going to be great for us. He's going to be great for Luka, for the organization. I'm really excited."

You'll recall ... Kidd played for Cuban's Mavs from 2007 through 2012 -- helping the team win the NBA championship back in 2011.

And, when we asked Cuban if Kidd could repeat that feat as the team's head coach -- the owner said bluntly, "That's the whole idea, right?!"

"We've got the talent," Cuban added. "I think we'll get better talent. We'll keep on getting better. Luka will keep on getting better. And, I think Jason will help Luka and the team get better."

As for Luka's long-term future with Kidd ... Cuban said he has every intention of keeping his star in Dallas with Kidd for as long as he can.

"Obviously," Cuban said, "that's the goal."

Coronado H.S. Fan Admits Bringing Tortillas to Game ... 'Absolutely No Racial Intent'

The person who supplied the tortillas that were thrown at Latino players following a high school basketball game has come forward ... but he's adamant it was never meant to be racist.

Luke Serna -- who says he's half-Mexican -- admits he handed out tortillas to players, cheerleaders and fans at the big Coronado vs. Orange Glen basketball game as part of a "celebratory action" if Coronado won the game. Serna is a Coronado alum.

The problem ... the Orange Glen basketball team (and the OGHS student body as a whole) is largely Latino.

So, when Coronado -- a predominantly white school -- won the game and people began throwing the tortillas after the final buzzer, many players, coaches, staffers and others were offended ... claiming it felt racist.

But, Serna claims his tortilla plan was inspired by a tradition he learned as a student at UC Santa Barbara, and he had "absolutely no racial intent."

"The tossing of tortillas is used as a celebratory action by the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at various sporting events including basketball and soccer," Serna said in a letter to the Coronado Unified Governing Board.

"There was not a shred of ill-intent or racial animus in carrying out this celebratory action."

Serna continued, "Those who have enflamed this issue into a racially charged issue should be utterly ASHAMED of themselves."

There has been fallout since the incident ... Coronado head coach JD Laaperi was fired following a school board vote.

Serna believes Laaperi should NOT have been terminated.

"The people who have fallen for this frame-up to smear Coach Laaperi are not worthy of being any part of the discussion regarding this event as it is their intent to try and fan the flames of racism where none existed.”

Serna later told FOX 5 in a separate statement ... "I realize the tortilla throwing has been perceived as racially insensitive. I do not condone racially insensitive behavior, and that was not my intent."

"I apologize to all who were hurt by this and hope it can be a teaching moment for us all to become more conscious."

Steve Kerr Durant's 'More Gifted' Than Jordan ... 'Entirely Different Breed'

Michael Jordan ain't going to like this ...

Steve Kerr says Kevin Durant is flat-out "more gifted" than His Airness ... explaining the Brooklyn Nets star is "an entirely different breed" from MJ.

The Warriors head coach -- who was Jordan's teammate with the Chicago Bulls in the '90s -- made the somewhat stunning revelation this week ... calling his former Golden State wing "the most talented player on earth, if not of all-time."

"He's just so gifted," Kerr told NBC Sports Bay Area. "I think he's more gifted [than Jordan]."

Kerr continued, "He's 6'11" with guard skills, unlimited 3-point range, passing, shot-blocking -- his shot-blocking at the rim, it's just stunning. Watching him this year was really, really gratifying to see."

Of course, the resumes ain't exactly comparable -- at least not yet.

Jordan's got 6 rings, he was a 10-time NBA scoring champ and he won five league MVPs. Durant, meanwhile, has just two championships, 4 NBA scoring champ titles and just one MVP trophy.

Still, Kerr clearly believes KD's skillset offers more than Jordan's ... saying it was especially evident after the 32-year-old came back from an Achilles injury and still dominated.

"We all just wanted to see Kevin healthy," Kerr said, "and to see him in the playoffs playing at the level he reached, it was really, really gratifying for all of us."

H.S. Basketball Coach Fired After Players Throw Tortillas ... At Latino Opponents

8:12 AM PT -- 6/23 -- Coronado H.S. hoops coach JD Laaperi has been fired from his job following the alleged racist incident ... with the school board voting unanimously to part ways at a meeting Tuesday night.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Laaperi allegedly hurled cuss words at an Orange Glen staffer after the game ... saying, "That’s why you don’t talk (expletive). Get your kids and get the (expletive) out of here."

The report adds at least two of Laaperi's players were seen on video footage throwing tortillas during the incident.

Laaperi tweeted out an apology over the tortillas on Sunday ... saying, "Unfortunately a community member brought tortillas and distributed them which was unacceptable and racist in nature."

"I do not condone this behavior. Coronado High School does not condone this behavior and is already taking appropriate action."

The incident is still under investigation by school officials and law enforcement.

Ugly incident at a boys high school basketball game in Southern California over the weekend ... when opposing fans and players from a predominantly white school fired tortillas at a largely Latino hoops team after a heated playoff game.

It all went down at the CIF championship game between Coronado H.S. and Orange Glen H.S. Saturday night ... where Coronado eeked out a 3 point win in a hotly contested game.

According to reports, instead of celebrating with class ... some Coronado fans (and reportedly several players) began hurling the traditional Mesoamerica food at the Orange Glen players as they stood on the court only moments after the devastating 60-57 loss.

Many people have described the obviously pre-planned attack as being racist.

On Sunday, Coronado's superintendent released a statement addressing the "reprehensible" incident.

“Swift action will be taken to address all those involved, and they will be held accountable. it is our hope to create opportunities to dialogue with the orange glen community in an attempt to repair.”

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) -- which oversees H.S. hoops -- also addressed the ugly situation, saying their org. "prohibits discrimination" ... and vowing to investigate and "determine the appropriate next steps."

The Coronado school district also announced they will hold an emergency board meeting on Tuesday.

Story developing ...

Originally Published -- 6/21 10:14 AM PT

WNBA's Nneka Ogwumike Derek Fisher Furious Over Team USA Snub ... She Got Screwed!!!

"DOESN'T ADD UP"
Los Angeles Sparks

L.A. Sparks coach Derek Fisher is PISSSSSED OFF that his star player Nneka Ogwumike got left off Team USA's Olympic squad ... and he's letting everyone know!

FYI, 30-year-old Ogwumike is a 6-time WNBA All-Star and was the league MVP in 2016. She's a legend.

So, when Team USA named the squad for the Tokyo 2020 Games and left her name off the list ... Fisher was furious and sounded off to the media.

"We're pissed, honestly" Fisher said ... "I think the thing about Nneka is nothing has to be given to her. She earned it. She deserves it. That's the most frustrating and disappointing part."

Fisher points out Ogwumike turned down opportunities to make more money overseas in order to participate in Team USA events in 2019 ... clearly under the impression she would get a spot on the Tokyo 2020 team.

"[She] could have probably gone overseas maybe to make more money than sacrifice for Team USA. Sacrificing her body in terms of performing well, leading the team in scoring during the tour, won MVP award during their group on the tour. "

"Like, I don't know what else a player is supposed to do. She's been an All-Star 6 times in the last 10 years. She's been the MVP of the league in recent years, 2016, a champion in the league. One of the faces of the league."

Fisher added, "We respect other players, happy for the ones that made it but ain't no way you can tell me you can put a team together and leave Nneke off of it and try to say that it makes sense and that it adds up because it doesn't."

As for the players who did make the team ... Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi are on the roster along with superstars A'ja Wilson, Sylvia Fowles, and Breanna Stewart.

NBA's Devin Booker Busts Nose In On-Court Collision Gets Stitches and Returns to Game!

Devin Booker is tough as hell -- not only did the guy get his nose busted open during the Suns playoff game against the Clippers on Tuesday, he got stitched up and kept playing!!

In fact, the 24-year-old played a KEY ROLE in helping the Suns win Game 2!!!

Here's the deal ... D-Book and Clippers star Patrick Beverley appeared to accidentally clash heads during a play in the 3rd quarter.

You can see in the video ... Booker suffered a nasty gash to the bridge of his nose, blood began to drip down immediately.

The Suns star was taken to the locker room where doctors stitched up the wound and Booker returned to action in the 4th quarter.

It looked painful, but Booker battled through the injury and threw a key screen on that inbound dunk to DeAndre Ayton that ultimately helped the Suns win the game.

Suns coach Monty Williams praised Booker's toughness after the game ... saying, "He was probably playing with a great deal of pain."

"I thought he broke his nose when I saw it. I was worried about the blood continuing to flow."

Booker may need to wear a protective mask in Game 3 -- and maybe even the rest of the playoffs.

But, props to Devin and the Suns -- these dudes are leading the series 2-0 and look like real contenders.

Vanessa Bryant Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit ... Against Helicopter Co. in Kobe Crash

Vanessa Bryant has settled her wrongful death lawsuit against the company that owned the doomed helicopter in the crash that killed Kobe, Gigi and 7 others.

According to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Vanessa's legal team filed a notice of settlement with the court ... but the terms of the settlement are confidential. The court still needs to sign off.

TMZ broke the story ... Vanessa sued Island Express back in February 2020, blaming the helicopter company for the fatal crash that killed her husband and daughter.

In her suit, Vanessa claimed the weather conditions -- an extremely low, blinding fog -- were not conducive to flying ... and she claimed the pilot, Ara George Zobayan, failed to properly assess and monitor the weather before takeoff and during flight.

As you know ... the crash tragically killed Kobe, Gianna, Alyssa Altobelli, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser and the pilot.

While this suit is settled, Vanessa's also suing the L.A. County Sheriff's Department after learning deputies snapped and shared images of the wreckage and remains.

Klay Thompson Returns To Court After Achilles Injury ... 'Felt So Dang Good'

Warriors fans didn't have to wait for the new 'Space Jam' movie to see Klay Thompson return to action ... 'cause after 2 devastating injuries, the NBA superstar is back on the court!!!

Remember, 31-year-old Klay hasn't suited up for the Dubs since tearing his ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.

Right when he was getting back to 100%, Thompson then tore his Achilles while playing a pickup game in November 2020 ... which kept him from playing in the 2020-21 season.

But, Thompson had a breakthrough this week ... running up and down the court and working on his jumper at Chase Arena -- and yeah, he's THRILLED to be back at it.

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"DubNation, I still have a really long, long, LOOOONG way to go," Klay said Tuesday. "But my goodness, it felt so dang good to get up and down and see the ball go thru the net."

"Can’t wait to burn em down next year 👌🏽 💦 🔥 !! Big milestone for me this week"

Klay kept busy while sidelined with the previous injury -- he's starring as "Wet Fire" alongside LeBron James in "Space Jam: A New Legacy" next month.

This time around, his free time was spent off movie sets ... and you can tell he's been busting his ass to stay in shape.

Steph Curry's gotta be salivating at the idea of a Splash Bros. reunion ... but he'll have to hang tight -- Klay says it may be a few more months before he's fully healthy.

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