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

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.

Julius Randle Fined $15,000 For Throwing Ball In Stands

Knicks star Julius Randle was just slapped with a $15K fine for tossing the basketball into the stands, in celebration, after NY downed the rivals Boston Celtics in a double-OT thriller.

The game went down Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden ... and Randle played out of his mind, dropping 35 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists.

As the clock wound down on the nail-biter of a game, Randle tossed the ball from one end of the court, high into the air, and into the stands past the opposing basket.

Unfortunately, the NBA wasn't in the mood to celebrate ... and they hit Julius with a $15K fine.

"New York Knicks forward Julius Randle has been fined $15,000 for throwing the game ball into the spectator stands," Byron Spruell, President of League Operations announced on Thursday.

But, don't cry too much for JR ... he scored a 4-year, $117 million extension this off-season, meaning he makes over $250K every game.

Still ... lighten up, NBA.

Enes Kanter China Pulls Celtics Games From Site ... After Pro-Tibet Video

The NBA may have another Daryl Morey situation on its hands -- the league's Chinese broadcast partner has pulled Boston Celtics games from its site after Enes Kanter publicly denounced President Xi Jinping as a "brutal dictator" and posted a pro-Tibet video.

Kanter shared a nearly 3-minute long speech on the "cultural genocide" going on in Tibet ... saying, "Under the Chinese government's brutal rule, Tibetan people's basic rights and freedoms are nonexistent."

"They are not allowed to study and learn their language and culture freely. They are not allowed to travel freely. They are not allowed to access information freely. The Tibetan people are not even allowed to worship freely."

'DEAR BRUTAL DICTATOR'
@EnesKanter / Twitter

Shortly after Kanter posted his video, TenCent -- China's site for watching the NBA -- pulled Celtics replays and highlights from the web ... and Boston's upcoming games are no longer listed on the schedule.

FYI, Tencent reportedly signed a $1.5 BILLION deal to broadcast NBA games for 5 years. The Chinese market is incredibly important to the NBA, as basketball is very popular amongst the country's 1.44 billion population.

The situation is familiar to the backlash the league faced after Morey (who was GM of the Houston Rockets at the time) tweeted "fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong" back in 2019.

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.

Worth noting -- now that Morey is the GM in Philadelphia, Sixers games are not available to stream on Tencent either.

Kanter -- who's been an outspoken activist throughout his career -- took his message one step further by wearing "Free Tibet" sneakers at the Celtics vs. Knicks game on Wednesday ... which were designed by Chinese-Aussie artist Badiucao.

It'll be interesting to see how commish Adam Silver -- and the NBA's superstars -- react in the face of the comments.

Jayson Tatum Celtics Star Gets Kobe Tribute Tat ... '24' In Mambas

Jayson Tatum has become the latest NBA superstar to honor Kobe Bryant with a tribute tattoo ... and the Boston Celtics superstar's new artwork is AWESOME.

The 23-year-old revealed the ink this week ... showing off two black mamba snakes on the inside of his knee that form the shape of a "24" -- Kobe's old jersey number.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

The tattoo artist who did the piece, Steve Wiebe, tells TMZ Sports ... Tatum got the work done in Los Angeles this month -- sitting for an hour and a half to get it all completed.

Of course, Tatum is a HUGE fan of Kobe's ... he's said often Bryant was his favorite player growing up -- and he's talked glowingly of the time the two spent together.

In fact, Tatum and Kobe would work out together from time to time in offseasons ... and Tatum has said the drills with the Lakers legend helped mold his game.

As we previously reported, plenty of NBA players have gotten Kobe ink on their bodies after the Hall of Famer died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Matt Barnes all got tats after the tragedy. Vanessa Bryant and celebs like The Game and Snoop Dogg also famously got tribute ink as well.

RIP Mamba.

Dennis Schroder Signs $5.9 Million Deal With Celtics After Rejecting $84 Million From Lakers

Dennis Schroder bet on himself ... and lost MILLIONS.

The free-agent guard just agreed to a 1-year, $5.9 million deal with the Celtics ... which sounds just fine -- that is, except when you take into account he REJECTED a 4-year, $84 MILLION extension from the Lakers just months ago!!!

BTW ... ESPN's Brian Windhorst said back in February the Lakers offered him the maximum amount they could ... but DS felt he could rake in more dough, which definitely didn't happen.

The 27-year-old announced the move via his Instagram page minutes ago ... and he's smiling through the pain ... saying he's excited to join his new team and honored to wear the green and white.

The news comes just one day after reports claimed Schroder was in "shock" about the lack of interest he was getting through several days of free agency.

Shroder was pretty solid for LeBron James' Lakers as a starter during the regular season ... averaging about 15 points and 6 assists per game.

But, the postseason was a bit of a different story -- he went 3 for 22 in Game 4 and 5 of the 1st round of the playoffs.

There were also rumblings of beef in the locker room with Kyle Kuzma ... but both guys are now out of L.A.

DS will be backing up Marcus Smart with the Celtics ... while the Lakers reloaded with Russell Westbrook and a number of seasoned vets.

NBA's Jayson Tatum Honors Kobe Bryant With #10 ... For Team USA

Kobe Bryant's legacy will live on at the Tokyo Olympics ... with Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum honoring the late NBA Hall of Famer by wearing #10 for Team USA.

Of course, Kobe is one of the greatest players to suit up for the Red, White and Blue ... winning gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Games.

Tatum -- who Bryant mentored in the years prior to his tragic death -- is set to wear the same digits as his idol as the United States prepares to win its 4th-straight Olympics this month ... a tribute he holds close to his heart.

"With this being the first Olympics since we lost him, it holds that much more value," Tatum told the AP. "It’s not something I take lightly."

As it turns out, #10 is Tatum's favorite number ... and it all had to do with his obsession with being like the Black Mamba.

"I remember that first team when I was hoping, wishing, that I got #10," Tatum said. "Kobe, everyone knows that was my favorite player. I was 15 years old and got to wear the number of my favorite player. It just felt like I had some level of connection with him."

Tatum says he understands the importance of the number ... adding, "It’s a tremendous honor ... and I’ll wear it proudly."

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.

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"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!!

Glen 'Big Baby' Davis Goes Off On Kyrie For Dissing Celtics 'Karma is a Motherf***er!'

JUST YOUR LUCK
TMZSports.com

"His ankles is f**ked up and Lucky got his ass!"

That's Glen "Big Baby" Davis doubling down on his attack on Kyrie Irving -- saying Kyrie's ankle injury is "karma" for stepping on the Celtics during the playoffs.

Actually, what Glen specifically said was ... "Karma is a motherf**ker!"

Here's the backstory ... Kyrie made a point to step on Lucky the Leprechaun after the Brooklyn Nets beat Boston in Game 4 of their playoff series.

Kyrie famously played for the Celtics from 2017 to 2019 -- but clearly doesn't feel love for the city.

Big Baby, on the other hand, won a championship with the Celtics in 2008 and LOOOOOVESSSS all things Boston.

So, when Kyrie suffered a sprained ankle Sunday while playing the Milwaukee Bucks, Davis sounded off on social media ... saying the whole thing was "karma."

Davis got some pushback on social media -- but he's not fazed, and made a VIDEO going scorched-earth on Kyrie for the disrespect toward his beloved Celtics.

"Everybody mad at me 'cause Kyrie Irving stepped on Lucky and Lucky got his get back," Davis said ... "Don't get mad at me because Lucky got his get back!"

"Karma is a motherf**ker!!"

"You do right by people, people do right by you and I don't care if it's a logo. I don't even care if it's a logo! It means something to me!"

"Like, you know what I'm saying, for example, countries that have flags! You go and step on a logo flag, what is that?! That's disrespect!"

Davis continued, "I played for the Celtics, I'm a Celtic forever!!! So, it don't matter! It don't f**king matter! Stop getting mad because your man got weak ankles!"

"His ankles is weak!! His ankles is f**ked up and Lucky got his ass!"

Brooklyn's Kyrie Irving Hopes Boston Can Refrain From Racist Heckling ... During Playoffs

LET'S STICK TO BASKETBALL
Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets are heading to Boston to continue the playoff series with the Celtics ... and Kyrie Irving REALLY hopes the fans can cheer without being racist.

Yep. You read that correctly.

Of course, Kyrie spent 2 seasons with the Celtics from 2017 to 2019 and is pretty familiar with how the fans roll over there.

So, now that his Brooklyn Nets are heading to TD Garden for Game 3 of their NBA playoff series on Friday, Irving is hoping the fans in Boston -- which has a reputation for being one of the more racist cities in America -- will find something other than race to fuel their trash talk.

"It's not my first time being an opponent in Boston so I'm just looking forward to competing with my teammates and hopefully we can just keep it strictly basketball," Kyrie said.

"There's no belligerence or any racism going on, subtle racism and people yelling s**t from the crowd. But even if it is, it's part of the nature of the game and [we're] just gonna focus on what we can control."

When asked if he's heard racist trash-talking in Boston in the past, Kyrie responded -- "I'm not the only one that can attest to this but it's just, you know -- it is what it is!"

Several pro athletes have publicly talked about racist treatment from Boston fans in the past ... including MLB's Adam Jones who once claimed a fan yelled the n-word at him during a game in 2017.

Boston Celtics Honor Terrence Clarke w/ Moment of Silence ... 'Pride of an Entire City'

The Boston Celtics held a touching tribute and a moment of silence for Terrence Clarke on Tuesday -- honoring the Boston-born NBA prospect less than a week after he was killed in a car crash.

Right before the Celtics took the floor against the OKC Thunder at TD Garden, the P.A. announcer took a moment to reflect on the 19-year-old's life and what he meant to the city.

FYI, Clarke grew up in Boston, where he developed into one of the best high school players in the country -- ultimately leading the Brewster Academy to the 2019 National Prep championship.

In fact, he brought the school back to the Finals in 2020 -- but the COVID pandemic forced the tourney to shut down.

As the P.A. announcer points out, Clarke went to the University of Kentucky where he "quickly became a favorite of teammates and fans alike."

"His work ethic, commitment and talent had him on the path to achieving his dream of playing in the NBA."

Sadly, Clarke was involved in a bad car crash on April 22 during a trip to Los Angeles. He was raced to a nearby hospital but succumbed to his injuries.

During the on-court tribute, the Celtics displayed photos of Clarke with stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

"His larger-than-life personality always lit up a room and made him loved by everyone he touched," the Celtics P.A. announcer said.

"His goal was to inspire and be a role model for a generation of youth basketball players across Boston. Quite simply, Terrence was the pride of the entire city."

RIP.

NBA's Jayson Tatum COVID Effects Still Lingering After 3 Months ... Forced To Use Inhaler

NOT QUITE 100% YET
Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum says his battle with COVID is STILL ongoing after 3 months ... telling reporters his breathing remains so messed up, he's been forced to use an inhaler before games.

The Boston Celtics superstar was diagnosed with the virus back in early January ... and missed nearly the entire month battling its effects.

The 23-year-old ultimately recovered ... though he said after the Celtics' win over the Trailblazers on Tuesday night that his lungs still have yet to bounce back to 100%.

"It's a process," Tatum said. "It takes a long time. Like, I take an inhaler before the game since I've tested positive."

"This has kind of helped with that and opened up my lungs, and, you know, I never took an inhaler before. So I think that's something different."

The good news? After roughly 12 weeks of fighting it, Tatum says he's closer than ever to getting back to normal.

"I for sure feel better now than I did a month ago," Tatum said.

Tatum's been a monster for Boston this season despite the COVID struggles ... he scored 32 points against Portland on Tuesday to lift the Celtics to a win.

So far this season, Tatum is averaging 25.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

Paul Pierce Out At ESPN ... Days After Wild Twerking IG Sesh

Paul Pierce's run with ESPN is officially over -- the network is parting ways with the ex-NBA superstar just days after Pierce posted a racy twerk session with some scantily clad women on Instagram.

Unclear if the video is the reason for Pierce's departure ... but it drew a lot of attention over the weekend.

Also worth noting -- the timing of the move is interesting ... especially since the NBA season is far from over.

Pierce spent the past 3.5 years with the network ... appearing on "NBA Countdown" and "The Jump."

The ex-Celtics forward seemingly addressed the split on Twitter just minutes ago ... saying, "Big Things coming soon stay tuned make sure u smile #Truthshallsetufree"

PP also shared a 4-second video with the message ... showing himself laughing and smiling.

Pierce played 19 seasons in the NBA before joining ESPN ... he was a 10-time All-Star and won a title alongside Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in 2008. He was named NBA Finals MVP.

Story developing ...

NBA Legend Bill Russell Blows Out 87 Candles On Birthday ... 'I'll Kick Its Ass!'

LEGENDARY B-DAY
@RealBillRussell / Instagram

NBA legend Bill Russell turned 87 on Friday -- and celebrated by blowing out a "small forest fire" on his birthday cake ... and the video is great!

The Hall of Famer -- who won 11 championships during his NBA career (eat your heart out Tom Brady!) -- had Shawn Kemp Jr. on standby with a fire extinguisher in case things got out of control ... but in the end, Bill handled it on his own!

With a few deep breaths, B-Russ took down all 87 candles ... and when asked how it felt to be 87, he replied, "I'll kick its ass!!"

Afterward, the Boston Celtics legend joked about the celebration.

"Whew, I made it to 87! I want to thank my wife for another amazing cake & the small forest fire upon it," Russell said.

"Thanks [Shawn Kemp Jr.] for standing by with the extinguisher just in case, next time bring a CPR kit."

Russell is one of the greatest players in NBA history -- an 11-time NBA champion, 5-time NBA MVP, 12-time NBA All-Star ... and the NBA Finals MVP Award is named after him.

Happy Birthday!!!

Heat, Celtics Players Kneel For National Anthem Following Blake Decision, Capitol Raid

Miami Heat and Boston Celtics players took a knee during the national anthem prior to tip-off Wednesday ... with both teams releasing a powerful message following the Jacob Blake decision and unrest in D.C.

The Celtics reportedly held a players-only meeting during warmups ... presumably to figure out how to address the current status of the country and whether the game would take place.

The result -- a joint statement from both teams explaining their decision to play.

"2021 is a new year, but some things have not changed," the players said in a statement. "We play tonight’s game with a heavy heart after yesterday’s decision in Kenosha, and knowing that protesters in our nation's capital are treated differently by political leaders depending on what side of certain issues they are on."

"The drastic difference between the way protesters this past spring and summer were treated and the encouragement given to today’s protesters who acted illegally just shows how much work we have to do."

Of course, the players are referring to the Trump supporters who broke into the Capitol just hours ago ... breaking through barriers and jumping over walls to enter the building.

Miami center Meyers Leonard was the only Heat player to stand for the anthem (as he did throughout the 2020 season restart in Orlando) ... while every Celtics player elected to take a knee.

The statement continued ... "We have decided to play tonight’s game to try and bring joy into people's lives."

"But we must not forget the injustices in our society, and we will continue to use our voices and our platform to highlight these issues and do everything we can to work for a more equal and just America."

The Heat and Celtics join names like Doc Rivers and Isaiah Thomas ... who spoke out strongly against Wednesday's incidents.

Boston Celtics Slam Mass. Governor Over Police Reform Bill ... 'Deeply Troubling'

Boston Celtics players are outraged at Massachusetts' governor over changes the politician asked for in a new police reform bill ... and they're now pleading with the guy to reverse course.

Seventeen players -- including Kemba Walker, Tristan Thompson and Jayson Tatum -- all penned a lengthy piece in The Boston Globe on Wednesday spelling out their issues with Gov. Charlie Baker's requests.

In the article, Celtics players say they have a major problem with how Baker -- a Republican -- wants to amend a technology portion of a bill that would make sweeping changes to Massachusetts police.

Specifically, the Celtics say they're pissed Baker asked lawmakers to remove a portion of the bill that would bar cops from using facial recognition technology.

The Celtics players say this piece MUST remain in the bill ... claiming officers' use of the tech has led to countless wrongful arrests in the Black community -- and even deaths.

"Studies confirm that face recognition surveillance technology is flawed and biased, with significantly higher error rates when used against people of color and women," the Celtics said in the article.

"This has real consequences. One false match can lead to an interrogation, arrest, and -- especially for Black men -- even a deadly police encounter."

The Boston players added, "Baker’s rejection is deeply troubling because this technology supercharges racial profiling by police."

The Celtics are urging Baker to reconsider ... writing, "The Legislature should return these important regulations to the governor and he should sign the bill."

For his part, Baker said last week his reasoning for wanting to keep the technology available is because it can play an "important role" in solving crimes.

"I’m not going to sign something that is going to ban facial recognition," Baker said.

The bill is now back in Legislature ... and lawmakers are now facing a decision to either amend it or keep it as is and send it back to Baker's desk.

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