Paul Pierce Praises Celtics Rookie Grant Williams ... 'That's a Great Pick!'

EXCLUSIVE
HIGH VALUE DRAFT PICK
TMZSports.com

Paul Pierce loves everything about the Boston Celtics' top draft selection Grant Williams -- telling TMZ Sports straight-up," That's a great pick!"

Boston picked the forward from Tennessee with the 22nd pick in the 2019 NBA Draft -- and they're expecting big things from the 6'8", 236 pounder.

Besides being a stud in college, where he was a 1st team All American and a 2-time SEC Player of the Year ... he's also been praised for being super smart -- something that runs in his family.

In fact, Grant's mother, Teresa Johnson, is an engineer for NASA -- one of the first black, female engineers to ever do it ... amazing.

This is why Grant confidently shot down Kyrie Irving's flat-Earth theory in a video that's going viral -- where the NBA rookie tells it like it is ...

"Kyrie's 'Earth is flat' theory is scientifically not true," Grant said ... "That's just not true at all."

By the way, Kyrie is still technically on the Celtics -- so things could get weird in the locker room.

Then again, Kyrie is expected to leave when free agency begins in a few weeks ... so crisis averted?!

Matt Barnes Laughs His Ass Off ... Over Paul Pierce's Wheelchair Admission

EXCLUSIVE
CRAPPY SITUATION
TMZSports.com

Matt Barnes thinks it's FUNNY AS HELL that Paul Pierce used a wheelchair to take a dump in that infamous 2008 NBA Finals game ... telling TMZ Sports, "That's funny as a mother f*cker."

If ya missed it ... Pierce came clean on ESPN's Finals pregame show Wednesday night about why he needed a wheelchair to get off the court in that Celtics-Lakers series, saying, "I just had to go to the bathroom."

When we got Barnes out in Hollywood just hours later ... he couldn't stop laughing at Pierce's revelation.

"I never knew why he went out like he got shot and he came back like Superman, I was just like damn," Barnes says ... "But, he sh*tted. That's crazy. It takes a hell of a man to admit that sh*t, though, man."

"That's funny as a mother f*cker."

As for how Barnes would have handled the crappy situation? He tells us he definitely wouldn't have used a wheelchair to get to the toilet ...

"I would have slid on my ass all the way back to the locker room. Hopefully, I didn't make a streak on the court."

#Gross.

Dwyane Wade On Paul Pierce: 'I Won't Put Another Black Man Down'

EXCLUSIVE
NO HATE, ALL RESPECT
TMZSports.com

How does Dwyane Wade REALLY feel about Paul Pierce saying his career was better?

"I'm a high road kind of person ... I won't put another black man down."

Wade couldn't have been more respectful to the longtime Celtics star when we spotted him and Gabrielle Union leaving Blue Dog Beer Tavern in L.A.

"He's an amazing player. I have a lot of respect for him," D-Wade added -- "I'm gonna clap when he goes in the Hall of Fame."

Of course, the Paul Pierce vs. D-Wade debate began back in April when Pierce appeared on ESPN and was asked if he thought he had the better career.

"That’s easy, I can say that off the bat, that’s me,” Pierce said. "I’m 24 or 25 and you give me [LeBron James] and [Chris Bosh], I’d be sitting on five or six championships easy."

Heat fans didn't like Paul's comments -- and busted out a "Paul Pierce sucks" chant at Wade's final home game in Miami.

There's more ... we also asked Wade what his plans are after basketball -- and he told us he's gonna be a "kept man" for a while Union brings home the bacon!

"She got it," Wade said with a smile.

Union gave her husband some credit -- noting he made some money during his long NBA career ... "He sold those fouls for 16 years! He did very well for himself!"

Lamar Odom To Lakers ... Go Get Kyrie Irving!

EXCLUSIVE
TWO STARS FOR LEBRON
TMZSports.com

Lamar Odom is still a Laker at heart -- telling TMZ Sports he REALLY wants to see his old team return to greatness ... and feels Kyrie Irving could be the guy to make it happen.

Odom clearly feels Irving is still a force in the NBA -- despite a poor showing with the Celtics in the playoffs.

On the way out of the Fashion Nova event in Hollywood, LO told us a reunion with LeBron James could be the spark that gets Kyrie going again.

Odom also thinks the Lakers should make a run at Anthony Davis -- but that seems unlikely based on the attempted trade drama that went down during the regular season.

As for Kyrie, the guy is immensely talented -- but seemed off during the Celtics playoff series vs. the Milwaukee Bucks ... he just didn't look like himself.

So, could Odom be right? It's a long offseason and Kyrie is clearly unhappy in Boston.

Remember, Kyrie and LeBron weren't always like peas and carrots either -- they won a title together in Cleveland before Irving made it clear he wanted out.

Irving and LeBron later squashed the beef and seem to be cool now.

Stay tuned ...

Paul Pierce 'Celtics In 6' ... 'Stop Playin''

EXCLUSIVE
STICKIN' TO MY WORD
TMZSports.com

Paul Pierce says he ain't worried about the Celtics being down 2 games to 1 to the Milwaukee Bucks ... telling TMZ Sports his guys will WIN the whole series in 6.

The Truth was leaving Meek Mill's birthday party at 1 OAK in L.A. on Sunday -- when we asked about his Boston Celtics losing 2 games in a row to Giannis Antetokounmpo and company.

Remember, the Celtics started off strong -- with a dominating 112 to 90 victory over the Bucks in Game 1.

But, the last 2 games have been all Milwaukee ... and now Vegas is highly favoring Milwaukee to win the series. The winner of this series will play the winner of the 76ers vs. Raptors series in the next round.

But, Pierce doesn't give a DAMN about the odds -- telling TMZ Sports he expects his guys to rally back and the take the series.

"Celtics in 6, homie. Stop playin'."

Game 4 tips off Monday night.

Kenny Smith Danny Ainge Heart Attack Wake-Up Call For Retired Players

EXCLUSIVE
PULLIN' FOR HIM
TMZSports.com

Kenny Smith says he's praying for his good friend and ex-teammate, Danny Ainge ... and says his heart attack should send a message to retired players -- take care of your health!

The Boston Celtics GM was treated for a mild heart attack earlier this week in Milwaukee ... but is expected to make a full recovery.

TMZ Sports spoke with The Jet at LAX on Thursday ... and Smith says there's actually some positive that can come out of this situation.

"It's important for guys who are retired to keep a type of awareness of their body, and the health of their body, the way they do when they're playing. A lot of us don't," Smith tells us.

"So hopefully this could be messages to a lot of former players that are still out there now not playing anymore."

Smith and Ainge go way back ... they played together from 1988-1990 on the Sacramento Kings, and have been friends ever since.

"Pray for Danny."

Celtics GM Danny Ainge Suffers Mild Heart Attack Expected to Make Full Recovery

Breaking News

Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge was treated after suffering a mild heart attack in Milwaukee on Tuesday ... and luckily, he's expected to make a full recovery.

The Celtics released a statement on Thursday ... saying the ex-NBAer received immediate medical attention and will be able to return to Boston, although it's unclear if he will be able to attend tomorrow night's Game 3 matchup in the Eastern Conference semis against the Bucks.

Ainge has had health issues in the past -- he also suffered a mild heart attack in 2009.

The 60-year-old won 2 titles with the Celtics during his 14-year career before taking his talents to the front office. He's widely considered one of the best execs in the league ... and helped put together Boston's 2008 title-winning roster.

Story developing ...

Sebastian Telfair's Wife Claims NBA Star's Sis Threatened to 'Kill My Kids, Cut Me'

EXCLUSIVE

11:42 AM PT -- According to our NYPD sources, Octavia is now a person of interest and wanted for questioning in the case.

Sebastian Telfair's estranged wife claims the NBA star's sister threatened to "kill my kids and cut my face" ... all because she testified against Sebastian in his NYC gun case.

Law enforcement sources tell us ... the LAPD responded to a call last week from Samantha Telfair, who claims Octavia Telfair called her roughly 52 times making various threats ... including a threat to "Slice [her] face and kill [her] children."

Samantha told cops Octavia was furious that Samantha took the stand earlier this month and told prosecutors she had seen Sebastian with multiple weapons, including the gas-operated submachine gun he was allegedly carrying when he was arrested in June 2017.

Sebastian -- a former NBA prodigy who flamed out -- was convicted in his gun possession case last week and now faces up to 15 years in prison when he's sentenced in June.

Samantha lives in L.A. which is why the LAPD is involved. We're told officers took a criminal threats report and the LAPD is now investigating.

We're told Octavia is believed to live in New York -- and sources tell us the NYPD is also involved in the investigation because Samantha filed an aggravated harassment report in New York as well.

Attempts to reach out to Octavia for comment were unsuccessful.

As we previously reported, Telfair -- a 33-year-old former high school phenom who spent 12 seasons in the NBA -- was arrested in June 2017 in Brooklyn when cops found several weapons during a traffic stop.

Officials say Telfair had 3 pistols and what appeared to be a semi-automatic rifle along with a ton of ammo and a bulletproof vest ... as well as some weed.

Originally Published -- 12:20 AM PT

Sebastian Telfair Convicted in Gun Case Faces 15 Yrs in Prison

EXCLUSIVE

Ex-NBA star Sebastian Telfair has been convicted of possessing a firearm ... and could be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Telfair -- a 33-year-old former high school phenom who spent 12 seasons in the NBA -- was busted back in June 2017 in Brooklyn .... after cops found several weapons during a traffic stop.

Officials say Telfair -- who played with the Trail Blazers, Celtics, Clippers and Timberwolves, to name a few -- had 3 pistols and what appeared to be a semi-automatic rifle.

Cops say he was also carrying a ton of ammo and a bulletproof vest ... as well as some weed.

Telfair pled not guilty and fought the charges ... but was found guilty by a jury in NYC on Wednesday of felony criminal possession of a weapon, according to our law enforcement sources.

He is due back in court in June for sentencing ... where he's facing up to 15 years in prison.

Robert Kraft Front and Center for Celtics Game ... I Ain't Hiding!

Breaking News

While his court battle rages on, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft isn't exactly laying low -- hanging courtside at the Celtics game in Boston last night where he was still treated like a rock star.

The 77-year-old was in a GREAT mood as the Celtics took on the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of their playoff series ... you can see Kraft sitting with Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck (the guy on the left).

By the way, the Celtics WON the game 84-74.

Of course, Kraft has A LOT going on in the other court in his life ... the one in Florida where he's fighting like hell to block the media from getting surveillance footage from inside the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.

As we've previously reported, Kraft believes the footage was obtained illegally -- and also, if released, would destroy all chances of getting a fair trial in his prostitution case.

The case is due back in court later this month -- in the meantime, Kraft doesn't seem to be sweating it too badly ... he was at the Miami Heat game last week too.

Shaq Opens Restaurant Next to Staples!!! ... Big Stars Attend Opening

He's already got a statue at Staples Center -- now Shaquille O'Neal has a restaurant right across the street!!!

The NBA legend opened up Shaquille's at L.A. Live over the weekend -- and tons of his famous friends showed up to celebrate ... from Adam Sandler to Julian Edelman and Tiffany Haddish!!!

It all went down after the Lakers game on Saturday night after Los Angeles took an L against their rival, Boston Celtics ... which happens to the last team Shaq played for!!!

The restaurant specializes in Southern cuisine -- featuring everything from Shaq’s famous fried chicken to shrimp & grits. People at the party tell us the food was delicious.

And, get this ... we're told a few of the Lakers even hit up the joint after the game ... including Kyle Kuzma and Rajon Rondo.

Boston's Jayson Tatum was there too along with Celtics legend Paul Pierce.

Other stars spotted at the party ... Diplo, E.J. Johnson, Jaleel White and Ross Butler.

Congrats!!!

Charles Barkley Rips Kyrie Irving Most Miserable Person I've Ever Seen

Breaking News

Kyrie Irving is the most miserable superstar athlete EVER ... so says Charles Barkley, who CAN'T BELIEVE how big of a baby the Celtics PG has been this season.

Kyrie's been super moody the last few weeks as Boston's season has slowly crumbled away from the NBA Championship dreams it had in the preseason.

In fact, while he was walking into TD Garden last week and photogs were snappin' pics of him, he said loudly, "I’m not gonna miss any of this sh*t when I am done playing."

NBA commish Adam Silver was asked about the star's sensitive feelings -- and others in the NBA who have seemed less than thrilled with this season -- and he stuck up for his guys.

"Part of it is a direct product of social media," Silver said ... "I think those players we're talking about, when I meet with them, what strikes me is that they are truly unhappy."

Enter Barkley ... who not only went scorched earth on Silver's take -- he went off on Kyrie too!!!

"I think that's probably the stupidest thing I've ever heard Adam say," Barkley said on ESPN's "Get Up!"

"That's the stupidest thing I ever heard any commissioner say. Listen ... these guys are making $20, $30, $40 million a year. They work 6, 7 months a year. We stay at the best hotels in the world. They ain't got no problems. That's total bogus."

Barkley added, "Let me tell you something else, Kyrie Irving ... I've never seen a person so miserable."

Charles says K.I. has absolutely ZERO right to be upset with his life ... saying he's a millionaire, he's famous, he's a superstar, he's got a ring AND he's in movies.

"He's got to be one of the most miserable people I've ever seen."

Barkley's advice for Kyrie was simple ... DEAL WITH IT!!! -- 'cause as an NBA superstar, that's just the way life goes.

"Dude, we're paying you $40 million a year! You ain't never going to get away from this!!!"

Flea 'Celtics Suck Ass' 'Satanic Bottom of the Basketball World'

EXCLUSIVE
NO LOVE LOST
TMZSports.com

Flea HATES the Boston Celtics with the red, hot, fiery passion of 1,000 suns -- and when we saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers star at LAX ... HE WENT NUCLEAR on Beantown!!!

Oh, we should mention he's a die-hard Lakers fan ... if you couldn't tell by his throwback Magic Johnson shirt.

"I just think the Boston Celtics SUCK ASS," Flea proclaimed, "They're like the Satanic bottom of the basketball world! They are the shadow side."

It didn't stop there ... Flea reached way back into the rivalry to throw even more shade at the Celtics.

"Magic Johnson owned Larry Bird in college, owned him in the pros ... more championships, smoked him in college -- it's a simple fact."

We asked Flea if he'd like to see a Lakers vs. Celtics series in the NBA Finals -- and he went even HARDER!

"That would be thrilling. I'd like to see Lonzo dunk right on Jason Tatum's head!"

So, how do people in Boston feel about that? We got Mark Wahlberg out the other day, and he's already counting on the Celtics and the Boston Bruins to make it a clean 4-team championship sweep this year.

CLEAN SWEEP
TMZSports.com

Of course, Boston teams are pretty dominant over L.A. right now -- the Red Sox beat the Dodgers in the World Series and the Patriots beat the Rams in the Super Bowl.

Bill Belichick & Patriots Finally Taste Defeat ... at Celtics Game

Bill Belichick, some Patriots players and the city of Boston all felt the same, weird abnormal feeling going through their bodies Thursday night ... LOSING!!!!

... and they can thank the Celtics.

The Pats coach -- sporting a snazzy checkered jacket -- sat up front at the TD Garden with his girlfriend, Linda Holliday, to watch the Celts take on the L.A. Lakers.

Sony Michel, Trey Flowers and Rex Burkhead were also at the game to support their Boston brethren.

Remember, the last time a Boston team took on an L.A. team ... it was boring as hell but also good for Beantown.

This time, it was the exact opposite -- a buzzer-beating thriller that ended in DEFEAT for the guys in green!

And, the guy who hit the game-winning dagger ... former Celtics star Rajon Rondo!

BTW, it's the first loss B.B. and the gang have felt since mid-December when they took an L to the Steelers in Week 15.

Obviously, Belichick don't care ... he's still got 6 rings (as a head coach) plus 2 more from when he was an assistant.

But, it's a moral victory for the West Coasters ... and we'll take it!

NBA's Jabari Bird Allegedly Threatened To Murder GF ... In Violent Altercation

Breaking News

Boston Celtics guard Jabari Bird appeared in court Wednesday to face new charges that he threatened to murder his GF multiple times during a violent altercation back in September.

As we previously reported ... Bird allegedly brutalized his GF at his Massachusetts apartment during a Sept. 7 incident -- allegedly choking and terrorizing her for hours.

Officials say Jabari roughed her up badly ... and she was only able to escape after Bird appeared to be having "seizure-like" symptoms during the end of the attack.

Jabari was arrested for assault and battery, strangulation and kidnapping ... and later pled not guilty to the charges in court.

On Wednesday, prosecutors tacked on TWO additional charges -- threats and witness intimidation -- alleging in court docs Bird told his GF he was going to MURDER her during the altercation.

"If you don’t stop talking I’m going to kill you," the victim alleges Bird said, according to court docs.

She added that Jabari also said while kicking her, “Tell anyone about this, I don’t care where you are, I’ll find you and I’ll kill you."

Bird appeared in Brighton Municipal Court Wednesday to face the new charges ... and once again pled not guilty.

Jabari is due back in court next month.

For his part ... Jabari released a statement shortly after the September incident saying, "I'm taking some time away from the team as I deal with my legal and medical issues. I apologize to my family, the Celtics organization, my teammates, the fans and the NBA for the unnecessary distraction that I have caused."

"The information that has been released does not tell the full story. I do not condone violence against women. I am hopeful that in due time and process, I will be able to regain everyone's trust."

Kyrie Irving Gifts Wad of Cash to Homeless Man ... Dude Freaks Out!!!

EXCLUSIVE
DISHIN' CASH
TMZSports.com

This video is amazing!!!

Kyrie Irving hooked up a homeless fan with more than $240 IN CASH before playing the Rockets in Houston on Thursday -- and the reaction is INCREDIBLE!!!

The guy who shot the video, Thomas Moreno, tells us ... the Boston Celtics superstar was walking to the team bus when he was approached by a man who was telling people he was destitute.

Kyrie stopped and chatted with the guy ... and then, the big moment happened -- Irving reaches into his pocket, pulls out the cash and hands it right to his new friend.

BOOM!!!!

The guy was so happy, he literally jumped for joy and started hugging random people! He also chased after Kyrie to thank him for the generous gift.

We reached out to Kyrie and the Boston Celtics for comment -- but so far, haven't heard anything.

But, the video basically speaks for itself.

Happy holidays!