Luka Doncic Mavericks Say Beer Photo Is Old ... Star Not Boozin' Before Playoff Game

No, Luka Doncic is not poundin' cold ones before Dallas' huge playoff game against the Warriors ... the Mavericks tell TMZ Sports the photo of the star with a beer making its rounds on social media on Wednesday is an old pic.

Luka, according to a Mavs spokesperson, has been in the training room all morning gearing up for the first game of the Western Conference Finals -- not getting a buzz on at a restaurant.

"I can tell you this wasn't taken today," the spokesperson said.

Unclear when the photo of Luka holding a beer was actually snapped ... but seems Dallas fans can now go back to presuming the point guard will be completely sober for Game 1 against the Warriors.

Tip-off at the Chase Center in San Francisco is slated for 6 PM ... getcha your popcorn ready!

Lil Wayne Claps Back At Cuban ... 'I'll Piss In Ya F'n Mouth Ho'

Lil Wayne once said "You don't want to start Weezy, 'cause the F is for finisher" ... and he's proving to back his words with Mark Cuban -- firing back in his beef with the Dallas Mavericks owner and saying, "I will piss in ya f'n mouth ho."

The back-and-forth between the rapper and billionaire has been brewing ever since the Young Money rapper called Luka Doncic a "ho" on Twitter last week ... prompting Cuban to respond after Dallas defeated the Suns by 33 points in Game 7 on Sunday.

Wayne didn't take the jab lightly ... unleashing a pretty disgusting response to Cubes in a since-deleted tweet.

"Mark Cuban don’t make me get u smacked boy U playing w me??" Tunechi said. "I will piss in ya f'n mouth ho."

Shortly after, Wayne followed up for good measure writing, "Ya lil bitch its up."

Now, Wayne might have been a bit of bad luck for the Suns -- as soon as he tweeted about Luka, the Mavs turned the series around and ended Phoenix's season in blowout fashion.

It's unclear if the two are going at each other in jest, or if it's a real problem ... but it appears neither side is backing down.

Mark Cuban Roasts Lil Wayne With Epic Tweet ... For Calling Luka 'Ho'

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban got the last laugh over Lil Wayne on Monday ... firing back at the legend for calling Luka Doncic a "ho" -- by using one of Weezy's very own song lyrics!!

Of course, Wayne -- who is a big Chris Paul supporter -- was sitting courtside as he watched the Suns lose Game 7 to the Mavs in pathetic fashion behind Luka's 35 points on Sunday.

Wayne ended up getting a ton of blame for the 123-90 blowout loss ... with folks claiming his "Luka a ho" tweet from May 8 gave the Mavs too much motivation.

Cubes shared his two cents on Monday ... and the clapback's gotta sting.

"'It’s a s*** show, put you front row' #MFFL," Cuban's tweet read with a pic of Wayne at the game.

Of course, the line comes from Tunechi's hit, "Uproar" from 2018 ... and ya gotta admit, Cuban's taking the win on the court AND on Twitter here.

The billionaire owner better watch out, though -- he could be on the receiving end of a diss track soon.

Damian Lillard Claps Back At Patrick Beverley ... Over CP3 Criticism

Patrick Beverley is getting blasted by current and former NBA hoopers after criticizing Chris Paul on TV this morning ... with Damian Lillard and Matt Barnes going in on the NBA vet.

Pat Bev ripped Paul -- aka the "Point God" -- on 'First Take' on Monday for his abysmal performance in Game 7 against the Mavericks, saying head coach Monty Williams should've benched the future HOF'er.

FYI, Paul scored 10 points in 30 minutes. The Suns got their doors blown off, losing 123-90 ... at home.

The criticism didn't sit well with Dame, who hit social media and wrote ... "Bra on TV acting like his word law. Speaking on private convos and praying on mfs downfall. This weird behavior smh 🤷🏽‍♂️ … I ain’t got a horse in the race."

Beverley, who was eliminated from the playoffs in the first round, said he knew the Mavs would win yesterday because "aint nobody afraid of anybody over there in Phoenix, man."

"Everybody in the league knows that," he continued.

And, Dame wasn't the only person Bev rubbed the wrong way (today) ... Matt Barnes went in on PB on ESPN's 'NBA Today.'

"I feel like what Pat Beverley did today to Chris Paul was completely disrespectful and out of the line," Barnes said. "Pat Bev is talking like he's that guy. You're not that guy."

He continued ... "Chris Paul played terrible this year and his numbers are still better than your career numbers have ever been," Matt said, adding, "The disrespect needs to be checked."

Barnes was clearly not here for Pat Bev coming after CP3, a future NBA Hall of Famer, and feels next time he needs to be put in his place for coming at Paul -- a star in the league.

As for Pat Bev and CP3, this is just the latest drama in their long-standing rivalry. Remember, Beverley pushed Paul in the back during the Western Conference Finals last season.

Beverley served a one-game suspension for his actions, but ultimately seemed to squash the beef with Paul on social media, wishing CP3 good luck during the 2021 NBA Finals.

Pat, may wanna start typing another Tweet ...

Mavs Ban 2 Fans For 'Unwanted Hugs' ... With Chris Paul's Fam

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Twitter / @b214mac, @datedfadedwornstore
UPDATE

2:46 PM PT -- The Dallas Mavericks have banned two "unruly" fans from the American Airlines Center after an investigation into the incident ... claiming the spectators "attempted to give unwanted hugs and have conversations" with Paul's family on the public concourse.

UPDATE

The ban will be lifted in 2023.

Chris Paul says a Mavericks fan had an extremely inappropriate interaction with his family during Sunday's playoff game in Texas ... claiming the Dallas supporter "put his hands on my mom."

The incident allegedly went down at some point during the Suns' loss to the Mavericks at American Airlines Center.

Paul's mother, wife and kids were in attendance at the game sitting near the Phoenix bench ... when, according to Paul, a fan physically contacted them.

"Wanna fine players for saying stuff to the fans but the fans can put they hands on our families," Paul said after the game, "f*** that!!"

According to ESPN, the fan allegedly put his hands on Paul's mom, and also pushed the NBA star's wife. The outlet reports Paul's kids saw it all happen.

Video shot by fans near the Suns' bench appears to show part of Paul's reaction to learning of the fan's alleged actions.

In the clip, you can see Paul was furious with a Mavericks fan, clearly telling the guy, "Hey! I'll see you later!"

In another video from the arena, Paul can be seen telling security guards, "He put his hands on my mom."

The Mavericks said in a statement after the game they were aware of the incident and the fan was removed from the stadium.

"The Dallas Mavericks are aware of an incident between a fan and the family of Chris Paul," the team said. "It was unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated. The Mavericks, along with American Airlines Center, swiftly removed the fan from today's game."

Paul has yet to comment further on the situation.

Luka Doncic Held Back From Suns Fan ... Following 'Reckless' Heckles

Luka Doncic had big beef with a fan during the Mavericks vs. Suns game on Wednesday night ... and things got so testy between the two, the Dallas star actually needed to be restrained from going after the Phoenix supporter.

The incident happened as Luka was leaving the floor at halftime of Dallas' playoff game with the Suns in Arizona ... when a heckler said something to Doncic that he clearly didn't like.

Broadcast cameras caught Luka trying to go after the fan -- who was wearing a Devin Booker jersey -- before Mavericks personnel had to step in to stop a potential physical altercation.

Luka eventually dropped the issue after pointing his finger at the man -- and headed to the Mavericks' locker room.

After the game, the 23-year-old point guard said the fan crossed the line with his heckles.

"He was just saying some reckless things, man," Doncic said. "I'm not going to repeat that. A lot of fans say that because they know we can't do nothing."

"If it was something normal, I wouldn't even look because I don't care. But, sometimes you're in a bad mood and they say some bad stuff. It's normal, we're people, man, and it's normal to turn around and get mad."

To add insult to injury, Luka's Mavericks went on to lose the game to the Suns, 129-109. Dallas is now down 0-2 in the series.

Game 3 is slated for Friday night.

Mark Cuban Denies Donnie Nelson's Claims ... Says Mavs Exec Did Not Sexually Assault Nephew

Mark Cuban is adamant that a Mavericks exec did not sexually assault Donnie Nelson's nephew ... saying in a statement that the former Dallas GM's claims are a lie.

Cuban issued the strongly-worded response after 59-year-old Nelson made the allegations in a lawsuit filed in Dallas County.

In the suit, Nelson said his nephew was interested in getting a job in sports and entertainment -- and went to interview with Jason Lutin, Cuban's chief of staff with the Mavericks, about openings in the NBA team's org in 2020.

Nelson claims the two talked while out at lunch during a work trip in Chicago -- when Nelson says Lutin asked Nelson's nephew to go back to his hotel room to talk further.

In the docs, Nelson claims that's where Lutin sexually harassed and sexually assaulted his nephew.

Nelson says his nephew notified the Mavs of the incident ... but claims Cuban swept it all under the rug, insisting Cuban bought "his way out of the problem."

Nelson added that when he learned of the alleged incident months later and brought it up to Cuban and others in the org., Cuban and the Mavericks asked him to sign a confidentiality agreement and remain quiet about it all.

Nelson claimed Cuban wanted to silence him "so the Mavericks could hide from the public and the Mavericks' employees that the Mavericks were allowing a sexual predator to continue working for the Mavericks." He added that he believes he was eventually wrongly fired over it all.

In a statement to ESPN on Thursday, Cuban insisted none of Nelson's claims were true, saying, "Everything in that filing is a lie."

"We did multiple complete investigations and the only person that did not live up to the standards of the Dallas Mavericks was Mr. Nelson," Cuban said. "He was fired as a result. He was well aware of the investigation. He refused to fully participate. I will say it again, everything he said is a lie."

Lutin also denied the claims in a statement.

Nelson, who was terminated in 2021 after working for the Mavericks for over two decades, is suing Cuban's team for unspecified damages.

LeBron James 'I Feel Like Poop'

LEBUMMED OUT
Los Angeles Lakers

You could say LeBron James had a crappy night.

The Lakers superstar described exactly how he was feeling after losing to the Dallas Mavericks at home on Tuesday ... saying bluntly, "I feel like poop right now."

The Lakers suffered a 109-104 loss at Crypto.com Arena ... their 7th L in 10 games.

After the disappointing outing, LeBron was asked about his confidence level as L.A. plummets to the bottom of the Western Conference ... and despite the lack of success and a clear feeling of sadness, he's still holding out hope for a turnaround.

"Until you stomp me out, cut my head off, bury me 12 feet under, then I got a chance," James said. "So, that's my confidence."

"At the end of the day, we gotta come in and win ball games and play better."

James then detailed how he's feeling during the slump ... saying, "I hate losing. I feel like poop right now, but tomorrow's a new day and I'mma be prepared and ready for the Clippers on Thursday."

James and Co. found themselves down big early against Luka Doncic and the Mavs ... a theme that's become all too familiar to Lakers fans this season.

The Lakers have been so awful this year -- their own fans booed them off the court on Sunday during an embarrassing loss to the Pelicans.

Tensions got so high during that game, James clapped back at a fan ... which he also addressed after Tuesday's game.

"If you follow my career, I will get into it with a fan. So, that wasn't nothing out of the ordinary for me," James said.

LEBRON LET 'EM HAVE IT
@_michaelmorales10 / Instagram

The 37-year-old said he doesn't mind fans booing or cheering him ... but he won't tolerate someone trying to tell him how to do his craft.

"Can't tell me how to play basketball. Not him. Not that guy."

But, no worries, Lakers fans -- LBJ says it's still all love on his end ... saying he's riding with the Purple and Gold supporters through thick and thin.

Delonte West Crushes Hoops Workout ... Gunning To Make BIG3

Delonte West is back on the basketball court ... and TMZ Sports has learned the ex-NBA star is training for a chance at playing in Ice Cube's BIG3 league!!

Sources tell us the 38-year-old has been training at the Pat The Roc Basketball Academy in Gaithersburg, Maryland every single day for the past month ... in hopes of making a huge comeback.

We're told despite everything that's happened recently, West hasn't lost his touch ... and looking at footage that surfaced online this week, it's true.

In video posted on social media, the guy is able to hit several shots ... and his handles look great as well!!

Not only has West been training hard for his return, we're told he's also been speaking to the kids at the academy and shelling out advice on hoops.

Remember, DW -- the 24th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft -- played 8 seasons in the league for the Mavs, Celtics, Cavaliers, and SuperSonics ... but fell on hard times with mental struggles and substance abuse.

With the help of his family and Mavs owner Mark Cuban, he entered rehab in 2020.

This looks like a huge step in the right direction.

Luka Doncic Gifts Jordan Shoes To Children ... At Local Hospitals

Luka Doncic hasn't played a minute of the 2021 season yet, but the Dallas Mavericks star is already making highlight plays ... by donating Jordan shoes and other merch to children at local hospitals!!!

The 22-year-old wanted to give back to his new home ahead of the new campaign, so he put together goodie bags filled with the sneaks, hoodies, socks, bags, letters and signed photos for 80 kids at Children's Health in Dallas and Plano.

On top of the swag, Luka also provided a "Luka and Bobi" coloring book, which features a story of his friendship with teammate Boban Marjanovic, as well as individual-sized pizzas with pepperonis in the shape of his #77 AND dessert to kids and staffers throughout the hospital.

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Luka spoke about the gesture, saying he wanted to hand deliver the gifts to all the kids, but wasn't able to due to health and safety concerns.

"I really wish I could have been there to meet and talk to the kids but hopefully this surprise brought a smile to their faces and encouraged them to stay strong," Doncic said.

"I just want all the kids and parents to know I'm thinking of them!"

The kids certainly felt the love ... and the pics and videos from the big surprise will warm your heart.

Awesome stuff, Luka.

LUKA'S LOVE
Children's Health

Mark Cuban To Cole Beasley ... 'Getting Vaccinated Isn't Just About You'

PLAIN AND SIMPLE
TMZSports.com

The battle between Mark Cuban and Cole Beasley over the COVID vaccine is still going strong ... 'cause the Dallas Mavericks owner tells TMZ Sports he's still pushing for the NFL star to get vaccinated.

The two have gone back on forth on social media for weeks over Beasley's anti-vax stance ... and when we got Cubes out in NYC this week, he reiterated he desperately wants the Bills player to get the shots.

"Cole's a good guy, but, you know," Mark said, "getting vaccinated isn't just about you, it's about everybody else as well."

Cuban tells us he believes getting the vaccine is necessary to help protect at-risk people from contracting COVID-19 ... and he REALLY wishes Beasley would change his stance.

"There's 16.9 million cancer survivors in this country," Cuban said. "Three million-plus people who are immuno-compromised. And, when you don't get vaccinated, it's not just about you. It's about other people as well."

Of course, Beasley has dug his feet firmly in the ground on not getting the vaccine ... saying earlier this summer, "I may die of COVID, but I'd rather die actually living."

Beasley has been booed even at home this year in Buffalo over his comments ... but he's remained staunch in his beliefs regardless.

As a reminder, doctors, medical experts and health officials have said repeatedly the vaccine is safe and a strong way to prevent deaths or serious sickness from the coronavirus.

NBA's JJ Redick I'm Retiring ... After 15 Seasons

JJ Redick is stepping away from the game of basketball -- the longtime sharpshooter just announced he's retiring from the NBA to focus on his family and start the next chapter of his life.

37-year-old Redick -- who averaged nearly 13 points over 940 career games -- broke the news on his "The Old Man And The Three" podcast Tuesday ... saying hoops is no longer his #1 priority, and he knew it was time to walk away.

"Today, I am officially retiring from the game of basketball," Redick said in an accompanying Instagram post.

"Thank you to EVERYONE who was a part of my journey and career. I started playing basketball 30 years ago in my backyard on an uneven path of dirt, gravel, and grass. It was on that court that my dreams began to form."

"Reality has far surpassed my dreams!! So thankful for 15 years in the NBA and all the amazing relationships and memories along the way."

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Of course, Redick was a college superstar at Duke ... and eventually went to the Orlando Magic with the #11 overall pick in 2006. He also played for the Bucks, Clippers, Sixers, Pelicans and Mavericks during his career.

Redick led the NBA in 3-point percentage in 2015-16 ... going 47.5% from behind the arc.

Redick says he's now looking forward to spending more time with his wife and kids ... as well as repairing an Achilles injury he's been dealing with.

Congrats on retirement!!

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."

Dirk Nowitzki Luka Doncic Is The Mavericks' G.O.A.T. ... He's Better Than Me!!!

LUKA THE GREAT
TMZSports.com

Dirk Nowitzki's time as the greatest Dallas Maverick ever has come to an end ... Luka Doncic now holds that crown -- so says the NBA legend himself!!!

The ex-Dallas great made the revelation to TMZ Sports while heading into Staples Center on Sunday to catch the Mavs-Clippers Game 7 ... and, yeah, it's BIG praise!!!

"He's playing unbelievable," Dirk said after explaining Luka "already has" eclipsed him as the greatest Mav ever.

Of course, Luka went on to lose the big game against the Clips in front of Dirk ... but the 22-year-old arguably STRENGTHENED the big man's claim despite the L.

Luka went bananas in the elimination contest -- dropping 46 points, 14 assists and 7 rebounds ... so maybe Dirk's got a point???

As for if Dirk was just being nice ... we're sure that's the case, Luka's been amazing -- but he's got a loooooooooong way to go to catch Nowitzki.

Dirk's a 14-time All-Star, a league MVP AND a Finals MVP ... and he averaged 20.7 points per game over a 20-YEAR span.

Luka, meanwhile, has made two All-Star teams in 3 years and is averaging 25.7 points per game -- but, clearly, there's work left to do to beat Dirk in Dallas!

Clippers' Ivica Zubac We're 'Not Giving Up' Against Mavs ... We Can Still Win the Series!!

DOWN, BUT NOT OUT
TMZSports.com

IT AIN'T OVER YET!!

That's Clippers player Ivica Zubac staying positive about his team's chances against the Dallas Mavericks, despite being down 2-0 in their playoff series.

"They gotta beat us 4 times," Zubac told us outside of Avra in Beverly Hills ... "We're gonna fight and we got a chance to win the series. We're not giving up."

Clipper fans have been down in the dumps since the team gave up the first 2 games AT HOME -- and now, they're traveling to Dallas for games 3 and 4 and it ain't lookin' good.

But, Zubac says the Clips are going there to win -- and they're confident they can get it done.

"We're going there to win games, that's it … they gotta win 4."

Dallas will have a packed house full of fans for Games 3 and 4 -- and Zubac says he's fired up about that, too!

"That's great, we haven’t played in front of that many fans in 2 years … gonna be fun!"

Can they silence the Dallas faithful with a couple of road victories? Game 3 tips off on Friday.

Mark Cuban Shuts Down Kristaps Porzingis Trade Rumors ... 'Not Gonna Happen'

Kristaps Porzingis is NOT being shipped out of Dallas under ANY circumstance ... so says Mark Cuban.

The Mavs owner forcefully shut down persistent rumors that Dallas is looking to move the 25-year-old ... despite only being in the 2nd year of a 5-year $158 million contract he signed in 2019.

There have been rumblings about the Mavs looking for a trade partner for the past month -- including an SNY report that Dallas has reached out to the Golden State Warriors to see if they were interested in a deal.

Cuban had denied the rumors back in February -- but the rumblings continued -- which led to Cuban slamming the door shut on a possible KP move during Tuesday's appearance on "Live with Kelly & Ryan."

"We're not trading KP," Cuban said ... "KP's a star."

As Ryan Seacrest continued to probe, Cuban doubled down -- "It's not gonna happen, Ryan. You heard it here first. Definitely not gonna happen."

Porzingis missed the first 3 weeks of the NBA season while recovering from knee surgery -- and missed another 2 weeks last month with a back injury.

Despite the hiccups, KP is still a monster when he's on the court -- averaging 20.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

The Mavs are currently in 8th place in the Western Conference -- and clearly Cuban is hoping KP will keep them in the playoff hunt.

... at least, for now.

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