Jamal Murray Hungrier Than Ever Going Into Playoffs ... Gunning For Back-To-Back Titles!

Be Super Aggressive

Despite being defending champs, the Denver Nuggets aren't content with one ring ... they want to go back-to-back, and they're hungrier than ever, according to star guard Jamal Murray.

TMZ Sports talked to 27-year-old Murray Friday night (before the Spurs comeback victory) ... as the 2023 champs are gearing up for another deep playoff run -- this time as the hunted (champs), rather than the hunter.

"When you're the hunter, you've got to be super aggressive. You're trying to prove something. You're trying to be precise. You're trying to catch them off guard. You're trying to blitz them when you have them down, you know, stomp on the neck. It's that kind of mentality when you have that chip on your shoulder when you're trying to win," the All-Star guard said.

"As the winner, as the one being hunted with the target on the back, you have to be more aware of your surroundings. You have to be more aware of the situation and what's going on, aware of the moment. You got to be ready to be challenged and fire back."

As for the team's determination, Jamal says "We want it bad" ... 'cause winning last year was so special.

"Winning the championship, some guys never see it, right? Some of the greats never see it. And to have gone through that and see what it's like and how much we enjoyed it, how much we enjoyed being with each other, accomplishing that, it's something that we desperately want to get back to as a unit."

"So I think just the intensity, the sacrifice, the selfishness, it's all there. And I think we've done a great job of just continuing to grow and not be satisfied with what we got."

We also asked Murray about playing with superstar teammate Nikola Jokic, arguably the best player in the world (check out the clip).

The Nuggets finished the season tied with the Thunder for the best record in the West, but because of tiebreakers, the squad is the number 2 seed, and will play the Pelicans or the Lakers.

Can they go back-to-back? Stay tuned!

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

In the meantime, Murray has partnered with Cheetos, helping to launch their "Other Hand" campaign. Cheetos lovers know the pain ... you need to use your hand, but it's covered in cheesy goodness, leading to all kinds of mishaps like untied shoes and missed high-fives!

Throughout the NBA playoffs, Murray and Cheetos will show what happens when you just can't put the bag down.

Jamal Murray Pumped For UFC 300 ... Nuggets Having Watch Party In Memphis!


It's a busy time for the Denver Nuggets ... the defending champs, on a quest to go back-to-back, are fighting for the number one seed in the West -- but that's not going to stop the defending champs from having a UFC 300 watch party, according to star Jamal Murray!

27-year-old Murray, a huge MMA fan, joined Babcock on TMZ Sports, and chopped it up while previewing the historic card ... which is going down Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately for the NBA star, Jamal won't be able to attend the fights in person at T-Mobile Arena 'cause the Nuggets play the San Antonio Spurs in Texas on Friday and the Memphis Grizzlies in Tennessee on Sunday.

But, Murray has a Plan B.

"We'll do a little watch party," Jamal said, adding, "I think we got a little conference room set up in Memphis for the fights. I mean, the cards will be going on all day. So, yeah, some great fights, man. Some great fights!"

UFC 300 is a big deal for Dana White's organization ... and as you'd expect, the card's stacked! One of the big fights is Justin Gaethje vs. Max Holloway. We asked Jamal about the scrap.

"Justin, Max Holloway, that's going to be a very, very interesting fight because it can go so many different ways," the former 7th overall draft pick told us.

"I think Max is going to have to pull out all the tools to beat Gaethje, whereas Gaethje, he can more stand in the pocket and rely on his chin and his punches to win the fight at that weight. Whereas Max is going to have to be more technical and probably get some ground control, more knees, you know, just a little more tighter."

"I think it's going to be, that's the fight I'm most interested in, honestly."

Kenyon Martin 'F*** George Karl' Nuggets Would've Won Title Without Him!

"F*** George Karl!"

Kenyon Martin made it very clear he still hates his former head coach ... singling him out as the reason the Nuggets missed out on an NBA championship back in the day.

Those Nuggets teams had a bunch of talent in the 2000s ... with Martin, Carmelo Anthony, and J.R. Smith, among other pieces -- long before the days of Nikola Jokic.

However, the talented squad never made it past the first round of the playoffs under Karl's leadership (he coached the Nuggets from 2005 to 2013) ... and Martin -- who played seven seasons in Denver -- blames GK.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

"First and foremost, f*** George Karl," Martin said on the newest episode of Gilbert Arenas' podcast. "F*** him and the horse that he rode in on."

"If we had a different coach, we win the championship. [Karl] didn't add no value to nobody! Not one of us. As a coach, as a person, You didn't add value to s*** that we did!"

Martin added, "You're a horrible person George. Live with that, dog. God don't like ugly and you ugly as s*** on the inside."

Kenyon's rant stems from Melo recently revealing on his "7PM in Brooklyn" podcast that Karl called him "overrated" during his time in Denver. Melo is a 10x NBA All-Star, a former scoring champ, a future Hall of Famer ... and the list of accolades goes on.

Karl did not deny Melo's claims ... saying on X Anthony was inexperienced and overrated when he coached him.

It's safe to say it doesn't seem like the beef between Karl and his former players will be squashed anytime soon.

NLE Choppa Meet-And-Greets Are So Sweet... From My Back Seat!!!


NLE Choppa has unlocked the code to prevent being bored in bumper-to-bumper Los Angeles --- stage a fan meet-and-greet on the spot!!!

TMZ Hip Hop obtained video of Mr. Cottonwood posing for pics and signing autographs for his adoring public from the backseat of a car in DTLA at the let out of the Lakers game last night ... after they got smacked by the defending champs Denver Nuggets.

The fans were geeked to get up close and personal and NLE's giving them more than enough reasons to stay excited in 2024.

On Friday, the Memphis rapper released his new "City Lights" single -- a tribute to his slain friend Deonte' "Tae Grape" Fletcher and hits the road later this year with A Boogie Wit da Hoodie for the 'Better Off Alone' tour in May.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

We're not sure fans congregating around the car will cut it at big venues -- NLE might wanna get a proper merch table. Just sayin'!!!

Aaron Gordon Bitten By Dog On Christmas ... Suffers Cuts To Face, Hand


2:48 PM PT -- Aaron Gordon reportedly needed 21 stitches to fix the wounds he suffered in the dog attack on Monday.

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone, meanwhile, said on Wednesday there's currently no timetable for a return for his star -- saying he wants Gordon to "heal inside and out" first.

Aaron Gordon will be away from the Denver Nuggets for the foreseeable future ... after he was attacked by a dog on Christmas.

The NBA org. revealed on Wednesday the 28-year-old was bitten by a pooch following the team's victory over the Golden State Warriors on Monday.

The Nuggets said in a statement the power forward suffered cuts to his face and hand during the incident, but, thankfully, he's "in good condition."

"[He] will remain away from the team while he recovers," the team added.

Gordon looked just fine while playing 31 minutes in the victory over the Dubs just prior to the incident ... scoring 16 points while adding 10 rebounds and three assists.

He's been a key player for Denver since he was traded to the team in 2021 -- helping the Nuggets win their first-ever NBA championship last season.

Originally Published -- 10:55 AM PT

Russell Westbrook Heated Spat W/ Fans ... During Loss In L.A.

Russell Westbrook found himself quarrelling with fans yet again on Monday night ... and this time, he needed to be separated from the tiff by not only his teammates, but his opponents as well.

The Clippers star got into the heated spat with what appeared to be a couple of men at Crypto.com Arena toward the end of L.A.'s 113-104 loss to Denver.

Video from the scene shows Westbrook began verbally jarring with the courtside fans during a break in the action late in the fourth quarter ... before he returned as the final buzzer sounded to argue some more.

The 35-year-old point guard was clearly peeved at the guys ... though, thankfully, a referee, his teammates, and a few Nuggets players helped pull him away from it all.

Afterward, Westbrook refused to say specifically what the altercation was all about ... though he seemed to insinuate the fans had said something inappropriate about his family.

"Fans think they can say whatever they want," he told a throng of media members. "I'm not going to say [what they said] now because it's not appropriate, but I'm just protecting myself."

"Just unfortunate fans think they can get away with saying anything and, personally, I won't allow it."

Of course, this is hardly Westbrook's first heated incident with hecklers ... just seven months ago, he got into a screaming match with a man following a playoff game in Phoenix. Numerous other times recently -- including several instances during one of the worst seasons of his career in 2022 -- he beefed with fans as well.

On Monday night, Westbrook explained that now that his children are older ... he's simply refusing to take any cross-the-line shade from fans.

"Now having kids and understanding how important it is, not just myself but my last name," Westbrook said. "Understanding what Westbrook means, understanding how important that is to my dad, my grandfather, my family. It's very important. It's something I stand on, and the respect is a big thing that I value."

Denver Nuggets We Got Our Rings!! ... Diamonds, Sapphires & Hidden Compartment

They're already on their quest for another, but the Denver Nuggets received their 2023 NBA championship rings before handling the Lakers ... and the bling comes complete with everything from diamonds and sapphires to a hidden compartment.

Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic and their Nuggets teammates got their new jewelry during a special on-court ceremony Tuesday night in front of the home crowd at Ball Arena in the Mile High city.

The ring, designed and produced by the undisputed championship ring authority, Jason of Beverly Hills -- is massive ... and awesome.

Jason tells us the piece contains over 16 carats of diamonds, rubies, and blue sapphires which represent the team's colors and the 16 playoff wins it took to win the chip.

The ring also features the Larry O'Brien Trophy, two pickaxes from the Nuggets logo, player's names, jersey number, and the words "World Champion," along with the team's manta, "Bring It On".

Denver Nuggets Championship Ring

The piece also has what Jason describes as "two never before seen design elements" ... the background color of the ring can be changed when a lever is pulled, and there's a hidden compartment that contains a mini championship banner.

"I really wanted to make the ring for the Nuggets," Jason said, "challenging my team to come up with features we knew others just wouldn't think of that would help set our design apart."

"We got player feedback during summer league and were able to include two new design elements that make this ring stand out from anything ever seen before in Championship jewelry."

The fellas absolutely loved it ... especially The Joker, the 2023 NBA Finals MVP who showed off the ring for the cameras.

Congrats!!! 💍

Denver Nuggets Who's Your Daddy?!' Fans Chant At Lakers During Season Opening Win

Denver fans let LeBron James and the Lakers know who runs the NBA ... and they rubbed it in, chanting "Who's your daddy?!" while their Nuggets squad handed the Lake Show an L in the first game of the season!

The defending champs came out hot against the Lakers at Ball Arena on Tuesday and led as much as 18 points during the 119-107 win.

It was also the night the Nuggets team received their championship rings.

So, you can understand why the crowd of 19,842 was extra lit ... and late in the fourth quarter, they decided to take a shot at the Lakers.

"Who's your daddy?! Who's your daddy?!" the Nuggets fans yelled.

Jamal Murray heard the chants ... and the point guard's reaction was priceless.

In fact, the former first-round pick blamed his coach Michael Malone.

"This is you! This is your fault!" Murray said. "This is what you started!"

It was a good night for the 1-0 Nuggets ... Nikola Jokic, no surprise, had a terrific game, notching a triple-double with 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Just 81 more games to go!

LeBron James Rocks $28k Louis Vuitton Outfit ... For NBA Season Opener

LeBron James pulled out all the stops for his first fashion statement of the 2023-24 season ... rocking over $28,000 worth of Louis Vuitton for opening night!!

King James -- who is entering his 21st season -- clearly wanted to come up with a special look for the Los Angeles Lakers opening game against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena ... and he certainly didn't disappoint.

The 19-time All-Star forward is covered in Louis V ... from the $5k damoflage tweed chic collarless jacket and $1,250 pants to the $1,220 LV checker derby kicks.

He didn't stop there -- the Speedy Bandouliere 40 he's holding comes with an $11k price tag, and the briefcase will set the Average Joe back another $9,500.

So yeah, Bron's whole look is fit for a king.

BTW, some of those pieces LBJ is wearing are from Pharrell's men's Spring-Summer 2024 collection. The famous producer/rapper became the high-end brand's new men's creative director in February ... and debuted his items in Paris this summer.

James wasn't the only player showing up in style on Tuesday -- Michael Porter Jr. wore a signed Peyton Manning Broncos jersey ... and Peyton Watson was reppin' Deion Sanders with his own autographed "Coach Prime" gear.

High flyer Aaron Gordon also put his interesting taste on display ... going with a sleeveless burgundy blazer and shorts.

As for James' look ... anyone who wants to get their hands on the same items will have to wait just a bit -- pre-order sales start the first week of December.

Guess you can call him Louis Vuitton Bron moving forward!!

LeBron James Luce un traje de $28.000 de Louis Vuitton Para la apertura de la NBA

LeBron James no escatimó esfuerzos para hacer su primera declaración de moda de la temporada 2023-24, luciendo más de $ 28.000 de Louis Vuitton para la noche de apertura.

King James, que está jugando su 21ª temporada, claramente quería llegar con un look especial para el partido inaugural de Los Angeles Lakers contra los Denver Nuggets en el Ball Arena, y ciertamente no decepcionó.

El delantero y 19 veces All-Star llegó cubierto de Louis V, desde la elegante chaqueta tweed de $5k sin cuello hasta los pantalaones de $1.250 pantalones y los zapatos de $1.220.

Y eso no fue todo, el Speedy Bandouliere 40 que está sosteniendo viene con una etiqueta de $11k y el maletín de otros $9.500.

Así que sí, el look de Bron es digno de un rey.

Por cierto, algunas de las piezas que lleva LeBron James corresponden a la colección masculina primavera-verano 2024 de Pharrell. El famoso productor y rapero se convirtió en el nuevo director creativo masculino de la marca de alta gama en febrero, y debutó con sus artículos en París este verano.

James no fue el único jugador que apareció con estilo este martes, Michael Porter Jr. llevaba una camiseta firmada Peyton Manning de los Broncos y Peyton Watson anduvo de representante de Deion Sanders con su propio atuendo autografiado de "Coach Prime".

Aaron Gordon también puso su interesante gusto en escena. El jugador usó un blazer sin mangas de color burdeos y pantalones cortos.

En cuanto al outfit de James, cualquiera quisiera tener esos mismos artículos en sus manos, pero tendremos que esperar un poco porque la pre-orden de venta comienza la primera semana de diciembre.

¡Supongo que pueden llamarlo Louis Vuitton Bron, de ahora en adelante!

Conor McGregor Won't Face Charges Over NBA Finals Game Incident ... Probe Over

Conor McGregor will not face criminal charges over the interaction he had with a woman at an NBA Finals game earlier this summer ... TMZ Sports has learned.

According to a closeout memo we obtained ... prosecutors said there was "insufficient evidence" as well as "contradicting and/or no corroborating witnesses" to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that McGregor sexually assaulted a woman during a bathroom meetup at the Nuggets vs. Heat game in Miami on June 9.

In the doc, prosecutors wrote they viewed CCTV footage from the Kaseya Center on the night of the incident ... and it showed McGregor and his accuser did go into a men's restroom together for approximately five minutes. They wrote it also showed that after the two left the lavatory, they were seen together in a club inside the NBA arena until they went their separate ways at around 12:40 AM.


Prosecutors added, however, that when they interviewed an attendant who was in the same bathroom ... he told them that while he did see the UFC star and his accuser go into a stall together, he "did not hear any signs of distress or sounds that would corroborate that whatever was occurring was not consensual."

Officials also said they spoke with McGregor's accuser's friend ... who told them the alleged victim never mentioned that Conor had attacked her. In fact, prosecutors wrote in the document that the accuser's friend said the woman had called her mother that same night "to tell her she had met" McGregor.


Prosecutors also wrote in the memo that when the woman initially attempted to make the claim against McGregor to cops ... she asked detectives if they believed the 35-year-old fighter "would like to 'settle' or 'pay her off' if she did not pursue charges."

"In light of the above facts and circumstances," prosecutors wrote in the memo, "the State would not be able to satisfy its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt."

Barbara Llanes of Gelber Schachter & Greenberg, an attorney for McGregor, said in a statement to TMZ Sports on Tuesday she was "pleased" with the conclusion.

"After a thorough investigation, including a review of videos and interviews with eyewitnesses, the authorities have concluded that there is no case to pursue against my client, Conor McGregor," Llanes said. "On behalf of my client, his family and his fans we are pleased this is now over."

Brendan Malone Longtime NBA Coach Dead At 81

Tragic news in the basketball community -- longtime NBA coach Brendan Malone has passed away, the Denver Nuggets announced Tuesday. He was 81 years old.

"It is with tremendous sadness that we share the passing of longtime NBA coach Brendan Malone, who holds a special place amongst the organization and will be a Denver Nugget forever," the team said in a statement.

After several years at the high school and college level, Malone served as an assistant with the New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic over the span of four decades.

Malone -- who helped orchestrate the famous "Jordan Rules" used to beat the Chicago Bulls -- was on staff for the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons teams that won the Finals in 1989 and 1990.

He was the first head coach in franchise history for the Toronto Raptors in the 1995-96 season. Malone also led the bench as interim head coach for the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2004-05 campaign.

Brendan is the father of current Nuggets coach Michael Malone, who helped bring the franchise its first NBA title this past season.

"Coach Brendan Malone was a great man who left behind a great legacy in the word for basketball, but he will be remembered even more for the amazing husband, father, son, and grandfather that he was and the profound impact he had on the friends, family and colleagues who were lucky enough to know him," the Nuggets continued.

"Our thoughts are with the entire Malone family and all of Brendan's loved ones who are feeling this loss today."


NBA Star Aaron Gordon Memorializes Iconic Dunk Over Shamet Crazy Iced-Out Pendant!!!

Aaron Gordon will never forget his iconic poster dunk over Landry Shamet now ... 'cause TMZ Sports has learned the NBA star just got the moment memorialized with a crazy iced-out pendant!!!

Gordon's jeweler and good pal Buckz The Jeweler gifted the piece to the Denver Nuggets forward this week ... and it's awesome.

It features a mini Gordon in his No. 50 jersey soaring over a mini Shamet ... with 6.54 carats of VS1 diamonds draped over both characters.

The coolest part of the piece, though, is instead of Gordon dunkin' a basketball, he's holding the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy that he won just a couple months after the Christmas Day 2022 slam.

"This pendant took me and my team 504 hours to bring every last detail to life," Buckz told us. "I knew I had to capture that all-time great moment on a pendant."


Buckz says the piece would typically run his customers somewhere in the area of $20,000 ... but he handed it over to Gordon free of charge as a thank you for believing in him when he was an up-and-comer in the diamond biz.

Buckz tells us ... Gordon came to him for an 18K gold grill last year -- and he'll never forget how the hooper took the chance on him.


Of course, there should be plenty more Gordon moments for Buckz to turn into jewelry going forward ... AG is just 28 years old -- and seems poised for another big run with Denver in 2023-24.

Jamal Murray Cheesin' With Jack Harlow ... In New Music Vid

Jack Harlow dropped the visuals for his song, "Denver," on Wednesday ... and fittingly, he enlisted one of the city's biggest stars to appear in the music video -- Jamal Murray!!

The Kentucky-based M.C. released the project minutes ago ... which shows the Nuggets champion smiling from ear-to-ear alongside him at about the halfway point.

It's a brief appearance, but it's a cool move by Harlow to show love for the young baller fresh off bringing a title to the Mile High City earlier this year.

Jack is no stranger to rubbing elbows with NBAers -- remember, the guy named a song after Tyler Herro back in 2021, and featured the Miami Heat hooper in the video for that track as well.

Harlow also had his infamous controversy with Lou Williams during the COVID-19 pandemic ... when he posted a selfie of them together at Magic City in Atlanta when the then-Clippers guard left the NBA bubble for a funeral.

No issues this time around ... as Murray thanked Harlow for the special shoutout.

"Did his thing on this right here🙏🏽💫 Preciate the luv!!"

Nuggets HC Michael Malone Check Out My New Tat ... NBA Title Commemorated With Ink!!!

There's now really no way Michael Malone ever forgets this year's NBA championship ... 'cause TMZ Sports has learned the Nuggets head coach just got a tattoo on his shoulder commemorating the title!

The 51-year-old newly crowned champ hit up Mike Diaz's Triple W Tattoos shop in Colorado on Tuesday to get the work done ... ensuring he'll always remember his 2022-23 squad.

The piece is hilarious ... it features an image of the Nuggets' first-ever mascot, Maxie the Miner, holding the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

And, check out Malone's smile after he sat for the tat -- he loved it!!

Diaz tells us ... the body art is Malone's second-ever -- and the first one he's gotten in a couple decades -- proving this was not a decision the Nugs' head man took lightly.

Malone, though, wasn't the only member of the NBA champions to put title ink on his skin Tuesday ... Diaz also tatted the same Maxie image on Denver assistant video coordinator Connor Griffin. The artist says he's planning to tat up assistant coach Ryan Bowen on Wednesday as well.

As for how the Nuggets coaches got a hold of Diaz -- he went viral earlier this postseason when he offered Denver fans $52.80 flash tattoos (in honor of the Mile High City) during the team's series against the Lakers ... and Malone and his guys clearly appreciated the support.

No word yet if any players will now be headed Diaz's way for some title tats of their own ... but Nikola Jokic's 6-foot-11 frame sure has a lot of real estate for some badass ones if and when he's ready!!

LeBron James Shades Michael Malone, Nuggets ... 'Lame Machine's At An All-Time High!!!'

LeBron James heard the Nuggets talkin' spit about the Lakers during their championship parade on Thursday ... and now, the NBA superstar is clapping back HARD.

In case you missed it, Michael Malone threw shade at reports of LBJ considering retirement after losing to Denver in the Western Conference Finals ... cracking jokes and claiming he was going to hang it up for good, too.

There was also a cringe moment at the rally, where Malone was referred to as "the Lakers' daddy."

James is now unloading on the Nuggets franchise ... saying he was minding his own business in Europe when he found out about the disses -- so he asked, "I'm on your mind that much huh???"

"I mean I guess I see why. 🤷🏾‍♂️," LeBron said on Instagram with a pic of him waving the starting flag at 24 Hours of Le Mans.

"But Wave the flag on these lames!! Please make being player cool again cause the lame machine is at an all-time high. Enjoy your light but just know I’m the SUN. I stay on forever!"

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

But Nuggets fans better hope the team learned something from "The Wire" ... 'cause as Omar said -- "you come at the king, you best not miss!!"

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!