NBA's Jamal Murray Shows Off ACL Surgery Scar ... 'Brand New'

Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray is officially on the mend after suffering a torn ACL earlier this month ... and he's showing off his badass scar from surgery!!

The 24-year-old baller went under the knife last week after going down with the injury against the Warriors on April 12 ... and he appears to be in great spirits as he kickstarts the recovery process.

Murray showed off some post-op pics on Tuesday ... captioning them with a positive note -- "Brand new."

Of course, the injury happened in the final minutes of Denver's loss to Golden State ... when Murray's leg buckled after he drove to the basket.

The scene was tough to watch -- even for the broadcasters, who were audibly emotional over the injury.

But, Murray will recover and get back to the court ... just with a new-look knee next time around.

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Sports stars like Odell Beckham and Joe Burrow have showed off their ACL surgery scars in recent months ... and it's safe to say Murray's is the least gnarly, so that's a plus for the hooper!!

It's always bad to see any athlete go down, but it was especially tough to see Murray get hurt -- the guy has been tearing up the league over the past 2 years.

Here's hoping for a speedy recovery, Jamal!!

NBA Star Jamal Murray Gruesomely Injures Knee In Game ... 'This Is Awful'

Denver Nuggets superstar Jamal Murray tore up his knee in such a scary fashion Monday night ... even the game's broadcasters were having trouble watching a replay of the injury.

"This is awful," one said ... while another added, "He's in a lot of pain. I don't even know if I want to watch this."

The gruesome play all went down in the final minute of the Nuggets' loss to the Warriors ... when Murray was driving to the basket at full speed.

You can see in clips of the play, as Murray planted his left leg to try to explode upward ... his knee just simply gave out on him.

The 24-year-old -- who had a breakout season last year and helped lead Denver to a Western Conference Finals appearance -- immediately crumpled to the hardwood in pain.

He let out several screams, pounded the floor ... and needed several trainers to help him get up.

A wheelchair was ultimately brought out for Murray ... but he refused to get in it -- and instead, hobbled off the floor and into the locker room.

The severity of Murray's injury was not yet known immediately after the game -- he'll undergo further testing Tuesday -- but it was clear to all involved it could be a devastating one for the Nuggets' star.

"Keep Jamal in your thoughts and prayers," Denver head coach Michael Malone said, "and hopefully we'll get some good news."

Added Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, "We hope he's not injured, that was a really scary fall and there was silence in the gym. Everybody is so concerned for him, so fingers crossed."

Steph Curry, who was just feet away from Murray when he suffered the scary fall, said he, too, was hoping Murray avoided catastrophic knee damage.

"My heart goes out to him," Curry said. "I hope that he gets the best news possible."

Murray had averaged 21.2 points per game this season ... and helped Denver to a 34-20 record. Most believed with a healthy Murray, the Nuggets had a great chance to win the Western Conference.

Get better soon, Jamal.

Damian Lillard Rips MPJ's 'Selfish' Post-Game Comment ... 'He Is Wrong'

Damian Lillard is giving rookie Michael Porter Jr. a quick lesson in what NOT to say to the media ... calling out the Nuggets baller for "selfish" comments he said after Wednesday's loss to the Clippers.

MPJ was an open book to reporters after Denver's 96-85 loss to LA ... questioning coach Mike Malone's game plan and suggesting he should get the ball more in order to win.

"I just think to beat that team, we've gotta get more players involved," MPJ said ... essentially saying he wanted the rock in his hands more often.

When asked if it were his place -- as a rookie -- to speak up to the coaching staff, 22-year-old Porter doubled down.

GET MORE INVOLVED
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"If Imma be out there on the court playing a lot of minutes, I think I should voice that."

Enter Lillard -- who got wind of MPJ's comments and immediately let his feelings known by tweeting out, "Smdh ..."

Several Twitter users clapped back at Dame, saying Porter's comments weren't wrong, it just wasn't the right time to air out his feelings.

"Yes he is wrong," Lillard responded. "If you know you know and ima leave it at that" ... adding, "clearly y’all mfs think on a selfish level to think this is coo ."

Lillard explains his problem with the comments ... saying, "If I want to win ima have this conversation with my coaches and teammates and express that."

"This is their second time being down 3-1 so if [Nikola Jokic] and [Jamal] Murray didn’t carry them here we wouldn’t be having this convo."

Others cited Kobe Bryant's "Mamba Mentality" when defending MPJ's comments ... but Dame says this is NOTHING like that.

"The disrespect smh."

Unclear if MPJ will address Dame's comments ... but the dude's got bigger problems right now -- the Nuggets are one loss from being eliminated from the playoffs, so maybe he'll focus on that for now.

Denver Nuggets Speak W/ MPJ Over COVID Conspiracy ... 'Population Control'

HERE'S WHAT I THINK...

1:58 PM PT -- Nuggets head coach Michael Malone says the team talked to MPJ about his comments ... but made it clear he's "not the thought police."

"I'm not going to tell any of our players what they can and can't say," Malone said. "All I would say is just be sensitive to the current situation in our country and throughout the world in regards to coronavirus."

Malone says MPJ met with Tim Connelly, Denver's president of basketball ops, about his comments ... but denies it became a distraction with the team.

"If somebody has a strong belief on something, they have the platform and freedom to use that," Malone added. "We will just try to educate guys so that they understand the impact of what they may be saying."

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. believes COVID was secretly created for global "population control" ... and warns things are about to get much, much worse.

It was all part of a bizarre Snapchat Q&A session on Tuesday -- when the 2018 1st-round NBA Draft pick decided to go full conspiracy theorist when asked about the pandemic.

"Personally, I think that the coronavirus is being used obviously for a bigger agenda," 22-year-old Porter said from his room in the NBA Bubble in Orlando.

"It’s being used for population control in just terms of being able to control the masses of people."

More than 661,000 people have reportedly died from COVID around the world since the pandemic began -- with more than 16.7 MILLION cases.

Porter thinks it's all part of some diabolical plot for global control.

"Because of this virus, the whole world is being controlled. You’re required to wear masks, and who knows what’ll happen when this vaccine comes out. You might have to have the vaccine in order to travel. That’d be crazy."

And yeah, that's when Porter pivoted into some anti-vaxxer talk ...

"I've never been vaccinated in my life. I've never had any shots or anything like that. So, it could get crazy."

FYI, it seems impossible for Porter not to have been vaccinated at some point in his life since basketball players at Missouri (where he played college ball) were required to comply with the 2-dose MMR Immunization Policy -- which essentially requires proof of vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella.

Still, Porter continued his rant ...

"It's definitely an agenda behind everything that's going on right now and all you can do is sit back and watch what's going on."

"Don't get too emotionally involved," Porter warned ... "but yeah, I mean it is a serious thing -- it's a real thing but yes it's being overblown."

Sidenote -- please be safe out there.

Nikola Jokic Playoff Pump Up Talk ... From Caron Butler

NOT JOKING AROUND
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Caron Butler says there's a diamond in the rough in the NBA playoffs ... a guy he says is "so special" the Trail Blazers better not sleep on him -- and that dude is Nikola Jokic.

The 7-footer from Serbia has emerged a force to be reckoned with this season -- and Butler says it's no fluke.

"He's so special," Butler tells TMZ Sports ... "I spent some time with the Denver Nuggets and his versatility is just amazing because he's able to shoot the basketball, ultimately facilitate and he has a high basketball IQ. He's just tough to stop."

24-year-old Jokic put his talents on display during Game 1 of his series with Portland -- pounding the Blazers for 37 points, 6 assists and 9 rebounds.

Game 2 is set for Wednesday night -- and Caron expects more of the same ... Jokic domination.

He even dished out a mini-pump up speech for the guy ... not that he needs it!

Nick Young Investigated for Robbery ... Allegedly Struck Man in Genitals

NBA star Nick Young has been named a suspect in an alleged robbery that went down last week -- in which Swaggy's accused of striking a guy in his testicles and stealing his phone.

Law enforcement sources tell us ... the LAPD received a call on Jan. 4 from a man who claims he was assaulted by Swaggy P when he tried to take his photo at a popular L.A. car wash.

We're told the alleged victim does not appear to be a paparazzo -- just a basketball fan who recognized the former Lakers star and wanted a photo.

The man acknowledged Young didn't want to be photographed but he snapped a pic anyway -- and that's when Young snapped ... confronting the fan, allegedly firing off a nut shot and swiping the phone.

We're told cops took a report and are investigating. So far, no arrests have been made.

It's not the first time Young has been accused of wrongdoing -- he was arrested in August 2018 for obstruction of justice after he was pulled over by police.

And in 2016, Young was sued for allegedly attacking a man at a pickup basketball game at a church.

We've reached out to Young for comment -- so far, no word back.

Pete Davidson, MGK Chillin' at Nuggets Game

Pete Davidson's lookin' good these days ... chillin' with his buddy Machine Gun Kelly Saturday night at the Denver Nuggets game.

Pete and MGK were sitting courtside at the Pepsi Center in Denver, as they watched the Charlotte Hornets lose to Nuggets by a score of 110 to 123.

The two are best buds and have been hanging out a lot together recently. MGK was by Pete's side after the scary Instagram post last month, but all has been well since then. Pete was recently at one of Machine Gun Kelly's show ... hanging out for a time on stage.

Russell Westbrook Runs Into Michelle Obama

Russell Westbrook had touched down in Denver -- getting ready to take on the Nuggets -- when all of the sudden ... BOOM, IT'S MICHELLE OBAMA!!!

The Oklahoma City Thunder star has a game Friday night at the Pepsi Center -- the same spot where Michelle O had a big event Thursday to promote her book, "Becoming."

Unclear who spotted who ... but Russ was definitely excited to see the former First Lady and posted the pic on Instagram.

"It was insane running into Michelle Obama. She has been such an inspiration to my family, and I can't wait to read her new book Becoming," Westbrook wrote.

The two have met before -- when they hugged it out at the 2012 Olympic Games in London when Russell and the rest of the Team USA basketball squad dominated France.

Michelle was sitting in the front row for the action and personally congratulated every single player -- from LeBron James to Carmelo Anthony.

And, get this, we've previously spoken with Westbrook about the possibility of the Obamas becoming owners of an NBA team -- and Russ told us he'd be 100% down to play for Barack and Michelle.

HE'D BE DOPE
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Kenneth Faried Arrested for Weed ... Mug Shot

Brooklyn Nets star Kenneth Faried was arrested and charged for possessing more than 2 ounces of weed on Sunday ... and TMZ Sports has the mug shot.

The 28-year-old was arrested on the Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton, New York at 1:30 AM ... after the vehicle he was riding in was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint.

A rep for the Southampton Town Police Dept. tells us the officer at the scene noticed a "strong odor of marjuana was emanating from the inside of the vehicle."

Faried was booked for 4th degree unlawful possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor. He was transported to a nearby station for processing.

The other 2 people got tickets and were released at the scene.

Cops say Faried got the harsher charge because he was in possession of more than 2 ounces.

If convicted, Faried faces up to a year in jail ... for WEED.

The Nets released a statement to TMZ Sports, saying, “We are aware of the situation involving Kenneth Faried and are in the process of gathering more information at this time.”

Faried spent 7 seasons with the Denver Nuggets before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets in July. He earned the nickname "The Manimal" from his physical style of play.

Isaiah Thomas I'll Prove I'm Healthy ... And Take Denver to Playoffs!

GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER
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Isaiah Thomas tells TMZ Sports ... he's fired up to show the NBA he's healed up and back to the superstar he was -- and wants to prove in 2018 that he's worthy of a max contract.

Remember, the 2-time All-Star just signed a veteran's minimum, 1-year, $2 million contract with the Denver Nuggets ... and when we saw him at LAX, he explained why he took the deal.

"The goal is just to show that I'm healthy and I'm the same player I was before," Thomas said ... "I just need one year."

The 29-year-old has been battling hip problems since the 2017 playoffs -- but underwent surgery back in March and recently said he's feeling better than ever.

But, this 2018-19 season isn't all about him ... IT says he's ready to take his squad to new heights.

"We'll make the playoffs ... and then we'll go from there."

Thomas also had some comments about his old team, the Boston Celtics -- which traded him after a remarkable playoff run in 2017.

But, if you think he's bitter ... think again.

Amber Rose Settles Down With New NBA Player BF

Amber Rose and her new boyfriend, Monte Morris, are serious ... so serious they've decided they're gonna be in an exclusive, committed relationship.

Sources close to the couple tell us they recently started telling friends they're no longer dating other people. The first pics of them together in public surfaced this week.

We're told they met through mutual friends over a year ago, but only started hooking up last month ... long after she and 21 Savage broke up. Monte only told Amber how he felt AFTER he found out she was single.

Amber and Morris are spending almost every day together and, according to our sources ... they have amazing chemistry. Translation: everything's fresh and new.

Kenyon Martin Flirting Is Dead ... Men Abused It

FLIRTING IS DEAD
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Kenyon Martin says "there's no such thing as simple flirting" anymore ... and it's all because men have crossed the line too many times when it comes to picking up women.

The ex-NBA star says he's well aware of the problems many women face in the workplace and other areas in their lives when men come on way too strong ... and it's not right.

"Over the years, men have abused their power," Martin tells TMZ Sports.

So, what happens now? Martin has advice for young men, including NBA players -- "Be smart. Notice the signs."

"No means no! Some resistance? Gotta turn away."

Bottom line ... Kenyon says be respectful to women and you'll be fine.

NBA's Devin Harris I Got The Perfect Team For Dez Bryant

PACKER PICK UP
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Listen up, Dez Bryant ... Nuggets guard Devin Harris is about to give you pro athlete to pro athlete advice on where you should end up, now that your time with the Cowboys is over.

Harris played in Dallas for YEARS and knows what it's like to leave big D behind, so when we got him in Beverly Hills we wanted to know if he had any potential landing spots in mind for Dez.

Devin says he has the perfect team ... and while you're gonna have to watch to see what he says, we'll be kind enough to give you some hints.

Hall of Fame QB (1st ballot lock) ... Bryant already has history there (infamous moment) ... he'll need some heavier coats if it happens ... and lastly, it's a spot close to Harris' heart.

Try to guess before you watch the video -- and remember if you cheat we won't know ... but you will.

Kenyon Martin Blasts George Karl 'Coward Ass Coach, Terrible Person'

Kenyon Martin is UNLOADING on his former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl -- saying the guy is a "terrible person," "awful coach" and a "coward."

Martin is clearly furious with Carl over a new tell-all book the coach is about to drop -- in which Karl rips Kenyon as a "spoiled brat" and Carmelo Anthony as a famewhore and a "user of people."

Martin's immediate reaction -- "The Nerve of an AWFUL AND COWARD ASS COACH."

He continued, "Everyone that's played for that awful person and coach can't stand the ground he walks on."

"I didn't have a father going up. We all know that. What's George Karl excuse for being a terrible person."

There's more ...

"Since we were so bad as players. Tell him to forfeit those Denver wins. Having a lot of wins doesn't make you a good coach. He was blessed with great talent."

We're guessing this ain't done yet. Stay tuned ...

Denver Nuggets Stars Pre-Gameday Strip Clubbin' ... Throw That Money!

RAINY DAY
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Nothing warms up your shooting arm like throwing bills in the strip club ... just ask Kenneth Faried and Will Barton who spent Thursday night makin' it rain in Dallas ... the night before they play the Mavs.

Multiple sources (and video) tell us the guys hit up VLive in Dallas ... where they got onstage and spent a combined $44,000 (Kenneth dropped $15k, Will dropped $29k).

At one point you can hear the DJ encouraging the guys to "shoot 3s" -- meaning throwing three $100 bills at the same time!

Don't worry about the guys ... the game doesn't start until 7:30 PM -- so they have plenty of time to recharge.

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