John Salley Hurley Shouldn't Take UK Job ... My Ex-Teammate Should!!!

Why Leave?

Kentucky's coaching job is still up for grabs, and Dan Hurley should stay far away from it ... at least that's what John Salley thinks!!!

TMZ Sports caught up with the former Bad Boy Piston out in L.A. while he was on his way to record an episode of the "Wander Well" Podcast ... and he told us one of his ex-teammates would be a much better fit for the job than Hurley.

Salley said while UK is one of the most prestigious programs in all of college basketball ... Hurley has a dream situation after winning back-to-back Natty's with UConn -- so he shouldn't make the leap to Lexington.

NBA's Ausar Thompson Out For Season ... To Treat Blood Clot

The Detroit Pistons will be without Ausar Thompson for the rest of the season ... after it was revealed the rookie guard is receiving treatment for blood clot issues.

The Pistons announced the unfortunate news ahead of their game against the Pacers on Wednesday ... saying Thompson will not play tonight or the last 13 games of the regular season due to the medical situation.

The good news?? The 6'6" athlete is expected to recover and return in time for next season.

Detroit released a statement on Thompson's status ... saying, "Under the guidance of Pistons team physician Dr. Ramsey Shehab of Henry Ford Health, Thompson has been cleared to resume conditioning and will begin non-contact basketball activities at the conclusion of the regular season with a gradual ramp up over the summer months in preparation for a full return next season."

Thompson last played on March 9th ... scoring 4 points in the Pistons' 124-142 loss to the Mavericks.

In 63 games this season, the former No. 5 overall pick averaged 8.8 points and 6.4 rebounds. He also became the youngest player (20) to earn at least 5 blocks in their first NBA game.

The Pistons also announced Isaiah Stewart is also out for the season with a right hamstring strain he suffered during Monday's game.

It's more bad news for Motor City -- the Pistons currently have the 2nd worst record in the NBA at 12-56 ... and made history this season by having the most consecutive losses with 28-straight games without a win.

Evan Fournier Fined $25k For Punting Ball ... After Loss To Heat

Evan Fournier's decision to go all David Beckham after losing to the Miami Heat just set him back a huge wad of dough -- the Detroit Pistons player was fined $25k for the move.

The moment went down shortly after the home team lost in devastating fashion ... with Bam Adebayo chucking up a game-winning three-point shot at the buzzer to secure the 104-101 win.

As the victors celebrated at center court, Fournier -- who had 18 points in the losing effort -- was in a much worse mood ... taking the game ball and punting it to the rafters.

NBA executive VP and head of basketball ops Joe Dumars announced the hefty fine on Monday ... specifically stating it was for "kicking the game ball into the spectator stands."

It was just another lowlight for the Pistons -- they currently sit almost last in the Eastern Conference with a 12-55 record.

On the bright side, Fournier has made more than $145 million over the course of his career ... but the financial punishment will still sting quite a bit.

Pistons GM Troy Weaver Invovled In Heated Tiff With Fan ... 'Lucky I Don't Beat Your Ass'

TikTok / @psharma112

The Detroit Pistons' lousy season somehow just got even lower ... the team's GM, Troy Weaver, was filmed getting into a heated spat with an angry fan at a game on Saturday.

The incident reportedly happened in the fourth quarter of Detroit's blowout loss to the Dallas Mavericks at the Little Caesars Arena ... when a man decked out in Red Wings gear seemed to confront Weaver at his seat.

You can see in a video posted to TikTok on Sunday ... Weaver appeared to yell at the fan, "You're lucky I don't beat your ass" -- before the man can be heard responding, "You suck at your job."

Weaver then motioned for a security guard to take the guy away from the area. The video then cut out.

A season ticket holder who claimed to have witnessed the interaction told the Associated Press on Sunday the tiff was actually the second time the man had gotten into it with Weaver at the game.

"The guy that was in the incident, with the Red Wings stuff on, came over and was pointing at the scoreboard earlier in the game,” Jeffrey Calloway told the AP. "Troy Weaver just shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘OK,’ and the guy went back to his seat."

"When [Jalen] Duren got ejected, the guy came back and told him that he was terrible at his job. Then, Troy Weaver was telling the fan he had to leave and that's when ushers or security walked over."

Weaver -- Detroit's GM since 2020 -- has yet to publicly comment on the matter.

The Pistons, meanwhile, currently hold the worst record in the NBA at 10-53. They're slated to play next on Monday night against Charlotte.

Pistons' Isaiah Stewart Breaks Silence On Eubanks Fight ... Apologizes To Team

X / @KoryEWoods

Isaiah Stewart just addressed the Drew Eubanks fight for the first time since their Valentine's Day clash ... and while he didn't get into specifics about the incident -- he did apologize to his team.

The 22-year-old power forward spoke on the matter with media members for about a minute on Tuesday at Detroit practice ... starting things off with a mea culpa.

"First and foremost," he said, "I apologize to my teammates -- just the organization. Because I always want to represent the organization in a great fashion."

Stewart then went on to thank the Pistons and their fans for their support in the wake of it all.

"I'm ready to just get back out here," he said, "and compete and win these games."

Stewart initially found himself in hot water back on Feb. 14 ... after cops say witnesses told them he socked Eubanks in the face during a tussle at the Footprint Center just prior Detroit's tilt with the Suns.

Authorities said the incident caused Eubanks a minor injury -- and Stewart was ultimately hit with an assault charge. However, less than two weeks later, prosecutors dropped the case -- stating in court documents Eubanks "no longer desires prosecution in this matter."

Stewart missed the Pistons' tilts against Indiana, Orlando, and New York while serving a three-game ban for the incident ... but he did return on Tuesday night and logged 11 points in 34 minutes.

He's expected to take the floor next on Friday night when the Pistons play Cleveland -- something he's clearly very happy about.

Monty Williams, Pistons Coach Goes Off On Refs After Knicks Loss ... Worst Call Ever!!!

Detroit Pistons

Monty Williams is clearly over bad NBA officiating ... the Pistons head coach put the refs on blast for the "worst no-call" in the final seconds of their game against the Knicks, which led to their 49th loss of the season.

"The absolute worst call of the season, no call," Williams said before storming out of the post-game press conference at Madison Square Garden on Monday, saying, "Enough's enough!"

Williams is referring to a sequence late in the 4th quarter that likely cost the Pistons a win.

With just under 10 seconds remaining in the game, and with Detroit up 1 point, NYK guard Donte DiVincenzo threw an errant pass that was stolen by DET forward Ausar Thompson who started down the court towards Detroit's basket. DD attempted to steal the ball back, and in doing so, he crashed into Ausar, who lost the ball.

It was seemingly a blatant foul ... but no whistle came. Jalen Brunson picked up the ball and fired it to Josh Hart, who was able to make a contested shot at the basket. And one. Instead of the Pistons possessing the ball with 8 seconds left, up 1 and headed to the free throw line, they were down 3 with only 2.8 seconds left.

Knicks win. Monty big mad.

"We had a chance to win the game, and the guy dove into Ausar’s legs, and there was a no-call," Williams said. "That's an abomination. You cannot miss that in an NBA game. Period!

"That situation is Exhibit A in what we've been dealing with all season long and enough is enough!"

The referees even admitted they blew it (or should we say didn't) ... crew chief James Wiliams told a pool reporter that a foul should have been called on DiVincenzo.

For his part, Donte says he was going for the basketball.

"I went for the ball," DiVincenzo said after the game, "I didn't look at the play ... I respect everybody's opinion."

Ironically, the Knicks dealt with a similar scenario not too long ago .... but they were on the other side. Officials called Brunson for a bad foul which resulted in the Knicks losing to the Rockets earlier this month.

The officials also admitted that was a mistake. Unfortunately, despite owning up to the screw-ups, it's still a loss in the standings, for a guy who is fighting for his job.

Detroit Pistons' Isaiah Stewart Arrested In Phx ... Allegedly Punched Suns Player Before Game


11:20 AM PT -- Isaiah Stewart's attorney, Alex Spiro, clearly believes the situation has been blown out of proportion, telling TMZ Sports ... "Isaiah was issued a ticket -- not arrested -- and we expect the case to be dismissed."

Spiro also added that I.S. was not put in handcuffs ... and was released after receiving the citation.

Pistons center Isaiah Stewart was arrested for allegedly assaulting Suns forward Drew Eubanks during an altercation before Detroit's game against Phoenix on Wednesday.

The Phoenix Police Department said in a statement the alleged incident occurred in a parking tunnel at Footprint Arena in Arizona at around 4:45 PM -- roughly an hour before tip-off.

Cops said when officers arrived on the scene, they spoke with several bystanders ... who told them the two athletes had gotten into a verbal altercation as they arrived at the arena that turned violent.

"Witnesses said the argument escalated when they saw Stewart punch Eubanks, causing a minor injury," the Phoenix PD said in its statement. "Both men were separated by security which ended the fight."

A short time later, police said they arrested Stewart for assault ... and issued a citation. He was released -- but cops say the investigation remains ongoing.

The Pistons said they were aware of the incident ... adding that they're "in the process of gathering information about what happened and what provoked it, and responding to the NBA and local authorities."

Supposed To Be A Brotherhood
Phoenix Suns

Kevin Durant -- who was traded to the Suns in 2023 -- spoke about the situation after the game ... calling it "unfortunate." He did say, though, the team has Drew's back.

"It’s supposed to be a brotherhood," Durant said. "But I also understand, dudes get into stuff. We try to avoid that in this league, hopefully we can move on from it. We all support Drew."

Stewart -- a first-round pick in 2020 -- is averaging 11 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this season. He gained national notoriety in 2021 after he got into a physical altercation with LeBron James on the court.

Eubanks, meanwhile, signed with the Suns last year after playing for the Blazers and Spurs. He's currently averaging 5.7 points per game.

Originally Published -- 7:00 AM PT

Sacramento Kings Troll Detroit Pistons, Fans ... Replay Aiyuk's Catch Vs. Lions During Intros!

Fans in Detroit are still lickin' their wounds after the crushing NFC Championship loss ... and things didn't get any better for Motor City sports fans last night when they were trolled by the Sacramento Kings!

But, Big D got the last laugh!

The last place Detroit Pistons were in Sactown Wednesday night, and for some reason, the Kings (29-21) chose video violence, playing lowlights from the Lions' loss to the San Francisco 49ers during player introductions.

The Kings played the key Brandon Aiyuk catch, where the ball bounced off Lions DB Kindle Vildor's helmet ... a miraculous play that ended up being the start of the end for the Lions, who blew a 17-point lead, losing 34-31. Crushing. And, they put it on repeat.

The bright side for Detroit fans ... the Pistons players seemed to take things personally.

Jaden Ivey balled out, scoring a career-high 37 points. Ivey’s breakout performance gave Pistons fans some sweet revenge, shocking one of the better teams in the NBA, 133-120.

Just the Pistons winning alone is news ... they're having a historically bad year, once losing 28 consecutive games.

Perhaps Pistons coach Monty Williams has a new way to motivate his team!

John Salley Slams NBA For Draymond Ban ... 'They Overreacted'

TMZ Sports

John Salley vehemently disagrees with the NBA's decision to hit Draymond Green with an indefinite ban this month ... telling TMZ Sports the suspension was a complete overreaction.

The four-time NBA champion said this week he's in favor of sidelining Green for smacking Jusuf Nurkic during the Warriors vs. Suns game on Dec. 12 ... but he thinks the indefinite part of the punishment is simply taking things too far.

"You can have a conversation, give him a certain amount of games for him to simmer down and have intelligent conversations with him," Salley said of Green. "But to get rid of him indefinitely, I think that is a bigger thing."

Salley told us he loves Draymond's playing style -- which makes sense ... considering the 6-foot-11 former center was a part of the '80s/'90s "Bad Boys" Pistons squads -- and he clearly believes Green hasn't done much wrong to warrant the latest suspension.

"I would take Draymond Green every day and twice on Sunday," he said.

In fact, Salley told us the guy would've been a perfect fit on his old Detroit teams.

"I hope Draymond comes back and I love his play," Salley said. "And I know he wears a Bad Boy T-shirt under his uniform."

For his part, Green has reportedly begun counseling ... and could return to the Warriors sometime in January.

John Salley Defends Ja Morant's Gun Celebration ... 'Leave Him Alone'

TMZ Sports

John Salley says the Ja Morant critics need to pipe down ... telling TMZ Sports he truly believes the NBA superstar didn't have bad intentions when he appeared to do a gun celebration on Tuesday night.

Salley told us the firearm-themed gestures -- which Morant seemed to hit following a thunderous alley-oop dunk in the Grizzlies' overtime win over the Pelicans -- were merely "a part of hip hop culture" ... and nothing more than that.

"He's not saying, 'Forget ya'll -- I got my gun!'" the four-time NBA champion said on Wednesday. "He probably didn't even realize it."

"It's nothing meaning anything," he added.

Of course, basketball fans all over social media have disagreed with that stance -- with many on X calling it a "tone-deaf" situation ... considering the 24-year-old had just served a 25-game suspension for a string of incidents involving gun-related social media videos.

Salley, however, was just sure there was no ill will involved in the post-dunk celly.

"I don't think he's trying to mock anybody," Salley said. "I don't think he's trying to be mean about it."

"Leave Ja Morant alone ... Leave him alone."


Salley also shared with us his opinion on his former Detroit Pistons squad -- which just lost its 27th game in a row on Tuesday night.

He said he doesn't think the team has quit or anything like that -- though he certainly didn't seem optimistic that things were going to get any better in the Motor City anytime soon.

Ex-NBA Player Eric Montross Dead At 52 ... After Cancer Battle

Eric Montross -- the ninth overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft -- has passed away after a battle with cancer, his family announced Monday.

He was just 52 years old.

Montross was a star for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels ... winning a national championship in 1993 before playing eight seasons in the pros for the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors.

"The family of Eric Montross (Laura, Sarah, Andrew, and Megan) is announcing that he passed away on Sunday, December 17, surrounded by loved ones at his home in Chapel Hill," a statement released by UNC said.

"Eric was diagnosed with cancer in March 2023, and his family is grateful for the tremendous support and the truly overwhelming love expressed by so many people as he battled with his signature determination and grace."

"They also thank the many members of the medical community -- and particularly those at UNC Lineberger Cancer Center -- who matched his fight with equal passion. To know Eric was to be his friend, and the family knows that the ripples from the generous, thoughtful way that he lived his life will continue in the lives of the many people he touched with his deep and sincere kindness."

Montross was an All-American for UNC ... and received All-ACC honors in 1993 and 1994.

He scored 2,071 points and recorded 2,159 rebounds over the course of his NBA career ... and went on to provide color commentary for Tar Heels basketball games after announcing his retirement in 2003.

Isiah Thomas Wemby Could Handle Bad Boy Pistons ... He's That Good!!!


Victor Wembanyama has talent that would dominate in any era ... so says Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, who tells TMZ Sports the French superstar would be able to hold his own against the iconic "Bad Boy" Detroit Pistons!!

The San Antonio Spurs' top pick in the 2023 NBA Draft is widely considered the best prospect since LeBron James ... with a skill set that's never been seen from a guy officially listed at 7 feet, three and a half inches tall.

While the 19-year-old can defend, shoot, dribble and pass like a seasoned vet ... Wemby's not the most muscular dude in the world, and some critics are worried about how he'll hold up against the bigger-framed guys in the Association.

All that concern can be put to rest, 'cause when we spoke with Zeke out in NYC this week, we asked how he thought Wemby would fare against the grittiest lineup of all-time -- the 2-time champion Bad Boy Pistons -- and he said, "He would actually be able to stand up [to us]."

It's pretty shocking, considering players like Zeke, Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman and Rick Mahorn made life a living hell for the biggest stars of the late 1980s and early '90s -- just ask Michael Jordan.

Safe to say Isiah thinks the giant hooper has a bright future in the league ... adding, "He's gonna be fine, very excited to have him in the NBA. He's going to be great."

There's more -- Thomas has also been in the headlines recently ... after Chris Paul claimed he played a role in the trade that sent him from the Phoenix Suns to the Washington Wizards.

Thomas says he plans to talk to CP3 about the whole thing eventually ... but doesn't intend to return to a front-office role anytime soon.

Detroit Pistons Fire Assistant GM Rob Murphy ... After Female Staffer's Misconduct Claim

Detroit Pistons assistant general manager Rob Murphy is out of the job -- the team let the front office exec go on Wednesday ... following an investigation into a workplace misconduct claim made by a former female employee.

The Pistons confirmed the decision in a statement to the Detroit Free Press ... saying after a seven-month long probe, it had no other choice but to part ways with the 50-year-old, who was just promoted to the position last June.

"Mr. Murphy was recently terminated for violation of company policy and the terms of his employment agreement," the team told the outlet. "The facts that gave rise to his termination surfaced during a review, assisted by a national law firm, of allegations made by a former employee."

The Pistons said they cannot provide further details regarding the investigation due to it being a "personnel matter."

Murphy's career with the Pistons started back in March 2021 ... when he was hired as the president and GM for their G League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise.

After one season, he was promoted to the Pistons' Senior Director of Player Personnel, before becoming the assistant GM in June 2022.

Prior to his career in the NBA, Murphy was a high school and college basketball coach for several teams ... including Eastern Michigan and Syracuse.

Joey Chestnut Devours 38 Wings In 3 Mins, 13 Seconds ... In Front Of Pistons

Joey Chestnut gave the whole Detroit Pistons squad a front-row seat to a grub-guzzling extravaganza this week -- downing 38 chicken wings in just over three minutes -- and the players couldn't believe their eyes!!

The greatest eater of all time is slated to be the halftime entertainment when the Pistons host the Miami Heat on Tuesday ... where he'll down as many Coney dogs as he can to raise money for Forgotten Harvest, an org. that helps feed the needy.

Apparently, Jaws needed to warm up his jaws before the big moment ... getting in some practice by showing Pistons hoopers how many wings he could eat in three minutes and 13 seconds (get it, 313?).

Guard Jared Rhoden was starstruck over Joey's visit ... saying he's been a big fan for years.

Center James Wiseman didn't have to say much to get his feelings across -- his eyes grew massive as Joey wrecked some drums and flats.

The Pistons even cheered for the guy ... chanting "Joey, Joey!" while the pile of bones grew bigger.

3:13 later, Joey's total was officially announced ... and he hilariously replied, "That's it?!?!"

After the incredible feat, the team got to take some pics with Joey ... and they were all super pumped over what they just saw.

Joey's still got it!!

Jamal Murray Confronts Heckler During Game ... Fan Ejected By Police


2:53 PM PT -- The Detroit Police Department tells TMZ Sports the fan, who had the heated exchange with Jamal Murray, violated the NBA Fan Code of Conduct and was removed from the Little Caesars Arena "without incident."

Jamal Murray needed both Nikola Jokic and a referee to keep him from going after a fan in the stands during Thursday night's game ... with the Denver Nuggets star losing his cool over disrespectful words being hurled his way.

The altercation was caught on video -- showing Murray on the court playing against the Pistons in Little Caesars Arena as multiple Pistons fans heckle him.

Murray heard the jabs loud and clear ... and once the whistle was blown to stop the play, the 6'4" guard began walking toward the guy with a few words of his own.

The referee immediately got in Murray's way and held him back ... while the guy in the crowd yelled, "you ain't gon' do s*** boy!!!"

Jokic -- who stands at 6'11" -- ran over to assist the ref ... and pulled Murray back to center court.

Arena security witnessed the exchange between Murray and the man ... and you can see in the video what seems to be police officers pointing at the guy in the stands.

As of now, it's unclear if the fan was removed from the arena or if he received any punishment.

BTW, the Pistons lost ... and currently have the worst record in the NBA. The Nuggets, however, are No. 4 in the league and lead the Western Conference.

Do better, people.

Originally Published -- 11:21 AM PT

Pistons' James Wiseman Mac McClung Belongs In NBA After Insane Dunk Contest


Detroit Pistons big man James Wiseman says there's "definitely" room for Mac McClung in the NBA after his performance in the Slam Dunk Contest last week ... telling TMZ Sports the high flyer is a "great player."

24-year-old McClung has bounced around the NBA and G League after going undrafted in 2021, but got another opportunity when he signed a two-way contract with the Sixers right before wowing the entire basketball community with his dunking skills in Utah.

We spoke with Wiseman out at LAX about how Mac can build off his momentum from the dunk contest and remain in the league ... and he thinks the former Georgetown and Texas Tech star can solidify his spot on an NBA roster.

Of course, McClung previously played for the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers on 10-day contracts ... but now many, Wiseman included, believe it's time for Mac to shine in the NBA.

Finally, Wiseman -- selected by Golden State in the 2020 NBA Draft -- says he's "super excited" to start fresh in Detroit after the Warriors traded him at the trade deadline.

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