76ers' Michael Rubin Joel Embiid's a Tough-Ass Dude ... You See That Busted Finger?!

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STANDOUT PLAYERS
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TMZ Sports Presents: "How To Impress Your Boss" ... starring Joel Embiid!

Today's lesson ... when you dislocate your finger, SNAP IT BACK IN PLACE AND BALL OUT!

The strategy worked, judging by our conversation with Philadelphia 76ers partner Michael Rubin, who raved about his star player's toughness after the freak injury.

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As we previously reported, Embiid busted his digit during Monday night's game against the OKC Thunder, but taped it up and went back in the game ... and led the 76ers to a big-time win!

"He was a warrior," Rubin said ... "That was one of the ugliest things I've ever seen!"

"It just shows how tough and aggressive he is and how badly he wants to win."

Embiid has been ruled out for Thursday's game against the Boston Celtics -- and he's following up with a specialist. Rubin wouldn't elaborate on the injury, but 76ers fans are obviously concerned.

There's more ... Rubin says he's been talking with Ben Simmons about the fires in Australia -- and his star player inspired him to open up his wallet and donate to the relief efforts.

Justin Bieber Battling Lyme Disease ... Reveals Chronic Mono Too

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3:50 PM PT -- Hailey Bieber just chimed in too ... revealing GiGi, Bella and Yolanda Hadid played a big role in helping Justin understand Lyme and how to fight it. Yolanda, Bella and her brother Anwar all have the disease.

As for the bullies coming after Justin, Hailey says, "Please do your research and listen to the stories of people who have suffered with it for years. Making fun of and belittling a disease you don't understand is never the way, all it takes is educating yourself."

12:37 PM PT -- Justin just reacted to our story, opening up about his Lyme diagnosis and sharing he's also suffering from a serious case of chronic mono ... which he says affected his skin, brain function and overall health. The Biebs says he'll reveal more in his docuseries.

11:49 AM PT -- Justin has a LOT planned for the new year ... he just announced on Instagram that once he wraps his tour in 2020, he and Hailey are gonna get to work on starting their family.

NO TIME FOR QUITTING

Justin Bieber will reveal in his documentary why so many people thought he was battling deep depression ... fact is, he was, but it was the result of contracting Lyme disease.

Sources who have seen the documentary -- which drops January 27 -- tell us Justin and others in his life discuss the scary symptoms he endured in 2019. He says during much of the year his condition went undiagnosed. Doctors struggled to figure out what was wrong with him, but couldn't put their finger on it until late last year.

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You may recall this photo of Justin crying taken back in October. It's made clear in the documentary ... Justin was indeed batting extreme depression because he was suffering and no one knew what was wrong with him.

We're told no one knows how Justin contracted the disease, but it comes from a tick bite. Symptoms include rashes, headaches, fever and fatigue.

Gary Busey's Ex-Wife Tiani Warden Dies From Cocaine Overdose in Jail

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One of Gary Busey's ex-wives, Tiani Warden, died behind bars in Texas ... and according to her autopsy, it was a cocaine overdose that killed her.

Tiani was found unresponsive in her jail cell at the Hunty County Detention Center back on Nov. 4, the day after police arrested her for public intoxication ... the Hunt County Sheriff's Office tells TMZ.

The actress died from the toxic effects of cocaine ... this according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner. They've ruled her death accidental, and say chronic ethanolism -- heavy drinking -- likely contributed to her death.

It's interesting ... when Tiani was arrested, cops said they were responding to a call of a person lying in a ditch, and the person turned out to be Warden. Police say Tiani was intoxicated and they called for an ambulance, but she refused treatment and was arrested and brought to the Hunt County Detention Center.

Joe Johnson Hey NBA, Call Me!!! ... My Body's At 100

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I STILL GOT IT
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Joe Johnson says he's been living in the gym and staying in shape in case an NBA team comes calling ... telling TMZ Sports he'll be ready to go if a squad needs him for the playoffs.

38-year-old Iso Joe made a hyped return to the Association in October when the Detroit Pistons scooped him up from the BIG3 ... but got cut a few days before the season.

Joe tells us there are no hard feelings with how it went down in Motor City, saying his body wasn't right at the time.

"I was banged up with a lot of injuries, didn't get a chance to really rest," Joe tells us. "So, it kinda hurt me. Which is why I got waived. But, I'm cool with it."

Now, Joe says his body is at "100" and his agent is keeping tabs on teams' interest as the season reaches that time of the year ... but makes it clear he's not gonna beg to get signed.

"I don't think I have to plug myself for that. I think my resume pretty much speaks for itself."

FYI -- Joe is a 7-time All-Star, former All-NBA third teamer and went on to be the BIG3 MVP last year.

"Like I said, if an opportunity comes about and it's worth it and a team is serious, of course I'll jump on that opportunity."

Advice to NBA teams ... HIT ISO JOE UP!!!!!!!

Joel Embiid Gruesomely Dislocates Finger ... But Stays In Game!!!

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THE HORRIFIC INJURY
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WARNING: LOOK AWAY IF YOU'RE SQUEAMISH!!!

Joel Embiid nastily dislocated his ring finger during the 76ers' win over the Thunder on Monday ... and the injury was so bad -- his digit bent sideways at a 90-degree angle!!

But, the craziest part ... EMBIID STAYED IN THE GAME!!

The horrific scene all went down in the 1st quarter at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia ... when Embiid went up to block a shot but got his finger tangled in the process.

When he eventually looked down to see the mangled mess on his hand ... it wasn't pretty -- with teammate Ben Simmons saying, "I nearly thew up when I saw that."

Tua Tagovailoa Bama Superstar Heading To NFL

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It's official ... Alabama superstar Tua Tagovailoa is goin' pro.

The 21-year-old Crimson Tide QB gave an emotional news conference on Monday ... officially ending his college career.

“I’ve had a difficult time making this decision about my future," Tua said. "My love for the University of Alabama, our coaches, our fans and my teammates has made this especially hard for me."

GOIN' TO THE LEAGUE

"I have had the advice and consult of my parents, my family and coaches and gone through a thorough analysis of the alternatives. With lots of prayers, thoughts and guidance I have decided that I will be entering the 2020 NFL draft,”

Tua was an absolute stud on the field ... famously filling in for Jalen Hurts mid-game to lead the Tide to a national championship in 2018.

He went on to lead the Tide under center for 2 seasons ... and was a Heisman runner-up in 2018.

Tagovailoa was putting up a Heisman-esque season in 2019 before going down with a devastating hip injury against Mississippi State.

There was speculation Tua would return to school while rehabbing his injury ... but he's put an end to all the rumors with the announcement on Monday.

Tua finished his collegiate career with 87 passing touchdowns, 7,442 passing yards and 9 rushing touchdowns.

Head coach Nick Saban had high praise for his former player, saying "Tua has had as much of an impact on our program as any player we've had. He has great character, he's a great leader, he has done a great job in the classroom."

Despite going down, Tua is expected to be a first-round pick in the 2020 draft.

'Jeopardy' Jennings & Rutter An Irreplaceable Host for the Ages ... Who is Trebek???

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No One, That's Who
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Two 'Jeopardy' champs hit a daily double of sorts by giving the exact same answer to the question of who could replace Alex Trebek ... and they're both probably right.

Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter were in midtown Manhattan Monday, where they seemed to be doing press to hype up Tuesday's 'Greatest of All Time' episode, which pits KJ, BR and the new kid on the block, James Holzhauer, against each other for 'Jeopardy' G.O.A.T.

On their way into a building, they were asked if they had any advice for an average Joe who might find themselves on the show one day -- and while Ken had a somewhat snarky answer, Brad actually offered interesting insight ... don't guess.

Then the conversation moved on to Trebek -- who's fighting stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and who's alluded -- to us and others -- that he'd hang up his hosting gig if he feels he can't carry on.

The question is simple ... who'd be a good choice to follow in Alex's footsteps when the day comes??? After all ... he told Harvey a year ago he was thinking of passing the torch as he's 79 years old. Their joint answer might not surprise you ... they love the guy.

Selena Gomez Starts 2020 with a Jellyfish Sting ... Happy New Year!!!

Selena Gomez's new year got off to a bumpy start in Hawaii -- because she got stung by a jellyfish (or something like one) ... and had to be carried piggyback style to safety.

The singer was vacationing in Honolulu a few days ago to ring in 2020, and while she was at the beach on Jan. 1 ... it appears she got zapped by a creature of the sea -- we're told it looked to be a Portuguese man o' war. It's a jellyfish-type of animal but is more than just a single organism. Bottom line ... they're poisonous and hurt like hell.

Selena's reaction certainly seemed to reflect that. Photogs captured her limping back to shore with the assistance of some girlfriends, who then attentively knelt beside her on the sand as they checked out her injured foot. She was wincing through the ordeal.

BEACH BUMMER
BACKGRID

At one point, a strapping young fellow picked up Selena and carried her on his back -- presumably, to get checked out by more than just concerned beach-goers.

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She eventually cracked a smile along the way ... so hopefully she's feeling better. If she isn't, she's definitely putting on a brave face on social media. Looks like she'll be okay.

Get well, SG. And, here's to a sting-free new decade ahead.

Adele Now Fans Say She's Getting Too Thin ... Can't Please Everybody 🤷🏽‍♂️

Adele is living her best life on vacation right now, but even as she tries to unwind -- fans continue to be overly concerned with her appearance ... now saying she's too thin.

The singer was spotted hitting the beach Saturday in the Eastern Caribbean -- specifically, she was in the British territory of Anguilla with none other than Harry Styles and, apparently, James Corden as well. Quite the trio of talent, we must say ... especially with A and HS.

As excited as many fans were to see the two artists hanging -- with the possibility of a future collab looming in their minds -- some folks simply couldn't resist piping up in on Adele's body ... a topic of much discussion and scrutiny over the years for her.

Now, people are saying she looks too skinny -- and are openly wondering whether fans should be worried. One user tweeted, "IS THIS ADELE?!?! someone feed her pls she looks so skinny and not really that healthy .... we should be worrying about her omg."

Pam Grier No Stage-4 Cancer Here!!! Despite Social Media Rumor

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Pam Grier is a cancer survivor, but isn't in the middle of another battle, despite some recent rumors online.

Posts on social media began to surface this week saying that Pam was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and in a fight for her life. A rep for Pam tells us the rumors are bogus ... she's as healthy as ever.

Pam's rep says Grier will be headed to work tomorrow on season 3 of her ABC show, "Bless This Mess." Pam puts in 8-10 hour days when she's working.

Grier was diagnosed with stage-4 cervical cancer in 1988 and given just 18 months to live. Through tough treatment, she made a recovery and has been in remission ever since.

Pam has had a career in Hollywood that dates back to the 70s, starring in films like "Jackie Brown" and in shows like "Linc's."

Grier will turn 71 this year and has no signs of slowing down.

Yoenis Cespedes Altercation With Wild Boar ... Caused 2019 Injury

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Bombshell report Friday ... an altercation with a wild boar was allegedly the reason NY Mets star Yoenis Cespedes broke his ankle last year -- and the story is NUTS!!

The season-ending injury the outfielder suffered in May last year happened when he got into a tussle with a boar on his Port St. Lucie ranch, according to the New York Post.

Cespedes -- who has traps set up on his property to keep wild pigs away from humans -- was allegedly startled when one of the boars got loose.

According to the report, Cespedes stepped in a hole in an effort to get away from the animal ... 'causing a nasty break in his ankle.

Falling Acrobat Scary NYE Crash Landing ... Captured on Video!!!

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A ROUGH LANDING
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An acrobat took a very nasty tumble during a New Year's Eve bash in New Orleans ... and only TMZ has video of the dancer falling several feet into a huge mass of revelers.

Check out this scary footage from the NYE show at the Fillmore New Orleans ... you see an aerialist performing acrobatics as she's suspended from the ceiling above the crowd, and then all of a sudden she starts hurtling down towards the floor.

The acrobat was performing while New Orleans-based rock band The Revivalists were on stage covering David Bowie's "Let's Dance" ... and witnesses say the aerialist was lying in the fetal position after her crash landing, with her globe-shaped metal cage nearby.

The dancer and another man were injured in the crash and transported to a hospital, but the band's vocalist, David Shaw, tells TMZ their injuries are not severe and they've been released from the hospital.

Shaw also tells us the area under the acrobat was roped off and a mat was placed beneath her during the performance, and the safety precautions ended up breaking her fall. Shaw blames the incident on an equipment malfunction and says the band was shocked and saddened by the fall.

Britney Spears Downward Dog in a Bikini, Anyone?!?

BENDY BRITNEY

IT'S BRITNEY, BITCH!!!

Britney Spears is just a couple of days into the New Year but she's already in shut-down-the-internet mode ... with this ultra sultry yoga video!!!

She said to hell with custom yoga pants and threw on a purple bikini for a video she made Thursday and posted on her Instagram. It's a jaw-dropper ... she busts a bunch of tantalizing poses ... leaving little to the imagination.

Britney's all about getting incredibly active in 2020. She revealed she ran the 100-meter yard dash in 6.8 seconds. She says she used to run it in 6-flat in high school. Not bad.

This year, Britney says she wants to do a lot more acro yoga and the basics of yoga. She said, "I'm a beginner and it's kind of hard to let go .... learning to trust and letting someone else hold your body!!!"

Britney added, "I have a lot of things I keep bottled up so I have to keep my body moving!!!"

No one's complaining.

Ricki Lake Feelin' the Love!!! ... After Revealing Buzz-Cut Hairdo

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Free to Be Me
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Ricki Lake's sporting a huge grin just one day after revealing her struggle with hair loss and depression ... and it's all thanks to a flood of support.

We got the "Hairspray" star and former talk show host Thursday at LAX to get her response to her revelation on New Year's Day, about struggling with hair loss for most of her adult life.

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You'll recall Ricki posted a picture on Instagram and revealed the new buzz-cut hairdo. The story behind the new hairdo was both heart-wrenching and inspiring. As we reported ... Ricki said struggling through decades of hair loss was "debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing" and "lonely." It got so bad ... Ricki says she felt suicidal over it.

But, that all changed after Ricky buzzed off her hair ... saying it felt good and liberating. That was crystal clear when our camera guy got her ... though he was THIS close to making Ricki late for her flight. A thousand apologies.

Ozzy Osbourne I'm Not On My Deathbed!!! Out And About With Sharon

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NEW MUSIC IS ON THE WAY
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Ozzy Osbourne is not waiting to die ... he's still living large and his wife says they've got huge plans on deck in the new year.

We got the Black Sabbath frontman and Sharon Osbourne out on New Year's Day, filling up their Rolls-Royce at a gas station ... and the rocker looked anything but bedridden.

In case you missed it ... rumors are swirling about Ozzy's supposedly declining health, but the couple looked and sounded happy when they ran into our TMZ Celebrity Tour guide.

Ozzy's rocking some shades and a pretty stylish cane, and even though he doesn't say much, he's still moving around in his fancy car ... no "Weekend at Bernie's" stunts here.

Oh and get this ... Sharon drops some hints on the release date of Ozzy's first solo album in 10 years, "Ordinary Man," and a new tour.

Don't write off the Prince of Darkness just yet!!!

Nick Gordon Bobbi Kristina's Boyfriend Dies

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Nick Gordon -- the boyfriend of Bobbi Kristina Brown who was found legally responsible for her death -- has died in Florida ... TMZ has learned.

Nick's brother, Jack Walker Jr., shared the news Wednesday by writing, "GOD WHY I DID I HAVE TO LOSE MY BROTHER ON NEW YEARS," and adding ... "All I can do is cry." He later shared a tribute post with several photos of himself with Nick.

It appears Gordon was hospitalized for a short time before his death ... Walker says he was at his brother's bedside and spoke to him in his final moments. Reports say Gordon died of a suspected drug overdose.

As you'll recall ... Gordon and a friend found Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown's daughter face down in a bathtub on January 31, 2015, and she was placed in an induced coma. Brown suffered irreversible brain damage and remained unresponsive, and passed away in hospice care on July 26, 2015.