NBA's Caris LeVert Undergoes Successful Cancer Surgery ... Full Recovery Expected

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Caris LeVert underwent surgery to remove a cancerous mass on his kidney Monday ... and the Pacers star guard is now expected to make a full recovery with no other procedures needed.

Indiana team officials made the announcement Tuesday ... saying LeVert is in good shape after docs diagnosed the 26-year-old with renal cell carcinoma of his left kidney earlier this month.

"The surgery was performed by Dr. Jason Sprunger at Community North Hospital in Indianapolis, Ind." the Pacers said in a statement.

"No further treatment is needed. Caris is expected to make a full recovery."

The team added LeVert will be out of Pacers games indefinitely while he recovers.

LeVert was sent to Indiana as part of the trade that put James Harden on the Brooklyn Nets ... and LeVert has credited the swap for possibly saving his life.

"I didn't have any symptoms," LeVert said after doctors discovered the growth on his kidney following a post-trade physical. "I was playing in games. I hadn't missed any games this season yet. I was feeling 100 percent healthy."

"So, in a way, this trade definitely showed and revealed what was going on in my body, so I'm definitely looking at it from that side and definitely humbled to know that this trade could've possibly saved me in the long run."

LeVert is expected to be a big-time player for Indiana when he makes it back to the floor ... in his last two seasons with Brooklyn, he averaged over 18 points per game with more than 4 assists and 3 rebounds per contest as well.

NBA's Alize Johnson's Mom 'Speechless' After Home Surprise ... 'It's Mind-Blowing!'

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OUR NEW HOME
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NBA forward Alize Johnson's mom says she was at a loss for words when she was gifted with a new house ... telling TMZ Sports she was BLOWN AWAY by her son's huge gesture.

As we previously reported, the 24-year-old Indiana Pacers player surprised his whole family with a new home in Williamsport, PA ... as a "thank you" for helping him reach his dreams as a professional NBA player.

We spoke with Johnson's mom, Chanelle, about the incredible moment ... and she broke down exactly what it was like to be surprised with the new digs!!

"I'm very proud, very proud and just speechless," Chanelle told us. "Speechless for the things that he's done and just his heart and his humility through the whole process."

"But, he's always been a humble kid but just to see him take care of us before his self is just -- it's mind-blowing."

As for who gets to decorate the new crib, the hooper says he only has a few requests.

"I told them, 'When we move in, listen. I don't care about anything but just let me deck the basement out and the outside pool and stuff like that,'" Johnson tells us.

WELCOME HOME
@alizejohnson24 / Instagram

"That's the only thing I was concerned about but beautiful house, beautiful neighborhood and we're gonna have some good memories there and I'm looking forward to my siblings getting in there and having it to remember growing up."

Note to Alize's fam -- dude better be getting a good present this holiday season!!

NBA's Derrick Jones, Jr. Stretchered Off Court After Scary Collision

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Frightening moment during the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers game ... when forward Derrick Jones, Jr. had to be stretchered off the court following a hard collision.

Jones -- the 2020 Slam Dunk champion -- collided with Pacers player Goga Bitadze in the second half of Friday's matchup ... when the center set a pick that sent DJJ to the ground.

Reporters on the scene say Jones, Jr. was lying face-down on the court for several minutes before he was put on a stretcher with a neck brace.

Jones -- who grabbed his neck as soon as he started falling to the ground -- was chasing forward Doug McDermott as he collided with Bitadze's shoulder.

No word on Derrick's status ... but here's hoping he's okay.

Jones has had a breakthrough season for the #4-seed Heat ... averaging 8.6 points a game.

NBA Mom Toya Holiday I've Got 3 Sons In the NBA ... LaVar Can Do It Too!!!

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MAKIN' DREAMS COME TRUE
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Jrue Holiday -- New Orleans Pelicans

Justin Holiday -- Memphis Grizzlies

Aaron Holiday -- Indiana Pacers

Yes, all THREE of Toya and Shawn Holiday's sons are CURRENTLY on NBA rosters -- it's an AMAZING feat -- and now, they've got some advice for LaVar Ball on how to make it happen for him!!!

Crazy part is ... Toya and Shawn actually KNOW LaVar and his family because of the UCLA connection -- where Aaron and Jrue played their college ball.

Remember, Lonzo played at UCLA ... and so did LiAngelo (for a short time).

So, how did Toya and Shawn help their kids make it all the way to the pros?

"We didn't get the 3 in there. They got THEMSELVES in there from their talent and hard work," Shawn tells TMZ Sports ... "We just kinda coached them."

Toya noted, "It's by God's grace."

But, when it comes to LaVar -- who's been highly criticized for the way he's managed his sons' careers -- the Holidays SUPPORT everything he's doing.

"I think as parents, you know your children. He has to do what he has to do to get his children there."

One question we didn't ask, which we should've, is ... WHAT THE HELL DO YOU FEED THREE NBA PLAYERS GROWING UP?!? ... that poor woman's refrigerator.

Metta World Peace & Ben Wallace UFC 229 Vs. Malice At The Palace? ... meh

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LOOKS FAMILIAR
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Metta World Peace & Ben Wallace agree that Khabib & Conor's post-UFC 229 brawl was intense ... but neither man seems to think it was as bad as their infamous 2004 "Malice In The Palace" fight.

BTW -- both these guys absolutely LOVE talking about the "Malice at the Palace."

Actually, we were joking ... they really wish it would never be brought up again, but they still both ultra cool to our camera guy, so it is what it is.

We got Ben at LAX (a minor miracle) and Metta out on the streets of L.A. and asked them what they thought about the whole dustup, being that they're experienced.

Remember -- Ben and Metta weren't just involved in the Pacers vs. Pistons mega-fight, THEY GOT IT JUMPED OFF -- as the first two guys to go.

Ben was first ... saying he's not sure 229 was worse ... but that he's rooting for it.

"I hope something surpasses it, so we can stop talking about it."

We got Metta next, asked him his thoughts.

"It was a pretty epic fight, but there's always fights all the time."

One thing that's pretty clear ... neither guy thinks there should be too stiff a penalty for the dustup, with Metta saying there should be no action by the UFC at all ... as long Khabib plays nice.

"I would say, 'don't do it again,' and he won't do it again."

If only David Stern would've been so cool in '04.

Victor Oladipo To LeBron James: 'If You Want To Win, Come To Indy!'

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LET'S TEAM UP
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Victor Oladipo's got the key for LeBron James to beat the Golden State Warriors next year ... and it only requires one thing from the King -- join the Pacers!!

We got the Indiana star leaving TAO on Monday night -- fresh off winning Most Improved Player at the NBA Awards -- and he told us all his squad needs in order to win a ring is a little LBJ.

Then, he gave us his best pitch to the NBA's top player.

"If you want to win, come to Indy!!"

Remember ... LeBron's been the reason the Pacers haven't advanced in the Eastern Conference Playoffs two years in a row -- so the move kills two birds with one stone for Oladipo.

Now ... if they DO get LeBron and DO score that elusive 'ship ... Victor told us he'd have to think long and hard about sitting out on a trip to the White House.

NBA Star Myles Turner Getting Jacked ... To Stop LeBron??

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Here's what it looks like when you've had enough of losing to LeBron James.

Indiana Pacers star Myles Turner -- just weeks after losing another playoff series to LBJ and the Cavs -- decided to go from skinny fat to shredded ... and we gotta say, the results so far are impressive.

The almost 7-footer's been hitting the weights the last five weeks ... but he's also been moving his big-ass frame around in boxing sparring sessions.

FIGHTING SHAPE

FYI ... prior to Turner beefing up this summer -- he weighed in at 255 pounds. LeBron -- the guy who's killed Turner and the Pacers' playoff dreams the past two years -- clocked in at 250 ... at three inches shorter!

Of course ... LeBron might be outta the East next year and away from the Pacers' playoff path ... but, just in case -- happy bulking season!

Ric Flair Cavs Will Win ... LeBron's Gotta Get 40

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C'MON LEBRON!!!
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Ric Flair has a message for all you Cavs fans fretting over that Game 1 beatdown the Pacers put on you ... CHILLLLLLL ... 'cause Nature Boy says LeBron James and the Cavs will win on Wednesday.

As long as LBJ goes for 40.

We got Ric -- a huge Cavs fan and the man LeBron credits with keeping him off the street as a kid -- out in NYC ... and asked if Cleveland is in trouble after the Pacers took it to them in Game 1.

"LeBron, you gotta do 40 tomorrow night, man."

He might be right. The Indiana Pacers look pretty strong. It might take a 40 spot from the King to beat them ... or a Ric Flair pump-up speech.

Jordan Hill Full Arrest Video... 'You're Driving Like An Idiot'

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THIRD CALL'S A CHARM

Indiana Pacer Jordan Hill had the nerve to ask cops if they HAD to arrest him ... after they busted him doing 107 mph -- and the exchange was all caught on dash cam video.

TMZ Sports got the full video, including the audio, which reveals Hill's hysterical attempt to get some leniency. As we previously reported, he got arrested last week in Georgia, and after cops pulled him out of his Range Rover -- shirtless, for some reason -- he tried to turn on the charm.

Watch the clip -- the police officer said, "What's your story, man? Just driving like an idiot?" Hill actually mutters an excuse which clearly did NOT sway the officer ... who quickly put him in cuffs.

But you have to hear the cop's shocked response when Hill appears to ask for a break. Not great timing ... since he'd JUST blazed past the patrol car without stopping.

Indiana Pacers' Jordan Hill Topless Arrest In Atlanta ... Larry Bird Upset

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THE SPEEDING ARREST

Indiana Pacers player Jordan Hill was arrested in Atlanta this week after cops say he was burning rubber at 107 miles per hour ... without a shirt.

Several people called 911 to report the vehicle on Tuesday -- and cops eventually caught up to the former Lakers player, who was driving a Range Rover.

Dash cam footage shows cops putting a shirtless Hill in cuffs and placing him in the back of a cop car.

He was booked for speeding and reckless driving.

Pacers president Larry Bird issued a statement saying, "We have been informed Jordan was arrested for allegedly reckless driving in Atlanta, Georgia.'

"It is obvious we don't condone this. We will address this with Jordan. This is a major concern of safety, not just for Jordan, but for others."

NBA's Roy Hibbert I Wanna Be On 'Tosh.0' Gunning for Hollywood Career

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IT'S TIME FOR MY CLOSE UP
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Ya can't play basketball forever ... and Roy Hibbert knows it ... telling TMZ Sports he wants to work in Hollywood after his NBA career -- and says his dream job would be to appear on "Tosh.0."

The Indiana Pacers star has already gotten his feet wet -- appearing on a few episodes of "Parks and Recreation" over the years.

But now, Hibbert says he's moving to L.A. for the summer -- and might take some voice acting classes to help him better his chances of getting a V/O job when he hangs up his sneakers.

As for "Tosh.0" ... Hibbert says he'd be open to doing ANYTHING to appear on the show with Daniel Tosh (one of his favorite comedians) ... if Tosh is into the idea.

Tosh ... thoughts?

NBA's Chris Copeland Intensive Care Unit ... After NYC Stabbing

Indiana Pacers player Chris Copeland is reportedly being treated in the ICU of an NYC hospital -- after doctors determined his stab wounds included damage to his diaphragm.

Copeland was attacked after leaving 1Oak nightclub early Wednesday morning -- now multiple media outlets are reporting that doctors expect Chris to be in the ICU for 2 or 3 days.

According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, doctors are also concerned about the wound to Copeland's elbow -- and wanted to "clear the wound" because it might be susceptible to infection.

As we previously reported, the suspect in the stabbing -- a 22-year-old Shezoy Bleary -- was taken into custody following the attack.

Bleary is facing multiple criminal charges -- including assault in the 2nd degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the 4th degree.

Indiana Pacers' Luis Scola We're Playing for Chris Copeland Tonight

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SOLDIER ON
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The Indiana Pacers are rallying around their injured player Chris Copeland ... with teammate Luis Scola telling TMZ Sports they're gonna try to get a "W" to honor him tonight.

The Pacers are in NYC to take on the NY Knicks at Madison Square Garden -- and before Scola hit the arena, he hit Starbucks for a quick pick-me-up ... where we asked about Copeland.

Scola says he hasn't spoken with Chris since he was stabbed outside a nightclub around 4AM -- but says the team is definitely thinking about him.

Copeland was hospitalized with injuries to his stomach and elbow -- and will most likely miss the rest of the season.

ATL Hawks Players The Cops Are Lying We Didn't Block Stabbing Crime Scene

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Two Atlanta Hawks basketball players claim allegations they got in the way of a police investigation at the scene of an NYC stabbing are UNTRUE ... and they vow to fight the charges in court.

As we previously reported, Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic were arrested near 1Oak nightclub after Indiana Pacers player Chris Copeland was stabbed in an early morning attack.

Cops say Pero and Thabo obstructed police from investigating the crime scene -- and were acting disorderly when asked to get out of the way. Cops also say Thabo resisted arrest and it took several officers to take him into custody.

But now, the players have issued a joint statement calling BS on the NYPD ... saying, "We will contest these charges and look forward to communicating the facts of the situation at the appropriate time."

They continued, "As members of the Atlanta Hawks, we hold ourselves to a high standard and take our roles as professionals very seriously."

"We apologize to our respective families, teammates, and the Hawks organization for any negative attention this incident has brought upon them."

Pacers' Chris Copeland & GF Stabbed In NYC Attack 2 ATL Hawks Arrested In Aftermath

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CHRIS AND GF: WE'VE BEEN STABBED!
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An Indiana Pacers player and his girlfriend were stabbed -- and two ATL Hawks players were arrested for obstructing police -- in a violent incident outside of an NYC nightclub early Wednesday morning ... TMZ Sports has learned.

The stabbing victim is Pacers forward Chris Copeland ... who was stabbed in the stomach around 4 AM after leaving 1Oak nightclub. His girlfriend was slashed in the arm, breast and butt.

Officials says the injuries sustained by both Chris and his girlfriend are NOT life threatening. However, Copeland reportedly suffered a broken elbow in the attack and is undergoing surgery.

Cops say they arrested the person suspected of the stabbing -- 22-year-old Shezoy Bleary. Cops say Bleary used a switchblade in the attack.

Police say Copeland and his girlfriend were having a conversation when Bleary (who didn't know either of them) interjected ... and a fight ensued.

Two Atlanta Hawks players -- Pero Antic and Thabo Sefolosha -- were arrested at the scene for trying to prevent police from setting up a crime scene.

Outside the club, Chris' GF told the media, "We were attacked out of nowhere by a f*cking black civilian."

She continued, "We have nothing to say. We are scared for our lives."

Copeland's teammate Paul George just tweeted about the incident -- saying, "Pray for my brother Chris."

9:40 AM PT -- Antic and Sefolosha left the 10th precinct Wednesday afternoon and are headed to court for their arraignment.

12:30 PM PT -- The two Hawks players were just in court briefly. Each was charged with resisting arrest and Obstructing Government Administration. They were released on their own recognizance and are due back in court on June 16.

12:50 PM PT -- According to the criminal complaint, Antic and Sefolosha were told six times to clear the scene, but would only "move a couple of feet away but refuse to clear the area."

When it came time to arrest Sefolosha, police say he flailed his arms, twisted his body and kicked his legs. It took four people, according to the complaint, to get him into cuffs.

Indiana Pacers Freezing Philly Arena [Update: Heater Not Broken]

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12:12 PM PT -- A spokesman for the stadium insists the heater is NOT broken ... and says there's a perfectly good explanation.

"There is NO broken heater – but we opened the garage to let buses and allow a few packages to be delivered to the stadium – and that allowed the freezing air to come into the stadium."

"It was like opening the back door and letting the record temps into the building."

"The heater isn't broken -- and fans can expect it to stay that way ... and should be able to enjoy the game with no problem."

It's 14 degrees in Philadelphia ... and it seems like the heater has broken inside the Wells Fargo Center -- so the visiting Indiana Pacers are warming up in full sweats and winter gear.

Unclear when the heater crapped out ... but multiple team sources tell us the same thing -- "It's f**king freezing in here."

One player tells TMZ Sports, "It's like we are outside playing ball ... this ain't cool."

Pacers' star Paul George is at the stadium ... and tweeted, "Crazy my guys have to practice under these conditions in philly! #CutThatHeatOnDamnIt."

The game is scheduled to begin in less than 6 hours ... and as far as we know, the game is scheduled to go on as planned.

#Bringaparka

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