Michael Beasley LeBron Haters Still Gonna Hate ... After He Breaks Kareem's Record

HATERS GONNA HATE
TMZSports.com

LeBron James breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's scoring record won't silence his critics, so says his former teammate Michael Beasley ... telling TMZ Sports, "they gon' keep hating."

Remember, James is only a few points away from becoming the NBA's all-time scoring leader -- a record that Kareem has held for almost four decades.

You would think with such an accomplishment, the ones who doubt King James would come around ... but Beasley says that won't happen, even when he's crowned.

"They gon' keep hating," the former NBA power forward tells us at LAX this week.

"It's a good percentage of the world that just wanna go against the grain. That's literally what we get. We get the ones who wanna go against the grain."

Beasley -- who played with LBJ in Miami and Los Angeles -- says James deserves respect from the doubters ... and they have no choice but to give him his flowers after this feat.

"He earned it," MB says, "You can't really say too much after that, you know. He the best."

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BTW ... Beasley says he wouldn't mind playing alongside LeBron again, telling us he'd be down to sign back with the Lakers.

"Yeah, 100%. If they called, I ain't gonna let my pride get in the way, 100%"

John Salley Kareem Should 'Be Proud' Of LeBron ... For Breaking His Record

PROUD OF 'BRON
TMZSports.com

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar might have mixed feelings when his scoring record gets broken ... but John Salley says the Lakers legend should ultimately be proud to pass the torch to LeBron James when he passes the Hall of Famer on the all-time list.

The 4-time NBA champ broke it down for TMZ Sports at LAX ... comparing the situation to another sports record that many believe to be impossible to break.

"The same way my boy Eric Dickerson thinks about anybody trying to break his record ... you don't want nobody to break your record!" the 58-year-old told us.

Nonetheless, Salley still believes Kareem will come around and give James his flowers when the Lakers star beats his record of 38,387 points.

"I think Kareem will take his hat off to him, be proud of him," Salley said. "He should."

Salley's comment may come off as shocking since he didn't believe LeBron was gonna break Kareem's record to begin with ... saying on Shannon Sharpe's Club Shay Shay podcast a few months ago, "I think theyโ€™re not going to let him get it."

He's obviously had a change of heart since then ... saying, statistically, James will be "the greatest player to ever play" and the way he carries himself off the court is admirable.

"What he's doing in television, film, the dude has definitely set the bar what a professional athlete is supposed to do," Salley said.

"I said I didn't think anybody was ever gonna break his record, but I'm so happy LeBron is breaking his record."

James is only a few points away from becoming the all-time scorer ... and barring something crazy, it's definitely happening.

Get those champagne bottles ready!!

LeBron James First #6 Lakers Jersey Hits Auction

LeBron James' first-ever #6 Lakers jersey -- which he wore on the opening night of the 2021-22 NBA season -- is hitting the auction block ... and could sell for a ton of dough, TMZ Sports has learned.

A rep with SCP Auctions tells us the gold Nike "Icon" Edition jersey James sported against the Golden State Warriors on October 19, 2021, is up for grabs ... and it's a big deal, considering it's the first time he rocked #6 for L.A., instead of his Cleveland-era #23.

The bottom left corner of the piece of history shows LeBron's jersey size (54) and the date of the game, 10-19-21, handwritten on the tag.

The jersey has gone through several layers of authentication -- it was entered into the NBA and MeiGray Game-Worn Jersey Authentication Program -- and was photo matched to the 1st and 2nd half of the contest against the Warriors.

Remember, James switched from #23 to #6 in June 2021 ... just four months before the NBA season started. LeBron previously wore the #6 when he was with the Miami Heat for four seasons (2010-2014).

"It's always been a part of me, to be honest," James said when asked about the switch. "Six has a lot of meaning to me, from my family and numbers and things of that nature to what I believe in and things of that sort, but my mentality doesnโ€™t change."

King James finished the night against the Warriors with a game-high 34 points to go along with 11 rebounds and five assists -- but the Dubs spoiled LeBron's night, defeating the Lakers, 121-114.

The auction ends on February 4. Good luck, bidders!

Pete Davidson, Emma Stone Celebs Pour Into MSG ... Gotta Watch LeBron!!!

LeBron James made his return to Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night -- and in turn, so did a ton of celebs ... and the king didn't disappoint in NYC as a bunch of Hollywood's A-listers cheered him on.

LBJ went off in the game against the Knicks -- logging 28 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists  ... as the Lakers knocked off the home team in overtime, 129-123.

Emma Stone, Michael B. Jordan, Jon Stewart and Pete Davidson -- sporting a new haircut! -- seemed to love it all ... rockin' big smiles on their faces as the L.A. superstar did his thing.

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, former NHL star Henrik Lundqvist and comedian, Hasan Minhaj were also in attendance.

Of course, Spike Lee -- as usual -- was in the building ... though he wasn't in good spirits as his favorite team got dumped on by L.A.

All the celebs sat near each other in courtside seats ... with most appearing to have a hell of a time while rubbing elbows with one another.

It should be noted there was no date spotted on Davidson's arm ... but he seemed to be content riding solo and hanging with Stewart for the big hoops night, nonetheless.

Celebrities won't get another chance to watch LeBron hoop at the Mecca again until 2023 -- this was the Lakers' lone appearance at MSG this season.

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But, hey, if those that weren't in the arena were really feeling the FOMO on Tuesday night ... something tells us they'll be able to afford to go watch him play in L.A. later this year.

Travis, Game & YG We Got Range ... NBA 3-Pointer Range!!! ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ”ฅ

NOTHIN' BUT NET

Some rappers make NBA highlights just by sitting courtside -- but a few artists actually got on the court this weekend to make some Top 10-worthy jumpers!!!

Both Travis Scott and The Game got the royalty treatment during the Utah Jazz win over the Dallas Mavericks Saturday inside Vivint Arena ... and were able to shoot around before the game, targeting nothing but the bottom of the net.

Not to be outdone, YG sank a half-court shot Sunday inside Moda Center, decked out in baggy gear from his 4Hunnid line.

The "Alone" rapper was in Portland for his Red Cup Tour stop and got to see his Lakers beat the Trail Blazers before hitting the stage.

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Game hit a couple of consecutive long bombs and went the extra mile and campaigned for an NBA 10-day contract. He also called out Gillie Da Kid to pull up to his home court in L.A. and earn an ass-whooping!!!

Gillie's one of the better shooters in hip hop ... even showing out NBA organizations in the past, so this could get interesting.

Master P is still the only traditional rapper who played in the NBA, having suited up for both the Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors in the late '90s.

That said, Diddy does have his own league for artists to get out on the hardwood -- might be time for some new teams in the rotation!!!

Dennis Schroder Stopped By Cops In Hollywood ... After Lakers Win

Dennis Schroder's Wednesday night went from awesome to pretty crappy real quick ... 'cause just after the Lakers point guard helped his team beat the Spurs -- a vehicle he was riding in was stopped by cops in Hollywood.

Cops tell TMZ Sports ... it all went down at around midnight, just a couple hours after the Lakers game had ended. According to an LAPD spokesperson, the stop was initiated after the vehicle allegedly had improper plates.

Video from the scene shows cops spoke with Schroder and what appeared to be his driver for about half an hour after pulling over the ride at a gas station.

It all seemed cordial, according to videos of the interaction ... with Schroder, at times, sporting a big smile on his face.

"I don't know what happened," the 29-year-old told a camera person during the stop. "I'm still surprised."

The LAPD says someone received a citation for improper plates during the stop, though it's unclear who the alleged violator was. Video shows Schroder was allowed to leave the scene without any issue.

Schroder's night had been going very well up until the pullover -- he played 37 minutes in the Lakers' win over San Antonio at Crypto.com Arena, logging nine points, eight rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocks.

The victory was an extra sweet one for Schroder and purple and gold -- as it marked the first time the team had LeBron James, Anthony Davis and new addition Rui Hachimura on the floor at the same time this year.

LeBron James Held Back From Heckler ... During Clippers Game

POKING THE BEAR
Tik Tok / @ruthlessrich

LeBron James nearly lost his cool with a heckler on Tuesday night -- having to be held back from the man after the guy shouted insults at him, including one dig that featured a shot at the Lakers star's hairline.

The moment happened as the King and his squad were headed into the locker room at halftime of their game with the Clippers at Crypto.com Arena ... when a guy started going off on the L.A. forward.

"Hey Bron! Hey Bron!" the man said from his floor seat as the Lakers were down 77-54. "You better get this s*** together!"

The fan continued, "With that receding-ass hairline!"

LeBron turned quickly, appearing to want to go after the man, before security intervened.

"Look, he mad!" the heckler shouted as LeBron was being ushered away from the scene. "Look at him! You sick!"

It's unclear if the fan faced any punishment over the interaction.

The trolling, while clearly annoying, didn't stop James from going off ... he scored 46 points in the contest with the Clips, making him the only NBA player to score 40-plus against every team in the league.

Of course, despite his performance, the Lakers still lost, 133-115.

Jeanie Buss Gifts Lakers Champ New Rings ... After Selling Originals For Ukraine

Amazing news for Slava Medvedenko -- the ex-Lakers player was gifted replacement championship rings on Monday ... after selling his original bling to help raise money for those affected by the war in Ukraine.

Lakers owner Jeanie Buss presented the new rings to Medvedenko at an event for L.A. fans ... five months after he decided to help his native country fight against the Russian invasion.

Medvedenko -- who was on the Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant-led squads that won it all in 2001 and 2002 -- sold the rings for $253,534 ... and all of the proceeds went to his "Fly High Foundation," an organization devoted to helping kids affected by the Russia-Ukraine war.

Medvedenko started the org. in 2022 ... and it focuses on repairing sports facilities at schools in areas hit hard by the war.

"In this moment, I just decided, 'Why do I need these rings if theyโ€™re just sitting in my safe?'" Medvedenko said of parting ways with the bling at the time. "I just recognize I can die."

"After that, I just say I have to sell them to show people leadership, to help my Ukrainian people to live better, to help kids."

Slava did more than sell his rings, though -- the 6'10" NBA hooper served in Ukraine's territorial defense during the war, despite having no prior military experience.

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Kudos to Jeanie and the Lakers org. ... and shoutout to Slava for the grand gesture.

Shannon Sharpe Apologizes For Laker Game Incident ... 'I Was Wrong'

A SHARPE APOLOGY
FS1

Shannon Sharpe offered a mea culpa Monday morning, apologizing for getting into an altercation with several Grizzlies players and Ja Morant's dad near his floor seats at the Lakers game Friday night, saying he takes full responsibility for his actions.

"I want to apologize for my behavior," Sharpe said this morning on "Undisputed," adding ... "For the last six and a half years, I've preached accountability and responsibility. And I take full responsibility for what transpired. It does not matter what Dillon Brooks said or how many times he said it."

"Me being the responsible person. Me having the platform that I have and having so many people look up to me, I was wrong. I should have lowered the temperature in the arena. Instead, I turned the temperature up, and I let it get out of hand."

Sharpe then apologized to Jeanie Buss, the Lakers organization, and their fans for "any harm or unwanted attention" he may have caused. The FS1 commentator also apologized to the Grizzlies, Dillon Brooks, and Morant, whom he raved about after witnessing him play in person.

SCREAMING MATCH
Brett Cates / IG - @brettglco

Of course, sitting courtside for the Grizzlies-Lakers game Friday night, Shannon got into a heated back-and-forth with Brooks, causing Ja and Steven Adams to come to Dillon's defense.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer was also jawing with Ja's dad, Tee, "saying, "I bet you won't," multiple times as security, arena staffers, referees, and players tried to separate them.

Despite the chaotic scene, Sharpe returned to his seat a quarter later to finish watching the game -- and even made amends with Tee later in the night.

MAKING PEACE
@garrettleight

Shannon concluded his apologies by issuing a few more -- he apologized to LeBron James, who after the game said he has Sharpe's back, his stylist, his family, and FOX for putting them in a position to answer for his behavior.

Major League Pickleball Founder LeBron's MLP Investment? It Brought 'Billions' Of Eyes To The League!!!

PICKLE PROUD
TMZSports.com

Basketball's King apparently has the Midas Touch when it comes to pickleball too ... 'cause Major League Pickleball founder Steve Kuhn tells TMZ Sports LeBron James' recent investment in the league brought BILLIONS of eyeballs to the sport!!!

LBJ -- alongside Kevin Love and Draymond Green -- bought a team in the MLP back in Sept. 2022 ... and Kuhn tells us immediately afterward, interest in the org. absolutely exploded.

"This year, stories about Major League Pickleball hit 11 billion eyeballs," Kuhn said, "and the LeBron announcement alone was four billion."

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Of course, the sport had been on the rise even before LeBron got involved ... the unique, tennis-like game is widely considered the fastest-growing activity in America.

And, while LeBron's inclusion in the action was huge for the league ... he's hardly the only sports superstar to jump into the mix. Everyone from Tom Brady to Drew Brees to Patrick Mahomes, Naomi Osaka and Kevin Durant have bought into the MLP as well.

Even LeBron's best buddy, Rich Paul, is an investor -- and he told us earlier this month he could see it all eventually becoming a huge deal in the U.S.

PAUL ON PICKLEBALL
TMZSports.com

As for if the NBA and NFL players would ever get ON the pickleball court ... Kuhn -- like the rest of us -- is hoping that happens soon.

"We're working on that!" he said.

Shannon Sharpe Altercation With Ja Morant's Dad ... At Laker Game

SCREAMING MATCH
Brett Cates / IG - @brettglco

Shannon Sharpe and Ja Morant's dad, Tee, got into a heated altercation at the Laker game Friday night ... with both sides needing to be separated before eventually making amends.

It all went down during the first half of the Lakers' home matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies at Crypto.com Arena ... when the focus shifted from the court to the crowd.

Memphis guard Dillon Brooks and the FS1 commentator -- who had courtside seats for the game -- had been jawing back and forth during the contest ... when Dillon's teammates Steven Adams and Morant inserted themselves into the picture.

Adams can be seen barking at Sharpe ... as everyone else tries to restore some semblance of order. As the chaos ensues, Shannon and Tee got into a war of words, too.

In the video, Shannon appears to yell "I bet you won't" at Tee multiple times as staffers, security and referees get between them.

Shannon was then escorted out of the seating area and into the tunnel.

After the commotion, Shannon spoke to ESPN's Dave McMenamin at halftime and said it all started after he told Brooks he couldn't guard LeBron James.

"I said he was too small to guard LeBron. He said, 'F*** me,'" Sharpe told Dave. "I said, 'f*** you back.'"

Sharpe claims that's when Brooks came after him ... followed by Ja and his father, which led to him responding the way he did.

"They didn't want this smoke," said Shannon. "They do all this talking and jockeying, and I ain't about that jockeying."

"I wanted anything they had. Don't let these fools fool you now."

MAKING PEACE
@garrettleight

The good news -- it appears cooler heads prevailed ... as Shannon and Tee were spotted dapping up one another later on in the night.

BTS' Suga Sips Beer Courtside At Laker Game ... Leaving Dubs Bandwagon?!

BTS rapper Suga might be a "boy with luv" for a new team -- the K-pop superstar was spotted hanging courtside at the Laker game on Thursday ... bringing his Warriors allegiances into question.

Suga hit up Crypto.com Arena as Los Angeles hosted the Dallas Mavericks ... and he appeared to be in great spirits, enjoying a cold beer as he checked out the action.

The guy's presence was clearly known to the players ... with Luka Doncic even dapping him up before the game.

Of course, Suga appeared to be deep in Dub Nation prior to the season ... getting his own custom Golden State jersey and hanging out with the team when they were in Japan for a preseason game against the Washington Wizards.

He was also getting close with Steph Curry ... who gifted him a pair of signed shoes after the matchup.

But, Suga might be swayed to the Purple & Gold now ... as the Lakers also got him a custom jersey prior to attending Thursday's game.

SHOWTIME SUGA

The contest was a bummer for Suga if he is, in fact, a Laker fan now ... 'cause the home team lost in double overtime, 119-115.

LeBron James Courtside At Bronny's Game ... It's Senior Night!!

SENIOR SENDOFF
Instagram / @jim_ice

LeBron James had the best day off Wednesday, sitting courtside at son Bronny James' Senior Night game at Sierra Canyon ... where the 18-year-old hoops star went off!

Bronny, in his last year at SC, took part in the yearly tradition ... where H.S. seniors are celebrated before their last home game of the season.

LBJ and his wife Savannah pulled up to support their 18-year-old son -- rockin' black hoodies featuring Bronny on the back -- where they took photos on the court.

Bronny's younger brother Bryce, who also hoops for the Trailblazers, and his little sister, Zhuri, also posed for the pic.

The 18-year-old guard put on a show, too ... coming close to registering a triple-double. James put up 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists in their win against Loyola.

BTW, LeBron wasn't the only star at Bronny's game, surprisingly ... Hip hop mogul Diddy was also in attendance, as well as former NBA player and Mavs assistant coach Jared Dudley.

Of course, this isn't the end of James' basketball career. He's set to graduate this spring, and he's received a ton of interest from colleges across the country, including Ohio State.

And after college, pops has made it clear he wants to play at least one season on the same NBA team as Bronny.

Stay tuned.

Kobe Bryant Signed Jersey To Hit Auction ... Could Fetch $7 Million

Kobe Bryant's game-worn jersey from his sole MVP season is about to hit the auction block ... and TMZ Sports has learned it could sell for a whopping $7 million!!!

The signed Purple and Gold threads are from Bryant's 2007-08 season -- the only time the legend won the NBA's Most Valuable Player award in his 20-year career -- which he wore for 25 games, including 6 playoff matchups.

Sotheby's, which is hosting the auction, tells us the item is the "most valuable Kobe Bryant game-worn jersey to ever appear at auction" as the Lakers legend "scored a total of 645 points over 8 months in this jersey."

He averaged 28.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game that season and led the Lakers to the NBA Finals.

What also makes the jersey so rare -- Kob signed the gear by writing his first name on the stitched number on the back.

FYI, this is also the same jersey Kobe was seen tugging on in the first round of the 2008 playoffs -- one of Bryant's most iconic photos of all time.

"This jersey has influenced popular culture in a way that is seldom seen in the sports community, becoming iconic and synonymous with the image of Kobe Bryant," Sotheby's said.

"In California alone, there are more than 15 murals depicting him in this jersey, with wings, American flags, and snakes in the background."

The jersey is expected to sell for anywhere between $5-7 million when bidding opens up on Feb. 2.

The current record for the most expensive piece of Kobe memorabilia is a worn, autographed jersey from his rookie year ... which sold for $3.7 million in 2021.

Happy bidding!!

LeBron James In The Clouds After Magic Win ... Hookah Sesh In Miami!!!

SMOKE SESH
TMZSports.com

Forget champagne or a nice glass of vino ... LeBron James opted for hookah to celebrate Tuesday's win over the Magic -- and TMZ Sports has the vid of The King's smoke sesh.

James hit Barsecco in Miami in the hours after he and the Lakers dumped Orlando in Florida, 129-110 ... and you can see in footage we obtained from the popular lounge that he unwound from the big victory by blowin' some big clouds at the hot spot.

Witnesses tell us the NBA superstar got to the place at around 1:37 AM Wednesday morning ... and only stayed for a quick smoke -- leaving after about 15 or so minutes.

You can see in the clip, he was wearing the same outfit he wore to his postgame press conference Tuesday night -- a green and blue colored cardigan with plenty of jewelry on display.

Of course, James had to bolt from the place fairly early ... as the Lakers play again against the Heat in at FTX Arena on Wednesday night.

FWIW, James has been having a stellar year in his 20th season, logging 27.8 points per game to go along with 8.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists. Then again, the Lakers are just 14-20 despite his play ... perhaps necessitating the occasional road smoke break.

Lamar Odom Plantin' Roots Back In Cali!!! Renting Sweet Bachelor Pad

Turns out ya can't keep Lamar Odom out of Los Angeles ... because we've learned the former Lakers star is settling back into California, and he's picked up a swanky bachelor pad after spending some time in ATL.

A manager for Lamar tells TMZ ... he moved into his $15K-a-month rental Wednesday, just in time for the holidays. We're told he signed a 1-year lease on the home, located in The Oaks in Calabasas -- aka Kardashian territory.

The 4,445 square foot home is decked out with custom walk-in closets, a built-in BBQ area, a spa and waterfalls. The common areas are pretty awesome ... a gym, tennis courts and a clubhouse.

The house is big enough for Lamar's security and his kids, and he's excited to start a new life in this new place. FYI, when he and Khloe Kardashian tied the knot in 2009, they moved into a $4M home in Tarzana, not far from his new place.

Lamar was in Georgia for about a year ... and we're told he came to LA and was living with a friend the past few months, finally planting roots back in Cali.

Susan Derksen of Coldwell Banker held the listing.

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