NBA's Gerald Green Tattoos Kobe Bryant Play ... On Inner Bicep

Dozens of athletes and celebs have gotten Kobe Bryant tattoos in the wake of the NBA legend's passing, but Gerald Green's new Mamba ink might just top them all ...

The former NBA player -- who just announced his retirement last week -- revealed he had a pic of him defending Bryant tatted on his right arm recently.

The artwork is very cool -- it's a tat based on a photo of him trying to block Bryant's shot at the rim during a game when Green played for the Suns.

The piece is a big one ... it stretches from the top of Green's bicep almost all the way down to his inner elbow -- and it's all in black and white coloring.

Of course, Green made the move to honor Bryant -- someone he's never shied away from publicly praising.

You'll recall, Green wore a #8 Bryant jersey to a game in the days following the ex-hooper's tragic death ... saying at the time that Kobe had inspired him since he was a child.

"I don't think anybody could ever achieve the things that he did," the 35-year-old said, adding, "There will never be another number 8 or 24. Never."

The tat is just the latest in a long of famous permanent Bryant tribute pieces ... with people like LeBron James, Anthony Davis and even Snoop Dogg all getting ink to honor the Mamba.

Shaq Finally Sells Iconic Florida Mansion ... After 3 Years On The Market

Shaquille O'Neal has gotta be happy as hell right now -- the NBA legend is FINALLY parting ways with his humongous Orlando mansion after 3 years on the market!!

The 31,000-square-foot pad is insane -- it has 12 bedrooms, 11 baths and four half baths, a chef's kitchen and a fancy 17-car garage.

The lakefront property also has a 95-foot long luxury pool, a home theater with reclining seats, an aquarium room, cigar and wine bar plus a recording studio.

Of course, an NBA legend's home wouldn't be complete without a basketball court -- and this crib more than that with a 6,000 square-foot "Shaq Center" with bleachers.

TMZ's own Harvey Levin even squared up with the Hall of Famer on that same court for a quick game of one-on-one ... and hilariously lost (please don't fire us).

DENIED!
OBJECTified

Shaq's been trying to sell the crib for 3 years -- listing it at $28 million in 2018.

The price dropped several times since -- plus renovations and upgrades -- and finally sold with Benjamin Hillman of Premier Sotheby's International Realty for an undisclosed amount, according to People.

Congrats to the new homeowners!!

Browns' D'Ernest Johnson Freaks Out Over LeBron Shout-out ... 'That's Amazing, Bro'

LEBRON JAMES?!
Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns running back D'Ernest Johnson was in complete shock when he found out LeBron James showed him love after his breakout game Thursday night ... giving a hilarious reaction to the shout-out!!

25-year-old Johnson balled out against the Denver Broncos in his first NFL start, rushing for 146 yards and a touchdown on the ground and adding 22 yards through the air.

LeBron -- a diehard Browns fan as of a few years ago -- took note of the performance and tweeted his support for DJ Thursday night ... saying, "D’ Ernest Johnson on 1 tonight!! Love to see it! #Browns"

Johnson got wind of the shoutout during his postgame presser, and he could not believe it.

"What? LeBron?! Man, that's my favorite basketball player, I ain't gonna lie to you," Johnson said. "LeBron?! LeBron?! Bro, that's big time. That's amazing, bro."

"LeBron James, I appreciate it, man. That means a lot."

Johnson's teammate, Anthony Walker, was also star struck ... saying, "That's big time right there."

BTW, Johnson's story is incredible -- he spent a year working on a fishing boat catching mahi-mahi after going undrafted out of the University of South Florida in 2018. When the Alliance of American Football debuted in 2019, he DMed every team in hopes of getting back on the field.

After spending 8 games with the AAF's Orlando Apollos, he joined the Browns in 2019 as a backup. With Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt out with injuries, Johnson stepped up and helped Cleveland get the much-needed win on TNF.

So, did Johnson celebrate the big win with some mahi-mahi??

"Definitely not having no mahi-mahi, probably have some salmon, but not mahi-mahi."

Congrats on the big game, D!!

Adele, Rich Paul Hello From The Courtside ... Cozy Up At Laker Game

It was "Bring Your Music Star Girlfriend To Work Day" for Rich Paul -- the NBA super-agent hit up the Laker game with Adele on Tuesday ... with the couple looking cozy out in public together.

There were a large number of VIPs at Staples Center to watch LeBron James and Anthony Davis face off against the Golden State Warriors ... and Paul had a front-row seat to keep an eye on his superstar clients.

Adele and Rich refrained from much PDA -- after all, it's kinda a business event for the Klutch Sports founder -- but the couple was spotted sitting close and friendly throughout the night.

Justin Bieber and Usher pulled up to watch the game as well ... with Kevin Hart stopping by to share some jokes.

James Corden, Lily Collins and Kid Cudi were also in attendance ... with the latter reppin' his very own "Space Jam" Tune Squad jersey.

Jack Nicholson also made a rare appearance at the game -- remember, he used to hit up every home game he could ... but more recently, he has been much less frequent.

All the stars were able to check out King James' 34-point performance and AD's 33, but the home team ended up losing 121-114.

LeBron James Rocks $1,000 Prada Sneakers ... To Lakers Game

LeBron James may be Nike's billion-dollar man, but the guy still loves incredibly expensive designer sneakers ... 'cause the NBA superstar rocked $1,000 Prada shoes on his way to the Lakers game on Wednesday.

LBJ went full Bruce Wayne as he made his way to Staples Center for the season opener against the Golden State Warriors ... wearing an all-black Thom Browne suit and the clunky kicks to round out the look.

As it turns out, the "Cloudbust Thunder Technical Fabric Sneakers" come with a hefty price tag -- more than 5 times the amount his own signature sneaks cost.

Remember, LBJ is tied to the Swoosh for life with a deal reportedly worth 10 figures back in 2016 ... after initially signing with Nike back in 2003.

LBJ was clearly sending a message with his wardrobe choice as he heads into season 19 -- saying, "Bron Wayne/🦇. Put the logo in the sky and I got it from there" on Instagram.

James certainly had his Batman moments during the game, but it seems like he needs more Robins -- the Lakers lost 121-114.

John C. Reilly, Jason Segel Shoot 1980s Lakers TV Show In L.A. ... It's 'Showtime'!!

CINEMA CELEBRATION
BACKGRID

Decades after they won their first ring, the Showtime Lakers turnt up at a championship parade in Los Angeles -- and everyone from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Magic Johnson was in attendance -- sorta.

John C. Reilly and Jason Segel are starring in an upcoming HBO drama series showcasing the 1980s Showtime Lakers ... and we have video of the actors shooting a scene in L.A.

Reilly is playing team owner Jerry Buss and Segel, assistant coach Paul Westhead. In the scene, the team -- wearing "LOS ANGELES LAKERS WORLD CHAMPIONS 1980" t-shirts -- celebrate with the Walter A. Brown trophy (now the Larry O'Brien trophy, since 1984).

Also in the scene is actor Solomon Hughes ... who's playing Kareem. Actor Quincy Isaiah, who's from Magic's home state of Michigan, is portraying the legendary point guard.

The Showtime Lakers -- led by Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar -- were basically unstoppable ... winning 5 championships in the 1980s. ('80, '82, '85, '87, '88).

And, their impact wasn't just felt on the court ... when Buss bought the team in 1979, he made Lakers games the place to be -- and be seen.

He introduced the Lakers Girls and live music at The Forum ... and the crowds often featured A-list celebs sitting courtside.

The series -- inspired by Jeff Pearlman's book, Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s -- will also feature Adrien Brody (Pat Riley), Michael Chiklis (Red Auerbach) and Sally Field (Jessie Buss).

HBO has not yet announced when the show will drop.

Rajon Rondo I Nearly Cried After Fan Ovation ... In Lakers Return

LAKER LOVE
TMZSports.com

Fans gave Rajon Rondo the warmest of welcomes in his big return to the Lakers over the weekend ... and the NBA guard says he was so touched by the gesture, he nearly cried.

Of course, Rondo played with the purple and gold for 2 seasons ... winning a ring alongside LeBron James and Co. in 2020, before bolting for the Atlanta Hawks and L.A. Clippers.

But, Rondo is back on board with the Lakers in 2021 ... and the fans gave him an epic welcome back during their first preseason game on Sunday.

Rondo -- who was working at Taco AF in L.A. on Monday in honor of National Taco Day -- spoke with TMZ Sports about the unforgettable moment ... saying he had to quickly get his composure back, 'cause he almost broke down in tears.

"I almost cried again last night," Rondo told us. "It means everything. I was away for a year ... came back and the reception I got last night, I had to try to focus on the game."

"The love I got, the attention from the crowd getting back in the game. It was amazing."

TACO TAKEOVER
TMZSports.com

BTW, Rondo's involvement at Tacos AF was just as amazing -- a portion of all sales on Monday went towards the Downtown Women's Center, which helps homeless women in the area. Plus, fans were able to meet the NBAer as he whipped up and passed out tacos!!

Even rapper O.T. Genasis came through to test out Rondo's tacos -- and judging by his reaction, they were bomb!!

Awesome to see Rondo picking up right where he left off in helping the area.

Welcome back to the Lake Show!!

Drew Pearson I Could Turn LeBron Into HOF Receiver ... Just Join The Cowboys!!!

LEBRON, LET'S WORK!
TMZSports.com

LeBron James ... 4-time NBA champ AND Pro Football Hall of Famer?!

Drew Pearson says he can make that a reality for the King ... telling TMZ Sports if Bron switched to football and joined the Cowboys, he could turn the Lakers star into a HOF receiver!!

"If I had a chance to work with him at wide receiver or tight end, he'd become a Hall of Famer, that's for sure," Pearson said.

"He'd become a Hall of Famer because he's got that talent, and with my coaching, I can coach him up to become a Hall of Famer and get one of these rings."

Pearson added that Jerry Jones and the Cowboys would be more than willing to give the basketball player a shot ... saying, "We got a contract for you."

"If you want a contract," the Cowboys legend said, "you come to Dallas, we'll make sure it works. I know Jerry Jones will make that work."

Of course, Jones has already sent LeBron a contract once before ... with James saying this week the 'Boys -- along with the Seahawks -- offered him deals back in 2011.

Seems, though, James is content fighting for yet another NBA title ... but, hey, if a change of mind goes down -- we're pretty sure Drew's waiting!

LeBron James I Got The Vaccine ... But I Won't Urge Others To Do Same

NOT MY JOB
Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James just confirmed he is, in fact, vaccinated ... but he said he will not urge others to do the same, explaining, "That's not my job."

The NBA superstar broke down his feelings on the COVID vax at Lakers media day Tuesday ... saying to reporters he was initially skeptical of the shots -- but decided to get them after doing his research.

Still, James said he had no interest in pleading with others -- including his NBA peers -- to follow in his footsteps ... believing it's a decision each person must make on their own.

"We're talking about individuals' bodies," LeBron said. "We're not talking about something that's political, or racism, or police brutality. Things of that nature. We're talking about people's bodies and well being."

"So, I don't feel like, for me personally, that I should get involved in what other people should do for their bodies and their livelihoods."

James compared it to giving out job advice -- explaining he would never tell someone how to choose their own career paths.

"You have to do what's best for your family," LeBron said. "So, I know what I did for me and my family. I know some of my friends and what they did for their families."

"But as far as speaking for everybody and their individualities and things that they want to do, I don't feel like that -- that's not my job."

James said the Lakers -- who will head into the season with a 100 percent vaccination rate -- never talked as a team about getting the vaccine ... reiterating he wanted it all to be a choice each individual made on their own.

LeBron James I Was Offered NFL Contracts By Jerry Jones & Pete Carroll

LeBron James says he almost played in the NFL, telling Eli and Peyton Manning the Cowboys and Seahawks both offered him a contracts during the NBA lockout in 2011.

Bron joined the Manning Bros during their "Monday Night Football" broadcast ... when the Giants legend asked James if it were true that Dallas recruited him back in the day, with Eli asking if he had "any temptation to put the uniform on and go play for the Cowboys?”

"That's true, Jerry Jones offered me a contract. Also, Pete Carroll did as well, in Seattle during our lockout time," LeBron told Eli and Peyton.

"It definitely got my blood flowing again. Got my mind racing again thinking about the game of football, being out there on Sundays."

Unfortunately for Cowboys and Seahawks fans, Bron says NBA players and owners quickly worked through their differences, and lockout ended shortly after.

"We were able to get a deal done in the NBA and I was back on the court in no time, but I definitely thought about it. I still got the jerseys too, that Jerry and Pete Carroll sent me from 2011."

Eli asked which position teams envisioned the 6'8", 250+ lb. basketball legend playing -- wide receiver, tight end?

“Yeah, more tight end, tight end," LeBron answered ... "I wanted to be a red-zone specialist like Gronk.”

You'll recall, James was a talented receiver in high school, playing for St.-Vincent-St. Mary’s football team … even getting recruited by several Division 1 schools (for football).

He smashed the competition during his junior year ... racking up 57 receptions, 1,160 yards, and 16 TDs.

Great numbers ... but safe to say his decision to quit football and focus on hooping turned out well for the future Hall of Famer.

But, not even Peyton could stop himself from imagining what it would've been like to throw the ball up to a freakishly big, strong, and talented athlete.

“I would have thrown so many touchdowns to LeBron, put him out wide, throw the ball, throw the fade, jump ball. 75 touchdowns.”

Defenses, you're lucky ...

Lakers Fan Sues LAPD Cop ... You Shot Me In the Head W/ A Rubber Bullet

An L.A. Lakers fan is suing an LAPD cop ... claiming the officer shot him in the head with a rubber bullet while he was peacefully celebrating the Lakers championship last year, and now he wants the officer to pay up.

The fan, Kimberly Marroquin, filed the civil lawsuit Thursday in California … claiming she was peacefully and legally celebrating the 'ship against the Miami Heat on October 11, 2020 ... around 9:15 PM.

"Without warning or provocation", the suit reads, the officer "shot [Marroquin] in the head with a less lethal rubber projectile round."

Marroquin was "unarmed and never posed a threat," according to the lawsuit.

She’s going after an unnamed officer, the Captain she claims was responsible for overseeing the area where she was celebrating, and the City of Los Angeles.

As a result of the alleged excessive force, the plaintiff claims she "suffered severe pain and suffering, mental anguish, humiliation, and emotional distress, and incurred economic losses" from mounting medical bills.

The lawsuit also accuses the LAPD of failing to properly train their officers ... as well as refusing to punish cops who screw up.

Marroquin is asking for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, medical costs, and attorneys' fees. The exact amount she's seeking is unclear.

We've reached out to the LAPD, who told us they don't comment on pending litigation.

We also reached out to the city. They told us they will review the complaint, and would have no further comment at the time.

LeBron James COVID-19 Vaccine Mystery Solved ... GM Says Lakers Will Be Fully Vaxxed

LeBron James may not want to talk about it, but the NBA superstar did get -- or is getting -- the COVID-19 vaccine ... so says GM Rob Pelinka, who claims the whole Lakers roster will be fully vaxxed by the start of the season.

King James has danced around the question for months ... electing to keep his vaccine decision a family matter.

But, Pelinka revealed L.A.'s entire roster will, in fact, be at 100% vaccination status when the season kicks off ... and in case you didn't know, LBJ is on the Lakers.

"On opening night, all of the players that are currently signed on our roster will be deemed fully vaccinated," Pelinka told reporters Thursday. "We’re grateful for that."

Pelinka says it's a sigh of relief to know the team and staff members will not face any setbacks due to people within the organization being unvaccinated.

Of course, LeBron previously brushed the topic off ... calling it "not a big deal" back in May.

"Anything I do off the floor is predicated to my family for the majority or 99.9% of that," James said at the time.

"It’s about the health and safety of my family," he added. "That’s what it came down to. Being available to my teammates on the floor is about taking care of my body and me doing everything I can to make sure I’m available both mentally, physically and spiritually as well."

"But, anything of that nature is all family talk."

There was strong indication Bron had been vaccinated prior to the first round of the NBA playoffs last season ... when the league explained he would not have to quarantine following an appearance at an outdoor event.

Had he not been vaxxed, James would have been forced to stay away from the team for a period of time.

Now, all speculation can be put to rest.

Dwight Howard 'Masked Singer' Even Surprised Mom ... I Kept Her in the Dark!!!

FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAM
TMZ.com

Dwight Howard says his own mother was shocked while watching her fave show -- "The Masked Singer" -- because she found out her baby boy was the "Octopus!!!"

The NBA veteran, and current L.A. Lakers star, joined us on "TMZ Live" Thursday to tell us all about his experience on the Fox show -- and why he went to great lengths to keep his appearance top secret from his mom.

It's super sweet ... Dwight says she was just like every other viewer across the country, watching his unmasking after he'd dropped a pretty good version of the Little Richard classic, "Tutti Frutti."

Keep in mind, he pulled that off while being 6'10" and draped in his heavy costume and headgear.

Unfortunately for the Howard fam, Dwight was eliminated at the end of Wednesday night's season premiere, but it sounds like she'll continue watching even though he got the boot.

It's a fun conversation ... and Dwight tells us why a family connection inspired his song choice.

Lakers Gift Newborns With Kobe Bryant Gear ... To Honor Mamba's Birthday

The L.A. Lakers honored Kobe Bryant's birthday Monday by passing on the gift of Lakeshow fandom to newborn babies ... and the gesture was AWESOME.

Lakers officials teamed up with UCLA Health to hook up some lucky parents and their newborns with Mamba gifts -- and they added a sweet "Welcome to the World!" letter with the swag bag.

In the note, the Lakers explained in order to pay homage to Kobe's birthday, they were passing along shirts and other KB gear.

KOBE GEAR FOR THE KIDDOS
@lakers / Instagram

"On this special day, we want to honor Kobe Bryant and celebrate you," Lakers officials wrote in the letter.

"Kobe loved his family, and so this Kobe Day, we're giving you and your family three shirts: two for your loved ones and one for you to grow into someday."

They concluded the letter, "Lakers family is for life."

The gift bundle not only included classic #24 Lakers shirts, it also came with a #8 baby cap and even a little baby Lakers blanket!

L.A. shared video of the happy families holding up their shirts with their newborns ... and it was all adorable.

Bryant -- who was killed in a helicopter crash in January 2020 -- would have turned 43 this week.

#RIP

Vanessa Bryant Birthday Message To Kobe ... 'Te Amo Por Siempre'

Vanessa Bryant is honoring Kobe Bryant on his 43rd birthday by posting a heartfelt message to her late husband ... saying she will love him forever.

The tributes have been pouring in for the NBA legend on Monday ... with the Lakers, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Wilson and more sharing messages of love.

Vanessa shared a picture of the couple kissing and posing with the Larry O'Brien trophy after winning one of his 5 championships on Instagram just minutes ago ... saying, "Happy birthday, Papi. Te Amo por siempre. Amor Eterno. ❤️💔 43."

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, passed away in a tragic helicopter crash in January 2020 ... and Vanessa has previously opened up on the "unimaginable" pain she's gone through since the accident.

"Lying in bed crying isn't going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again," Vanessa told People.com back in March ... "But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that's what I do."

RIP Black Mamba.

Devin Booker Boozy Lunch With Kendall Jenner ... After Romantic Lake Trip

Devin Booker's offseason of love is still going strong ... 'cause after a romantic lake trip with Kendall Jenner, he sipped booze with the model at a lunch in NY -- and, yeah, the NBA star sure looks smitten.

The attractive couple hit up a party for Jenner's 818 Tequila brand at Sunset Beach Hotel on Shelter Island on Wednesday ... with Booker playing the role of proud BF as he watched Jenner celebrate the success of her alcohol.

Booker was seen smiling, laughing and schmoozing with Jenner's friends ... and we're told Kendall couldn't have been happier to have her tequila with her man by her side.

Of course, Booker and KJ have been inseparable since his triumphant return from the Tokyo Olympics ... they were just spotted enjoying other's company on a lake earlier this week.

In fact, Jenner proudly displayed her BF's new gold medal while rockin' a tiny bikini on their boat.

The two have been dating for over a year now ... and sure have been hot and heavy through the last few months -- with Jenner even hitting the road to see most of his playoff games.

Begs the question ... even though Booker didn't get an NBA championship bling this year -- is a wedding ring in the cards??

Probably not ... but maybe?!?!

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