NBA's Ja Morant Gets Baby Giraffe Named After Him ... Meet Ja Raffe!!!

9:31 AM PT -- Ja has officially met Ja Raffe -- with the Grizzlies star hitting up the Memphis Zoo to hang out with his new friend on Friday.

The team posted the adorable introduction ... with Ja getting selfies and even entering Ja Raffe's cage to feed him.

"'Ja' Raffe was born a legend," Morant said of his new friend.

This is the type of content we love to see.


You win Rookie of the Year, you get the giraffe -- or should we say, Ja Raffe!! -- 'cause Grizzlies star Ja Morant officially has a baby giraffe named after him at the Memphis Zoo!!

And, we must say ... it's JA-mazing!!

The zoo announced its newest addition to the fam on Thursday ... saying it welcomed a baby boy on Nov. 10.

Fresh off Ja's JA-dropping rookie campaign -- he averaged nearly 18 points and 7 assists a game for Memphis -- the place decided to JAnor the 21-year-old with the long-necked namesake.

"We have some new hooves on the African Veldt. His name is Ja Raffe to celebrate @memgrizz’s @JaMorant winning @NBA Rookie of the year," the zoo said on Twitter ... revealing the cute baby giraffe in a video.

Ja hasn't spoken about the big token of JA-ppreciation from the zoo just yet ... but we're sure he's JA-st thrilled.

We take it they're saving the bear naming for when Ja wins MVP??

Originally Published -- 11/19 7:46 AM PT

NBA's Justise Winslow Stoked About Trade To Grizzlies ... 'I Love Memphis!'


Most dudes wouldn't be too happy to leave South Beach ... but Justise Winslow tells TMZ Sports that ain't the case -- saying he's elated to join the Memphis Grizzlies!!!

Of course, Winslow played his whole career with the Heat before getting shipped off to Elvis' old stomping grounds as part of the Andre Iguodala deal.

We spoke with the 23-year-old over the weekend about the move ... and he's stoked for the fresh start.

"It's great!," JW tells us. "I love it here! Everybody's been very receiving and excited for me, so I just continue to try and get healthy and make an impact."

It's gonna be a minute before Winslow takes the court for the Grizz -- he's currently recovering from a back injury that's kept him out for a chunk of the season. But it's clear he's excited to join his team on the court when he's ready.

We asked about adjusting to the big differences between Miami and Memphis ... and Grizzlies fans should be excited about his response.

Ja Morant Trolls Steph Curry With Pic Of KD ... Amid Iguodala Beef

Ja Morant might still be a rookie, but he's a seasoned vet in TALKIN' TRASH ... 'cause he just clapped back at Steph Curry for getting involved in his beef with Andre Iguodala with an epic troll job!!!

To get y'all up to speed ... 36-year-old Iggy is currently a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, but it was understood he'd be traded to a contender of his choice before Thursday's trade deadline.

The situation has current Grizzlies players pissed, with Dillon Brooks saying "I can't wait 'til we find a way to trade him so we can play him and show him really what Memphis is about."

Ja echoed Brooks' comments ... and Curry went to Instagram to defend his ex-teammate by posting a pic of Andre holding the NBA championship trophy along with a "shut up" emoji.

20-year-old Morant didn't back down though ... clapping right back with a pic of Kevin Durant, insinuating the Warriors wouldn't have all those rings if it weren't for KD.

As entertaining as it would be for Morant to go out and just start disrespectin' the Dubs dynasty, the young hooper made it VERY clear he's a fan of Curry's game ... and was just keeping it real.

A lot more can go down before Thursday's deadline ... and we're guessing the drama keeps coming.

Zach Randolph Calls Off NBA Comeback Plans ... After 17 Seasons


It's a wrap for Z-Bo ... Zach Randolph tells TMZ Sports he's ending his NBA comeback plans once and for all.

It's not Earth-shattering news considering 38-year-old Randolph hasn't played in the league since the 2017-18 season, but he had been floating the idea of a return for months.

In fact, back in June, Randolph seemed interested in a comeback, telling us he was "back to training" and was hoping to sign a deal with a team for the 2019-20 season.

But, that didn't happen ... and when we saw Randolph at Staples Center for the big Lakers vs. Clippers Christmas Day matchup, he was pretty matter of fact about his future.

Randolph had a pretty stellar career -- he was a 1st-round pick in 2001, a 2-time NBA All-Star ... and became a Memphis Grizzlies legend during his run there.

As for cash, he reportedly made nearly $200 MILLION on contract money during his career ... so yeah, NOT BAD AT ALL!!

So, what's next for Randolph? He's growing his music label ... but really, when you have $200 mil, you can do whatever you want!!

Oh, we also spoke with Randolph about NBA rookie sensation Ja Morant -- and shocker, Randolph thinks he's got all sorts of potential!

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


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.

Nick Van Exel Hilarious Iced Coffee Discovery ... 'It Tastes So Good'


Ex-NBA player Nick Van Exel is just now finding out coffee doesn't have to be hot ... and we're so happy he did, 'cause it's the best thing on the internet today.

The Memphis Grizzlies assistant coach lost his iced coffee virginity on Saturday ... and the dude has been so obsessed ever since, he even tweets about it before he goes to bed at night.

Now, NVE is 47 years old ... so that means the dude went a LONG time without the delicious cold beverages ... and he's letting everyone know how pissed he is for not telling him sooner.

"Just wanted to let everybody know -- all my Twitter followers, everybody that's in my phone, my friends, my family -- real disappointed in y'all that y'all didn't let me know about iced coffee before," Van Exel says.

"Real disappointed, but since it tastes so good, i'll forgive y'all."

Wait 'til we tell him about iced cappuccinos.

NBA's Chandler Parsons Splits with Model Cassie Amato ... The Bachelor Is Back!!!

Two beautiful people are back on the market ... NBA star Chandler Parsons and model Cassie Amato have broken up, TMZ Sports has learned.

But, you know what that means ... THE RETURN OF BACHELOR CHANDLER!!!

We're told the split wasn't nasty or anything ... they just grew apart and ultimately decided things weren't working out. They only dated for a year so it ain't the end of the world.

Plus, he's been based in Memphis while playing for the Grizzlies while she's an L.A. girl who operates out of Bel-Air (though we're told he'll be in L.A. this summer too).

The signs were there ... Parsons hasn't posted a photo of Cassie since October and he's essentially been scrubbed from her IG page too.

Speaking of her IG page, she's ridiculously good looking and instantly becomes one of the hottest single chicks in L.A.

Don't feel too bad for Chandler, he's gonna be just fine ... tall, handsome and entering the last year of his 4-year $94 MILLION contract with the Grizzlies.

Parsons has a reputation for dating beautiful women ... from Bella Thorne to Toni Garrn and Arianny Celeste.

Chandler Parsons My Playboy Days Are Over, Ladies 'But I Had a Hell of a Run'


Bad news, groupies -- Chandler Parsons says he's officially "a one-woman man" ... ending a truly epic run for the NBA's #1 stud.

But Chandler ain't gonna deny he was killin' the game earlier in his career, telling TMZ Sports, "I had a hell of a run."

We got Parsons up in the Bev Hills ... and asked him what it felt like to be the league's hottest bro -- having shacked up with celebs like Bella Thorne, Arianny Celeste, Toni Garrn and (maybe) Hailey Baldwin.

You could tell Chandler was down with it, but the Grizzlies star was quick to tell us he's only got love for smokin' hot model GF, Cassie Amato, these days.

Yeah, we know it's easy for any hooper to end up like Tristan Thompson ... but these pics make us wanna believe.

Stay strong, Chan-Dog.

NBA's Lorenzen Wright Ex-Wife Arrested, Charged for His Murder

The ex-wife of slain NBA star Lorenzen Wright is locked up in Southern California ... after cops busted her in connection with his murder.

TMZ Sports got Sherra Wright's mug shot. The Riverside County Sheriff's Dept. busted her Friday evening on a fugitive warrant for murder -- which was issued in Tennessee. Memphis police have charged her with 1st degree murder and conspiracy.

Lorenzen -- who played 14 years in the NBA -- was murdered 7 years ago. His remains were found in the woods, 10 days after he was seen leaving Sherra's Tennessee home.

The case had gone cold until recently -- police found the murder weapon in a lake, and earlier this month arrested Billy Turner and charged him with 1st degree murder.

Police aren't saying yet what the alleged connection is between Turner and Lorenzen's ex-wife ... who is sitting in jail pending extradition to Tennessee. Reports say they went to the same church.

She was also charged with criminal attempt to commit murder because police say there was a previous attempt on Lorenzen's life.

Matt Barnes I'm Retiring! ... 'Cool 15 Year Run'

It's over for Matt Barnes ... the scrappy NBA star has announced he's retiring after a "cool 15 year run."

"Traveled the world met alota cool people, some will be brothers for the rest of my life," Barnes posted on social media.

Barnes was drafted by the Memphis Grizzles in the 2nd round of the 2002 NBA Draft -- and went on to play with the Clippers, Kings, Lakers, Warriors and more.

He was a part of the Warriors team that won the championship in 2017.

37-year-old Barnes says he'll be focusing on expanding his businesses and spending more time with his kids ... and hopes to be a billionaire by the time he's 50!

He reportedly made more than $31 mil during his career ... so, not a bad start!

Kristaps Porzingis Holds Court with Hot Blonde ... at NYC Nightclub


Think Kristaps Porzingis called it a night after his triumphant return at MSG on Wednesday?

Hell no ... KP put in OT at the club with a smokin' hot chick!!

The Knicks superstar kept it flowin' at Marquee ... cuddling up with a mystery blonde outside the venue before they bounced to the after-party.

Unclear if she's Zinger's GF -- but they look pretty cute together.

Either way, Kristaps was cool enough to make time for all the fanboys flanking him on the street ... talkin' hoops and droppin' high-5s like the true King of NY (sorry, LeBron).

Getting healthy and beating the Grizzlies was cool -- but it's clear KP's biggest W came off the court.

NBA's Lorenzen Wright Arrest Made In 2010 Murder ... Mug Shot of Alleged Killer

A man named Billy Turner has been arrested and charged for the murder of Lorenzen Wright ... over 7 years after the NBA vet was shot and killed in a Memphis suburb ... and we have the mug shot.

The Memphis Police Department and Shelby County District Attorney's office held a press conference on Tuesday to announce that Turner, 46, had been indicted and charged with the 1st-degree murder of Wright.

Turner is currently in custody on a $1 million bond.

Lorenzen's remains were found in a wooded area on July 28, 2010 ... 10 days after the 34-year-old was last seen leaving his ex-wife's residence in Collierville, Tennessee.

The case went cold for years ... but there was a major break last month when cops discovered the gun they believed was used to kill Wright ... in a lake about 50 miles from Wright's body.

Lorenzen was a star at the University of Memphis, and played 14 seasons in the NBA -- including 5 with his hometown Memphis Grizzlies.

Jermaine Dupri LeBron's Right We Need Answers On David Fizdale Firing


LeBron James is 100% right to call out David Fizdale getting axed by the Grizzlies -- so says Jermaine Dupri, who tells TMZ Sports someone's gotta explain the shocking decision.

FYI, LeBron went to bat for his former Heat assistant coach on Monday ... after Fizdale got the boot less than a quarter of the way into the season.

"I need some answers. Feels like my man was a fall guy," James said.

Dupri echoed LeBron when we got him outside Poppy in L.A.

"We need a little understanding! What's the reason?"

Most are chalking it up to a beef between Fizdale and Marc Gasol ... so you can see why it ain't sitting well with 'Bron and J.D.

Chandler Parsons Reacts to Fizdale Firing: 'It's a Cold World'


Chandler Parsons is going to bat for David Fizdale less than 24 hours after his coach was canned by the Memphis Grizzlies ... saying it was an ice-cold move by the franchise.

"It's a cold world, man," Parsons told TMZ Sports at LAX. "Fiz is a good dude, great coach. I learned a lot from him so I got nothing but good things to say about him."

Chandler says he ain't surprised that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and other NBA superstars have called out the move ... given Fizdale's body of work.

That said, Parsons wasn't about to fuel speculation that Fiz and Marc Gasol beefing is the reason he got the ax -- "I honestly have no idea."

Hailey Baldwin Bikini Sunbathing ... With NBA Star

NBA star Chandler Parsons continues to surround himself with some of the hottest women in Hollywood -- this time, he was out sunbathing in L.A. with model Hailey Baldwin.

The two caught some rays at the pool at the Montage in Beverly Hills -- and we're told the poolside tourists couldn't take their eyes off 'em ... probably due to the fact he's 6'10" and she looks insane in a bikini.

So, let's get to the point -- are they banging? Our sources say no -- they're just good friends who've known each other for a while and hang out when they're in the same city.

Too bad ... for both of 'em.

Chandler Parsons & Bella Thorne Movie Date After Mexico Kiss

NBA star Chandler Parsons has a big fan in Bella Thorne ... they're not only going to see movies together, they also shared a kiss in Mexico.

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