Miami Heat and Boston Celtics players took a knee during the national anthem prior to tip-off Wednesday ... with both teams releasing a powerful message following the Jacob Blake decision and unrest in D.C.
The Celtics reportedly held a players-only meeting during warmups ... presumably to figure out how to address the current status of the country and whether the game would take place.
The result -- a joint statement from both teams explaining their decision to play.
"2021 is a new year, but some things have not changed," the players said in a statement. "We play tonight’s game with a heavy heart after yesterday’s decision in Kenosha, and knowing that protesters in our nation's capital are treated differently by political leaders depending on what side of certain issues they are on."
"The drastic difference between the way protesters this past spring and summer were treated and the encouragement given to today’s protesters who acted illegally just shows how much work we have to do."
Of course, the players are referring to the Trump supporters who broke into the Capitol just hours ago ... breaking through barriers and jumping over walls to enter the building.
Miami center Meyers Leonard was the only Heat player to stand for the anthem (as he did throughout the 2020 season restart in Orlando) ... while every Celtics player elected to take a knee.
The statement continued ... "We have decided to play tonight’s game to try and bring joy into people's lives."
"But we must not forget the injustices in our society, and we will continue to use our voices and our platform to highlight these issues and do everything we can to work for a more equal and just America."
Duncan Robinson is known for his shooting, but the Miami Heat hooper came up with a huge assist this weekend ... by donating 10,000 meals to help those in need this holiday season.
TMZ Sports has learned ... the 26-year-old ex-Michigan star was in the giving spirit on Saturday ... so he teamed up with A-Sha Foods to help put meals on the table for the people of South Florida.
Robinson ended up hand-delivering his contribution on Saturday in Pembroke Park, FL ... rolling up his sleeves and personally helping dish out the packs of ramen noodles.
It's been a great 2020 for Robinson -- the dude had a breakout season and averaged 13 points per game after 3 points per game in his rookie campaign.
Robinson also played a huge role in the Heat's NBA Finals run in the bubble ... so yeah, there were plenty of reasons to be thankful this year.
Props to Robinson for stepping up!!
Tyler Herro came up with the perfect way to get over his NBA Finals loss ... by heading off to a tropical destination only he and his stunning GF can go -- TURKS AND CAKE!!!!
The 20-year-old Miami Heat rookie had his coming out party during this year's playoffs ... and proved to be one of the best young hoopers in the game.
His shooting is just as good OFF the court -- linking up with fitness guru and model Katya Elise Henry earlier this year during quarantine.
Now, the young lovers are taking in some R&R following the Heat's 4-2 loss to the Lakers in the Finals .. hitting up Turks and Caicos for a romantic getaway ... and the views are 🔥🔥🔥!!!
"summertime fine , winter time cold too," Herro captioned a steamy pic on Instagram ... quoting his buddy/rapper Jack Harlow's song, "RAIN."
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Remember, Herro starred in Harlow's new music video -- perfectly titled "Tyler Herro" -- last week ... so the dude's been living the rock star life so far this off-season.
As for Katya, she posted several sexy shots from aboard a boat and at the pool ... using her creative nickname for their baecation location to include some 🍰.
We can't emphasize this enough -- keep doing what you're doing, love birds. We're all jealous.
12:24 PM PT -- 10/22 -- Not only is the song named after Herro ... but the dude got to star alongside Harlow in the music video too!!
The visuals for "Tyler Herro" dropped minutes ago ... with the vid featuring scenes of JH and TH reciting lyrics while throwing up shots on a basketball court.
Harlow also drops a line about the Heat rookie ... saying, "My homeboy, Tyler, he play in South Beach. He told me this summer he gon' fix my jumper."
The 20-year-old star has made headlines throughout his first year in the Association -- from insane highlights on the court to dating smoking hot model Katya Elise Henry.
On the heels of balling out in the NBA Finals, the former Kentucky Wildcat is getting something most athletes only dream of ... with the "I Wanna See Some Ass" MC announcing the track, "Tyler Herro," coming out Thursday.
The gesture is a pretty big deal -- Harlow is a die-hard Louisville Cardinals fan ... and Herro played at rival UK before becoming a 1st-rounder in the NBA.
But, the rivalry didn't stop Harlow from exchanging jerseys with Herro to promote the album ... and including the young hooper in the single art.
Best rookie year ever?! ... eh, close.
Originally Published -- 10/21 1:43 PM PT
Rihanna isn't rocking with anyone who is NOT on the Lakers wagon ... but for those who are, she's got a tune for ya.
RiRi and her crew belted out "We Are the Champions" Sunday night to celebrate the Lakers bringing home their 17th NBA championship -- and while it might seem cliché for most people ... she makes it awesome.
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Rihanna went with a classic yellow Kobe Bryant #24 jersey, and accessorized with purple and gold balloons for her Lake Show party. It's unclear where this bash went down, but looks like she was next to an RV.
She captioned her video, "if you ain’t on this time right now...bye. Lebron remains king 💪🏿 Lakers are the champs 💜💛 and Kobe is proud 🙏🏿 A.D thank you! #🏆 #Congratulations."
Meanwhile ... Dr. Dre -- a huge Lakers fan -- was hanging out with Rick Ross, a huge Heat fan. The Doc couldn't help himself but give The Boss a hard time after the Lakers wrapped up the series, 4 games to 2. Dre reminded Rick, "That's what it is! The Lake Show!"
Poor Rick, all he could do was sit there and take it. We don't know if these guys had money on the game, but if so ... they can both afford to pay up.
From "quarantine and chill" to victory kisses -- Miami Heat star Tyler Herro and GF Katya Elise Henry are going strong in the NBA bubble ... celebrating his huge win with some smooches on the court!!
It's been one helluva pandemic for the 20-year-old baller -- remember, the dude pulled up from DEEP and started flirting with the model on social media back in March.
Things got serious in no time ... and now they're one of the hottest young couples in sports.
Speaking of hot, Herro is coming off his best series of the playoffs against the Boston Celtics ... earning a career-high 37 points in Game 4.
As for KEH, she's been cheering for him from inside the bubble since earlier this month ... and was present for the Heat's series-clinching win on Sunday.
Next up, LeBron James and the Lakers ... and we take it Henry will be cheering her man on in the NBA Finals.
Best rookie year EVER?!
DJ Khaled went ballistic celebrating the Miami Heat's win over the Celtics on Sunday ... jumping and screaming like a mad man -- and the whole thing was caught on video!!!
The 44-year-old -- who's been a Heat fan for YEARS -- was catching the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals game in a living room somewhere ... when Miami pulled out the series win.
That's when Khaled went CRAZY ... grabbing his drink, woooooing like Ric Flair and hopping around like a little kid!!
Ya gotta watch the clip ... the dude is SUPER PUMPED for his favorite team -- and said of the victory afterward, "WE IN THE FINALS !!!!!!!!"
Khaled then gave an epic pump-up speech about his squad ... boasting about all their championships and saying straight-up the air conditioning in Miami's locker room "pours out greatness!!"
But hey, major key alert ... enjoy the moment for now!!!
Jimmy Butler says he refuses to let his family join him inside the NBA bubble in Orlando ... because it's a "business trip" and he doesn't want to be distracted!
The Miami Heat star explained himself to "NBA on TNT" sideline reporter Allie LaForce -- who passed it along to viewers Monday night while Butler was DROPPIN' 40 on the Milwaukee Bucks.
LaForce said while some players and coaches were excited to finally welcome wives girlfriends and children into the bubble -- people they haven't seen in person in months -- Jimmy was drawing a hard line.
"No offense to families but Jimmy Butler said, 'This is a business trip for me. I’m not messing around.'"
"Everyone wants to have their family, without a doubt. But we’ve been doing this for this long. What’s another couple of months?"
Jimmy concluded, "It is an individual decision and I respect that decision that my teammates make but for me, I’m here for business.”
Butler has a baby daughter back home who's about to turn one in October ... but she'll have to chill out before Daddy can celebrate!
Meanwhile, Butler has definitely been handling business -- he played spectacularly Monday night ... and has led the Heat to the Conference Semifinals, where they're already up 1-0 on the mighty Bucks.
Of course, not everyone feels the same as Jimmy -- Toronto Raptors star Fred VanVleet brought his family into the Bubble this week ... and the reunion was ADORABLE!
The NBA has warned players to make sure their guests don't wild out at games -- no cussing, no storming the court, etc.
Butler doesn't want those responsibilities.
TMZ Sports obtained audio of the farewell speech LeBron James gave to the "Space Jam" cast and crew on his last day of shooting ... and it's emotional stuff.
The NBA superstar addressed the cast and crew in Summer 2019 (before the COVID pandemic) ... and explained why it was so important for him to take the role in the first place.
"I'm gonna be honest completely with you guys -- when I found out about the project, I was like it's 'Space Jam'! It’s a movie that I grew up watching. People in the movie that I idolize. I was like absolutely, I gotta do it. There’s no way I can turn down 'Space Jam'!"
Bron joked that he had second thoughts when he realized the production schedule was so demanding, but ultimately decided it was the opportunity of a lifetime.
"I’m just a small kid from Akron, Ohio -- a very small town outside of Cleveland. From a single-parent household, I’m the only child, my mother had absolutely nothing. She was walking around high school when she was 16 years old and she was pregnant with me as a high school sophomore. So, I’m really not supposed to be here."
"Growing up in the inner city, as an African-American kid, there’s no way you’re supposed to f*cking make it out. And, the fact that I’m who I am as an African-American adult now with 3 kids of my own, and I made it out of the situations that I was in. This sh*t is like extra credit for me man."
Bron proceeded to thank everyone involved with the movie -- saying, "Y'all say you appreciate me, but I’m sh*t without y'all."
The piece is set to drop next summer ... start gettin' that popcorn ready now!
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.
L.A. Lakers guard Dion Waiters is coming clean about his infamous weed edible panic attack on the Heat team plane in 2019 ... admitting it really happened, but adamantly denying he had a seizure.
Remember, Waiters reportedly took a THC-infused edible and fell asleep on the team's flight from Phoenix to L.A. back in November ... and freaked out when he woke up.
Waiters required medical attention at a hospital once the plane landed in L.A. ... and had to miss the Heat's game against the Lakers later that night.
The 28-year-old expanded on what really went down on that flight in The Players' Tribune Monday ... saying, "It's on me."
"I own that. It was idiotic on my behalf — point-blank, period," Waiters says. "What’s crazy is, my whole life I been a leader. I’m not a follower. Pat (Riley) knows me. He knows I don’t do drugs."
Waiters points out his struggles with depression and anxiety ... and says he wasn't in a good place when the incident went down.
"But sometimes when you’re going through dark times, you can fall trap to things you’d never do in your right mind."
Waiters says the reports got blown way out of proportion ... and is denying he ever had a seizure.
"Ask the doctors. Ask my Heat teammates. They can speak on it. For that b.s. to come out, it ain’t right."
Waiters was suspended 10 games due to the incident ... and was later traded to the Grizzlies. He was released 3 days later and signed with the L.A. Lakers.
"I made a mistake, but for someone to leak that, and for my family to hear it? Sh*t, it ain’t right."
Dwyane Wade followed up his jersey retirement ceremony with a late night full of booze, tunes and sweaty nightclub goers -- the only way to go out in Miami.
D-Wade hit up the city's hottest spot for raging after the Miami Heat put the man's No. 3 jersey up in the rafters of AmericanAirlines Arena forever ... honoring their hometown hero and making it so no other player can ever rock it again. It's official ... he's a pantheon great.
Fast-forward a few hours ... and D found himself at E11EVEN, where we're told he showed up with about 30 people around 1:30 AM with enough energy to party his face off -- ordering rounds of Armand de Brignac, Don Julio 1942 and E11EVEN Vodka. The guy even got on the mic at one point and performed a bit for the packed house of fans and loved ones.
No, he wasn't putting up shots for everyone like he has in the past -- dude actually rapped a verse. ICYMI, Dwyane is featured on Rick Ross' new song, "Season Ticket Holders," and kinda drops some heat in the process. As soon as the DJ put it on, DW didn't hesitate.
Unclear if Gabby was with him here at the club, but we know she was definitely at the game earlier. It's possible she let her hubby have a boys night out ... 'cause this is Dwyane cuttin' loose like we don't normally see.
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.
Tyler Herro is just a rookie, but he's turning into a vet baller right before our eyes ... by copping an insane diamond-filled chain ... and it's worth a whoppin' $55k!!!
The 19-year-old ex-Kentucky star has been a stud in his first year in the Association ... he's currently averaging 13.4 points a game and has already gotten praise from ex-Miami champs like Chris Bosh.
TMZ Sports has learned ... Herro wanted to immortalize his own "TH14" logo in bling, so he hit up celeb jeweler Iceman Nick to make it happen.
We're told Tyler got hooked up with a 14k gold pendant with 25 carats of VS1 white and blue diamonds ... and an iced-out 14k rose gold Cuban chain with 18 carats of diamonds.
Add all that good stuff together and you got a piece worth about $55k!!!
Ball out, young man. Ball out.
The Miami Heat has suspended Dion Waiters without pay after he reportedly overdosed on weed edibles ahead of a crucial game against the Lakers this week.
The team made the announcement Sunday in a statement, saying they were disappointed in their star guard's actions this season ... including the "very scary situation" from Thursday night, adding they were grateful that the outcome wasn't worse.
They went on, "There have been a number of instances this season in which Dion has engaged in conduct detrimental to the team. Accordingly, he will be suspended without pay for 10 games, including the Lakers game last Friday, and will be eligible to return" Nov. 29.
The Heat continued ... "We are proud of how our players have started the season. We expect all of our players, including Dion, to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards, and to show professionalism and respect for their teammates, the team, the fans and the NBA community." The Heat lost Friday's game, BTW ... they're 6-3 now.
UPDATE: Dion Waiters is the Heat player who had medical emergency on team plane, I’ve confirmed.— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) November 9, 2019 @AndySlater
Waiters overdosed on “gummies,” sources say, and was passed out when plane landed.
He had a seizure when he was finally woken up, I’m told.
Waiters was listed out tonight (illness)
In case you hadn't heard, Dion had a medical emergency while flying from Phoenix to L.A. on Thursday with the rest of his teammates. He was found unconscious when the plane landed, and when he was finally woken up ... he reportedly had a seizure.
According to ESPN, Waiters had consumed edible gummies that were infused with THC.
Adding insult to injury, he had already been suspended for several games prior to this latest disciplinary action. According to reports, he got into it with head coach Erik Spoelstra.
This latest suspension could hurt Waiters more than he might realize ... affecting his bottom line. He's reportedly gonna miss out on a $1.2 million bonus written into his contract if he missed 9 more games than he already had. He signed a $52M contract extension in 2017.
We're not math experts ... but 9 + 1 = .... 10? Ouch.
With Williamson sidelined for a few months with a knee injury, the ex-Kentucky star has become one of the favorites to win Rookie of the Year ... and when we saw Bosh leaving Barstool Sports in NYC on Tuesday, he was clearly already on the Herro bandwagon.
"He's AWESOME!!!" Bosh told TMZ Sports. "Best pick in the draft!!! Best pick."
The Heat took Herro with the 13th pick in the draft after averaging 14 points a game for the Wildcats ... and the dude killed it in Summer League, averaging 19 points a game.
As for Williamson, Bosh says it'll be tough for the top pick to win ROY ... but says when he gets healthy again, he says the NBA needs to watch out!!!