Kyrie Irving Handing Out $100s to Chi-Town Kids ... Pregame Handout Pays Off

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HUNDO HERO
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Kyrie Irving was in a giving mood before the rest of the Brooklyn Nets played the Chicago Bulls -- and it looks like karma paid him and his team back a few hours later.

The Nets' superstar point guard was greeted by a group of fans Saturday in Chi-Town, where we're told Kyrie took some time to chop it up with a group of youngsters. He went even further than that though ... handing out cold hard cash to the kids too.

TMZ Sports got ahold of video showing KI handing out what appears to be hundred dollar bills to the group that had congregated around the team bus. It looks like he dishes out a few bills he's got on hand, and toward the end ... seems to give away a stack.

Check it out ... Kyrie asks who's in charge of the group of kids -- and it seems like an adult answers him off-camera. Kyrie hands that person what looks to be more than just one hundred dollar bill ... and tells them to take care of the kids with it. Super nice, right?!

Well, it looks like the universe paid it forward soon afterward ... 'cause Kyrie's Nets squeaked out a win against the hometown team WITHOUT him being on the court.

He sat out for Saturday's game to due to a shoulder injury -- the first game he's missed as a Net since joining the team in the off-season. Good deeds equal good results ... noted.

Michael Jordan Signed Check From '82 Billiards Bet One-Of-A-Kind Item For Auction

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There's rare sports memorabilia ... and then there's this.

35 years ago, Michael Jordan -- a junior hoops star at the University of North Carolina -- hustled a UNC student on a billiards table ... and was paid his $5 winnings by personal check.

Now, that check -- made out to and endorsed (signed) by "Mike Jordan" -- is on the auction block at Goldin Auctions.

According to the auction site, the story goes like this ... and it's pretty awesome.

It was February 27, 1984 and Jordan -- in the mood to play pool -- went to the basement of the Granville Towers on UNC's campus ... and proceeded to dominate on the table.

The guys were betting money ... and MJ was up $25.

A friend of the guy Jordan was beating thought Michael was hustling his buddy, so he stepped in to play MJ ... and win back some of the money he'd lost.

MJ lost a few games in a row -- which the consignor says irritated Jordan -- so he decided to cash out and take the 5 bucks he was owed.

The friend -- realizing Jordan was likely going to be an NBA superstar -- asked Michael if he could pay him with a personal check.

Michael accepted ...and the UNC student wrote the check to "Mike Jordan" -- the name basketball phenom went by on campus.

The check -- drawn from a First Union Bank account in Pembroke, NC -- was cashed by Michael and ultimately returned to the consignor.

The UNC alum held the check for over 35 years ... until recently deciding to put it up for auction.

Goldin says MJ's signature has been authenticated.

Auction opens November 18.

Good luck!

NBA Legend Bill Russell Ends Hall of Fame Boycott ... Finally Accepts Ring

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NBA legend Bill Russell -- one of the greatest basketball players ever -- has finally accepted his Hall of Fame ring after a 45-year boycott.

85-year-old Russell was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975 -- but refused to participate in the induction ceremony. At the time, Russell cited "his own personal reasons," but didn't expand on it.

But, Thursday night, things changed ... Russell participated in a private ceremony with Alonzo Mourning, hoops legend/broadcaster Ann Meyers, Bill Walton, his wife and others to accept his HOF ring.

And, why? It all has to do with ex-NBA star Chuck Cooper, who in 1950 became one of the first black players to compete in the NBA. He was the first black player selected in the NBA Draft when the Boston Celtics took him with the 14th overall pick.

Cooper, who passed away in 1984, is FINALLY being inducted into the Hall ... which is what Russell has been waiting for all along.

"In ‘75 I refused being the 1st black player to go into the [Hall of Fame]. I felt others before me should have that honor. Good to see progress; ChuckCooperHOF19 @NBA."

As for Russell, you probably already know his stats -- 11-time NBA champion, 5-time NBA MVP, 12-time NBA All-Star ... and the NBA Finals MVP Award is named after him.

Carmelo Anthony Guarantees NBA Return ... Then Signs With Portland!

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6:20 PM PT -- Carmelo wasn't lying ... the Portland Trailblazers just signed the forward!!!

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the 35-year-old is inking a non-guaranteed deal with the team.

Carmelo Anthony tells TMZ Sports he WILL be back in the NBA this season -- and he's even open to returning to the New York Knicks!

Everyone's been wondering about Melo's basketball future ever since he parted ways with the Houston Rockets back in January.

35-year-old Anthony has previously said he wants to get back in the league -- however, no one has pulled the trigger yet.

But, it sounds like Melo's got something cookin' ... because when we saw the 35-year-old leaving The Henry in L.A. on Wednesday night, he was VERY optimistic about his return.

"We're figuring it out," Melo told us ... noting that he was NOT in town to speak with the Lakers or the Clippers.

When we pushed back and asked if he'll be on a roster this season, Melo told us ... "For sure. 2000%."

There are reports the Knicks could be interested in Anthony -- interesting considering the way things ended back in 2017 -- but Melo says he's down to return.

"We open man. We open to every opportunity."

In fact, Melo even defended Knicks head coach David Fizdale ... saying the team's lowly 2-9 record isn't all his fault ... "It's a lot of things that goes into that."

So, where will Melo end up this season? Stay tuned ...

College Hoops Star James Wiseman Declared Ineligible Withdraws Lawsuit Against NCAA

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Memphis superstar James Wiseman -- the projected #1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft -- has been ruled ineligible once again ... after the player withdrew his lawsuit against the NCAA.

The story has been a back-and-forth since the NCAA initially revoked his eligibility last Friday, claiming ex-NBA star and current Tigers coach Penny Hardaway violated rules by providing $11,500 in moving expenses to Wiseman's family in 2017.

The 18-year-old immediately filed a court order which temporarily halted the suspension and allowed him to play for Memphis while the legal battle raged on last week -- but now Wiseman has waved the white flag.

"It has become clear to Mr. Wiseman that the lawsuit he filed last week has become an impediment to the University of Memphis in its efforts to reach a fair and equitable resolution with the NCAA concerning his eligibility status," Wiseman's attorneys said in a statement.

"Therefore, Mr. Wiseman advised his legal team that he wished to withdraw his lawsuit."

There are rumblings Wiseman is working on a deal with the NCAA to be reinstated this season -- but if not, he's a lock for the NBA next season anyway.

In the games Wiseman has played in this season, he's beasted out -- averaging 19.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.

George Lopez Praises Lakers ... 'They're As Good as LeBron's Wig!!!'

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9:13 AM PT -- 11/14 -- Skip just announced on FS1's 'Undisputed' he's taking Lopez up on his jersey challenge -- agreeing to rock a LeBron jersey on the show if James leads the Lakers to a title!!

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED
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"The Lakers are as good as LeBron's wig!"

That's a compliment!!! Courtesy of George Lopez!!!

The legendary comic is a hardcore Lakers fan -- and tells TMZ Sports he's super impressed with the way the team is playing this season. They're currently in 1st place in the Western Conference with an 8-2 record.

But, when we saw Lopez at LAX, he was still cautiously optimistic -- warning fans not to get too cocky this early in the season.

George also had a message for Skip Bayless, one of LeBron's biggest critics ... telling the FS1 star if Bron keeps up this pace, he might need to invest in a #23 jersey!

There's more ... Lopez explains why he thinks the Golden State Warriors are cursed this season -- and how some Chicano love can save the team!

Originally Published -- 11/13 1:08 PM PT

Joe Johnson Teases NBA Return ... 'It's Possible, We'll See'

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Joe Johnson's not giving up on a possible return to the NBA -- telling TMZ Sports he's still training his ass off in case he gets that call.

The 38-year-old stud had a stint with the Pistons earlier this year after BALLING OUT in Ice Cube's BIG3 league ... but Detroit waived him back in October.

The question now ... will Johnson get another shot in the NBA, go back to the BIG3 ... or hang 'em up for good?

Right now, Johnson says he's not rushing to make any decisions -- but he's keeping his body ready in case he gets another opportunity with an NBA team.

In the meantime, Johnson says his focus is on enjoying life and living in the moment -- not worrying about his career.

It's easy for Joe to be so carefree about everything -- considering he's made more than $215 MILLION during his NBA career!!!

As for the BIG3, the league kicks off again in June -- so the reigning MVP has some time to make up his mind.

LeBron James Love For Kyler At Lakers Game ... Nothing For Bellinger?!?

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Here's LeBron James going out of his way to show love to NFL star Kyler Murray at the Lakers game on Tuesday ... it's a cool moment.

But, there's another issue with this clip ... did LeBron ignore L.A. Dodgers star Cody Bellinger, who was sitting right next to the QB?!

SAY IT AIN'T SO BRON!!!

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Here's the deal ... King James went over to the expensive seats at Talking Stick Resort Arena with about 25 seconds left in the 4th quarter to dap up Murray, the #1 overall pick in the NFL Draft.

FYI, Murray and LeBron have been friends for a while -- in fact, Kyler has a deal with Bron's Uninterrupted media company ... and rocked the logo inside of his suit jacket on Draft night.

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But, during the broadcast, we DIDN'T see LeBron show love to Cody ... who was sitting right next to Kyler!!!

Look, doesn't mean Bron didn't chop it up with Cody before or after the game (or maybe LBJ just didn't recognize Cody in a backward hat).

Bron definitely SHOULD know Bellinger ... he shouted out the MLB star for wearing his Lakers jersey for a Taco Tuesday-themed Halloween costume this year!

But hey, at least Cody's killin' it off the diamond ... he and his smokin' GF, Sabrina, seem to be happily in love.

Congrats on that!!

Lamar Odom Praises New Fiancee ... She's the Star, I'm the Wingman!!!

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HE PUT A RING ON IT
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12:56 PM PT -- 11/12 Lamar and Sabrina hopped on "TMZ Live" and chatted with us about how they met, how long they've been dating and what fuels their connection. The former Lakers star also dished high praise for Sabrina ... and LO gave it to us in pretty awesome basketball terms.

8:15 PM PT -- The two got engaged at Myles Chefetz's Prime 112 restaurant in Miami ... and in classic Odom style, there was a TON of sweets to celebrate!

HAPPILY ENGAGED
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NeNe Leakes was sitting at the table with the couple during the dinner and helped celebrate once Odom busted out the ring.

Lamar Odom is engaged ... again ... but this time he swears he found "The One!"

The 40-year-old ex-NBA star popped the question to his 32-year-old girlfriend, Sabrina Parr, with a MASSIVE diamond ring ... and she said, "Yes!"

"Introducing my new fiancé," Odom said ... "Soon to be Mrs. Parr-Odom. She's the ONE!!!"

Parr is a health and life coach -- and we first saw them together back in August when they hit up Chipotle for a lunch date in Atlanta.

Things escalated quickly ... and 3 months later, they're engaged!

There were reports the relationship was "fake" when they first got together -- but doesn't seem so fake now, does it?

As for the proposal, 'Real Housewives' star NeNe Leakes was apparently in the building ... she posted, "So glad I could be here wit you. Love both of you and praying over this union."

Of course, Odom has a history of proposing quickly -- he popped the question to Khloe Kardashian back in 2009 and they tied the knot after only 1 month of dating.

The two split in 2013 -- but for years, Odom was adamant Khloe was the love of his life and he'd win her back.

Khloe eventually moved on ... and it's good to see Lamar has too.

Congrats!

Originally Published -- 11/11 7:28 PM PT

NBA's Corey Maggette Defends Clippers' Load Management Would've Saved My Career!!!

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Corey Maggette says the Clippers are doing a "phenomenal job" by giving Kawhi Leonard load management days ... saying if he had those when he was playing, they could've saved his career!

L.A. coach Doc Rivers has been under fire this month after he's given his superstar days off to prevent possible injuries down the road ... but Maggette says all that criticism is BS.

The former Clippers star -- who was out in L.A. this week with fellow ex-NBA stud Cuttino Mobley -- told us he absolutely LOVES the idea of load management days.

"I retired because of major knee injuries," Magette says. "So, I wish they would have had a position where, from me and Cuttino's perspective, that we had a chance to rest and get our bodies back to 100 percent."

In fact, Cuttino says if he was given days off similar to Kawhi ... his body might feel a hell of a lot better now than it currently does.

"Listen, if it were happening when we were playing, I wouldn't have so many aches and pains as we do now," Mobley says.

Of course, NBA fans don't really love the move ... it's led to some of the biggest stars sitting out of some of the biggest regular season games.

But, Mobley and Maggette's response to that??? Too bad!!!

"There's a lot of older guys that are walking around right now that can't really walk because they've been forced to play in their mind," Cuttino says.

"So, if they would have had that load management back then a lot of those guys' injuries wouldn't be as significant."

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello The Clippers Don't Suck ... But We Do!!!

Who knew Steve Ballmer was an aphrodisiac?!

Check out Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes sucking each other's faces off Monday night at the Clippers game at Staples Center ... getting more action than Ivica Zubac!!!

The couple was all over each other -- and EVERYBODY noticed -- since they were sitting in the best courtside seats in the house.

They kissed, they cuddled, they kissed more, they whispered secrets into each other's ears ... good times!!!

By the way, 22-year-old Camila and 21-year-old Mendes have been dating since July ... and have basically been seen getting intense with PDA all over the place.

As for the game, the Clippers beat up on the defending world champion Toronto Raptors in front of a celebrity crowd that included Kevin Hart, Adam Sandler and Adam Devine.

'Fire Dolan' Heckler Confronted By Knicks Security ... Not Ejected

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The NY Knicks fan who started a "Fire James Dolan" chant at Madison Square Garden on Sunday was confronted by security, but we're told he was NOT ejected.

The chant broke out as the Knicks were getting crushed by the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers  -- and as everyone knows, owner James Dolan doesn't like being heckled.

In the past, he's thrown out and banned fans who have directed similar taunts his way.

The man claiming to be the heckler is Andrew J. Padilla -- who went to social media tell his side of the story.

"6 security guards just took me out my seat at Madison Square Garden for chanting 'fire Dolan,'" Padilla said.

"I was escorted to the basement where they told me I could go back so long as I followed the 'code of conduct' ... Aka Not chanting #FireDolan."

"I chose to leave and spend my money somewhere else."

There are reports Padilla was ejected from MSG and subsequently banned from coming back -- but our MSG sources are adamant that's just not true.

As one source put it, "No one was ejected last night from MSG for any reason."

TMZ Sports has previously posted video of Dolan personally ejecting hecklers in the past -- including an incident from March 2019.

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GET OUTTA HERE, WISE GUY
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Dolan also famously had a sideline altercation with Charles Oakley that led to the Knicks legend being banned from MSG for a year.

For their part, the Knicks told us previously, "Our policy is and will continue to be that if you are disrespectful to anyone in our venues, we will ask you not to return."

Miami Heat Suspend Dion Waiters w/o Pay ... Over Reported Edible Snafu

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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.

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.

Dwight Howard 'I've Thought About Dunk Contest' ... But Focus Is On Lakers

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THIS TIME FEELS DIFFERENT
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It's been 11 years since Dwight Howard won the NBA Dunk Contest with that insane Superman slam ... and now DH says he's given serious thought to doing it AGAIN!!!

"I thought about it. I'm getting my legs back. I feel young again," 33-year-old Howard told us outside The Window burger joint in Venice.

When we asked if entering the 2020 contest was a real possibility, Howard wouldn't commit ... instead telling us his main focus this season in winning an NBA title with the Lakers.

"I have thought about it, but winning the championship is the most important thing. I have all the individual accolades but I don't have the trophy so hopefully, we can win this title this year, which I believe we can."

There's A LOT more with Dwight ... including why he thinks his second stint with the Lakers is going so much better than his first time in L.A. back in 2012.

"We're all healthy," Howard said. "We all have one goal and one mission and the Most High has really blessed us."

Howard says the Lakers locker room is solid this season -- the guys support each other on and off the court ... and he still can't really believe he's teammates with LeBron James!

"LeBron has been amazing. I can't believe we're on the same team."

Howard says he hasn't been invited to Taco Tuesday at Bron's crib, but he'd be down in a SECOND if he got the invite.

NBA's Al Harrington Welcomes Drake to Weed Biz ... 'Huge For Our Industry!'

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Drake + Weed = GREAT FOR EVERYONE!!!

... So says Al Harrington, the former NBA player turned marijuana mogul who tells TMZ Sports a superstar like Drake is HUGE for the entire pot community.

As we previously reported, Drake is launching the More Life Growth Company ... hoping to cash in on the crop craze by selling everything from vapes to pipes, rolling papers, hookahs and more.

Harrington has been in the weed game for a while -- he created Viola Extracts Inc. after retiring from the NBA and it's been growing like crazy.

Now, with Drake entering the space ... we asked Al if he viewed Drake as a competitor or an ally.

"I hope he win, bro! I need him to win because then I'll win," Harrington said.

Harrington says Drake's foray into the ganja biz is "amazing ... a huge announcement for the industry."

Oh, and Al says if Drake wants to team up and collaborate on a product ... HIT HIM UP!!!

"Welcome, Drake! Let's get it, baby!"

LeBron James Backs Deion Sanders For FSU 'Just Seems Perfect'

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LeBron James says Deion Sanders would be the PERFECT hire for the Florida State head coaching gig ... saying, "it would be so dope" to get Prime Time on the sidelines.

Of course, FSU just paid Willie Taggart around $18 million to NOT coach their team after starting 9-12 in his first 2 seasons ... and there have been rumblings Deion could be his replacement.

Enter King James ... who's calling for the Seminoles to pull the trigger and pick up Prime to be the next head coach at Florida State.

"Man it would be so dope and just seems PERFECT for Prime Time @DeionSanders to be the HC of FSU! I mean right??"

"One thing about it he would get in any household on the planet to talk with a kid/parent/s. #ItsTimeforPrime"

FYI -- Bron is an Ohio State guy through and through ... but also grew up a Dallas Cowboys backer, which could be one of the reasons he's so high on Prime.

Sanders has spoken out about people like Miami legend Uncle Luke calling for him to take the gig ... and it doesn't sound like he's against it.