Stephen Jackson Gets Emotional Talking George Floyd ...'The Tears Will Never Go Away'

"I LOST A FRIEND"
Charges With Rex Chapman

Stephen Jackson says "the tears will never go away" when it comes to George Floyd ... with the ex-NBAer breaking down as he opened up about his close friend's death.

Of course, Jackson and Floyd grew up together in Houston, TX ... and Stak often referred to him as his "twin."

Jackson -- who has been at the forefront of the social justice movement since Floyd's death in May 2020 -- described his emotions a year later ... and it's heartbreaking.

"The tears will never go away because I really lost family," Stak said on Portal A's "Charges With Rex Chapman" podcast.

"My momma will tell you. She even thought that was her son at times when she saw him. That's how much we looked alike."

"It just took me back to that place for a second, man. These tears are not fake. They're real, so when I feel it, they come out."

Jackson's "All The Smoke" podcast co-host Matt Barnes reflected on the protests that broke out throughout the country following the tragedy ... and said it's time to keep pushing the message even further.

"It's not white vs. Black, Black vs. Asian, white vs. Mexican," Barnes said. "It's love vs. hate because again, hate comes in all shapes, forms and colors."

"We fought, we rioted, we burned things down and that's got a little bit of attention. But, now that they're actually listening, what are we gonna do with our minds to help better, not only us but our kids' future."

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Derek Chauvin -- the Minneapolis cop who kept his knee on Floyd's neck during the incident -- was just sentenced to 22.5 years in prison ... but as Jackson said last week, it won't bring his friend back.

Stak also gives Barnes his flowers during the powerful moment ... saying the ex-NBAer continues to help him fight for Floyd -- with or without the cameras around.

"That's why I love Matt so much because those people are nowhere around now. I'm still doing the work."

Nia Long Hyped For Fiancé's Celtics H.C. Gig ...'Expect Great Things!!!'

Nia Long is showing some serious love for her fiancé Ime Udoka ... praising her soon-to-be hubby on becoming the new head coach of the Boston Celtics!!

The Cs officially announced the former Brooklyn Nets assistant as Brad Stevens' successor at a press conference on Monday ... and the "Boyz n the Hood" actress couldn't help but gas up her man.

"Today you are officially the Head Coach of the Boston Celtics," Long said on IG. "Big love to the entire staff for the warm welcome. I am beyond proud of this man."

Long is already getting used to rockin' the green and white -- sporting a #18 Celtics jersey, with the digits symbolizing Udoka becoming the 18th head coach in franchise history.

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"The legacy continues. #coachudoka18."

FYI -- Long and Udoka have been together for 10 years ... and she's been by his side as he's moved around the league in hopes of someday getting that head coaching spot.

Long is confident Udoka will thrive in Beantown ... saying, "expect great things because that's what he does."

As for coach, Udoka raved about the gig, saying, "I look forward to having success with you guys."

"The relationships have been great. I look forward to building those. As far as the players and the roster, I'm very excited, honored to be a part of it and let's go for 18 [championships]".

This is Udoka's first gig as head coach ... he's been an assistant coach for 3 teams (Spurs, Sixers, Nets) since 2012 and won a championship in 2014.

Udoka's already getting a ring with Nia ... but Cs fans gotta be hoping there's plenty more in his future!!

Scottie Pippen Calls Phil Jackson A Racist 'I Was In The Locker Room With Him'

Scottie Pippen just unleashed some serious allegations against Phil Jackson ... claiming the legendary NBA coach is a "racist" in a bombshell interview Monday.

The ex-Chicago Bulls great has been going OFF on his former team over the past week ... including making a bold claim that Jackson's decision to set up a game-winning play for rookie Toni Kukoc in the 1994 playoffs was a "racial move."

Pip doubled down on his stance on the "Dan Patrick Show" on Monday ... when he was asked to clarify if he meant Jackson is actually racist.

Here's the exchange:

Dan Patrick: "By saying a 'racial move,' then you're calling Phil Jackson a racist."

Pippen: "I don't got a problem with that."

DP: "Do you think Phil was, or is?"

Pippen: "Oh, yeah."

While he did not give specific instances to back up his claim, Pippen went on to bash the coach for writing a "tell-all" about Kobe Bryant after leaving the Lakers in 2004 ... just to return a year later.

"Who would do that?" Pippen said. "You name someone in professional sports that would do that. I think he got to expose Kobe in a way that he shouldn't have."

"You're the head coach. You're the guy that sits in the locker room and tells the players, 'This is a circle, and everything stays within the circle' because that's what team is about."

Scottie added ... "But, you as the head coach open it up and now you go out and you try to belittle at that time, probably one of the greatest players in the game."

Patrick fought back, saying that would bring Jackson's loyalty -- not alleged racist views -- into question ... but Pippen was adamant his personal experiences speak for themselves.

"I was in the locker room with him," Pippen said. "I was in practices with him. You're looking at him from afar."

Pippen also went in on Michael Jordan, claiming he was always well aware of when the cameras were rolling ... and would ham it up to cater to his legacy.

Master P Signs W/ Roc Nation Sports Agent ... Serious About NBA Coaching Gig!!!

IT'S GETTING REAL
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Master P wasn't kidding when he said he wanted to coach the Pelicans ... telling TMZ Sports he's signed with one of the biggest agencies in sports to help him get the job!!!

Remember, the rap legend told us earlier this week about his desires to lead his hometown team ... saying he'd be the guy to bring in wins and keep young superstar Zion Williamson happy.

We caught up with P out in Beverly Hills to get an update on his mission ... and he's already taking the necessary steps to make it happen!!!

"Right now, I just hired a sports agent," P says. "So, you know, to be an NBA coach, you have to have a sports agent."

But, it's not just any sports agent -- P says he's teaming up with Roc Nation Sports' Raymond Brothers ... a fellow Louisiana guy who's repped players from the Ball Bros. to Caron Butler to Zach Randolph.

"He's a good friend of mine and he knows what he's doing," P added.

As for his knowledge of the game, P says he's more than capable of a leadership role with the Pels.

"I'm not an X and O coach, but I understand people management. We don't need another X and O coach. (Stan) Van Gundy was an X and O coach, it didn't work."

"Times have changed. I think I have the best people management skills than any NBA coach can have."

Get this -- P says he can bring NOLA to greatness even if Zion wants out ... telling us he'll be able to help the remaining players reach their full potential.

6/18/21
CHANGING THE GAME
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As for his coaching staff?!? He's already got a guy lined up.

"I talked to John Lucas, he's willing to support me and come with me on this journey. So, I will have John Lucas that knows the X's and O's on the staff with me to make this happen. So, I got all the pieces to the puzzle."

"I think this will be history!!!"

Brandon Jennings Pippen Needs To Quit Bashing KD He's Better Than You!!!

LEAVE KD ALONE!!!
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Scottie Pippen better think again before he continues to crap all over Kevin Durant's legacy ... so says ex-NBAer Brandon Jennings, who tells TMZ Sports KD is way better than Pippen ever was!!!

Of course, Pip UNLOADED on the Brooklyn Nets superstar in an interview with GQ this week ... saying KD's selfish playing cost his team a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Naturally, KD fired back on Twitter ... reminding Pippen he's the guy who refused to play in the final seconds of a 1993 semifinals game because coach Phil Jackson drew up a play for Toni Kukoc instead.

We spoke with Jennings about the Wagyu-quality beef between the two guys ... and he tells us Pippen's resume cannot live up to KD's, so he better respect the greatness.

"I mean if I'm KD I wouldn't listen to Scottie," BJ said outside Crustacean on Thursday. "I mean, KD is better than Scottie."

When we pointed out the ring count -- Scottie has 6, KD has 2 -- Jennings says it's bigger than that.

"At the end of the day, KD was shorthanded, and at the end of the day, he did the best that he could do just like when Mike left the Bulls back in the '90s and Scottie had a chance to be the man."

Jennings admits both guys have the right to say whatever they want -- they're both amazing ballers -- but KD is essentially untouchable.

"Nah man, leave KD alone, man!"

NBA's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Robbed At Gunpoint ... In Horrifying Incident In L.A.

Three men pulled out guns and robbed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in a terrifying incident in Los Angeles earlier this month ... TMZ Sports has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us it all went down on June 17 ... when the Lakers guard was in his driveway at around 4 a.m. talking with friends.

Our sources say a car pulled up and three men then exited the vehicle with guns drawn.

We're told the men demanded KCP and his friends hand over their stuff ... which included a fancy Rolex watch, jewelry and an iPhone.

In total, our sources say the thieves made off with about $150,000 worth of loot.

We're told KCP was NOT injured in the incident, however.

We reached out to the 28-year-old's camp for comment, but so far no word back yet.

Our sources, meanwhile, say the LAPD is currently investigating it all.

KCP -- who just inked a 3-year, $39 MILLION contract with the Lakers in 2020 -- had a solid year for the Purple and Gold in 2021, starting 67 games and scoring 9.7 points per contest.

Matt Barnes Agrees With Kerr ... Durant Is More Gifted Than MJ!!!

HE'S GOT A POINT
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Matt Barnes says Steve Kerr is absolutely right ... telling TMZ Sports Kevin Durant is, in fact, "more gifted" than Michael Jordan!

"He didn't say a better player," Barnes told us out at LAX this week. "He just said more gifted."

Kerr -- who played with His Airness in the '90s -- told NBC Sports Bay Area this week Durant's skill set is just flat-out better than Jordan's was.

"He's the most talented basketball player on earth," Kerr said of Durant. "If not of all-time."

Barnes definitely didn't disagree with the Warriors headman when we asked about the comments ... saying he respects Steve's opinion.

"For someone who played with Michael Jordan and coached Kevin Durant, I definitely respect his point of view," Barnes said.

The former Lakers star added, "And, if you think about it, K.D. is 7 foot and he can do everything your favorite point guard does."

Speaking of guard skill sets, we also asked Barnes how he liked the shimmy move from Trae Young in the Hawks' Game 1 win over the Bucks ... and Matt told us he loves it -- and wants more of it!

"If you don't like it, you've got to stop it," Barnes said. "Plain and simple. If you don't like something, you've got to stop it. Until they stop it, keep shakin' on 'em!"

Mark Cuban Pumped For Jason Kidd Hire ... 'He's Going To Be Great For Luka'

KIDD'S OUR MAN
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Mark Cuban is FIRED UP for the Mavericks' hiring of Jason Kidd ... telling TMZ Sports he thinks the dude is "going to be great" for Dallas and its star point guard, Luka Doncic.

The Mavs owner spoke with us leaving Victory The Podcast in L.A. just hours after making the hire official ... and it ain't hard to tell, Cubes is expecting greatness from his team's new headman.

"I'm excited about it, obviously," the 62-year-old said. "J. Kidd is going to be great for us. He's going to be great for Luka, for the organization. I'm really excited."

You'll recall ... Kidd played for Cuban's Mavs from 2007 through 2012 -- helping the team win the NBA championship back in 2011.

And, when we asked Cuban if Kidd could repeat that feat as the team's head coach -- the owner said bluntly, "That's the whole idea, right?!"

"We've got the talent," Cuban added. "I think we'll get better talent. We'll keep on getting better. Luka will keep on getting better. And, I think Jason will help Luka and the team get better."

As for Luka's long-term future with Kidd ... Cuban said he has every intention of keeping his star in Dallas with Kidd for as long as he can.

"Obviously," Cuban said, "that's the goal."

Jaylen Waddle & Jerome Baker Dolphins Stars Lend Hand ... At Miami Condo Collapse Site

11:21 AM PT -- 6/25 -- The Miami Dolphins have now joined the effort to help victims of the tragic condo collapse ... with star receiver Jaylen Waddle and star linebacker Jerome Baker lending a hand Friday.

The two NFL players were spotted helping unload water, drinks and other supplies to those in need near the South Florida collapse site.

Heat star Tyler Herro is rushing in to give his fellow Miamians a big assist ... showing up at the scene of the tragic South Florida condo collapse Thursday to offer a helping hand.

The 21-year-old NBA player and his assistant coach, Chris Quinn, were spotted on the scene just hours after the a 12-story oceanside building partially collapsed ... quickly offloading water bottles to those in need.

As we previously reported, a massive search and rescue effort is underway as countless people are missing due to the unexpected and shocking collapse of the building.

One person has died ... and there's a fear that number could grow as the rescue mission unfolds.

THE TERRIFYING COLLAPSE
WSVN

The Heat have expressed deep sorrow over the tragedy ... saying in a statement Thursday the team is "devastated."

"We were devastated to hear of the catastrophic Champlain Towers building collapse in Surfside," the team said.

"Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. We are thankful for the first responders who are working around the clock in rescue efforts."

Authorities are still trying to piece together why the building collapsed ... explaining it's all very bizarre considering the place was built in 1981.

Originally Published -- 6/24 10:06 AM PT

Devin Booker Broken Nose Procedure Was Gruesome ... 8 Shots & 'They Break It Again!!!'

TOUGH BREAK
Courtesy of NBA

"Like eight shots to numb it up and then they go in there and put it back -- they break it again. They break it back in place."

That's Devin Booker describing the straight-up horror show he had to go through after breaking his nose earlier this week ... and yeah, it feels like a miracle the Suns star was able play Thursday night!!

The 24-year-old broke it all down for reporters after struggling in Phoenix's loss to the Clippers in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals ... saying the procedure he went through Wednesday to fix his facial issues was GNARLY.

"It's a procedure that they usually say they put you under [anesthesia] for," said Booker, who broke the nose in 3 places after clashing heads with Patrick Beverley in Game 2 on Tuesday.

"But we had a flight out a couple hours later, so they just numbed it up -- all over the place, it felt like."

Booker called the surgery "probably the worst part" of his entire injury process ... but, shockingly, he said he felt okay about 24 hours later while playing in the game.

"The nose feels fine," Booker said. "We just lost the game."

Booker -- wearing a clear, plastic mask to protect the injury for the night -- was just 5-for-21 in the game ... and scored just 15 points in 40 minutes.

He swore, though, the mask and injury were NOT a problem ... saying it all didn't affect his play one bit.

"He got the mask; he's fine," Booker's teammate, Chris Paul, said. "We're not one of those teams looking for excuses and all that stuff. Give [the Clippers] their credit -- they played really well tonight."

"We'll get ready for Game 4."

Steve Kerr Durant's 'More Gifted' Than Jordan ... 'Entirely Different Breed'

Michael Jordan ain't going to like this ...

Steve Kerr says Kevin Durant is flat-out "more gifted" than His Airness ... explaining the Brooklyn Nets star is "an entirely different breed" from MJ.

The Warriors head coach -- who was Jordan's teammate with the Chicago Bulls in the '90s -- made the somewhat stunning revelation this week ... calling his former Golden State wing "the most talented player on earth, if not of all-time."

"He's just so gifted," Kerr told NBC Sports Bay Area. "I think he's more gifted [than Jordan]."

Kerr continued, "He's 6'11" with guard skills, unlimited 3-point range, passing, shot-blocking -- his shot-blocking at the rim, it's just stunning. Watching him this year was really, really gratifying to see."

Of course, the resumes ain't exactly comparable -- at least not yet.

Jordan's got 6 rings, he was a 10-time NBA scoring champ and he won five league MVPs. Durant, meanwhile, has just two championships, 4 NBA scoring champ titles and just one MVP trophy.

Still, Kerr clearly believes KD's skillset offers more than Jordan's ... saying it was especially evident after the 32-year-old came back from an Achilles injury and still dominated.

"We all just wanted to see Kevin healthy," Kerr said, "and to see him in the playoffs playing at the level he reached, it was really, really gratifying for all of us."

NBA's Devin Booker Busts Nose In On-Court Collision Gets Stitches and Returns to Game!

Devin Booker is tough as hell -- not only did the guy get his nose busted open during the Suns playoff game against the Clippers on Tuesday, he got stitched up and kept playing!!

In fact, the 24-year-old played a KEY ROLE in helping the Suns win Game 2!!!

Here's the deal ... D-Book and Clippers star Patrick Beverley appeared to accidentally clash heads during a play in the 3rd quarter.

You can see in the video ... Booker suffered a nasty gash to the bridge of his nose, blood began to drip down immediately.

The Suns star was taken to the locker room where doctors stitched up the wound and Booker returned to action in the 4th quarter.

It looked painful, but Booker battled through the injury and threw a key screen on that inbound dunk to DeAndre Ayton that ultimately helped the Suns win the game.

Suns coach Monty Williams praised Booker's toughness after the game ... saying, "He was probably playing with a great deal of pain."

"I thought he broke his nose when I saw it. I was worried about the blood continuing to flow."

Booker may need to wear a protective mask in Game 3 -- and maybe even the rest of the playoffs.

But, props to Devin and the Suns -- these dudes are leading the series 2-0 and look like real contenders.

Lakers' Alex Caruso Arrested For Marijuana Possession

Lakers guard Alex Caruso was busted for possession of pot on Tuesday after authorities at a Texas airport allegedly found the L.A. hooper with a grinder containing weed residue.

Yes ... still illegal in Texas.

TMZ Sports has confirmed 27-year-old Caruso was arrested earlier Tuesday by Texas A&M University PD for marijuana possession (under 2 ounces) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

TSA agents at Easterwood Airport in College Station, TX allegedly found the grinder and weed residue ... so they contacted A&M cops, according to a report.

Caruso -- who starred at A&M between 2012-2016 -- was released on $3,000 cash bond, according to Brazos County jail records. The docs also show Alex paid a $552 fine for the paraphernalia charge.

A.C. went undrafted in 2016 ... before catching on with the OKC Thunder. In 2017, Caruso signed with the Lakers ... and has been a fan favorite since coming to Los Angeles.

Caruso averaged 6 points and nearly 3 rebounds and 3 assists this season with the Lakers.

Story developing ...

Vanessa Bryant Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit ... Against Helicopter Co. in Kobe Crash

Vanessa Bryant has settled her wrongful death lawsuit against the company that owned the doomed helicopter in the crash that killed Kobe, Gigi and 7 others.

According to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Vanessa's legal team filed a notice of settlement with the court ... but the terms of the settlement are confidential. The court still needs to sign off.

TMZ broke the story ... Vanessa sued Island Express back in February 2020, blaming the helicopter company for the fatal crash that killed her husband and daughter.

In her suit, Vanessa claimed the weather conditions -- an extremely low, blinding fog -- were not conducive to flying ... and she claimed the pilot, Ara George Zobayan, failed to properly assess and monitor the weather before takeoff and during flight.

As you know ... the crash tragically killed Kobe, Gianna, Alyssa Altobelli, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser and the pilot.

While this suit is settled, Vanessa's also suing the L.A. County Sheriff's Department after learning deputies snapped and shared images of the wreckage and remains.

Klay Thompson Returns To Court After Achilles Injury ... 'Felt So Dang Good'

Warriors fans didn't have to wait for the new 'Space Jam' movie to see Klay Thompson return to action ... 'cause after 2 devastating injuries, the NBA superstar is back on the court!!!

Remember, 31-year-old Klay hasn't suited up for the Dubs since tearing his ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.

Right when he was getting back to 100%, Thompson then tore his Achilles while playing a pickup game in November 2020 ... which kept him from playing in the 2020-21 season.

But, Thompson had a breakthrough this week ... running up and down the court and working on his jumper at Chase Arena -- and yeah, he's THRILLED to be back at it.

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"DubNation, I still have a really long, long, LOOOONG way to go," Klay said Tuesday. "But my goodness, it felt so dang good to get up and down and see the ball go thru the net."

"Can’t wait to burn em down next year 👌🏽 💦 🔥 !! Big milestone for me this week"

Klay kept busy while sidelined with the previous injury -- he's starring as "Wet Fire" alongside LeBron James in "Space Jam: A New Legacy" next month.

This time around, his free time was spent off movie sets ... and you can tell he's been busting his ass to stay in shape.

Steph Curry's gotta be salivating at the idea of a Splash Bros. reunion ... but he'll have to hang tight -- Klay says it may be a few more months before he's fully healthy.

Kobe Bryant Signed Last Game Ticket For Sale ... On Memorabilia Stock Market

Losing a bunch of money on Dogecoin?? Here's a new investment opportunity -- an autographed ticket from Kobe Bryant's last NBA game is hitting the memorabilia stock market ... and it has the potential to go to the MOOOON!!!

The late NBA legend played his last game on April 13, 2016 ... putting up an iconic 60-point performance against the Utah Jazz.

Now, a ticket stub from that memorable night -- signed by the Black Mamba himself -- is making its way to the Otis investment app ... and folks can get a piece of the history for $10!!!

The ticket is valued at $31,700 and has a PSA VG 3 grade -- only 4 other tickets have ever been graded higher ... so, that's pretty good!!

Bryant memorabilia has skyrocketed in value since his heartbreaking death in Jan. 2020 ... with collectors paying up to 20x more for items in the days following the tragedy.

As we previously reported, the Otis app works just like the stock market -- the ticket will go up for trading once all the shares are sold ... and shareholders will be able to keep or sell their shares.

Some recent pieces on the app have seen up to a 400% increase on the original investment ... so get your diamond hands ready to make some money!!!

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