Houston Rockets First Game Postponed Not Enough Players Cleared COVID Protocol

Breaking News

The NBA has postponed the Houston Rockets vs. OKC Thunder game set for Wednesday night -- because the Rockets don't have enough players available to field a team due to COVID restrictions.

An NBA team needs at least 8 players to compete -- and the Rockets don't have enough guys.

Here's the deal ... the NBA says, "Three Houston Rockets players have returned tests that were either positive or inconclusive for coronavirus."

Unclear which Rockets players returned the positive or inconclusive COVID tests.

Additionally, the league says 4 more players are quarantined due to the league's contact tracing protocol.

Rockets superstars John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins are 2 of the players in the contact tracing protocol, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Plus, there's more drama including James Harden, the NBA says the superstar is also unavailable due to "violation of the health and safety protocols."

Harden was spotted partying this week without a mask. Some people claimed Harden was at a strip club but Harden says he was just showing his "home girl love" at a private event.

So, that's a total of 8 guys unavailable for the Rockets -- which leaves them without enough players to field a team. Crappy way to kick off the season.

The Rockets vs. Thunder game was supposed to be one of the NBA's marquee opening night matchups to kick off the 2020-21 season.

Story developing ..

Andre Roberson's GF Rachel DeMita Sad Farewell Before NBA Bubble 'See Ya In A Couple Months'

Breaking News

OKC Thunder forward Andre Roberson and Rachel DeMita are showing the depressing side of the NBA's return -- with the couple sharing one last goodbye before Andre enters the bubble in Orlando.

Remember, pros will be separated from their significant others and family members for AT LEAST 50 days if their team makes it to the 2nd round of the playoffs.

Roberson and DeMita -- who have been together for nearly 2 years -- posted one final selfie before the hooper headed to Florida on Tuesday ... and yeah, it's pretty sad.

"Good luck in Orlando! see ya in a couple months 🥺," the former NBA 2K host said on Instagram ... meaning she's expecting her man's team -- currently 5th in the West -- to make a solid run.

Of course, there's a bunch of newer couples who are also gonna be sad about the season picking back up ... like Kyle Kuzma and Winnie Harlow ... and Tyler Herro and Katya Elise Henry.

Stay strong, love birds!!

OKC Thunder At Mall During Shooting ... Players Safe

Breaking News

Chris Paul and his Oklahoma City Thunder teammates were on scene when a shooting went down at a local mall on Thursday ... but luckily, the whole team is safe.

Cops reported to the scene after a man allegedly fired several shots in the Penn Square Mall in OKC. According to police, one person is critically injured at this time.

The entire Thunder team was at the mall's movie theater enjoying a private screening of the new "Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker" movie when the shots were fired.

OKC team officials released a statement ... saying, "Thunder security was made aware immediately. The team was never in any danger and was safe during the entirety of the event."

Thunder star Steven Adams was photographed leaving the scene -- while holding a miniature R2-D2 figure.

The shooter remains at large.

OKC's Steven Adams On Game-Winning FT ... 'I Absolutely S**t My Pants'

Breaking News

Steven Adams kept it about as real as possible after sinking a game-winning free throw for the Thunder on Monday ... saying the moment caused him to "absolutely s**t" his pants!!

The Thunder were tied 106-106 with the Chicago Bulls with just a few seconds remaining in the game ... when Adams was fouled near the basket and sent to the free-throw line.

The situation was pretty simple for the 26-year-old 7-footer ... make a free throw and win the game, or miss it and give the Bulls a shot at their own game-winner.

Adams sank the first one, and while he missed the second one ... he secured the rebound, sealing the win for OKC.

After the game, Adams said the moment really got to him ... straight-up telling the team's sideline reporter, "I absolutely s**t my pants."

"It's a lot! It's pretty tough!" Adams said. "I didn't realize how much pressure it is."

Meanwhile, during the whole interview, teammate Dennis Schroder was hilariously making fun of Adams for needing to bank in the free throw to win the game!!

Good times were clearly had by all ... now someone get Steven some baby wipes ASAP!!!

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander OKC is Beautiful!!! Getting Advice from CP3!


NBA guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is fitting right in at his new home ... telling TMZ Sports he loves Oklahoma ... and he's already linkin' up with his new teammate, Chris Paul!!!

Of course, 21-year-old SGA was shipped off to OKC in the blockbuster trade that paired Paul George with Kawhi Leonard in L.A. last month ... but the 2nd year pro seems excited for his fresh start, to say the least.

We asked how Oklahoma's been treating him so far, and he said "beautiful!!"

There have been rumblings that CP3 wouldn't ever play a minute for OKC after he was traded from Houston in exchange for Russell Westbrook .... but that hasn't stopped the superstar from taking SGA under his wing and shelling out some solid advice.

Not a bad guy to learn the ropes from to say the least!!

Lala Anthony Carmelo Will Return to NBA ... 'Facts'


Don't close the book on Carmelo Anthony's career ... because his wife Lala Anthony tells TMZ Sports he'll DEFINITELY be back on a roster next season.

Lala was out in NYC when we asked about her hubby's NBA status -- considering he hasn't been on the court since 2018 and some people think he's done for good.

But, Anthony is only 34-years-old and he's been training hard recently -- so, we had to know if Lala expects to see Melo back in the league when the 2019-20 season kicks off.

"Why wouldn't we?" Lala said ... adding, "Facts!"

So, where she think Melo will land???

"Whatever team is gonna appreciate him!"

There's talk Anthony could return to the Knicks -- where he played for 7 seasons before he was traded to the OKC Thunder in 2017.

Anthony later spent a minute in Houston in 2018 before being traded to the Chicago Bulls, where he was waived on Feb. 1.

Unclear if Lala's statement will come to fruition -- but one thing's for sure ... Carmelo ain't ready to hang 'em up yet.

Damian Lillard Sister Stormed Court For Game Winner 'That's My MF'ing Brother!!!'

Breaking News

This is the GREATEST reaction to Damian Lillard's game-winning shot Tuesday night -- his sister storming the court while screaming "That's my brother" ... and she got the whole thing on video!!!

LaNae Lillard was sitting courtside at the Moda Center in Portland to watch the Trail Blazers take on the OKC Thunder in Game 5 of their NBA playoff series.

And, almost like she KNEW Dame was gonna sink that buzzer-beater, she busted out her phone and began recording the whole thing to her IG story.

Dame shot. Dame scored. LaNae went WILD -- rushing over to the celebratory pile in the middle of the court while yelling at the top of her lungs, "THAT'S MY BROTHER! THAT'S MY MOTHER F**KING BROTHER!!!"

It's an amazing video -- the shot clinched the playoff series for the Blazers, eliminating Russell Westbrook and company ... which must have been especially sweet for Dame, considering the two had been going at it the whole series.

Congrats to the whole Lillard family -- amazing night!!!

Next stop for Portland ... they get the winner of the Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs series.

Russell Westbrook Dedicates 20-20-20 Game to Nipsey ... 'That's For My Bro'

Breaking News

Russell Westbrook was playing for Nipsey Hussle when he went OFF in his historic performance on Tuesday night ... dedicating his 20-20-20 game to the slain rap star.

The NBA MVP became the first player to have 20 points, 20 assists and 20 rebounds in a game since Wilt Chamberlain (in 1968) in the Thunder's 119-103 win over the Lakers ... and he explained the symbolic meaning to the milestone.

"20 plus 20 plus 20 .... they know what that means," Brodie told Jason Terry on the TNT broadcast. "That's for my bro. Rest in peace, Nipsey." Brodie said after the game.

Of course, Westbrook is referencing Nipsey's Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips gang.

Brodie, who grew up in the L.A. area and was close to Nipsey ... and knew firsthand how important he was to the community.

"Grateful to play the game, but that wasn't for me, man. That was for my bro, man. That was for Nipsey."

"I'm just thankful to go out there and compete at a high level, man. Thankful to have these teammates. Thankful and humbled to go out there and play the game I love."

Westbrook also showed tribute to Nipsey with his clothing choice before the game, rocking a blue "Crenshaw" shirt, as well as writing a message on his shoes.

Brodie finished the game with 20 points, 20 assists and 21 rebounds.

Russell Westbrook Fan Banned For Life For Excessive Verbal Abuse

Breaking News

2:13 PM PT-- Westbrook has been fined $25k for “directing profanity and threatening language to a fan.”

1:54 PM PT -- The Utah Jazz just announced that they have permanently banned the fan involved in the verbal altercation with Russell Westbrook after they say a team investigation revealed the fan acted inappropriately.

The Jazz just released a statement ... saying, "The Utah Jazz and Larry H. Miller Group announced today a permanent ban of the fan who engaged in the inappropriate interaction with the Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook last night at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The ban is effective immediately and includes all arena events."

"The organization conducted an investigation through video review and eyewitness accounts. The ban is based on excessive and derogatory verbal abuse directed at a player during the game that violated the NBA Code of Conduct."

"The Utah Jazz will not tolerate fans who act inappropriately. There is no place in our game for personal attacks or disrespect."

Jazz President Steve Starks also addressed the situation ... saying, "Everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy and play the game in a safe, positive and inclusive environment."

"Offensive and abusive behavior does not reflect the values of the Miller family, our organization and the community. We all have a responsibility to respect the game of basketball and, more importantly, each other as human beings. This has always been a hallmark of our incredible fan base and should forever be our standard moving forward."

"I swear to God, I'll f*ck you up, you and your wife. I'll f*ck you up."

Russell Westbrook let the profanities fly at the OKC Thunder vs. Utah Jazz game on Monday ... verbally threatening physical harm on a fan in the 2nd quarter of the game.

So, what did the fan say to set Russ off??

If you ask the fan, 45-year-old Shane Keisel, he denies ANY inappropriate or racist words were said, claiming he yelled, "Ice those knees up!" to the MVP.

As for his wife being involved, Keisel says she never said a word ... and is pissed Westbrook went after her too.

"She never got up. She never stood up. She never said a word to him," the fan told ESPN after the game.

"I mean, it's all fine, we're having fun and games with the guy and we're talking, but at the end of the day, no man should threaten a woman, period."

"I'm not afraid of the guy. Come on up. But when you threaten a woman that's 5 feet tall and 110 pounds, you're a big man. So this guy needs to be exposed."

Brodie says he doesn't regret the blowup because he heard something completely different -- something racially charged -- "Get down on your knees like you're used to" ... and that's what made him go nuclear.

"For me, I'm just not going to continue to take disrespect for my family," Westbrook told reporters after the game.

"And if I had to do it again, I would say the same exact thing, because I truly will stand up for myself, for my family, for my kids, for my wife, for my mom, for my dad every single time.

"I expect anybody else to do the same. So that's kind of where I'm at with the whole situation."

"As for beating up his wife, I have never put my hand on a woman; I never will. Never been in any domestic violence before. Never have before, but once he said the comment, his wife repeated the same thing to me as well. So that's kind of how that started."

Russell has gotten support from ex-NBAer Matt Barnes ... who said, "I said it b4 @utahjazz have the most racist fans in the @NBA."

The Jazz released a statement ... saying, "We are continuing to investigate the unfortunate exchange at tonight’s game between Russell Westbrook and fans."

"Multiple warning cards were issued by arena security. Players and fans have a shared responsibility to create a safe and respectful environment. If it is determined that any fans violated the NBA Code of Conduct, appropriate action will be taken."

Originally Published -- 6:41 AM PT

Russell Westbrook Runs Into Michelle Obama

Breaking News

Russell Westbrook had touched down in Denver -- getting ready to take on the Nuggets -- when all of the sudden ... BOOM, IT'S MICHELLE OBAMA!!!

The Oklahoma City Thunder star has a game Friday night at the Pepsi Center -- the same spot where Michelle O had a big event Thursday to promote her book, "Becoming."

Unclear who spotted who ... but Russ was definitely excited to see the former First Lady and posted the pic on Instagram.

"It was insane running into Michelle Obama. She has been such an inspiration to my family, and I can't wait to read her new book Becoming," Westbrook wrote.

The two have met before -- when they hugged it out at the 2012 Olympic Games in London when Russell and the rest of the Team USA basketball squad dominated France.

Michelle was sitting in the front row for the action and personally congratulated every single player -- from LeBron James to Carmelo Anthony.

And, get this, we've previously spoken with Westbrook about the possibility of the Obamas becoming owners of an NBA team -- and Russ told us he'd be 100% down to play for Barack and Michelle.


Russell Westbrook Shows Off Thighs At Team USA Practice


Ever wondered what Russell Westbrook's upper thighs look like??

Good ... 'cause the Thunder superstar gave all his Team USA teammates -- and the rest of us, courtesy of Bryan Salmond and Sharp and Shapiro from "The Vegas Take" radio show -- an eyeful of them on Thursday.

Russ had his Nike shorts rolled ALL THE WAY UP on the first day of Team USA camp out in Vegas ... showin' off the kind of skin we haven't seen since John Stockton.

Of course ... this ain't the first time Russ has made a fashion statement -- Gucci diaper bags, full-faced Jordan hoodies and whatever this was have been a staple of his closet.

So, keep doing you, Russ ... and thanks for the reminder to never skip leg day.

NBA's Andre Roberson Dating Rachel DeMita Finally Instagram Official!

Breaking News

They found love in an NBA place!!

OKC Thunder star Andre Roberson made his long-rumored relationship with the face of NBA 2K, Rachel DeMita, social media OFFISH this week ... and the two are adorable.

DeMita's been a meteor in the sports world, rising to national fame with her appearances on the Association's top video game and at Celebrity All-Star Games (she's a hooper too!).

She's picked up over a million followers on social media ... and Dre was clearly one of the biggest fans.

The two got all kinds of cozy over the last few months, including at a wedding overseas last week ... which appears to have prompted the long-awaited Insta move.

Rachel clearly appreciated it, dropping a "My whole heart" line in Andre's comment section.

NBA superstars seem happy about it too ... Russell Westbrook posted some praising hands emojis -- and Kevin Durant even liked the post!

Only one thing left for the couple to divulge ... this had to be how the meeting between the two ballers went down, right???

Paul George Didn't Want to Play In Kobe's Shadow ... Says YG


They've partied together ... they're fans of each other ... and now rapper YG says he knows why Paul George ultimately decided NOT to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers -- Kobe Bryant.

It's not a personal thing ... YG says PG knows the Lakers are (and always will be) Kobe's team and Paul would rather create his own legacy in Oklahoma City, which is why he re-signed with the Thunder.

"Make your own legacy, my n****," YG said.

"That's Kobe Bryant's team right there. The Lakers are Kobe's team. [Russell Westbrook] and Paul George got a chance to make the f*cking Thunder their team."

There's more ... YG added, "Paul George ain't trying to be up under the curse of the Lakers."

As for if Russ and Paul are enough to take down the Warriors' super team -- YG told us it all comes down to a lyric from an Ice Cube song.

Paul George Chad Ochocinco Ain't The FIFA King ... 'He Can't Beat Me!'


Chad Ochocinco is more FIFA Prince than FIFA King ... 'cause Paul George OWNS the ex-NFL superstar in the video game -- so says the Thunder stud himself.

Chad -- who's dubbed himself the "FIFA King" many times over the years -- has been obsessed with the soccer game ... and is a legend in the gaming community for showing up to random people's houses to pick up the sticks.

But PG-13 says the ex-NFL star is all talk ... and he NEVER wins when the two play.

"There's one person that can't beat me ... Ochocinco," Paul told TMZ Sports at the Fortnite Pro-Am on Wednesday.

It's huge if true ... 'cause just the other day Chad said he was in the FIFA lab for EIGHT STRAIGHT HOURS.

So ... forget the Fortnite tourneys -- let's see THIS matchup ASAP!!

Russell Westbrook Fashion Tribute to Michael Jordan

Breaking News

Screw the Jumpman logo, Russell Westbrook went FULL FACE to honor Michael Jordan.

The OKC Thunder star was spotted out in NYC during a late-night shopping spree this week wearing a special hoodie that's a collaboration between Jordan Brand and NY-based fashion line Public School.

The back says, "We Need Leaders."

True that.

Jordan and Russ are fans of each other -- not only is Russ signed to Jordan Brand, but MJ sent him a personalized note last year to congratulate him on his first NBA MVP award.

Game respects game.

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!