Nerlens Noel Settles Legal Battle W/ Rich Paul Agrees To Fork Over $200k

Nerlens Noel's legal battle with Rich Paul is over -- the two sides have settled their dispute ... with the former first-round draft pick agreeing to pay his former agent and Klutch Sports their cut of his $5 million contract with the New York Knicks.

In 2021, Nerlens -- who has earned around $45 million over the course of his career -- filed a lawsuit against Paul and Klutch Sports Group, claiming he lost $58 million in potential earnings when Paul represented him from 2017-2020.

Noel accused Paul -- whose client list includes several other high-profile NBA superstars, including LeBron James -- of advising him to reject a $70 million offer and take a one-year deal instead.

Noel's lawsuit came after Paul filed a grievance with the National Basketball Players Association ... claiming the former center owed him $200,000 in commission for the Knicks deal, per ESPN.

According to Shams Charania, Noel, Paul, and Klutch Sports Group "amicably settled their ongoing dispute" ... with the hooper agreeing to cough over the dough and withdraw all legal proceedings.

In September 2022, District Judge Jane J. Boyle, dismissed Noel's lawsuit ... recommending that the case be addressed within the NBPA's arbitration system.

Noel, drafted by the Pelicans in 2013 before being traded to the 76ers on draft night, has bounced around the league throughout his career ... spending time with the Thunder, Knicks, and Mavericks as well. He currently plays for the Pistons.

Patrick Beverley OKC Thunder Ball Boy Threatened To Kill Me ... After 2013 Westbrook Injury

Patrick Beverley says an OKC ball boy was so furious he injured Russell Westbrook during the 2013 NBA playoffs the guy actually threatened to kill him over the controversial play!

Beverley told the story during a recent episode of The Pat Bev Podcast ... sharing the wild story with his co-host, Rone, and guest Dave Portnoy.

PB says it all went down during the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs ... when the Rockets played the Thunder.

During the 2nd quarter of game 2, Westbrook, who was taking the ball up the court, was about to signal for a timeout when Bev, guarding Russ, lunged in an attempt to steal the ball, inadvertently contacting Russ' knee.

Westbrook suffered a torn meniscus, ending his season, and turning Beverley into public enemy #1 in the eyes of many OKC fans, including the ball boy, who presumably blamed Pat for the injury.

"I had a ball boy threaten to kill me over the Russell Westbrook injury," Pat said. "I get to OKC the next game, the police officers in front."

"They put a police car in front of my house in Houston. I get to the hotel, I'm on the floor by myself. They passing out papers of a young guy's face ... he threatened to kill me."

Pat says his head coach at the time, Kevin McHale, warned him Westbrook's injury had become a hot topic ... and the attempted steal was at the center of the controversy.

But, despite at least one threat to his life, Beverley says he was never phased and was actually upset he didn't come face-to-face with the ball boy.

"I wish I would have ran into his ass. I would have beat the s**t."

OKC's Chet Holmgren Out For Rookie Season ... With Foot Injury

UPDATE

3:26 PM PT -- Dr. David Abbasi, an orthopedic surgeon from Florida, broke down the Lisfranc injury for TMZ Sports. Abbasi regularly serves as a ringside/cage side physician and has taken care of many high-profile clients.

UPDATE

The Thunder announced earlier today Holmgren was out for the entire season after suffering the injury this week.

UPDATE

Devastating news for the OKC Thunder ... Chet Holmgren, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft, is expected to miss his entire rookie season due to a foot injury.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Wednesday that the Thunder fear Holmgren -- who stands 7'0" tall and weighs 190 lbs -- suffered ligament damage in his foot.

The worst possible scenario was confirmed just minutes ago -- he suffered a Lisfranc injury to his right foot, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Lisfranc injuries vary widely in seriousness ... but often require surgery to the midfoot, where bones are broken and/or ligaments torn. The injury isn't particularly common, but has occurred to NBA players in the past.

Oklahoma City selected Holmgren behind Duke star Paolo Banchero, who went to the Orlando Magic, hoping Chet could be the cornerstone of their franchise moving forward.

Holmgren sustained the foot injury in Jamal Crawford's Pro-Am game in Seattle ... where he was shown limping awkwardly after guarding LeBron James.

In the clip, you see LBJ one-on-one with Chet, who was in retreat mode, and after the 7-footer contested James' bucket, he appears to favor his right foot.

Thunder GM Sam Presti released a statement on Holmgren's injury ... saying, "Certainly, we are disappointed for Chet, especially given the excitement he had about getting on the floor with his teammates this season.

"We know Chet has a long career ahead of him within our organization and the Oklahoma City community. One of the things that most impressed us during the process of selecting Chet was his determination and focus."

"We expect that same tenacity will carry him through this period of time as we work together and support him during his rehabilitation."

OKC finished with a 24-58 record last season -- second worst in the Western Conference, but the addition of Holmgren to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had Thunder fans optimistic.

Drake Unrecognized By Older Couple At Game ... You Famous?!?

Is there anyone on the planet who doesn't know who Drake is?!?

The last two people who don't might've ended up courtside next to the megastar at the OKC Thunder vs. Houston Rockets game on Wednesday ... and the interaction is priceless!!!

The "Certified Lover Boy" was sitting in the front row as the Rockets were set to take the court in OKC ... and when cameras started showing Drizzy at his seat, the old guy sitting next to him seemed to ask if he was someone of importance.

Drake was clearly amused by whatever was said -- he starts cracking up and calls for the camera to focus on his new friend ... as Rumble, OKC's mascot, comes over to join in on the fun.

After the interaction, Drake and his new friends even posed for a selfie ... captioning it, "My new parents."

BTW -- Drake was at the game to support fellow Toronto guy Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ... who chatted it up with him after scoring 39 points in the 114-110 loss.

As for Drake's new friends ... maybe we have it all wrong and they were just chatting about being rich or how much the guy admires "Knife Talk."

Dwyane Wade Courtside Golf Lesson From Tony Finau ... At Jazz Game

Dwyane Wade was able to mix in a little golf practice with work Wednesday ... snagging a courtside lesson from PGA Tour star Tony Finau as he watched his Jazz play!!

Utah's new part-owner was taking in the Jazz game against OKC, when at one point during the contest, he turned to Finau to pick his brain about golf.

Cameras in the arena caught Tony giving Wade tips on how to work his hands before striking the ball ... and it seems Dwyane was receptive to the tutoring.

The broadcast announcers knew exactly what was going on, too ... making the scene even funnier.

"That's a free lesson," one said with a laugh.

Of course, the impromptu drills shouldn't surprise anybody ... Dwyane's been an avid golfer since retiring from the Association, and he's been spotted on courses often.

In fact, back in February, he got a 1-on-1 lesson from Tiger Woods ... one in which El Tigre taught him how to line up, tee up his ball and swing closer to his body.

No word on how Wade's scoring on the course these days ... but his Jazz did get the win over the Thunder on Wednesday -- so at least the hoops aspect of his life is still going well.

Houston Rockets Coach Rendered Speechless After 20th-Straight Loss ... Hilariously Sad Vid

BROKEN ROCKET
Houston Rockets

Losing frickin' sucks ... and if you need any proof, just check out Rockets head coach Stephen Silas ... who had an equally sad and hilarious reaction to Houston's 20th-straight loss on Sunday.

The Rockets have become one of the worst teams in the league over the past 2 months ... and haven't won a game since before Valentine's Day(!!!)

After losing a close 114-112 contest to the OKC Thunder on Sunday, Silas was asked if he thought the weight of the losing streak was building and affecting how the Rockets play.

Visibly frustrated, Silas rubs his forehead and goes completely silent for an awkward 10 seconds to gather his thoughts ... before muttering one subdued, "Yeah."

You have to feel for the guy -- Silas is in his first season as an NBA head coach, and he was placed in an extremely tough situation to succeed.

If you don’t remember, James Harden forced his way out of Houston in January to go play in Brooklyn ... and Russell Westbrook was traded before the season even started.

On top of that, emerging star Christian Wood -- who was dominating so far this season -- missed a month due to an ankle injury.

Ever since Wood went down, the Rockets have been awful ... posting an 11-30 record so far this season.

Hopefully, the ping-pong balls can bounce in the Rockets’ favor in the upcoming NBA Draft lottery ... but in the meantime, someone give Silas a hug. Dude is going through it.

NBA's Meyers Leonard Twitch Ban Lifted ... After Anti-Semitic Slur

Meyers Leonard is free to stream on Twitch again -- we've learned his ban has been lifted just over a week after he used an anti-Semitic slur during a video game session.

Remember, the former Miami Heat player was playing "Call of Duty" on March 9 when he hurled the K-word at an opposing player.

Twitch immediately blocked Leonard from the platform -- and the NBA hit Meyers with a $50k fine and a 1-week suspension.

Leonard apologized for using the slur and he's been working with various Jewish leaders to educate himself about why the word is dangerous and offensive ever since.

Now, Leonard's Twitch account has been reactivated -- which means he can get back to playing games in front of his 69,000 followers.

So far, Leonard has not logged back on -- and we're told he doesn't plan on doing so for a while -- while he continues to focus on educating himself.

THE FOUL MOMENT
Twitch.tv

In the meantime, Leonard has been traded from the Miami Heat to the OKC Thunder (though the Thunder don't plan on keeping him) ... and Meyers' wife issued a statement thanking the Heat franchise and the fan base.

"Our experience with the Heat has been anything but ordinary. Yet, it was nothing but exceptional", Elle Leonard said in a statement on social media.

"Miami truly shines brighter with a family like the Heat."

Russell Westbrook Producing Doc On Tulsa Race Massacre

NBA Superstar Russell Westbrook is channeling his inner Ken Burns ... 'cause the Wizards guard is working on a new documentary in hopes of educating people about the atrocities of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre.

The former MVP and History Channel announced Thursday they're working on a two-hour doc titled "Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre" (temporary title) ... with Brodie serving as executive producer and Marco Williams and Emmy-Award winner Stanley Nelson on as directors.

The documentary is said to take a deep look at the events of a century ago and how the impact is still being felt today ... in hopes to educate millions on a 100-year-old tragedy.

If you aren’t familiar with the story, here is a brief run down -- In May and June 1921, a race war erupted in Tulsa, OK after a 19-year-old Black man was accused of assaulting a 17-year-old white woman in an elevator.

Black men went to defend the man after some in the city wanted him lynched ... and an ensuing altercation with white people ignited a massive race war.

This led to one of the worst acts of racial violence in American history ... in which mobs of white residents attacked and ultimately destroyed the Greenwood District in Tulsa, OK, which at that time was the wealthiest black community in the United States -- AKA "Black Wall Street."

Many historians believe the massacre has since been underreported and even covered up ... and Westbrook -- who played in Oklahoma for the Thunder for 11 years -- says he had no idea about the incident until he arrived in OKC in 2009.

"The Tulsa Race Massacre was not something I was taught about in school or in any of my history books," Westbrook said in a statement. "It was only after spending 11 years in Oklahoma that I learned of this deeply troubling and heartbreaking event."

"This is one of many overlooked stories of African Americans in this country that deserves to be told. These are the stories we must honor and amplify, so we can learn from the past and create a better future."

Director Stanley Nelson added ... "The horrific story of the burning of Black Wall Street has long haunted me -- I’m grateful to be working on this film with such wonderful partners."

The project is slated to air in the spring of 2021 on The History Channel on the 100th anniversary of the massacre in Tulsa.

James Harden Strip Clubbin' Derailed 2012 Finals ... Says Kendrick Perkins

Kendrick Perkins says James Harden was too busy strip club hoppin' to care about the 2012 NBA Finals ... admitting, "We couldn't get that motherf***er to buy a bucket in that motherf***er."

The ex-NBA big man went IN on his former OKC Thunder teammate on Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson's "All The Smoke" podcast recently ... saying everyone brought their "A" game against LeBron James and the Miami Heat Big 3.

... except Harden.

"Man, James ain't give a s*** and you know why," Perk said ... "Motherf***ing King of Diamonds and everything cut a hole in his hands."

Perk points out Harden had no issues during the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs that same year ... 'cause there weren't any outside distractions.

"In San Antonio, you didn't have a damn thing to do," Perkins added. "S***, we got to motherf***ing Miami, it was every-motherf***ing-thing to do. We couldn't get that motherf***ker to buy a bucket in that motherf***er."

The numbers don't lie -- Harden averaged 12.4 points in the 5-game series, after averaging 18.5 per game in the previous round against the Spurs.

Of course, the Heat went on to win it all in Game 5 -- securing LeBron's first championship ... and Harden was later traded to Houston, where he became a strip club legend.

Now, Harden's Big 3 in Brooklyn is hoping to make their own Finals run ... and we're assuming Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will try like hell to keep him out of the booty clubs.

Houston Rockets First Game Postponed Not Enough Players Cleared COVID Protocol

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'

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

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'

NO HOLDIN' BACK
NBA

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!

SETTLING IN
TMZSports.com

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'

HE'LL BE PLAYIN'
TMZSports.com

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.

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