Markelle Fultz Summer Training At Kobe Bryant's Gym ... Met With Mamba

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Former #1 overall pick Markelle Fultz is desperately trying to salvage his NBA career ... and he turned to Kobe Bryant for help, spending the summer at Mamba's training facility.

Fultz -- who was drafted before NBA stars like Jayson Tatum, De'Aaron Fox and Donovan Mitchell -- has seen his career get off to a super shaky start.

Over 2 seasons, Fultz -- who's now on the Orlando Magic -- has only played in 33 games (he started 15) ... averaging only 7.7 points per game, 3.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds.

But, Markelle -- who's still a ridiculously young 21-year-old with supreme talent -- is trying to turn the bust ship around ... and he's looking to Kobe for help.

Fultz spent a good chunk of the summer at MAMBA Sports Academy in Southern California ... working daily with the academy's trainers.

We're told Markelle even had a sit-down with Kobe ... where Bryant schooled Fultz on the "Mamba Mentality" -- which in KB's words means to "constantly try to be the best version of yourself."

Will Kobe's greatness rub off on Fultz? Stay tuned. NBA season kicks off next month.

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Orlando Magic Volunteering at Blood Center ... To Help Shooting Victims

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The Orlando Magic jumped into action to help out the victims in the nightclub shooting -- volunteering at a blood center and dispatching the team spiritual leader to help grieving families.

TMZ Sports spoke with a rep for the NBA team who told us several members of the organization helped out at the OneBlood Center on Sunday.

In addition, the team is "providing blood drive locations to our employees so they can participate during work hours."

"In addition, our Magic spiritual leader went to the Family Assistance Center to help serve as a grief counselor."

The team says, "We are continuing to assess needs and will be ready to work with our fellow teams in the Orlando sports community to help our community heal, while remembering the victims and their families and friends."

Kate Upton I'd Be Stupid to Turn Down Marriage Proposal ... From a Dragon

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Kate Upton's sending a message to her baseball star boyfriend -- get on your game or your gonna lose me ... to a guy who dresses up as a dragon for a living!

We got Kate BOUNCING (if you know what we mean) through LAX ... on her way back from Orlando, FL -- where, If you missed it, she got a marriage proposal from the Orlando Magic mascot over the weekend.

Thing is ... Stuff the dragon kinda snaked Kate's bf, Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander -- waiting until he walked away from their seats to pop the question..

Watch the vid (especially if you're Verlander) ... Kate says the proposal was a "huge honor" -- and definitely did NOT say she's turning down the dude who plays dress up.

Dwight Howard My Heart Is in L.A. But My Head Is in Orlando

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Dwight Howard might be a Los Angeles Laker, but part of him is still a member of the Orlando Magic ... specifically, his head.

In town to play the New York Knicks last month, D12 hit up a hat store in Harlem and wouldn't you know it ... he picked up a hat of his former team.

According to our witness, Dwight didn't just pick up the hat ... HE BOUGHT IT!!!

For the non-sports fans out there ... Dwight was traded away by the Magic last year after he basically whined his way out of town. It was not a happy parting of the ways.

With Dwight set to be a free agent this summer, maybe a reunion isn't as far-fetched as one would think.

Gilbert Arenas Judge Clears Ex-Fiancee for "Basketball Wives LA"

Gilbert Arenas' ex-fiancee is free to talk smack and get in as many catfights as she wants on "Basketball Wives LA" -- thanks to a federal court decision today.

A judge ruled against the NBA star's request to block Laura Govan from appearing on the show and mentioning his name.

The judge said Gilbert's claim that details of his family life should not be aired on the reality show -- is undercut by the fact he has "tens of thousands of Twitter users who follow [him] as he tweets about a variety of mundane occurrences."

Arenas has 51,103 Twitter followers. He and Govan have 4 children together.