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.

Hoop Dreams Trolls Shade Dude Who Proposed to Cheerleader

HALFCOURT HERO

Suck it trolls ... you're just jealous!!!

During a stoppage at the Sixers/Clippers game Friday, there was a show where fans dressed in onesies. One of the folks on the hardwood was masked in a blue dog head.

The guy -- Chris Girard -- then revealed himself, got down on one knee and asked one of the 76er dancers -- Jackie Murtha -- to marry him!

At first it was unclear if she even knew the guy, but judging by the kiss ... she did. Turns out it's his GF and she said yes.

Now that's where the shade comes in. As they embraced folks started scoffing, saying she was way out of his league. Social media was predictable ... "You know this gorgeous lady is not gonna marry that dork, but at least she didn't embarrass him," and "Make-A-Wish doing adults now?"

Girard clapped back at his trolls ... “DEAR COMMENT SECTION: I KNOW SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE. I AM JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE.”

Short story ... he won, you lost.

Lil Baby Houston BDay Romp With J. Harden ... And Money Mountain For The Strip Club!!!

BABY BALLIN'

Lil Baby's birthday was technically on December 3, but the rapper isn't just limiting his celebrations to one day -- seemingly celebrating all month.

Baby's festivities took him to Houston Monday, where he partied with James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers after they lost to Harden's former squad, the Houston Rockets.

COURTSIDE CHILLIN'
Instagram / @lilbaby

Bouncing back after an L in the club is very familiar territory for JH13 -- and he and Lil Baby switched courses for one of H-Town's illustrious strip clubs.

With Harden in tow, Baby rapped along to his "Danger" lyrics while previewing the insane stack of cash they set aside for the dancers, which undoubtedly had them throwing cash all night!!!

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The evening is giving a serious case of déjà vu ... Baby got wild with James, Travis Scott, and Meek Mill for his birthday in March after losing by 29 points -- against another one of his former teams, the Brooklyn Nets.

BLOWOUT BASH

At least they only lost by 9 this time. HBD, Baby!!! 🎉

Meek Mill Trips Referee At Sixers Game ... It Was An Accident!!

Don't ever, EVER make a bad call in the presence of Meek Mill ... the rapper tripped a referee during the 76ers game and it was all caught on live TV!!

Kidding ... it was clearly an accident -- a funny accident -- and the ref was totally fine.

The Philly rapper was sitting courtside with Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin and Will Makris at the Suns-Sixers game at the Wells Fargo Center Monday night.

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The "Dreams & Nightmares" rapper got in on the action in the 2nd quarter when his stretched-out legs got in the way of the officials running alongside the court near the Sixers' bench.

The ref fell right near Sixers' coach Doc Rivers ... who helped him back to his feet. MM quickly apologized to the ref.

Meek also acknowledged the incident on social media, using lyrics from Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind."

"Hov once said 'I be spiked out I can trip a referee'", Meek said, "Lol I apologized to him that’s brazyyy tho 😂😂😂😂"

Rubin, however, says differently ... saying on his IG story, Meek tried to put the blame on him.

Note to self: don't stretch your legs courtside!

James Harden Beard, Sweater & Slippers ... Fuzzy Opening Night 'Fit!!!

James Harden didn't break out the razor for his face, shirt OR his shoes for the 76ers' opening night ... leaving the fuzz on all three for Philly's much-anticipated first game of the year!!

The superstar point guard showed off the furry 'fit on his way into TD Garden ahead of the Sixers' game against the Celtics ... lookin' both comfy and swaggy.

He had on some tan slippers, a purple sweater, some pajama-like bottoms ... and he topped it all off with a sweet Louis Vuitton bag.

Of course, he left on his signature beard as well -- and, as he entered the arena, he didn't say anything to reporters ... looking locked in.

Harden has been known to take risks with his pregame looks -- he is, after all, VERY involved in the fashion world ... but this is a next-level look for even him.

P.J. Tucker, meanwhile, also strolled into Boston with an outlandish look ... sportin' some hot-pink shoes, pants and jacket.

Tip-off is slated for 4:30 p.m. PT ... and following that, the Warriors take on the Lakers at 7 p.m. -- which means Russell Westbrook has only a couple hours left to top the Sixers stars' looks!!

Joel Embiid Sworn In As U.S. Citizen ... I'm An American!!!

Joel Embiid is officially a U.S. citizen -- the Sixers big man just revealed he was sworn in at a recent ceremony in Philadelphia!!

Embiid -- a native of Cameroon -- told the Associated Press Thursday that his wife, Sports Illustrated model Anne De Paula, and their young son factored into his decision to go through the process.

"I've been here for a long time," Embiid told the outlet. "My son is American. I felt like I'm living here, and it's a blessing to be an American."

The 28-year-old -- who averaged 30.6 points per game last season for Philadelphia -- also has citizenship in France.

Embiid is following in the footsteps of other NBA athletes who have obtained U.S. citizenship recently ... like Enes Kanter Freedom, who opted to add "Freedom" to his name during the process.

FEELIN' FREE
CNN

The former KU star has been in the NBA since 2014 ... and has become one of the league's most dominant big men over the past six seasons.

No word on whether this changes Embiid's national team allegiances to the Red, White and Blue ... right now, he says he's only focused on winning a championship in Philly.

U-S-A!!!

Ben Simmons On 76ers Drama ... Felt Like Everyone Was 'Just Trying To F*** With Me'

Ben Simmons says things got so nasty between him and the 76ers ... that at the height of their tension, it felt like everyone in the org. was "just trying to f*** with me now."

Simmons finally opened up about his breakup with Philly on JJ Redick's "The Old Man and the Three" podcast ... and he said during the worst part of their relationship back in Oct. 2021, he thought multiple high-ranking people in the franchise, including head coach Doc Rivers, were out to get him.

"I actually spoke to Doc before practice," Simmons said when recalling the infamous fall workout that he was booted from and later suspended over. "I was like, 'Doc, I'm not ready. Mentally, I'm not ready. Please, just understand that.'"

"I tried to let him know prior," Simmons continued. "He was like, 'Well, I'm going to put you in any way.'"

Simmons said early on in the practice, Rivers put him on the floor. Predictably, Simmons didn't handle it well, and Rivers kicked him out. The Sixers later banned him 1 game for it all.

He said it was just one of a few things the Sixers did that month that had rubbed him the wrong way.

"It seems like everyone's just trying to f*** with me now," Simmons said, recalling the events. "Like, I'm getting fined for not lifting weights, but, physically, I'm like one of the strongest guys on the f***ing team."

"So they're fining me for little things. It was just a buildup."

Simmons did admit "obviously I didn't handle things the right way, but also the team didn't either and the people who had that power."

The 26-year-old was ultimately traded to the Nets for James Harden in February.

"For me, I was trying to -- for myself, personally -- get to a good place," Simmons said of all the drama. "To get back on the floor. Getting on the floor was my priority and trying to get myself to a place where I was mentally good to do that."

"And I was in such a bad place where I was like, 'F***. Like, I'm trying to get here and you guys are, like, throwing all these other things at me to where you're not helping.' That's all I wanted was help."

Simmons did not play for the Nets following the trade -- and he eventually underwent back surgery in May. He's expected to be ready to play for Brooklyn this season.

Ex-76ers Owner Michael Rubin Buys $70 Million L.A. Mansion ... Reagan's Old Property!!

Former 76ers owner Michael Rubin has found a new place to call home -- TMZ Sports has confirmed he just dropped $70 million on an L.A. mansion that sits on land previously owned by Ronald Reagan!

The pad is located in Hollywood Hills -- and it's insane. It features seven bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and a laundry list of amenities.

It's also three stories tall -- and it's located so perfectly on a knoll that it overlooks the famous Sunset Strip in Hollywood.

Reagan used to own the property many years ago, as did legendary music producer Richard Perry, though it's undergone significant remodels over the years since.

Our sources say Rubin -- who wanted a new pad in Los Angeles because a lot of his Fanatics business is run out of the city -- got a pretty good deal on the place ... it was originally listed for over $80 million.

Like Rubin, the seller has some ties to the sports world -- according to the L.A. Times, Francesco Aquilini, the chairman of the Vancouver Canucks, was the one who put it on the market.

Westside Estate Agency's Kurt Rappaport repped Rubin in the purchase.

Congrats on the new place, Michael -- housewarming party soon??

Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin Selling Ownership Stake ... In 76ers & NJ Devils

Michael Rubin -- the billionaire minority owner of the Philadelphia 76ers -- is selling his stake in the Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment company which owns the Sixers and the New Jersey Devils.

Rubin, 49, shared the news this week during an interview with FOX Sports ... saying he decided to unload the teams after 11 years of ownership because of a conflict of interest.

The conflict? Michael's the CEO of Fanatics, and the company is getting involved in the incredibly lucrative sports gambling industry. Doing that while owning a team is a no-no -- thus the sale of his 10% stake.

HBSE exec Josh Harris said that Rubin's decision doesn't come as a surprise ... and that he was "grateful" for his years of partnership.

"Michael will always be a member of our HBSE and Sixers family, continue to be a presence courtside and a key partner in our collective commitment to be a force for good in Philadelphia," Harris said.

David Blitzer, co-founding and co-managing partner, called Rubin a "visionary" and "innovator" who "played an integral role in helping us grow and position HBSE for future success."

"As he prepares for this new chapter in his career, I'm excited to watch Michael further revolutionize the Fanatics business, unlocking its full potential by connecting sports fans from around the world through a multitude of new platforms and verticals," Blitzer said.

Doc Rivers Harden Will Sign 'Huge Deal' With Sixers ... 'I Love Him!!!'

LET'S RUN IT BACK
TMZSports.com

Doc Rivers says James Harden will sign a "huge deal" with the 76ers ... telling TMZ Sports he enjoys coaching the star guard and loves having him on the team.

We caught up with the Philadelphia head coach as he was leaving E Baldi in Bev Hills this week ... and he told us he's sure Harden, who the 76ers acquired this past season, has a massive new contract coming his way.

"Huge deal," Rivers said.

Doc added that he's "excited" about coaching JH, explaining, "I love him."

The Miami Heat bounced the Sixers from the NBA playoffs this year in the second round -- a series in which Harden didn't play his best -- which left many to question if the org. should give the 32-year-old a new, lucrative deal.

Seems Doc, though, is convinced that's going to happen.

Harden, meanwhile, has until June 29 to opt into the final year of his contract -- which will pay him $47.4 million next season.

If that goes down, Harden will then be eligible to sign a 4-year, $233 million contract extension -- which is something his coach clearly thinks is a foregone conclusion.

Jimmy Butler Clowns Sixers After Elimination 'Tobias Harris Over Me?!'

Jimmy Butler is ruthless for this one.

The Miami Heat superstar got the last word in after eliminating the Philadelphia 76ers from the playoffs on Thursday ... straight-up roasting his former team for letting him go and choosing to keep Tobias Harris.

"Tobias Harris over me," Butler yelled as he went to the lockers after dropping 32 points in the Game 6 win in Philly. "Tobias Harris over me?!?"

There were also a few expletives ... although it's unclear what Jimmy Buckets said. Whatever it was, it had the arena and team staffers nearby awkwardly smiling at each other.

Of course, the Sixers traded for Butler in 2018, but shipped him off to the Heat via a sign-and-trade deal the next offseason. Philly eventually signed Tobias to a 5-year, $180 million deal ... with hopes of building around Ben Simmons.

Butler has proven to be a top talent in the league ever since ... including a memorable performance in the 2020 NBA Finals against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers -- averaging 26 points, nearly 10 assists and 8 rebounds.

The move still puzzles Sixers MVP candidate, Joel Embiid, to this day -- after the game, he said, "I still don't know how we let him go."

"I wish I could have gone to battle with him still."

Butler certainly seems happy with how it all played out ... as the Sixers will have to watch the rest of the postseason from the couch.

Jason Kelce Eagles OL Belts Out National Anthem ... Before Sixers Game

Jason Kelce is apparently a man of many talents ... it turns out, the Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman can both bench press defensive linemen AND sing!!!

The NFL star showed off his huge pipes on Monday night -- belting out the national anthem before the 76ers' game against the Nuggets ... and dude did a great job!!

Kelce stood at center court for the song, rocking a Sixers shirt, and serenaded a capacity crowd with his rendition of the "The Star-Spangled Banner."

The fans in the crowd loved it, cheering on every note -- and check out the video, Kelce sure seemed to feel like he crushed the performance.

As for why the Eagles Pro Bowler was tapped to be the guest singer for the game, it's all because of charity.

Kelce agreed to perform at the Wells Fargo Center if his former teammate, Connor Barwin, raised $100,000 or more for his Make The World Better Foundation by the end of 2021, and once he did, it was singing time for JK.

Kelce clearly took it all seriously ... though his singing didn't provide quite enough good luck for the Sixers, who ended up losing 114-110 to Denver.

Ben Simmons Booed, Heckled By Fans ... In Return to Philly

76ers fans greeted Ben Simmons with boos and trash talk as he took the court before Thursday's game ... marking his first return to Philadelphia since his trade to the Brooklyn Nets.

Remember, the 25-year-old guard made it clear he wanted out of Philly ... and was willing to lose out on millions of dollars as he refused to suit up for the Sixers this season.

Simmons finally got what he wanted last month ... after the Sixers traded BS, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for James Harden.

Simmons returned to Wells Fargo Center -- this time as a visitor -- in black and white gear for Thursday's matchup against the Sixers ... and despite being out with an injury, the fans let him hear it during pre-game shootaround.

In fact, the 3-time All-Star was heckled way before getting to the arena -- he was surrounded by an angry crowd while getting onto the team bus ... with one fan saying, "Ben Simmons, you stink!"

Fans were also booing Simmons outside the Four Season in downtown Philadelphia ... with one fan actually thanking him for the Nets trade.

"Thanks for James, man" one fan yelled.

Welcome back to Philly, Simmons.

James Harden Traded To Sixers ... For Ben Simmons

Two NBA superstars finally got their wish in one trade -- James Harden has been shipped to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Ben Simmons.

The blockbuster deal is currently being finalized, according to Shams Charania ... and will reportedly include Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks heading to Brooklyn.

The trade officially ends Simmons' stand-off with the Sixers -- he hasn't played a minute of basketball this season ... saying he was not mentally prepared to compete.

More recently, Harden reportedly hated his time in BK ... and was hoping to get traded to a new franchise.

6/29/21
BEN'S A BEAST
TMZSports.com

It's crushing for Sixers coach Doc Rivers, who told us back in the summer he wanted Simmons back this season.

The move rocks the Eastern Conference -- the Sixers are currently 5th in the standings with a 32-22 record ... and the Nets are sitting in 8th with a 29-25 record.

While Simmons hasn't played, Harden has been productive with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists.

Carmelo Anthony Altercation With Fans In Philly ... After He Says He Was Called 'Boy'

Carmelo Anthony needed to be restrained from going after fans in Philadelphia on Thursday night ... and it's all because he says some of them called him "boy."

As the L.A. Lakers were down big to the 76ers in the fourth quarter of their game in Philly ... Melo stopped playing and began walking toward a group of Sixers fans that appeared to be talking trash.

At one point, it looked like Anthony was going to enter the crowd and get face-to-face with the men ... but, fortunately, referees grabbed him before he could get to the fans.

Arena security ended up booting the men from the area before it could escalate further ... and when Melo was asked about the incident following the game, he told the L.A. Times that he was called "boy" by the men.

Melo added in his postgame interview that he believed all of the smack talk crossed lines.

"Some things were said -- unacceptable," Anthony said. "I'm cool with fans heckling, fans talking trash, cheering for their team, booing the other team, I'm all for that."

"But when you cross certain lines, as a man, you just, that's what you're going to see. That's what you're going to get, as you saw there."

Anthony continued, "There's just certain things you don't bring to any type of sporting event. There's just certain things you don't say to anybody. If I was outside and I bumped into you and you said those things to me, then it would be a totally different story."

It's unclear if the fans will face further discipline from the 76ers.

Of course, this is far from the first time this season that players have gotten into it with fans ... even Carmelo's own teammate, LeBron James, had hecklers kicked out of their seats earlier this season.

As for the game, Melo's Lakers were ultimately blown out by the 76ers, 105-87.

Charles Barkley Sixers Need To Trade Ben Simmons ... 'Fans Won't Forgive Him'

BALLIN' WITH BARKLEY
TMZSports.com

Charles Barkley has some pretty strong words for the Philadelphia 76ers ... telling TMZ Sports it's time they stop being stubborn and trade disgruntled star Ben Simmons already.

We spoke with Charles at LAX ... and asked whether he agreed with Doc Rivers' son, Austin Rivers, who told us he thought Simmons' Sixers career was over.

And it's safe to say Chuck agrees.

NOT HAPPENING
TMZSports.com

"He's never going to play another game in Philly," Barkley said. "The fans won't forgive him."

"They have to make a trade," he added. "You have to move on from a bad relationship. They're not using him and Joel Embiid has been playing great this year, so they're wasting his talents."

Barkley -- who spent 8 seasons with the Sixers -- is familiar with how ruthless Philly fans can be ... recalling times they were hard on him when he played for the org.

"I know those fans very well," Barkley said. "I thought my name was Charles Barkley Son of a Bitch for a long time when I was there."

CB offered some suggestions on how to end the Simmons saga ... saying Philly needs to hop on the phone and call the Boston Celtics, the Houston Rockets, or the Sacramento Kings to help get a deal done.

Speaking of the Kings, Barkley wasn't too fond of SAC trolling Lakers star Russell Westbrook for his shooting slump the other night ... telling us, "The Sacramento Kings should not be making fun of anybody."

"They might be the worst franchise in NBA history, so they need to ease up."

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