Larsa Pippen I'm Not Banging Ben Simmons!!!

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Getty Composite

Scottie Pippen's estranged wife, Larsa Pippen, says she is NOT hooking up with NBA superstar Ben Simmons ... adamantly denying she was getting close to the hooper earlier this week.

There were reports Pippen and Kendall Jenner's recent ex-boyfriend were looking like a couple at The Highlight Room on Monday night ... with the non-couple leaving within minutes of each other that night.

The news would be a MAJOR deal in the Kardashian world since Larsa is BFFs with Kim and Kourtney. #SCANDALOUS!!

But, Larsa is having NONE of that talk ... saying she never even saw the 23-year-old Sixers point guard that night ... and would NEVER betray a family friend a la Jordyn Woods.

"I never even saw him, let alone left with him," Larsa said in a heated IG story. "He dated my bff's sister and I would never."

Seems like a low-key shot at Woods -- Kylie's ex-BFF -- who hooked up with Tristan Thompson which led to a messy split with Khloe Kardashian.

Ben and Kendall dated for a year and broke up sometime around May ... and he famously dated singer Tinashe prior to that.

As for Larsa, she has 4 kids with the Chicago Bulls legend ... but the couple split late last year.

NBA's Ben Simmons Rejected From Australia Casino ... Suggests Racial Profiling

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A LONG WAY TO GO

Philadelphia 76ers superstar Ben Simmons claims he was DENIED entry into a casino in Australia ... and strongly suggested it all had to do with race.

The 23-year-old was trying to go to the Crown Casino in Melbourne early Monday morning with some friends, but claims they were all turned away by security ... well, all but ONE who happens to be white.

"I find it so crazy that the only guy who doesn’t get checked to go into the casino is this guy,” Simmons said while pointing to his Caucasian buddy.

"I get checked, Mike gets checked and Taj gets checked," Ben added. His white buddy then chimes in, "Not me!"

While showing the security guards, Ben says, "Thank you, Crown Casino."

He wasn't done -- Ben showed some of his pals, all who appear to be men of color, and continued, "They didn’t let me in, or him or this guy. Wow, we got a long way to go."

What's even more shocking about the alleged racial profiling ... Ben is insanely famous in Australia, where he grew up and became a national celebrity playing basketball.

We're reaching out to both Ben and the casino for comment -- stay tuned.

Fun Fact: The Crown Casino is where Tiger Woods and Rachel Uchitel secretly hooked up back in day. Good times!

Ben Simmons Violently Dunks All Over Kids at Charity Basketball Event

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POSTERIZED!!!

WARNING -- If you come within 10 feet of Ben Simmons, there's a 100% chance he's gonna dunk on your ass ... and some kids in Australia found that out REAL QUICK!!

The NBA superstar attended the Helping Hoops charity basketball event in Melbourne on Wednesday ... and turned it into an absolute dunking CLINIC on the kids in attendance.

The vid is awesome ... Ben dribbles the ball up the court and puts his defender on a poster. The players lost their minds and Simmons playfully taunts his opponent for even jumping to block the inevitable dunk.

But, it's not like anyone was getting embarrassed by Simmons' rim shakers -- it looks like they WANTED the challenge of going face-to-face with the Sixers stud ... lining up to go against the 6'10" hooper.

Hey, it's not every day you can get dunked on by an All-Star ... can you blame 'em?!

By the way, Helping Hoops is all about supporting kids from underprivileged backgrounds through basketball -- basically, they run free hoops programs for more than 1,000 kids.

So, yeah ... props to Ben and everyone involved.

Ben Simmons Rages In Hollywood After $170 Million Offer from 76ers!!!

LIFE OF THE PARTY
TMZSports.com

How do you celebrate after getting a $170 MILLION contract offer? 

If you're Ben Simmons, you hit the Hollywood nightclubs with a massive entourage!!

That's what the 22-year-old did last night ... rolling into Bootsy Bellows in West Hollywood like the ultimate VIP and TMZ Sports has the video. 

Simmons -- looking super casual in a hoodie and a baseball cap -- strolled right past the normies and walked right into the club with a bunch of dudes and ladies surrounding him. 

It was a pretty pimp moment from one of the biggest young stars in the NBA. 

Ben joined some huge celebrities in the club including Dave Chappelle, A$AP Ferg and rapper Trinidad James

Simmons only made a measly $6.5 mil this season -- but if/when he signs his max contract, he'll be making around $34 MIL per year (He has until October to sign the contract). 

So, yeah ... we'd say that's reason to celebrate! 

Drake Mama, There Goes That Man!!! Major Catcalls in Bahamas

EXCLUSIVE
WET YOUR WHISTLE
TMZ.com

We all know Drake can draw a crowd anywhere he goes -- but who would've guessed he gets the construction site treatment in the Bahamas???

TMZ broke the story ... Drake and co. touched down in the Caribbean Monday with his massive new custom OVO jet, which made other nearby airliners look puny.

His plane is a 767-300F Boeing model, which can retail anywhere from $185 mil to $220 mil brand new.

As if his standout sky ride wasn't a dead giveaway that Champagne Papi was in town, his mere presence at a resort on the island nation wasn't necessarily kept incognito either.

Multiple witnesses saw Drake making his way through The Cove Luxury Resort, where folks couldn't help but hoot, holler, sing and whistle at Drizzy as he passed through with his entourage. Hey, we get it ... he's one handsome feller. Catcall when you get the chance.

Drake was later seen inside the Atlantis Casino playing the tables with none other than ... Philadelphia 76ers team investor Michael Rubin?! Yep, it'd seem Drake's NBA allegiance sees no jersey when he's not on the court cheering his home team, the Toronto Raptors ... who bounced Rubin's guys earlier in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

BTW ... we're told they were posted up at $500 minimum blackjack tables. High-rollers, obviously.

Game 1 between the Raptors and the Warriors kicks off Thursday in Toronto. Here's hoping Drake can get some R&R between now and then ... it's gonna be a doozy.

Kendall Jenner Single Again? Cannes Do!!!

Kendall Jenner's far away from her family and chilling in France, and it might be a sign of a fresh start for the supermodel ... in the dating world.

Kendall was soaking up some sunshine Thursday in Cannes with Kardashian family friend and Kourtney's former fling, Luka Sabbat. It looks super casual, but the timing is interesting ... because Kendall and her NBA star boyfriend, Ben Simmons, have reportedly broken up.

They haven't been seen together much lately, so people were starting to wonder and although there's been no announcement ... splitsville's looking very real. Kendall flew into France Wednesday -- presumably to hit up some Cannes Film Festival premieres, and attend the amfAR Gala later Thursday.

SKATIN' FOR KYLIE SKIN

That busy schedule explains why she missed out on Kylie's big skincare launch and roller skating party.

She was the only one of the Kardashian-Jenner sisters not in attendance. From the looks of it ... they all found a way to soldier on without her, though. Roller skates will do that for ya.

Caron Butler Defends Crying Joel Embiid NBA Players Deserve Post-Game Privacy

EXCLUSIVE
IT'S OK TO CRY
TMZSports.com

LEAVE JOEL EMBIID ALONE!!!!

Caron Butler not only thinks the 76ers superstar was justified in crying after the 76ers heartbreaking loss to the Toronto Raptors, he thinks the NBA should change the media rules to allow players to deal with their emotions in private.

In case you missed it ... after Embiid missed his shot to swat Kawhi Leonard's game-winner, cameras captured Joel crying on the court ... and later in the hallway while being consoled by his girlfriend.

Butler says he understands Embiid's emotions ... and feels the league should step in to give him his privacy.

"That's the crazy part about the NBA. They say that players need that time to vent so it would be great if guys were able to go to the locker room, kind of depress, let that emotional time die down and then have an opportunity to go back out there and address the media."

Of course, the NBA will likely NEVER do this -- because those raw, emotional moments resonate with fans and people love it.

Butler also fires back at the jerks criticizing Embiid for shedding tears -- telling TMZ Sports players should be praised for caring about the game so much.

Butler also weighs in on Max Kellerman's comments from last week when he said Kawhi is better than Kobe Bryant in clutch situations.

Drake Self-Cursed 76ers To Help Toronto Raptors Win

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Drake harnessed the power of the "Drake Curse" on Sunday -- and used it as a WEAPON to help his Toronto Raptors beat the 76ers.

For some reason, the Canadian superstar wasn't able to attend Game 7 in Toronto -- so he watched the game with some pals instead.

But, when Kawhi Leonard hit that insane buzzer beater to sink Philadelphia in the 4th quarter -- Drake busted out his phone and aimed down ... showing he was wearing a pair of 76ers shorts the whole time.

He posted the whole thing on his Instagram story. Even though you can't see his face, you can hear his voice -- it's obviously him.

THE CURSE STRIKES AGAIN

The Drake curse is legendary ... whatever team Drake has rooted for in a championship capacity has crapped the bed when it counts.

From Alabama to Kentucky to the Toronto Maple Leafs ... even Conor McGregor.

So, credit to Drake for acknowledging to curse and using his mystical powers to help his own squad.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

One more thing ... Drake also posted a photo of Leonard during the buzzer beater -- and used it as an opportunity to diss Joel Embiid ... because he tagged the 76ers star, "SadPhillyBoy."

Ouch.

Drake Taunted 76ers While Raptors Dominate Game 5!!!

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Here's Drake ... stoked out of his MIND while watching his Toronto Raptors take a giant dump all over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday and taking a 3-2 lead in their playoff series.

Does he look worried about a curse to you?!

Drake was sitting right on the court at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto as his squad put a 125 to 89 beating on Philly in a pivotal Game 5.

In the 4th quarter, with roughly 10 minutes left in the game, Drake ramped up the trash talk -- and started making airplane wing gestures at the 76ers players.

Of course, 76ers superstar Joel Embiid wasn't exactly at 100% -- he's battling a pretty nasty illness -- so, Drizzy might wanna tone it down until Game 6 ... which goes down Thursday night in Philly.

After the game, 76ers coach Brett Brown fired back at critics who were ripping Embiid's performance.

"[Embiid] was trying to do whatever he could to represent his organization and play basketball for the Philadelphia 76ers," Brown said.

"I'm kind of disappointed. He gets shaken around to me too much. He's trying to play for us. He's trying to get out of bed with a significant temperature and come represent the organization. I think it's grossly unfair, some of the criticism that he gets. I don't understand that."

Jimmy Butler To 76ers Coach ... 'My Name Is Not James!'

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NOT MY NAME

Jimmy Butler wanted to make one thing clear to his coach after the 76ers' big victory over the Raptors on Monday ... "MY NAME IS NOT JAMES!"

Here's the deal ... Butler was a 1-man wrecking crew against Toronto -- putting up 30 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists in a 94-89 playoff victory.

After the game, 76ers head coach Brett Brown was RAVING about Butler to the media -- and in an attempt to compliment his star, he referred to him as "James."

"This was James Butler," Brown told the media ... "That was the adult in the gym."

"He was just a tremendous sort of rock. He willed us to a lot of different situations."

Good stuff.

A few minutes later, Butler faced the media and was asked how he felt about the "James" thing -- his response was hilarious.

"My name isn't James! It literally is Jimmy!"

The media cracked up laughing.

So, the question now ... does the name "Jimmy" stick?

Meek Mill Can't Travel To 76ers Playoff Game in Toronto ... Judge Ignores Request

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Meek Mill won't be able to watch his beloved 76ers take on the Raptors in Toronto on Saturday ... 'cause his request was NOT approved by his arch-nemesis -- Judge Genece Brinkley.

The Philly rapper has been on probation ever since his 2008 drug and weapons case ... and has to get permission every time he wants to leave the state of Pennsylvania.

So, when the Sixers got matched up with the Raps in the Eastern Conference semi-finals this week, Meek -- a HUGE Sixers fan -- filed a request to make the trip to the 6 to cheer on his guys in person.

We're told Meek's probation officer signed off on the request with no issue ... but when it came to getting Brinkley's signature, she refused to approve the request.

Of course, Meek and Brinkley have history ... and it's no secret they don't get along.

Michael Rubin -- a limited partner with the Sixers -- says Brinkley is deliberately ignoring their attempts to get approval ... teeing off on the judge in an Instagram post.

"Judge Genece Brinkley - I know you have a vendetta against Meek Mill and are obsessed with trying to control every aspect of his life, but did you really NOT approve him to go to rep the Sixers in Toronto for the game?"

"We filed w/your court as soon as the schedule came out since you need to approve travel to Canada! Since you didn’t respond to numerous phone calls we sent lawyers to your courtroom today which you purposely ignored!!"

Now we won't be able to see Meek and Drake sitting courtside for the epic match-up.

76ers' Joel Embiid On Nets Playoff Series 'It's Over!'

EXCLUSIVE
IT'S OVER
TMZSports.com

Four amazing things in this 23-second clip ...

1) Joel Embiid says his playoff series with the Brooklyn Nets is already OVER -- even though it's only 3-1.

2) Embiid's post-game meal is Shake Shack (the burgers are awesome).

3) He stops to take a picture with a kid (always cool with his fans).

4) Embiid's girlfriend makes a cameo ... and good lord.

So, we spotted Embiid after his 76ers beat the Nets on Saturday -- in a game that was pretty contentious. Remember, Joel's teammate, Jimmy Butler, and Nets' player Jared Dudley got ejected when things got a little too chippy.

The 76ers ended up winning the game 112 to 108. Embiid had 31 points, 16 rebounds and 7 assists.

After the game, Embiid stopped for some celebratory fast food -- and that's when our 23-second encounter began.

Oh, and his girlfriend ... she is Anne De Paula -- a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition model from Brazil. The two have reportedly been together since late 2018.

Anyway, enjoy the clip! Enjoy Game 5! Happy Monday everyone!

Dennis Rodman to Joel Embiid 'Shut The F**k Up!' ... MJ's the G.O.A.T.

EXCLUSIVE
SHUT THE F**K UP
TMZSports.com

Joel Embiid thinks Wilt Chamberlain, NOT Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever ... and Dennis Rodman thinks ... well, he thinks Embiid should "shut the f**k up!!!"

TMZ Sports saw Rodman at LAX on Sunday ... and asked him about the 76ers star's comments about his former Bulls teammate.

Embiid sent the NBA world into a frenzy during a recent episode of Ringer's NBA Desktop, when he said ... "[Jordan] is not the G.O.A.T."

"To me, you got Wilt Chamberlain. He’s got all the records, and no one is ever gonna beat them. I don’t see anyone ever getting 100 points in a game. That’s it, he’s the G.O.A.T.”

Rodman's take?

"Joel Embiid, you're doing a great job for your little island or country where you're from. Shut the f**k up, go do your goddamn job and do Philly proud. That's the 1 thing they need, a championship."

Just to be crystal clear DR didn't agree with Joel's take ... we followed up -- so, you're saying Embiid's wrong about Michael not being the greatest of all time???

"You're goddamn right he's wrong."

Rodman might be a little biased ... he played 3 years with Michael in Chicago -- winning an NBA championship each season.

Michael ('84-'03) and Wilt ('59-'73) played in different eras ... and both had ridiculous stats and an insane amount of accolades.

Jordan is a 6x NBA champion, 6x Finals MVP, 5x NBA MVP, 14x All-Star, 10x NBA scoring champ, 10x All-NBA 1st Team, 9x NBA All-Defensive 1st Team who averaged 30 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists a game over his 15 season career.

Wilt was a 2x NBA champion, 1x Finals MVP, 4x NBA MVP, 13x All-Star, 7x NBA scoring champ, 7x All-NBA 1st Team, 11x NBA rebounding champ who once scored 100 points in a game and averaged 30 points, 23 rebounds, 4 assists a game over his 14 season career.

MJ is in the Basketball Hall of Fame and the FIBA HOF ... and Wilt's in the Basketball HOF and College B-Ball HOF.

We also asked Rodman if Embiid -- who's a pretty good hooper himself (he's arguably the league's most skilled big man) -- will ever himself be considered one of the all-time greats.

Dennis responded ... "I doubt that one."

Kendall Jenner Consoles Ben Simmons ... After Vicious Dunk Attack

Ben Simmons and Kendall Jenner just learned how tragedy can bring a couple closer together ... because lovebirds spent some quality time moments after Ben was assaulted on the hoops court.

By a vicious, savage, disrespectful, jaw-dropping dunk.

It happened during the Knicks vs. 76ers game Wednesday night, when Knicks rookie Kevin Knox delivered a two-handed destruction to Simmons that shook social media to its core (which is pretty easy to do).

It happened in front of a packed house of celebrities including Regina King (who almost got bulldozed by Joel Embiid), Tracy Morgan, Karrueche Tran, Justin Long and Maluma.

Kendall was there too, and after the game she and Ben hit the town with some pretty long (but beautiful) faces, probably contemplating Ben's basketball future, while dealing with post-dunk PTSD.

Here's the play ... please don't allow any young kids, people with cardiac conditions or small dogs to watch.

Get well soon, Ben!

Joel Embiid Spares Regina King's Life ... at Knicks Game

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America almost lost a legend Wednesday night ... but thankfully, Joel Embiid's hops saved the day.

Golden Globe-winning actress Regina King had courtside seats at MSG for the Sixers and Knicks game ... but it might've been TOO close to the action considering what went down in the 3rd quarter.

Embiid went chasing after a loose ball that was heading for the stands, forcing him to jump over RK in the process ... and you can tell by King's face -- she was SHOOK.

Embiid ended up kicking the dude behind King square in the chest ... but he appeared to be just fine.

King tweeted about the scare ... saying, "Yoooo. Thank you God and @JoelEmbiid for your athletic abilities. Crisis averted."

King's been going to Knicks games for years ... but, she might not be coppin' floor seats for a while.

Kendall Jenner & Ben Simmons Lovey-Dovey Date Night in NYC

Kendall Jenner and Ben Simmons took advantage of the NBA star's off day ... to spend some time all over each other on a romantic dinner date.

Bendall hit up Cipriani in New York City Thursday night. She was fully embracing him and kissing her boo's face as they snuggled up in a corner table.

As you know ... Kendall's been spending a lot of time with Ben lately, and even sat courtside with his mom at one of his Sixers games last month. They've been dating on and off since last May, or as Kendall put it to Ellen ... they've been official "for a bit now."

BTW -- Kendall's in NYC with her sisters for Fashion Week. Ben's got a game Friday night in Philly vs. the Nuggets. It's only a 2-hour drive away, so it wouldn't be a shock to see Kendall there cheering on her man again.