TMZ Sports talked to the former NYC mayor (and Donald Trump's attorney) in the city on Sunday ... and asked him about the president's Tweet imploring baseball to put Rose in the HOF.
Giuliani doubled down on Trump's message ... saying "Charlie Hustle" has more than paid the price for betting on baseball -- a cardinal sin in MLB -- over 30 years ago.
"I've long believed that Pete Rose has been left out long enough to make up for whatever he did wrong. It is a Hall that's supposed to recognize baseball accomplishments. He's one of the best of his era."
FYI -- Rose was a 17x All-Star, NL MVP, 3x World Series champ and has 4,256 hits -- more than any other MLB'er.
Giuliani went on to say the National Baseball Hall of Fame is full of guys who weren't the best people off the field ... but the HOF is about playing ball, and nothing else.
"I would say the Hall of Fame is to recognize great baseball players. Some of them may be moral, some may be average, some may be immoral. I don't think we're telling children to copy their behavior if we say they're great baseball players."
"So, it gets a little silly when we use it as a justice system."
It's a long shot, but Rose's standing within baseball could be changing ... 'cause just last week, he petitioned MLB commish Rob Manfred and requested reinstatement.
Major League Baseball has not yet ruled on Rose's petition.
Forget chocolate hearts and teddy bears ... this is the best Valentine's Day gift ever!!
WWE Superstar Lana blessed us all with a behind-the-scenes video of a boat photo shoot ... and it's amazing.
Lana donned the white and pink teenie-bikini ... and said "#HappyValentinesDay!!!"
Lana's been out on a Bahamas vacay ... and thankfully she's found a strong enough Wi-Fi connection to wish everyone a special V-day.
Lucky, lucky guys.
4:10 PM PT -- A source with knowledge tells us more than 88,000 people have already registered for memorial tickets in the first 5 hours. We're told that number is expected to grow to several hundred thousand by Monday's deadline.
Staples Center has a capacity of around 20,000 people -- with many of those tickets to be claimed by friends, family, NBA officials and others -- so there will be a limited number of seats and a lottery to land one.
11:15 AM PT -- The L.A. Lakers just released ticket info for the Kobe/Gigi Celebration of Life. People who want tickets can register online right now at Ticketmaster. The tickets are going for 3 different prices -- $224, 2 for $224, and as we told you, the upper deck seats will go for $24.02. The 24, of course, is Kobe's number, and 2 is Gigi's.
People who register will receive a code Tuesday and on Wednesday at 10 AM the tickets will be released for sale. If the demand exceeds the number of tickets -- which is almost certain -- fans will be selected at random to participate in the sale.
Proceeds will go to Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.
The event will not be shown on the big screens outside Staples and law enforcement has told us they will block the streets off, but people will be able to watch online and on TV. The Lakers are urging fans not to go to the Staples Center if they don't have a ticket for the event, on Feb. 24.
Sources familiar with the planning tell us event organizers are working closely with Kobe's family to finalize who will speak at the service, and which singers and entertainers will take part.
We're told tickets will be available to the general public, although there will be a number of invited guests who get tickets first, including family, friends, players, NBA officials and, we're told, season ticket holders.
We're told the seats that remain will be sold to the public at a price that reflects the memories of Kobe and Gigi. We're told one of the options being discussed was to sell the upper bowl seats at $24.02 -- 24 representing Kobe's number and 2 representing Gigi's. The net proceeds will go to a charity selected by the family. Whatever the price ends up being, our sources say it will reflect and honor Kobe and Gigi.
We don't know which charity will be the beneficiary, but the Mamba Sports Academy was recently renamed Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation. As we reported ... Vanessa Bryant says the decision for the name change -- "Because there is no #24 without #2."
Our sources say there will be extra precautions taken in printing the tickets to make sure they can't be scalped.
The memorial is set to be televised live on multiple networks, and as we told you ... the streets around Staples will be closed for security and traffic control, so law enforcement is encouraging people who don't get tickets to stay home and watch it on TV.
Though the memorial is being held Feb. 24, Kobe and Gigi were buried in a private family service near the family’s Orange County home last week.
Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.
Days later, Vanessa opened up about losing both her husband and her 13-year-old daughter, saying ... "I can’t process both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me."
She added ... "It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live."
She concluded by saying ... "God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all."
Originally Published -- 1:00 AM PT
"Missing you so much on your favorite holiday," she said in the social media post. "Te amo per sempre."
Along with the emotional message to the Lakers legend ... Vanessa also posted a throwback photo of the two, with Lauryn Hill's famous love song "Tell Him" playing in the background.
"Kisses to you and Gigi in heaven," Vanessa said. "Happy Valentine’s Day, my babies. With all my love, your boo-boo."
Remember, Bryant is a HUGE Lauryn Hill fan ... even posting a picture with the Grammy winner and Vanessa back in 2018.
"@vanessabryant surprised me with a date night to see my sister Lauryn Hill at The Hollywood Bowl," Bryant wrote at the time. "Loved catching up with her. My wife is winning the battle of best date night ideas.. FOR NOW"
A public memorial for Bryant and his daughter is set to take place at Staples Center on Feb. 24. Vanessa is expected to attend.
Timbaland's body is damn near unrecognizable from where he was a couple years ago -- and he's crediting his will power ... for keeping him in the gym, and off prescription pills.
Justin Timberlake's fave mega-producer was on "TMZ Live" Friday, rocking a muscle tee, no less, and showing off his brand new physique. Seriously ... the guy's looking ripped after losing more than 130 pounds.
Tim told us he knew he had to "hit the reset button" when he kept having dreams about how his body should look. He'd also gotten a pre-diabetes diagnosis from doctors ... not to mention his addiction to Oxycontin and Percocet.
He got hooked when the pills were prescribed following a root canal. After his experience, Tim says doctors gotta find a better way to help patients cope with pain.
Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.
As for his weight loss goals? Tim says he's still pushing for another 30 to 40 pounds. As he put it, "I wanna be a better me."
Just watch ... it's a great dose of weekend motivation!
44 and the NBA superstars linked up with over 400 volunteers on Friday in Chicago ... as part of the 13th NBA Cares All-Star Day Of Service.
The goal is to "empower under-resourced Chicago Public Schools' students to reach their highest potential" by providing food donations and school supplies to local Chi-town students and teachers.
Nike, SAP, and State Farm also contributed resources that made the event possible.
19-year-old Williamson was asked about working side-by-side with President Obama ... and it was clear even hoop icons get star struck.
“He said I was playing great. I kind of zoned out after that. That’s all I needed to hear, to be honest,” Zion said.
This isn't the first time Obama and Zion have been in the same building. Last year the former Prez was in the house at Cameron Indoor on Duke's campus when Williamson's Nike shoe blew out during the opening minutes of the Blue Devils vs. Tar Heels game.
But this time ... no one go hurt, but a whole lotta people were helped.
"AB is a man of failure. Just a series of repeated failures."
"I'm a man of action," Logan tells TMZ Sports ... "I'm here to make money and win. And, AB is consistently losing and getting rocked by life."
And, when Paul was explaining why ... he basically said it's all Brown's fault.
But, Brown seems more focused on getting back in the NFL than fighting YouTube stars these days ... he's been on a huge apology tour, clearly, with the hopes Roger Goodell will allow him back in the league next season.
As for Paul, he says he's having a hard time getting someone to step up and fight him ... but tells us he's still training and ready to take ALL challengers.
CODY BELLINGER JUST WENT OFF!!!!
The Los Angeles Dodgers superstar didn't hold back at all in a meeting with reporters over the Astros' cheating scandal ... ripping the team, its superstars AND its owner!!!
"I thought the apologies were whatever," the NL MVP said. "I thought Jim Crane's was weak. I thought [Rob] Manfred's punishment was weak, giving [the players] immunity."
"These guys were cheating for three years!"
The scorched-earth rant didn't stop there ... Bellinger added, "I think what people don't realize is [Jose] Altuve stole an MVP from [Aaron] Judge in '17. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us."
Bellinger claims the scandal -- and the ensuing apologies from the guys -- has forced him to lose any respect he previously had for the guys in Houston.
"I would say everyone in The Show, in the big leagues, lost respect for those guys."
"I don't know what human hits a walk-off home run against Aroldis Chapman to send your team to the World Series, and one, has the thought to say, 'Don't rip my jersey off.' But, two, go into the tunnel, change your shirt and then come out and do your interview. That makes no sense to me."
If you're wondering ... the Dodgers and 'Stros aren't scheduled to play each other in the 2020 regular season.
Yeah, we know ... what a bummer.
Terrelle Pryor just hooked up an entire boys high school basketball team with brand spankin' new Nike basketball shoes ... and it's pretty awesome.
30-year-old Pryor -- a former star athlete at Jeannette H.S. -- hooked up his alma mater's boys' basketball squad with Paul George 4's ... just in time for the district playoffs.
TMZ Sports talked to head coach Adrian Batts -- who coached the NFL stud back in the day -- and he tells us Pryor promised the kids he'd get all 12 players on the squad new kicks if they made the playoffs.
Jeannette went 15-7 (they won 14 of their last 15 games) and made the playoffs ... so true to his word, Pryor went shopping for PG4's.
Coach Batts says the kids were super-happy and appreciative of Pryor.
And get this, it's not the first time TP got gifts for the team ... he set the kids up with new LeBron's last month.
Wonder what they'll get if they win a 'chip?
NHL star Jay Bouwmeester underwent surgery after he frighteningly collapsed mid-game this week ... but Blues officials say it was successful and the D-man is doing better.
As we previously reported ... Jay passed out on the Blues' bench during the first period of St. Louis' game against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday and was rushed to the hospital.
Team officials said Bouwmeester suffered a "cardiac episode" and needed a defibrillator to revive him.
On Friday, St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong revealed Bouwmeester had an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) placed in his chest after the incident in order to prevent a similar issue from happening again.
"The procedure, which restores the heart's normal rhythm, was performed by the cardiology team of the UCI Cardiology Department," Armstrong said.
Bouwmeester is reportedly doing well ... but the surgery ain't exactly a minor one.
According to heart.org, an ICD procedure involves docs placing a battery-powered device underneath the skin in the hopes that it will help monitor irregularities in the heart and avoid sudden cardiac episodes down the line.
It's unclear what the procedure will mean for Bouwmeester's future as a hockey player ... but it certainly could signal the end of the 36-year-old's 17-year career.
The Blues say Jay will be flown back to St. Louis to recover as soon as UC Irvine doctors release him.
Zach LaVine was the guest of honor at a swanky party, at a fancy Chicago hotel ... BUTTT, not even a dope party could stop the NBA star from hooping 'cause BALL IS LIFE!!
Haute Living and luxury watch brand HYT threw the bash at The Manor in The Virgin Hotel in Chicago ... all to celebrate LaVine gracing the cover of HL mag (and his high school sweetheart, Hunter Mar's bday).
The best part ... LaVine left the party around midnight to go to the gym and SHOOT 500 3-POINTERS until 1:30 in the morning.
Why, you ask? ZL's competing in this weekends 3-point contest ... and he's trying to be the only person to ever win the 3 and dunk contest.
LaVine won the dunk contest in 2015 and 2016 ... in crazy impressive fashion.
But Zach's game is more than dunking ... he's been killin' it with the Bulls this season, averaging 25 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
If making history wasn't enough motivation, we're told HYT's CEO let LaVine borrow a $50K luxury watch ... and told him if he wins Saturday night, he could keep the timepiece.
You can see in a picture posted by the Browns superstar Friday ... the art on his rib cage -- done by tattoo artist Joaquin Ganga Lopez -- features a classic photo of Kobe chewing on his Lakers jersey.
Of course, it's an iconic image of the Mamba ... who was known to bite his uni during nearly every game -- and famously passed on the tick to his daughter, Gianna Bryant, before they were both killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
Odell went under the needle just days after the accident ... forever putting art on his body to remind him of how much Kobe meant to him.
"You taught us ALL so many valuable lessons Kobe," Odell said after the tragedy. "Your sacrifice and dedication to this game is somethin that every athlete can admire."
"You showed us that there is no substitute for hard work. You’ve been thru it, yet u always found a way to overcame it all. This one hurt beyond words."
Odell is one of many athletes and celebs who have gotten Kobe tats to honor the legend ... The Game famously got Bryant ink on his forehead this month while LeBron James and Anthony Davis got thigh tats.
Others, like Bryant's longtime friend, Olden Polynice, have turned to drawing to honor Kobe ... telling us art is helping him get through the grieving process.
Quinn Cook just revealed the atmosphere on the Lakers team plane after learning of Kobe Bryant's death last month ... and it's heartbreaking.
The Lakers guard says just minutes after Kobe, his daughter, Gianna, and 7 others were tragically killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 ... he was shaken awake by head coach Frank Vogel on the team's ride back from Philadelphia.
"He's like, 'Quinn, sorry to tell you, but Kobe and his daughter have been in a helicopter crash,'" Cook said on Danny Green's YouTube show, "Inside the Green Room with Danny Green," this week. "'We don't know any details.'"
Quinn says Vogel had that talk with everybody on the team plane ... and he says once the news really set in with the players -- the whole squad was devastated.
"I look in front of me and I just see LeBron and AD and Randy and AB, Dwight -- everybody was just crushed."
"[It] was very, very, very, powerful," Quinn says. "And, after that, like Danny will tell you, I was crushed. I was crying the whole flight. I was absolutely destroyed."
Quinn says it was the practices leading up to that game that really helped the team get through the toughest parts of the grieving process.
"It just felt good to feel that genuine support from my brothers," Quinn said. "And we're still going through it. We're still fighting it."
The Lakers will have a public memorial for Kobe and his daughter on Feb. 24 at Staples. Cook and the rest of the team are expected to be in attendance.
"He called me the n-word. He called me a stupid n-word."
That's Myles Garrett finally explaining the racial slur he claims he heard Mason Rudolph utter to him before the all-out Steelers-Browns brawl back in November.
"When he said it," Myles told ESPN in a sit-down interview this week, "it kinda sparked something."
As we previously reported ... Garrett was banned from the NFL indefinitely after he violently attacked Rudolph with the QB's own helmet on Nov. 14, 2019.
Garrett told NFL officials at the time he did it because Rudolph used a racial slur ... but he hadn't publicly revealed what he alleges Rudolph said until this week.
"I don't like it," Garrett said. "I don't say the n-word, whether it's 'a' or 'er.' To me, personally, I don't think it should be said."
Myles was reinstated by the NFL on Wednesday -- effectively making his suspension a 6-game ban -- and he told us out at LAX on Thursday he believed it was all a "blessing in disguise."
As for Rudolph ... he's consistently maintained he did NOT call Garrett a racial slur, saying back in November the allegation was "totally untrue."
For its part, the NFL says it investigated Garrett's accusations ... but claims it found no evidence that the racial slur was used.
When asked about that in his interview with ESPN, Garrett said, "Something was said. I know something was said. Now whether the NFL wants to acknowledge it, that’s up to them.''
Jeremy Roenick is opening up on his firing from NBC, the threesome joke that led to his axing and what the hockey legend plans to do moving forward.
Remember, JR was suspended in December after he joked about his desire to have a threesome with his wife and NBC coworker, Kathryn Tappen, while on Barstools' "Spittin Chiclets" podcast.
Roenick didn't work -- or talk for 2 months -- until NBC honchos terminated the longtime hockey analyst on Wednesday.
Now, Roenick's talking to TMZ Sports. Here's JR in his own words ...
ON THREESOME JOKE:
"I gotta be a little bit more aware of the culture that we’re in right now, the things you can say, whether it's public or whether it’s in a podcast that you’re very comfortable telling stories."
"Whether they’re your very good friends, like Kathryn [Tappen] is one of my best friends, I’m talking about my wife, I’m talking about trips that we went on. I got too comfortable talking about something that all of us were pretty comfortable talking about. And, I got caught in that. At times, in the culture today you gotta be more aware of your surroundings and people’s feelings, and yeah, I went too far in certain situations."
ON NBC FIRING:
"It’s important to know that at the time nobody thought it was bad what I was saying. Nobody took offense to it. Nobody was saying anything on social media. Five days went by. Nothing on 'Spittin’ Chiclets,' nothing on my social media, nothing anywhere, nothing."
"Nobody complained until my boss, Sam Flood at NBC, decided that [what I said] wasn’t right, and we all know NBC has made a lot of mistakes covering up things and letting people slide, and all that stuff. I think this was their opportunity to make a statement, have a sacrificial lamb."
MESSAGE TO NBC:
“Thank you for having me there for 10 years. I loved being on television, having that platform to come to the people and share my love for hockey and all that stuff, like I said yesterday. But, I didn’t like to be muzzled, I didn’t like to be controlled, and unfortunately, NBC tried to do that too much, especially Sam Flood, my boss, tried to control me too much. And, unfortunately, I couldn’t be the real me."
ON CURRENT RELATIONSHIP WITH KATHRYN TAPPEN:
"We’re very close, we’re best friends. She’s one of my best friends. She’s still one of my best friends and she’s one of my wife’s best friends."
ON HIS NEXT CAREER MOVE:
"I’ve already had 5 or 6 opportunities to go work someplace. This was in within 2 hours of getting fired yesterday. I think the NHL is deciding what they’re going to with their NHL contract. I hope they look really hard at a lot of entities. Not just NBC. I think having my own show where I can be me, where I can bring sports and hockey and not be as muzzled, be as opinionated as I possibly can. That’s definitely in the works. There are some really cool platforms out there that I’m looking at, or maybe I might start my own."
NBA All-Star break is officially here ... which means all the ballers not participating in the weekend's festivities get to fly off to paradise ... and Terrence Ross and his bombshell wife, Matijana, are comin' in HOT!!
There will be a bunch of basketball stuff going on in Chicago this weekend like the slam dunk and 3-point contests ... which are great and all, but the REAL fun is going down in Turks and Caicos!!
Ross and his Orlando Magic teammate, Evan Fournier (and his gorgeous wife, Laura) are already kickin' off the R&R on the beach on Thursday.
There's a lot for the Ross fam to celebrate right now -- Terrence just had a birthday on Feb. 5, Valentine's Day is Friday, and hell, they're both very attractive. That's something to party about!!
Ross has had his fair share of ASW in the past -- he won the slam dunk contest in 2013. He actually asked to participate in the 3-point contest, but the participants were already booked!!
But, look at it this way, TR -- it's currently 79 degrees where you are. It's 11 degrees in Chi-Town.
Who's the real winner?!? Enjoy!!