Raptors' Fred VanVleet Praises Jeremy Lin 'He'll Land On His Feet'

Exclusive
HE'LL BE JUST FINE
TMZSports.com

Jeremy Lin is getting public support from one of his Toronto Raptors teammates -- with Fred VanVleet telling TMZ Sports he believes Lin will get another opportunity to show he can ball.

Lin just made headlines because of an emotional speech in China -- where he cried when talking about the terrible season he had in Toronto.

Long story short, Lin says he hit "rock bottom" in Toronto during the championship 2018-19 season -- where he had the worst shooting performance of his career. In fact, Lin says at one point, he missed 17 3's in a row and because of that, he BARELY saw any action in the NBA Playoffs.

Lin also questioned his NBA future ... and said he felt the league has "kind of given up on me."

So, when we saw VanVleet -- a key member of that Raptors championship team -- we asked if he thought Lin was being too hard on himself.

"He was great, man," Fred told us on his way out of Catch restaurant in L.A. "He's gonna be alright. He's gonna land on his feet. He's gonna be alright."'

As for his future, VanVleet says it's ultimately up to Lin to decide if he wants to continue playing pro ball ... "He's got enough talent."

For the record, Lin has made more than $65 MILLION during his 9-year NBA career after being an undrafted free agent ... which in itself is pretty amazing.

But, Lin has said he's embarrassed of the way he played last season and doesn't feel he deserves to be called a champion because he was essentially a non-factor for the Raps.

The 30-year-old is currently a free agent -- and waiting to see if he'll get picked up for the 2019-20 season.

Raptors' Pascal Siakam Not Sweating Kawhi Leonard to L.A. 'We're Still The Champs'

Exclusive
ALL GOOD IN THE SIX
TMZSports.com

Kawhi Leonard leaving for the Clippers doesn't mean a damn thing to Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam right now ... 'cause he tells TMZ Sports he's too busy being a champion!!!

Siakam -- the NBA's most improved player in 2019 -- was out in L.A. when we asked about The Klaw bailing on the 6 right after he helped win them a title ... and he's not sweatin' it one bit.

"We're still the champs right now, so I'm still enjoying that," Siakam said. "Imma figure out next season, next season."

The 25-year-old is coming off a breakout year for the Dinos ... and even being the center of trade talks ain't bothering Siakam.

"It's the NBA ... sh*t happens. It's the NBA. It's a business."

BONUS -- we got Siakam's take on Drake's insane indoor basketball court at his home in Toronto ... and he wants an invite!!!

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Bazzi Soulful Plea to Kawhi Leonard Tell Me You'll Be a Laker!!!

Breaking News
THE CRY FOR KAWHI

We're almost 2 full days into free agency and Kawhi Leonard still hasn't picked a team ... so now singer Bazzi is resorting to using his pipes to recruit the NBA superstar to the Lakers.

... and it's freakin' beautiful.

Of course, the 21-year-old "Paradise" singer is a HUGE Purple & Gold fan ... and just like the rest of Laker Nation, he's pulling out all the stops to get the 2-time Finals MVP to join LeBron and Anthony Davis.

Bazzi took Michael Jackson's classic "Human Nature" and switched up the words with a Lakers twist, singing "Kawhi, Kawhi, tell me that you'll be a Laker ... I really want you in L.A."

Bazzi ain't the only one trying like hell to get the Klaw to the Lakers ... Steve Aoki is offering him free pizza for life ... and has a "Kawhi Not?" mural on the side of his Pizzaoki restaurant in Venice.

COME HOME, ITS PIZZA TIME

Even Clippers star Lou Williams made his pitch to get Kawhi to L.A as well, giving TMZ Sports a pitch to get Leonard to suit up for the other pro team in Tinseltown.

Please make your decision soon, Klaw. We're all waiting.

Kevin Durant Emerges In NYC With Wrapped Leg and Medical Scooter

Exclusive JUNE 2019
FULLY BOOTED
TMZSports.com

Here he is!!! Kevin Durant is back out in public just 2 weeks after suffering a devastating injury in the NBA Finals ... but it's clear he's got a long road to recovery. 

The 30-year-old superstar was out in New York City on Wednesday -- with a team of people helping him out of a building and into a waiting sprinter van. 

You can see KD's right leg is bandaged up from his toe to his knee. An assistant was also holding a walking boot for Kev while another person followed close behind with a medical knee scooter. 

The clip is pretty short but you can see Durant is trying to be independent. It's obvious he wants to be able to move around without help. 

Durant underwent surgery on June 12 to repair a ruptured Achilles -- which he injured in the 2nd quarter of Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. 

Durant had missed significant playing time before Game 5 due to a calf strain -- and some people questioned whether he came back before his body was ready. 

After the surgery, Durant posted on social media saying he wasn't pressured into returning -- and said, "I wanted to be out there that night because that's what I do."

There are reports Durant could miss the entire 2019-20 regular season due to the Achilles injury -- with some speculating he might be ready to go for the playoffs. 

Meanwhile, KD just declined his player option with the Warriors which means he'll officially be a free agent and can sign wherever he wants. He'll obviously get a max contract offer, which would kick off with a $38.2 mil starting salary. 

Get well soon!!!

Raptors' Masai Ujiri Breaks Silence On Cop-Pushing Incident ... 'I Respect Authority'

Breaking News
RESPECTING THE PROCESS
TSN

Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri is speaking for the first time about an altercation where he allegedly shoved a cop after Game 6 of the NBA Finals ... saying, "I respect authority."

Ujiri is accused of pushing an officer both in the chest AND the face after the cop stopped him from stepping on the court to celebrate Toronto's championship win earlier this month.

Ujiri didn't want to get into specifics of the investigation during his press conference Tuesday ... but said, "My lawyers are updating me ... With that incident, I'm just going to respect what the process is there and the investigation."

"I am confident about who I am as a person, my character and as a human being."

Ujiri added, "I honestly am going to leave all my comments until the whole investigation is done. I think that's the fair way and the right way to operate when things like this do happen."

"I respect authority and I'll wait until that happens."

As we previously reported, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office says it's pursuing a criminal misdemeanor battery charge against Ujiri for the altercation.

As for the officer ... his attorney tells TMZ Sports the man suffered a concussion and a serious jaw injury -- and, as of last week, had yet to return to work.

NBA commish Adam Silver says the league is investigating the incident ... and a punishment for Ujiri could be handed down once they have all the facts.

DeMar DeRozan On Raps' White House Visit I Wouldn't Go, Either!!!

EXCLUSIVE
NOT MY SCENE
TMZSports.com

Add DeMar DeRozan to the list of athletes against visiting Donald Trump ... 'cause the NBA superstar says even if he was still on the Raptors, he wouldn't celebrate their title at the White House.

Raps coach Nick Nurse said last week the team is setting up a trip to be honored by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ... but said they're undecided on going to 1600 Penn.

However, over the weekend Raptors star Danny Green told Yahoo Sports he's a "hard no" on visiting Trump.

Despite playing for the Spurs now, DeRozan is on board if the team decides not to go ... telling TMZ Sports -- "Sh*t, I wouldn't go, either!"

DeRozan joins a growing group of athletes who have spoken out against visiting Trump -- the Golden State Warriors, LeBron James, Red Sox manager Alex Cora and players like Mookie Betts, David Price and Jackie Bradley Jr. have all been vocal about not going -- just to name a few.

As for the trip ... Trump said he would "think" about inviting the Raptors -- but only if the team expressed interest in visiting.

Drake's Dad I Won $300,000!! ... Betting On Raptors!

EXCLUSIVE
GREAT INVESTMENT
TMZSports.com

You think Drake was happy when the Toronto Raptors won the NBA title?

His dad was even HAPPIER -- because Dennis Graham had $100,000 riding on the Raps ... AND WON!!!

"I am the happiest guy in the world," Dennis told us in Hollywood with 2 ladies on his arms.

"I bet $100,000 on the game and I won $300,000!!!"

You see this? Drake's dad is RICH!!! (Okay, *more rich). PIMP HATS AND CHAINS FOR EVERYBODY!!!

There's more ... Dennis also has some advice for the Raptors when it comes to visiting Donald Trump -- DON'T. He thinks the team should meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instead.

"Justin Trudeau is a much classier guy than that IDIOT Donald Trump," Dennis says.

Oh, and Dennis also explains why he wasn't at the Raptors victory parade in Toronto -- telling us he's got big things in the works in Hollywood that took priority.

Congrats!!!

Toronto Raptors Will Visit Canadian Prime Minister ... Undecided on Trump

Breaking News
NO INVITE YET
Prime Time Sports -- Sports Net 590

10:20 AM PT -- Trump -- who was meeting with Trudeau -- was just asked if he's planning on inviting the Raps to 1600 Penn ... and he said, "That's an interesting question. They played phenomenal basketball, I watched a little bit of it."

"We'll think about that, if they'd like to do it, we'll think about that."

So ... maybe???

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse says he's DEFINITELY looking forward to celebrating their NBA championship with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ... but Donald Trump? That's TBD.

It's uncharted territory for Canada's NBA team, considering this is their first title in franchise history ... so, many have been wondering if the Dinos would get an invite to party at the White House.

Nurse addressed the possibility with Prime Time Sports on SportsNet 590 ... saying the team hasn't gotten a call from Trump's camp yet ... and even if they DO get an invite, he's unsure how they'll RSVP.

But, as for meeting the top guy in Canada? Nurse says plans are already in the works ...

"Definitely the Trudeau meeting, because they have been asking me about scheduling it," Nurse said. "I've heard nothing from the White House. We're Canada's team anyway, right?"

Politics aside, Nurse says he truly doesn't know if there will be a trip to 1600 Penn, "I think we're here. Let's go see Trudeau up in Ottawa ... we're Canada's team."

Remember, the Golden State Warriors -- who won the NBA title the past two years before the Raptors -- famously boycotted Trump's White House ... opting to visit with President Obama instead.

Originally published -- 8:38 AM PT

Danny Green 2nd NBA Title Is the Sweetest ... Sorry San Antonio!!!

EXCLUSIVE
STICKIN' WITH THE CLAW
TMZSports.com

Toronto Raptors guard Danny Green might piss off a couple different groups with what he just said to our cameras and it all has to do with Kawhi Leonard and their two shared NBA titles.

First off, he said definitively that Kawhi is the best player in the NBA, so all the LeBron, Durant, Giannis, and Harden fans are BIG MAD right now.

Secondly, our guy asked Danny in NYC which NBA title felt better -- his 2014 run with the San Antonio Spurs (Kawhi was there for that one too) or the one he just scored with the Toronto Raptors.

"This one, 2019 for sure."

Now, if you're in San Antonio, you're prolly HUGE MAD right now, because Danny just said the ring he won with you guys is like Robin, Garfunkel, Oates, and Watson ... famously second fiddle.

Or, maybe none of you are mad at all ... but what fun would that be???

Adam Silver NBA Investigating Masai Ujiri ... We're Gathering Facts

EXCLUSIVE
WAITING ON THE FACTS
TMZSports.com

Adam Silver is vouching for Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri -- saying the guy is a good dude ... but the NBA commish tells TMZ Sports he's still investigating Ujiri like he would anyone else.

Of course, Ujiri is facing some stiff allegations after shoving a cop after Game 6 of the NBA Finals ... with the officer's attorney saying his client suffered a concussion and a jaw injury in the altercation.

In fact, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office says it's pursuing a criminal misdemeanor battery charge against Ujiri ... saying it's set to meet with prosecutors this week.

When we got Silver out in NYC on Tuesday ... he told us he's known Ujiri for years -- but has still launched a full investigation into the allegations nonetheless.

"I've known Masai Ujiri for a long time," Silver says ... "I know he's a very decent person. But, at the same time, we of course respect law enforcement that does a great job protecting our fans in the arena."

"So, there's been an allegation here, so it's our job to look into the facts and make sure that everything's handled appropriately."

Silver says he won't speculate on a possible punishment for Ujiri if he's found guilty of the allegations ... saying, "I don't want to prejudge it" before all the facts come in.

Raptors' Masai Ujiri Cop Blasts Racism Claims ... My Family Is Black

Breaking News

The cop who was shoved by Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri during a fight after Game 6 of the NBA Finals is blasting racism claims ... with his attorney telling TMZ Sports, "The injured officer's family is African American."

After it was revealed Ujiri and a white cop got into a pushing altercation last Thursday after the Raptors beat the Warriors at Oracle Arena ... some had suggested the incident was rooted in racism.

But, the cop's attorney, David Mastagni, says that's just not the case at all, telling us, "Insult to this injury is invoking race because the injured officer's family is African American."

"This case is credential vs. no credential. The issue is not race."

As we previously reported, Mastagni says his client -- who has yet to be publicly identified -- suffered both a "serious concussion" and a significant jaw injury after Ujiri shoved him.

Mastagni says the cop has NOT been able to return to work since the altercation, which Mastagni says was an "unprovoked" attack.

Mastagni also says they are still considering a lawsuit against the Raptors president.

Ujiri is also facing a criminal investigation ... with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office saying it will meet with prosecutors later this week to pursue a misdemeanor battery charge.

As for Ujiri, his team released a statement last week saying, "The incident is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities. We look forward to resolving the situation."

Raptors' Masai Ujiri Cop Claims Concussion, Jaw Injury ... Threatening Lawsuit

Breaking News

The cop who says he was attacked by Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri after Game 6 of the NBA Finals now claims he suffered a concussion during the incident ... and he's threatening to sue.

"He has a serious concussion; a templar mandibular joint injury, which is a serious jaw injury,” the officer's attorney David Mastagni told KPIX 5.

The incident went down Thursday in the moments after the Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland ... the cop says Ujiri got violent over a dispute over credentials.

Alameda County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Ray Kelly said the officer claims Ujiri struck him in the chest and head. Ujiri is being investigated for misdemeanor battery.

"It’s an unprovoked significant hit to the jaw of the law enforcement officer," Mastagni said.

Officials have told TMZ Sports they are hunting for more video of the incident -- so far, the only footage that's surfaced publicly shows the direct aftermath ... NOT the alleged blow to the face.

The officer -- whose identity has not been made public -- has not filed a lawsuit yet ... but it seems it's only a matter of time at this point.

"All options are on the table. No options are off the table," Mastagni said ... adding, "No options are being ruled out as to how to rectify the situation."

As for Ujiri, he's yet to comment on the incident ... but the Raptors said in a statement last week, "The incident is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities. We look forward to resolving the situation."

Toronto Raptors Parade Dramatic Video ... Six Cops Tackled Alleged Gunman

Breaking News

Here is the moment several Toronto Police officers chased down, tackled and apprehended one of the suspected shooters at Monday's Toronto Raptors championship parade ... and it's intense.

The footage starts showing a man dressed in black trying to run -- but two bike cops grab the dude -- who appears to be holding a weapon ... and wrestle him to the ground.

Several cops in the area quickly realize what's going on and jump in on the action -- piling on top of the suspect while trying to neutralize the weapon.

At one point, one of the officers begins reigning down punches on the suspect.

You can hear some of the cops trying to clear the area -- screaming at people to "Get outta here!!!"

There's more footage that has surfaced from earlier in the parade -- in which you can clearly hear at least 4 gunshots pop off near crowds of people.

It's terrifying stuff.

Eventually, cops say 4 people suffered injuries in the shooting -- but all are expected to survive. 3 people have been arrested and 2 weapons have been recovered.

As for the Raptors, team announcer man Matt Devlin was credited with calming the crowd down after the gunshots were fired, telling the audience, "Please, stay calm."

For his part, Drake grabbed the microphone and told everyone in attendance to hug one another -- preaching love and unity.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER
CTV NEWS

Toronto Raptors 4 People Shot at Parade ... Cops Arrest 3

Breaking News
THE CHAOS
@TimLeMule

4:00 PM PT -- Cops now say there were 4 people who suffered gunshot wounds in the parade shooting.

They also say they've now arrested 3 people.

1:24 PM PT -- Police say they have arrested 2 suspects and recovered 2 guns after an alleged shooting at the Toronto Raptors championship parade Monday.

Cops also say two people are being treated for "serious" injuries -- but the injuries are not life-threatening. The investigation is ongoing.

The championship parade continued after the shooting -- with Drake taking the stage and telling the reported 1.5 MILLION people in the streets to hug each other and spread love.

The parade ended with no further violent incidents.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER
CTV NEWS

Scary moment at the Toronto Raptors championship parade in Canada ... where gunshots were reportedly fired in the crowd and cops are now responding.

The party came to a screeching halt just before 1 PM PT -- when people in the crowd heard what sounded like 4 gunshots.

A woman was reportedly hurt and paramedics raced to the scene.

The Toronto Police Operations Centre put out a statement saying, "SHOOTING: Nathan Phillip's Square -Reports of woman shot -People running from area."

You can see people fleeing on video. At one point, Raptors play-by-play announcer Matt Devlin grabbed the mic and told the crowd to stay strong and stay calm while officials respond to the "emergency."

People at the scene are being advised to "get down" or to find somewhere safe.

INTERRUPTION
CTV NEWS

Originally Published -- 1:04 PM PT

Drake Chugs Beer At Raptors' Championship Parade!!!

LIVE STREAM
BEERPAPI
@seanteakle

12:11 PM PT -- Drake did his best Rob Gronkowski impression at the Raptors' parade -- catching a full beer that a fan threw his way ... and chugging the hell out of it!!!

Drizzy has been raging on Kawhi Leonard's double-decker parade bus all morning long ... and when someone tossed a brew his way -- he went full Stone Cold Steve Austin on it!!!

He cracked it open ... poured it down the hatch -- and appeared to dab afterward!!

The parade is going on hour No. 5 ... but there's a chance we haven't seen the best from Drake yet -- he's supposed to address the crowd once the parade reaches the end.

... getchya popcorn ready!!

Sorry, Kawhi Leonard, it might be the Raptors' championship parade day ... but all eyes will be on Drake ... 'cause everyone wants to know -- how crazy will Drizzy get!?!

Toronto shockingly upset the Warriors in six games last week ... and the Canadian city is throwing a party to celebrate -- and we'll be live streaming the whole thing.

Kawhi, Kyle Lowry and Nick Nurse will all be there ... but the man we all wanna see is the 6 God -- 'cause he's been front and center of everything during this Raptors' run.

Will there be more Golden State trash talk? Some more coaching shoulder rubs? Maybe even another new rap song?!?

Originally Published -- 7:12 AM PT

Drake Raptors NBA Champs Party Hard in Vegas ... Sorry If You're Not Wearing a Bikini

DOM AND DOMMER
SplashNews.com

Drake was where he's always been lately ... smack in the middle of all things Raptors.

Canada's NBA champs celebrated Friday into Saturday AM in a big way at the Wynn in Vegas.

Drake walked in cradling the trophy and then took the mic to ferociously pay homage to his team, all the while clutching a bottle of Dom.

The team, along with Champagne Papi, all wore championship hats.

Security swarmed the entire celebration, but at Encore Beach Club during the day, the only normies who were allowed in were women in bikinis.

The nighttime celebration went down at XS Nightclub at the Wynn hotel, where Drake has his residency.

As you know, the Raptors closed the book on the series in Game 6, beating the Warriors by a score of 114 to 110. Drake wasn't at the game, because it went down in enemy territory, plus there were security issues.

BTW ... Drake dropped 2 songs Friday night, but neither reference the Raptors or the NBA championship, but the cover art displays the championship trophy.

Congrats Canada!!!