Russell Westbrook Producing Doc On Tulsa Race Massacre

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NBA Superstar Russell Westbrook is channeling his inner Ken Burns ... 'cause the Wizards guard is working on a new documentary in hopes of educating people about the atrocities of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre.

The former MVP and History Channel announced Thursday they're working on a two-hour doc titled "Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre" (temporary title) ... with Brodie serving as executive producer and Marco Williams and Emmy-Award winner Stanley Nelson on as directors.

The documentary is said to take a deep look at the events of a century ago and how the impact is still being felt today ... in hopes to educate millions on a 100-year-old tragedy.

If you aren’t familiar with the story, here is a brief run down -- In May and June 1921, a race war erupted in Tulsa, OK after a 19-year-old Black man was accused of assaulting a 17-year-old white woman in an elevator.

Black men went to defend the man after some in the city wanted him lynched ... and an ensuing altercation with white people ignited a massive race war.

This led to one of the worst acts of racial violence in American history ... in which mobs of white residents attacked and ultimately destroyed the Greenwood District in Tulsa, OK, which at that time was the wealthiest black community in the United States -- AKA "Black Wall Street."

Many historians believe the massacre has since been underreported and even covered up ... and Westbrook -- who played in Oklahoma for the Thunder for 11 years -- says he had no idea about the incident until he arrived in OKC in 2009.

"The Tulsa Race Massacre was not something I was taught about in school or in any of my history books," Westbrook said in a statement. "It was only after spending 11 years in Oklahoma that I learned of this deeply troubling and heartbreaking event."

"This is one of many overlooked stories of African Americans in this country that deserves to be told. These are the stories we must honor and amplify, so we can learn from the past and create a better future."

Director Stanley Nelson added ... "The horrific story of the burning of Black Wall Street has long haunted me -- I’m grateful to be working on this film with such wonderful partners."

The project is slated to air in the spring of 2021 on The History Channel on the 100th anniversary of the massacre in Tulsa.

Russell Westbrook Hands Out Jordans, Facemasks ... At D.C. Holiday Drive

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Russell Westbrook is already giving back in his new city ... handing out backpacks, facemasks and his signature Jordans at a holiday drive in Washington, D.C. ... and it was COVID-safe!!!

Westbrook -- who was traded to the Washington Wizards earlier this month -- partnered up with The Children’s Guild D.C. Public Charter School for the early holiday celebration on Monday.

Nearly 300 kids from grades K through 8 came through for the drive-thru event ... where a masked-up Westbrook personally handed out the gifts -- and even took distanced selfies with lucky fans!!

Westbrook spoke about his decision to give back so early in his time in D.C., saying, "It is very important not just to come to a new place but to show that you actually care about a community."

"Because where I grew up, living in the city, being able to wake up on Christmas morning and be able to have a gift or a new pair of shoes or backpacks or whatever it was – you would be blessed to be able to have that."

Westbrook is known for helping out communities -- last month, he served over 1,000 meals in L.A. for his 9th annual Thanksgiving dinner event.

"I feel like this platform has blessed me to be able to do that."

Now for moves ON the court .. the 32-year-old guard will be making his debut in the Wizards season opener against the 76ers this Wednesday.

Russell Westbrook Arenas Gives Blessing To Wear #0 ... In Washington

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Agent Zero says Russell Westbrook can have #0 in D.C. if he wants it ... 'cause Gilbert Arenas is giving his official blessing to let the new Wizards star wear his old number.

Russ was traded to Washington in a swap with John Wall earlier this week ... and the team introduced Brodie on social media with edited pics of the guard wearing a #4 jersey (the same digit he wore in high school).

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

So ... why change from the number he had his whole NBA career?? Arenas is easily one of the best players in franchise history ... and no one has donned #0 since he left the team in 2010.

But, that could change this season ... with the 3-time All-NBAer offering up his beloved number to the 2017 MVP on Thursday.

"'0' is all u Brodie 🙏," Arenas said on Instagram. "it will be a honor 💯"

No word on whether Westbrook will accept the offer ... but it sure is weird to see him wearing anything other than #0.

John Wall Emotional Farewell To D.C. After Trade ... 'You Rocked With Me From Day One'

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John Wall is pouring his heart out to his fans in Washington D.C. after being traded to Houston ... thanking his supporters for treating him like family over the past 10 years.

The #1 overall pick in 2010 was just shipped to the Rockets in exchange for Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster trade on Wednesday ... officially ending his run in the nation's capital.

Wall -- who was beloved in the city and active in the community since joining the NBA -- was sure to thank his former home in an emotional tribute on Thursday.

"I came to D.C. as a skinny 19-year-old with big dreams and goals," Wall said.

"You embraced me and my family with open arms. You rocked with me from day one until now."

He continued ... "From a young rookie to an All-Star, I did my best to make you proud. Through good times like that Game 6 versus Boston, through injuries & rehab, I always felt the love from you."

"I appreciate you and will ALWAYS have love for D.C."

Remember, Wall continued to give back to the city despite trade rumors just weeks ago ... handing out 1,000 Thanksgiving meals throughout the community.

STILL GOT LOVE FOR D.C.
TMZSports.com

Wall says he'll always appreciate everyone in D.C. ... no matter what team he's suiting up for.

"I may not wear the jersey anymore but I will never forget what it meant to represent for y'all."

"This isn't the way I thought I would say goodbye to this city, so I won't ... I will say THANK YOU!"

John Wall NBA Star Flashes Gang Signs On Video ... Apologizes

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Washington Wizards superstar John Wall was captured on video this month throwing up a series of gang sign hand gestures ... and on Sunday, the 30-year-old apologized over it all.

"I made a mistake, something I regret," the point guard said. "I will continue to work hard to be better on the court and more importantly off the court."

The video appeared to be shot at a recent party ... and the footage showed a shirtless Wall with some pals giving the middle finger and flashing a series of gang signs.

At one point, Wall and another man on camera brought out what appeared to be a stack of money as well as a red bandana. Men on the video could be heard saying "f**k n***a" too.

Wall added in his statement, "I want to apologize to my family, my teammates and all of those that have always supported me."

This ain't the first time Wall has made headlines for public gang signs ... he's famously thrown them up after highlight plays in a couple NBA games before.

Wall -- a 5-time All-Star -- did not play last season due to an Achilles injury. He also missed a majority of the previous two seasons battling injuries as well.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Suspended 1 Game For Headbutting Moe Wagner

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We all knew this was coming -- Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has been slapped with a 1 game suspension ... after the MVP candidate headbutted a player mid-game on Tuesday.

The Greek Freak was ejected following a scuffle with Washington Wizards center Moe Wagner in the 2nd quarter ... after the center hit Giannis with a hard foul.

Antetokounmpo immediately got into it with Wagner after the play ... and went after him with a good ole Zinedine Zidane-esque headbutt.

The NBA announced Giannis' punishment on Wednesday ... saying he will miss the next Bucks game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

"Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has been suspended one game without pay for headbutting Washington Wizards center Moritz Wagner during a stoppage in play," the league said in the official statement.

"The incident, for which Antetokounmpo was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected, occurred with 8:50 remaining in the second quarter of the Bucks’ 126-113 win over the Wizards on Aug. 11 at Visa Athletic Center on the campus of ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando."

It's really NBD for the Bucks -- Milwaukee has already clinched the 1st seed in the Eastern Conference ... and have a legit chance at making a push for the NBA Finals ... as long as Giannis keeps his cool.

NBA's Jonathan Isaac Tears ACL ... 2 Days After Anthem Standing Demonstration

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THE INJURY
Courtesy of NBA

7:12 AM PT -- Isaac just commented for the first time since being wheeled off the court Sunday ... saying in a statement Monday, "Thank you for all of your prayers and concerns I’m encouraged."

"Remember our God is not just a God of the hills but a God of the valleys! (2 Corinthians ch 4 vs 9!) MY COMEBACK WILL BE GREATER THAN MY SETBACK!!!! I STILL STAND IN JESUS NAME!!!!"

Jonathan Isaac -- the Magic player who stood for the national anthem and did not wear a BLM shirt before Orlando's game last Friday -- has torn his ACL and will miss the rest of the season, the team announced Sunday.

Isaac gained national attention just 3 days ago ... when he became the league's first player in the NBA bubble restart to stand for the anthem.

LAST MAN STANDING
Courtesy of NBA

Wearing his Magic jersey and warmup sweats ... Isaac stood with his hands behind his back and bowed his head during the song -- and after the game, he explained he didn't participate in the demonstration with his teammates for religious reasons.

DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

But, Isaac, playing in just his second game since the Friday gesture ... drove the lane against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday and blew out his knee.

The video is tough to watch ... Isaac's leg buckled -- and afterward, the Magic said the 22-year-old is now "out indefinitely and his return to the court will depend on how he responds to treatment and rehabilitation."

Isaac had started 32 games for Orlando this season ... and averaged 11.9 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game.

Only one other player, meanwhile, followed in Isaac's anthem-standing footsteps in the NBA's restart this past weekend ... Miami Heat's Meyers Leonard also stood for the song before his game Saturday.

After the move, Leonard -- who said he supports the BLM movement -- told ESPN, "Our world right now is black and white. There is a line in the sand, and it says if I don't kneel, then I'm not with Black Lives Matter. That is not true."

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich also chose to stand for the anthem before San Antonio's game Friday night as well.

Originally Published -- 6:38 AM PT

Bradley Beal, Spencer Dinwiddie Out Of NBA's Orlando Bubble ... 'A Difficult Decision'

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9:03 AM PT -- Brookyln Nets star Spencer Dinwiddie -- who tested positive for COVID-19 2 weeks ago -- has just been informed by team docs he will not be participating in the restart, according to Shams Charania.

The team says the move is "out of an abundance of caution" after testing positive for the virus again on Monday.

Dinwiddie spoke about the decision on Twitter ... saying, "After another positive test yesterday and considering the symptoms, @BrooklynNets, team doctors and I have decided that it would be in the best interest for me and the team that I do not play in Orlando."

"I will be supporting the guys every step of the way!"

Another Washington Wizards player has backed out of the NBA's restart in Orlando ... this time, All-Star guard Bradley Beal has officially opted out of the bubble due to a shoulder injury.

As we previously reported, Wizards breakout star Davis Bertans recently elected to sit out the remainder of the season to focus on free agency ... with an expected big payday on the horizon.

The team will have to move forward without the league's 2nd-leading scorer ... with Washington making the call to pull Beal from the restart later this month.

"This was a difficult decision and one that I did not take lightly as the leader of this team," Beal said in a statement. "I wanted to help my teammates compete for a playoff spot in Orlando, but also understand that this will be best for all of us in the long term."

The Wizards say Beal had been dealing with a nagging right rotator cuff injury all season ... and it only got worse during the hiatus.

Many believe the news puts the final nail in the coffin for Washington's chances at a playoff run. The team is currently 9th in the Eastern Conference -- 5.5 games behind the Orlando Magic -- with 8 games left to jump into postseason contention.

With Beal and Bertans out of the restart, the Wizards' next-leading scorer is 22-year-old Rui Hachimura ... who averages 13.4 points a game.

LET'S DO THE IMPOSSIBLE, RUI!!! WE BELIEVE IN YOU!!!!

Beal was originally intending to join the team in Orlando ... but will now stay home to focus on rehab.

Originally Published -- 8:47 AM PT

NBA's Davis Bertans, Trevor Ariza Sitting Out NBA Restart In ORL

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2:49 PM PT -- Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza is also backing out of Orlando ... with Woj reporting the vet has opted to be with his 12-year-old son during a one-month visitation instead.

Ariza is in the middle of a custody battle with the mother of his son ... and had to choose between joining the restart or being with his son.

If the Washington Wizards are gonna make a long-shot run for the NBA playoffs, it'll be without one of their best players ... 'cause Davis Bertans has decided to skip the restart in Orlando.

The 27-year-old Latvian star is set to have a HUGE offseason in free agency ... and considering D.C. has a slim chance at making noise when the season picks back up, Adrian Wojnarowski reports Bertans will sit out the restart.

As of right now, the Wizards are sitting at 9th in the Eastern Conference ... 5.5 games behind the Orlando Magic with 8 games left to jump into playoff contention.

Bertans -- who is averaging 15 points with a 43% 3-point percentage -- will be one of the most sought-after free agents during the offseason ... and given his history of ACL injuries, the move makes sense.

The decision will be costly to Bertans' bank account though ... he'll miss out on $604,752 (about $75k a game) according to Bobby Marks.

Bertans is one of the first players to publicly decide to sit out the season restart ... and more will be expected before the June 24 deadline.

Originally published -- 8:24 AM PT

Jerry Stackhouse Playing W/ Michael Jordan Sucked Wish We Weren't Teammates

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Michael Jordan is the one player EVERY hooper in NBA history wished they had the chance to team with during their careers ... right??

Nope!!! So says Jerry Stackhouse ... who reveals being Jordan's teammate actually SUCKED in 2002 ... and he wished it never happened.

"Honestly, I wish I never played in Washington and for a number of reasons," Stackhouse said on "The Woj Pod."

"It was really challenging to be able to be in a situation with an idol who at this particular point, I felt like I was a better player," Stack said.

It may sound crazy for JS to say he was ever better than the G.O.A.T. ... but let's remember, MJ was NOT the real MJ we all know and love during his Wizards days.

Jerry points out the season was off to a better start because the offense was running through him ... and then MJ had to take over.

"He wanted to get a little more isolations on the post, of course, so we had more isolations for him on the post."

To add insult to injury ... Stackhouse's old team, the Detroit Pistons, ended up winning the title 2 years after he was traded to D.C. ... and the Wizards never sniffed the playoffs.

Stackhouse says he never really had much fun that season ... and ended up losing respect for Jordan.

"Kind of the picture I had in my mind of Michael Jordan and the reverence I had for him, I lost a little bit of it during the course of that year."

John Wall Gives Injury Recovery Advice ... Take It From Me!!!

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TIME AND PATIENCE

It's been nearly 14 months since John Wall has stepped foot on an NBA court ... but he tells TMZ Sports he's learned a VERY valuable lesson during his time away from the game.

The Washington Wizards superstar ruptured his Achilles back at the beginning of 2019 after falling in his D.C. home ... and has been working like crazy to get back to 100%.

We spoke with Wall about his time away from the game ... and he's got some solid advice for players in similar situations.

"I learned what not to do is not to rush back and just take my time," Wall says.

Of course, Wall has been going viral for being able to dunk in pregame warm-ups recently ... which appears to be a good sign for recovery ... but the 29-year-old makes it clear he ain't coming back 'til he's fully ready to ball.

We also asked John if he thinks the NBA has forgotten about him during his time away ... and you gotta check out his response!!

NBA's Moritz Wagner The Next Charles Barkley?!? YOUR GOLF SWING IS TURRIBLE!!!

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SWING AND A MISS

An NBA player being compared to Charles Barkley isn't always a good thing -- especially when it comes to golf ... because Mortiz Wagner is giving Chuck a run for his money for WORST SWING EVER!!!

NO EXAGGERATION -- THIS DUDE IS A PRO ATHLETE AND COULDN'T HIT THE BROADSIDE OF A BARN!!!

Here's the deal ... 22-year-old Mortiz joined the rest of his Washington Wizards teammates for an outing at Top Golf in Virginia on Monday -- and saying it went poorly for Wagner is a gross understatement.

Watch the vid ...the 6'11" power forward missed so badly, he nearly took a chunk out of the floor mat ... and his Mulligan swing wasn't much better.

But, is it worse than Barkley??? Watch and compare ...

And, get this, Mo's swing was so terrible ... Wagner's ex-Lakers teammate, Josh Hart, went to social media to make fun of him.

"Bro what is this...." Hart wrote.

Wagner tried to defend his painful assault on golf balls by firing back, "This was literally my worst try. I hit that thing over the net one time I swear."

Sure, Mo ...

As for the Hart-Wagner rivalry ... the two have been good for a TON of laughs over the last year -- remember when Josh got after Mo for his Michigan ring last season?!?

SLOPPY SECONDS

Clearly, not even a blockbuster trade out of Los Angeles can give these two some chill!!!

Rui Hachimura Japanese NBA Rookie ... I'M BUILT FOR THIS!

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OODLES OF NOODLES
TMZSports.com

You're looking at the face of Cup Noodles ... the biggest star to come out of Japan in years -- NBA rookie Rui Hachimura -- who's telling TMZ Sports why he's PUMPED to get his NBA career going in the U.S. 

The 21-year-old became the first Japanese-born player selected in the 1st round of the NBA Draft when the Washington Wizards took him with the 9th overall pick ... and man, he looks stoked! 

And, get this ... we asked Rui if he feels any pressure now that he's in the NBA, dude SCOFFED -- telling us his rabid fan base back home has already prepared him for NBA superstardom. 

"It's been always like this," Rui said ... "but right now especially its crazy."

The 6' 8" Hachimura gained a massive following playing for Gonzaga ... making an Elite 8 run in 2019 and earning the West Coast Conference 2019 Player of the Year honors. 

He signed a massive deal to endorse both Cup Noodles and Nike -- and you can tell he's fired up about it! 

We also asked if he thinks he'll be able to sell more jerseys back home than #1 overall draft pick Zion Williamson ... and ya gotta check out what he says!!

Dwight Howard On Lakers Drama ... 'It's Just Business'

EXCLUSIVE
PART OF THE GAME
TMZSports.com

Ex-Lakers player Dwight Howard doesn't think the drama in LakerLand is a big deal -- in fact, he thinks it's all being blown out of proportion because "it's just business."

We got Dwight leaving Catch in West Hollywood over the weekend -- and had to ask him if saw any Lakers front office dysfunction during his 1 season stint with the team in 2012-13.

"It's part of basketball," Howard told us ... "It's just business. Not drama. It's just business."

In other words, Howard doesn't seem too shocked by the situation in L.A. -- almost like he's seen stuff like this with other organizations too and Dwight would know ... he's played for 6 teams.

We also asked Howard about the back injury that sidelined him for most of last season -- and he told us things are on the upswing.

"It's solid. I'll be good ... just continue to get right."

Howard only played 9 games this season before undergoing season-ending spinal surgery to relieve pain in his glutes.

He's only 33 years old and recently exercised his option to play another season with the Washington Wizards.

NFL's Jalen Mills Apologizes For Fight w/ NBA Player 'Will Not Happen Again'

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Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills is apologizing after being arrested for fighting an NBA player in the streets of Washington D.C. this weekend ... and he swears it won't happen again!

As we previously reported ... the NFLer was arrested early Saturday morning after cops say he beat up Washington Wizards player Devin Robinson outside Opera Ultra Lounge.

FYI, Mills is 6'0", 191 pounds ... Robinson is 6'8", 200 pounds.

Cops say Robinson was reportedly transported to a nearby hospital to be treated for injuries suffered in the brawl. The Wizards have said they will be parting ways with Robinson.

Now, Mills is breaking his silence on the incident ... saying, "In response to the events that took place last weekend, I want to sincerely apologize to the Philadelphia Eagles organization, my coaches, teammates and my fans."

One person is notably missing from apology list -- DEVIN ROBINSON!!!!!

Still, Mills says to his fans, "I can assure you this will not happen again."

After the incident, the Eagles issued a statement saying they're aware of the situation and looking to get more info. So far, they have not said if Mills will be punished by the team but it seems likely.

As for Robinson, details about his injuries and current condition are unknown.

Mills was a key part of the Eagles' 2017 Super Bowl team -- and had 9 tackles in the big game.

He started at corner in 2018 but suffered a foot injury which sidelined him for the 2nd half of the season.

Eagles & Wizards Players Jalen Mills, Devin Robinson Arrested for Fighting in D.C.

Two professional athletes from the NBA and NFL, respectively, were busted by cops this weekend after allegedly getting into a brawl on the street.

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills and Washington Wizards forward Devin Robinson were both arrested early Saturday morning outside of the Opera Ultra Lounge in D.C. and cited for disorderly affray, which is cop talk to fighting in public.

It's unclear if either of the men were sent to jail, but Devin was reportedly taken to a hospital afterward.

According to a police report, obtained by the AP, Jalen and Devin were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated into a physical altercation on the sidewalk adjacent to Opera. No official word on what exactly led up to the alleged fight, but reports have come out suggesting Devin was pissed Jalen was in town ... but didn't play for a D.C. team.

Both players will probably feel the fallout of their alleged actions -- especially Devin, who's already out of a job next season.

The Wizards released a statement saying they wouldn't be extending Devin a contract for the 2019-20 season. He played seven games for the Wizards this year but mostly spent time playing in the G League.

Meanwhile, the Eagles say they're aware of the incident and are looking to gain more info.

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