Isiah Thomas D-Wade Is Best Chicago Hoops Star ... EVER!!!

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CHICAGO'S FINEST
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Derrick Rose. Dwyane Wade. Candace Parker. Anthony Davis. Which baller from Chicago is the BEST to come outta the Windy City???

Well, there's no one better to ask than Chicago native and Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas ... who's settling the debate with TMZ Sports once and for all.

Of course, there has been a lot of talk about the rich hoops history in Chi-Town after AD declared it "the Mecca of basketball."

We spoke with Zeke about the long list of basketball greats to come out of his hometown ... and asked who ranks at the top of the list -- AND IT AIN'T ISIAH THOMAS!!!

"No one has won more and been as successful as Dwyane Wade. I mean, we all honor him, we love him. Right now, he's the winner."

Thomas says he doesn't mind handing the title over to D-Wade .. saying, "All of us from Chicago, we're all winners. We're all champions. But, Dwyane Wade has a very special place in all our hearts."

It's hard to argue against it -- Wade is a 3-time NBA champ, 13-time All-Star, Finals MVP and is the Miami Heat all-time leading scorer.

Washington Mystics Champagne Slip 'N Slide Party ... After Winning WNBA Title

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SLIP-SLIDIN' CELEBRATION

"3 ... 2 ... 1 ... SLIP 'N SLIDE!!!!!"

That's how the Washington Mystics spent their first few minutes as WNBA champions ... 'cause after they beat the Connecticut Sun, 89-78 Thursday, they went back to their locker room for some champagne dives!!!

The vid is hilarious ... the team sprayed down their clubhouse with a ton of booze -- and with a protective layer of plastic laid on the ground, they decided to get down on the floor.

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Natasha Cloud counted backward from 3 ... dove across the carpet -- and good times were had by all.

Of course, the celebration didn't end there ... the team continued boozing throughout the night -- and were even spotted capping off the evening at local D.C. nightclub!!!

As for prior to the party ... the Mystics kicked ass on the hardwood -- and they had some special courtside visitors for the historic Game 5 -- Wizards stars John Wall and Bradley Beal!!

L.A. Sparks' General Manager Penny Toler Fired Over N-Word Post-Game Rant

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The L.A. Sparks have fired General Manager Penny Toler after she admitted using the n-word in a post-game rant following a playoff loss.

"Toler was relieved of her duties and will no longer be with the organization, effective immediately," the Sparks said in a statement.

"A national search will begin immediately to identify the next general manager of the Sparks. Managing Partner and Governor Eric Holoman will assume the duties in the interim."

As we previously reported, Toler entered the locker room following a Sept. 19th loss to the Connecticut Sun and unleashed in an emotional tirade.

Toler later spoke to ESPN and acknowledged using the word -- but insists it was not directed as a slur toward one of her players.

"It's unfortunate I used that word," Toler said ... "I shouldn't. Nobody should. ... But you know, like I said, I'm not here to defend word by word by word what I said. I know some of the words that I'm being accused of are embellished."

"Did I give a speech that I hoped would get our team going? Yes."

Despite the controversy, the Sparks are praising Toler for what she accomplished during her 20 seasons with the franchise.

"Penny is a foundational figure in the growth of the WNBA and helped lead our franchise to perennial playoff success and multiple titles."

"We wish her nothing but the best moving forward."

Under her leadership, the Sparks made the playoffs 18 times and won WNBA titles in 2001, 2002 and 2016. Toler was a founding member of the WNBA and played for the Sparks from 1997-1999, scoring the first basket in WNBA history.

L.A. Sparks Exec Uses N-Word In Locker Room Rant ... WNBA Investigating

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The WNBA is investigating L.A. Sparks General Manager Penny Toler after the exec admitted to using the n-word in an emotional postgame outburst in the team locker room after a loss.

Toler -- who is African American -- went off on the team after the Sparks lost Game 2 of the WNBA semifinals to the Connecticut Sun on Sept. 19.

Several players, who didn't wish to be named, spoke with ESPN's Ramona Shelburne about the incident ... saying Toler called them "motherf**kers" and showed "total disrespect."

53-year-old Toler says "it's unfortunate" she used the n-word but insists, "By no means did I call my players the n-word."

"I'm not saying that I couldn't have used it in a context," Toler told ESPN ... "But, it wasn't directed at any of my players."

Toler acknowledges she shouldn't have used the word, adding, "Nobody should ... but you know, like I said, I'm not here to defend word by word by word what I said. I know some of the words that I'm being accused of are embellished. Did I give a speech that I hoped would get our team going? Yes."

Now the WNBA has announced the league is investigating the incident ... saying in a statement on Thursday they have ZERO tolerance for offensive racial language.

“We’ll be looking into it as a league. We understand the heat of the moment and that the Sparks lost in the semifinals, but we don’t condone that kind of language and will be reviewing it over the next couple of days,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said.

The Sparks eventually lost the series 3-0 to the Sun -- which is currently playing against the Washington Mystics in the WNBA Finals.

WNBA's Jonquel Jones My Adorable Pooch is My Good Luck ... After Dominant Game

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MY LUCKY PUP
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WNBA star Jonquel Jones is the first player in WNBA history to record a 30-15 game in the Finals ... and she's revealing her secret weapon after her dominant performance -- her adorable dog!!

The Connecticut Sun forward was an absolute beast in Game 2 of the Finals on Tuesday ... posting 32 points and 18 rebounds to single-handedly take down the Washington Mystics and tie up the series.

TMZ Sports spoke with JJ on Thursday at Reagan National Airport ... and she just so happened to have her INCREDIBLY CUTE doggy, Rylo, with her.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

So, of course ... we had to chop it up with Jonquel about her 4-legged friend ... and she says she's able to take Rylo with her everywhere she goes!!

"He's my son, so I'd want to take him anywhere I can take him," Jones tells us.

Naturally, after a dominant game like she just had, we had to ask if young Rylo brings her some additional good luck on road trips ... and she says "most definitely!!"

We take it we're gonna see Rylo around a LOT during the rest of the series.

LeBron James & Anthony Davis Bro Out With Lakers Teammates ... At WNBA Playoffs

Here's a cool Lakers team-building exercise ... LeBron James, Anthony Davis and a bunch of their L.A. teammates hit up a WNBA playoff game in Vegas on Tuesday -- and they bro'd out HARD!!!

The Aces took on the Washington Mystics at the Mandalay Bay Events Center ... and to get acquainted with each other, the Lakers made a date night out of it.

LBJ, AD, Kyle Kuzma, Dwight Howard (good to see Howard getting along with his teammates!) and a few other Lakers studs were there ... and as you can see in the pics -- they had a blast!!

Of course, WNBA games are becoming SUPER popular among athletes ... even Warriors forward Draymond Green was spotted courtside.

In fact, Raiders owner Mark Davis was also there!!

The on-the-court action lived up to the hype ... the Mystics beat the Aces, 94-90, winning their playoff series over Vegas, 3-1.

By the way, Elena Delle Donne did her best LeBron impression in the game ... scoring 25 points with 6 rebounds in 37 minutes.

Up next ... the Mystics get the Connecticut Sun in the Finals. See ya there, LeBron??

Breanna Stewart Auriemma Deserves Statue At UConn ... Me Next?!?

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WORKIN' ON MY OWN
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Breanna Stewart is gunning to add some new accessories to UConn's basketball arena ... telling TMZ Sports there needs to be a Geno Auriemma statue there ASAP!!!

... and then one of Breanna Stewart too!!!

We got the Huskies legend out at the NBA 2K20 event in L.A. on Thursday ... and we had to ask about Lisa Leslie becoming the first-ever female with a statue outside of Staples Center.

Stewart tells us that's a cool and well-deserved honor ... and then said her ex-college coach deserves similar treatment at UConn!!!

Then, Breanna told us she wouldn't mind getting one of her own after Geno ... saying, "That would be pretty dope!"

Breanna was unreal in her four years in Storrs ... she won FOUR National Championships and was a three-time Consensus College National Player of the Year.

So, get that cement mixer ready???

BONUS: Breanna also says she's bonding with Kevin Durant over their Achilles injuries ... telling us the two basketball superstars are giving each other rehab advice!!!

WNBA's Riquna Williams Suspended 10 Games After Dom. Violence Arrest

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WNBA All-Star Riquna Williams has been suspended 10 games without pay following a domestic violence incident with her ex-GF back in December ... the league announced on Tuesday.

The story behind the arrest is crazy -- Williams allegedly showed up at her ex's Florida home, destroyed her car with a skateboard, forced her way into the house, hit her in the head several times and pulled her hair out.

The 29-year-old is also accused of getting a firearm out of her car and pointing it at her ex's friend ... saying "you'll get all 18" before leaving the home.

The L.A. Sparks guard is facing 2 felony charges -- burglary with assault or battery and aggravated assault with a firearm.

Williams has been playing all season while the league conducted an internal investigation ... and now she's gotten her punishment.

"Based on the investigation, consultation, and a careful weighing of all the facts and circumstances, the WNBA determined that a ten-game suspension was appropriate," the statement says.

"Among other factors, the WNBA took into account the nature and seriousness of the conduct at issue, including the involvement of a firearm. The WNBA will also require Williams to participate in counseling."

As for Williams' legal fate ... she's due back in court in August.

WNBA's Brittney Griner Praises Lil Nas X for Coming Out ... 'Takes a Lot of Bravery'

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THE NEW NORMAL
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WNBA superstar Brittney Griner says it's "AWESOME" that Lil Nas X has come out as gay -- telling TMZ Sports, "I think it's real big!"

28-year-old Griner is openly gay -- she's engaged to longtime girlfriend Cherelle Watson -- and knows first hand how tough it can be to come out when you're a big star under the microscope. 

But, the 5-time WNBA All-Star says she's especially impressed with the "Old Town Road" artist for not letting homophobes and negative gay stereotypes (especially in the hip-hop world) stop him from going public about his sexuality. 

"I just think it's awesome he did that," Griner says ... "takes a lot of bravery."

Griner says it's 2019 and people should be able to love who they want to love and be who they want to be without fear of a backlash ... and she thinks Lil Nas X is helping to achieve that goal. 

"I think it's real big ... kudos to him."

Lil Nas X came out via a social media post on June 30 -- the last day of Gay Pride month -- and we're told he was inspired to do so after such a positive experience performing at the Glastonbury Music Festival in England, which is known for its inclusivity. 

Kobe Bryant Daughter Shows Off Mamba Skills ... In Insane Highlight Video

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Kobe Bryant clearly doesn't need a son to carry on his hoops legacy -- his daughter's got this ... and her insane highlight video proves that!!!

13-year-old Gianna Bryant -- one of Kobe's 3 daughters -- put on a clinic in an AAU game this past weekend ... flashing all the moves Kobe made famous in his 20-year NBA career.

Spin move in the lane? Check. Step-back 3-pointer? Check. Killer crossover? That's there too!!

Kobe's talked a lot about Gianna carrying the basketball torch for the fam in the future ... saying recently she's "hellbent" on playing ball for Geno Auriemma at UConn.

And, Dad's been super proud of her throughout this whole process ... tweeting out Sunday, "She’s working and getting better everyday."

Some people still think Kobe and his wife, Vanessa, could try for a boy -- Vanessa's currently pregnant with the couple's 4th girl -- but if they don't, seems Gianna's doing just fine carrying the Bryant name on the hardwood for now!

WNBA's Todd Troxel Dom. Violence Case Dismissed ... 'I Never Assaulted Her'

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WNBA coach Todd Troxel is off the hook in his domestic violence case -- and says he and his fiancee are "moving on with our lives."

Troxel was an assistant coach for the Phoenix Mercury back in November when he was charged with assault and disorderly conduct for allegedly attacking his fiance after a Phoenix Suns game.

Troxel severed two arteries in his arm during the incident -- in which he allegedly punched through a glass window at his home during a heated argument with his fiancee. Troxel has maintained he never laid a finger on his fiance.

In the initial police report, cops say Troxel claimed he suffered the injury as a result of an accident while putting up Christmas lights ... but while at the hospital, the fiancee told a nurse a different story.

Cops investigated and Troxel was charged with 2 misdemeanors -- but now, TMZ Sports has learned the case was officially thrown out in part because the victim refused to cooperate with prosecutors.

Troxel has issued a statement ... essentially viewing the dismissal as a victory and says he and his fiancee are together and doing just fine.

"My fiancé and I are thrilled to have this situation behind us and look forward to moving on with our lives," Troxel said.

"I cannot thank her enough for her support, love and friendship always."

"I regret getting into an argument with my fiancé the night of the incident, but I never assaulted or hurt her in any way."

Troxel's fiance Lauren Helt issued a statement saying, "I am so glad to have this nightmare behind us. It’s unfortunate that this situation was blown out of proportion. Todd has never hurt me and should never have been charged in this case. He is and has always been a loving and supportive figure in my life and I look forward to moving on with our lives together."

The Mercury publicly severed ties with Troxel after its own investigation -- but now Troxel says he's focused on getting his coaching career back on track.

"My lifelong passion has always been to coach basketball and it has been an honor coaching in the WNBA. I’m proud of the women that are dedicated to the game of basketball and it’s a privilege to coach them as they redefine what it takes to be a word class athlete. I will continue to follow the performance of the Mercury and wish all of them the best."

WNBA Coach Suffers Gruesome Injury ... During Alleged Dom. Violence Incident

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An asst. coach for a WNBA team severed two arteries in his arm while allegedly punching through glass in a domestic violence incident and was rushed to the ICU ... TMZ Sports has learned.

The man at the center of the incident is Todd Troxel -- an assistant coach for the Phoenix Mercury. He's also famously worked with NBA stars like Yao Ming and Marko Jaric.

Todd was hospitalized on Dec. 1 -- and while he was there, he told cops that he accidentally sliced his arm on broken glass while putting up Christmas lights.

But, a nurse at the hospital told cops she had spoken to the fiancee and got a different story -- that he raged out during a fight and punched through a glass window at their home.

Cops spoke with the fiancee who told them the whole thing started after they left the Phoenix Suns game on Nov. 30. She claims they argued because Troxel wanted to smoke weed in their Uber.

Once they got to the home, Todd's fiance essentially broke up with him and he flipped out. She claims he grabbed her and pinned her to the ground and when she got up ... he yanked her hand, dislocating her finger. He then followed her to the front door and punched through a window.

The fiancee called 911 -- and then transported Troxel to a nearby hospital.

When investigators circled back with the fiancee hours later, they told her there was sufficient evidence to support possible criminal charges against Troxel.

But, the fiancee made it clear she did not want to cooperate with investigators -- and just just wanted him to get better.

Troxel required surgery to repair the damage to his arm. Cops documented the bloody scene at the home ... it's nasty.

Troxel has not been arrested or charged with a crime.

We reached out for comment, so far, no word back.

We also called the Mercury -- no comment from them either.

Gonzalez Twins Making Moves For The WNBA ... Training Every Day

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PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
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Ridiculously gorgeous hoops playing sisters, the Gonzalez twins, are jumping out of the music biz to focus making it into the WNBA, TMZ Sports has learned.

Dylan & Dakota were both stars at UNLV -- and even Drake came to their games to show the love. But, they left school early to pursue music careers, mainly because of NCAA made it tough for them to play and release songs.

But, now sources tell TMZ Sports the IG superstars (over 1 million followers each) have decided to jump back into basketball, training full-time to knock the rust off and get back into form.

We're told they even have a team in mind ... hoping to get roster spots on the WNBA's Las Vegas Aces by the time the 2019 season tips off next May.

If you think it's a pipe dream you're wrong, when the 6'0" twins were at UNLV they were HUGE contributors ... with Dakota actually leading the team in scoring.

We wish the girls luck, but if basketball doesn't work out (which it probably will, they're great) the gallery below proves they have plenty to fall back on.

Skylar Diggins-Smith I'm Pregnant!!

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Skylar Diggins-Smith is winning even in the off-season ... 'cause the WNBA superstar is pregnant with her first child!!

The 4-time All-Star and husband Daniel Smith announced the big news on Wednesday with an Instagram post of the sonogram captioned, "Can’t wait to meet you!"

Obviously, it's great news for the couple ... but could be bad news for the Wings -- they might've lost one of their best players for a little bit (if our math's right).

The WNBA season kicks off in May, and if Skylar is at least 12 weeks preggo, she's most likely gonna need some time away from the squad.

FYI -- it's incredible how quickly female athletes can get back to competing after giving birth. Candace Parker returned to practices a little over a month after giving birth in 2009 ... and Olympic swimmer Dara Torres competed again just 3 weeks after having a child in 2006.

Congrats to the couple!!

WNBA Star Cappie Pondexter Reveals Tiny Salary ... Demands Change

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DOWN FOR A HOLDOUT
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Cappie Pondexter tells TMZ Sports she BARELY makes six figures a year as one of the WNBA's biggest superstars ... and she's pissed off about it, saying the league "should pay me what I deserve!"

It's been a heated topic in the hoops world recently -- with players like Skylar Diggins-Smith voicing their dismay about the pay difference between NBA players and their WNBA counterparts.

Pondexter couldn't have agreed more with Skylar when we got her out in L.A. promoting her CBD skin care line ... telling us the league ONLY shells out $113,000 a year for her to play.

"It's just getting out of line now," the Indiana Fever star says.

"I've been in the league for 13 years, making the vet minimum, which for me is $113,000 for the last five years, which is nothing compared to what the minimum is and the maximum is for the NBA."

"I'm not saying that we have to get what they have, but I think we should see some progress at this point."

Pondexter says she's so fed up with it all ... she's actually willing to be a part of a league-wide work stoppage -- if other stars like Diana Taurasi and Elena Delle Donne are down for it.

HIGH BEAUTY
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Fired WNBA Coach Breaks Silence After Reported Screaming Match With Owner

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IT IS WHAT IT IS
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You're looking at Fred Williams -- who was JUST fired from his job as the head coach of the Dallas Wings after getting into a screaming match with his boss Sunday night ... and now he's telling us why he thinks he got the chop.

Williams -- who was the head coach from 2014 to 2018 -- was seen screaming at Wings CEO Greg Bibb after a 93-80 loss to the Mystics earlier in the day. Bibb issued a statement announcing he fired Williams a short time later.

Williams touched down in D.C. early Monday -- and broke his silence about the situation to our photog ... telling us why HE thinks he got the axe.

"It could be because we had some losses in row," Williams tells us. "Everything builds up. It's just the management decision."

Fred didn't seem too busted up over the move -- explaining to us this DEFINITELY won't be his last stop in the WNBA.

Dallas Wings star player Skylar Diggins-Smith seemed to agree ... saying players LOVED playing for Fred ... and they still support him after his firing.

WE STAND BY HIM
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