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Kenny Smith Scottie Pippen's Wrong Zion Shouldn't Sit Out!

1/20/2019 12:15 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Zion Williamson needs to IGNORE Scottie Pippen's advice and NOT sit out the rest of the college basketball season because it could hurt his development ... so says Kenny Smith

"When you play, you get an opportunity to hone your craft," Smith tells TMZ Sports ... "Iron sharpens iron."

Pippen sees it MUCH differently -- claiming the Duke superstar is the obvious #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft and he needs to sit out to avoid risking serious injury. 

But, Smith says sitting will essentially stunt his growth -- because the constant competition with top college talent will make him more prepared for the jump to the NBA. 

Check out the clip ... Kenny sends a personal message to Zion to keep playing ... and throws a little jab about the big UNC/Duke rivalry.

P.S. --  Yes, a Tar Heels legend is giving a Blue Devil advice. Last time we checked, hell hasn't frozen over ... yet.

Victor Page Ex-Georgetown Star Violent Incident Caught On Video

1/19/2019 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

TMZ Sports has obtained surveillance footage which shows ex-Georgetown basketball star Victor Page attacking a 17-year-old girl during a 2018 incident ... and it's extremely disturbing. 

First off, 43-year-old Page is currently locked up in a Maryland jail over the 2018 incident, and he's facing several serious criminal charges, including 1st and 2nd degree attempted rape. 

We spoke to a rep for the victim's family who told us that they want the video to be out publicly -- and they're hoping Page is punished to the fullest extent of the law. 

Here's the backstory ... 

The victim was at her family's apartment in Camp Springs, Maryland on Dec. 30 when she claims Page tried to rape her inside the home. 

She tried to run ... but as you can see in the video, Page follows her outside and eventually smothers her while she's on the ground for roughly 2 minutes. 

Neighbors noticed the assault, and ran over to help pry Page off the girl. When they finally got him off, the girl ran away. 

The victim went to authorities and Page was arrested a few days later. He's now behind bars at Prince George's County Detention Center awaiting a hearing on Feb. 1.

He's facing a bunch of charges including 1st and 2nd degree attempted rape, attempted sex abuse of a minor, 2nd degree child abuse and more. 

We've reached out to Page's attorney for comment -- so far, no word back. 

Page has a long, sad history with the law -- he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for 2nd degree assault in 2013, but he was released early.  

Page played with Allen Iverson at Georgetown and was a key part of the '95-'96 Hoyas team that went to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tourney. He led the Big East in scoring in the '96-'97 season. 

Page left Georgetown after his sophomore year and went undrafted. He had a cup of coffee with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but never saw any NBA minutes. 

Ex-College Basketball Star Jermaine Marshall Dead at 28

1/18/2019 1:48 PM PST
Breaking News

Ex-Arizona State basketball star Jermaine Marshall -- who also had a brief stint in the NBA -- has died at 28 years old ... his French professional team announced Friday.

Marshall was reportedly found dead in his apartment. The cause of death has not been released.

The Pennsylvania native played 3 seasons with Penn State before transferring to ASU for his senior year. He played a huge role in the Sun Devils' NCAA tournament run in 2014, averaging 15 points.

ASU released a statement on Friday ... saying "He gave us so many big buckets en route to the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Jermaine Marshall."

Marshall spent time with the Houston Rockets during the 2014-15 season ... and later moved to Europe to play professionally. He was most recently with the Hermine Nantes Basket in France.

#RIP

Lamar Odom Called for $25,000 Traveling Violation ... In New Lawsuit

1/17/2019 2:44 PM PST
Breaking News

Lamar Odom made over $114 MILLION during his NBA career -- but a travel agent says the guy refuses to fork over a measly $25,000 for plane tickets ... and now he's suing. 

Omar Rahmani claims he booked all sorts of trips for Odom between March '18 and June '18 -- from Florida to Vegas to New York ... even a flight to Hong Kong. 

But, after racking up a $25,629.47 bill ... the NBA star refused to cut the check to Rahmani, his lawsuit claims. 

Now the guy has filed a lawsuit in L.A. County Superior Court accusing Odom of breach of contract and fraud ... and he wants all of the cash plus punitive damages. 

As for Odom, he doesn't seem too bothered by the lawsuit -- he's been training his ass off in New York to get ready for the Dubai International Basketball Championship which goes down in Feb. 

The 39-year-old has been gunning for a pro basketball comeback ever since he recovered from his drug overdose in Nevada back in 2015 when he suffered 12 strokes and 6 heart attacks

Odom has said he's got his sights set on playing in Ice Cube's BIG 3 league -- stay tuned. 

Ice Cube I Don't Want Carmelo In BIG3 ... Yet

1/17/2019 8:27 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Ice Cube is looking forward to the day Carmelo Anthony suits up for the BIG3 league, but says that shouldn't be for a long time, because he thinks 'Melo can still get it done in the NBA.

The BIG3 has become the go-to spot for ex-league guys to flex their skills, with dudes like Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, and soon to be Lamar Odom all competing at a high level.

Anthony's not doing anything right now, so when we got league boss Ice Cube at LAX we asked if he's clamoring to have 'Melo join up ... not so much.

"Of course, we'd accept him. But, he still could play in the NBA, he should be in the NBA."

Don't get Cube wrong, he'd LOVE Anthony in the BIG3, but he thinks the former scoring champ still "got some NBA in him."

Dope that Cube is supporting Anthony, but we have a question ... if Kevin Durant and Steph Curry wanted to leave the Warriors and join the BIG3, would he discourage them too?

Sure he would.

Baron Davis UCLA Needs To Hire Earl Watson ... I'll Be His Assistant

1/16/2019 1:29 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Baron Davis says he wants to see Earl Watson be UCLA's next head coach ... and if that happens -- the ex-NBA superstar says he'll be an assistant on the staff ... FOR FREE!!!

B-Diddy is one of the greatest UCLA Bruins ever ... and tells TMZ Sports the former Suns head coach and ex-UCLA player is the right man to replace Steve Alford in Westwood.

In fact, Baron wants to see Earl coach the team so badly ... he says he'd be down to be on Watson's staff -- and UCLA wouldn't even have to pay him!!

"If Earl Watson was the head coach, I would coach for free. I would do whatever for free."

Of course, lots of ex-UCLA players agree with Baron ... guys like Matt Barnes and Lonzo Ball have already made it clear Earl would be their choice for the job too.

Watson -- whose NBA career spanned from 2001 to 2014 -- has been out of professional coaching since being fired by the Suns last season.

Khloe Kardashian Cavs Good Luck Charm? 'Obviously!'

1/14/2019 6:17 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The Cleveland Cavaliers finally broke their 12-game losing streaking against the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday -- while Khloe Kardashian was in the stands cheering on her man Tristan Thompson

Coincidence? She thinks not! 

Khloe and TT were leaving Craig's after the game -- all smiles in great moods -- where they jokingly took the credit for the big 101-95 win over the LeBron-less Lakers at Staples Center. 

In all seriousness, Tristan had a solid game, posting a double-double (15 points, 14 rebounds) -- and he's having a pretty solid year overall. 

No sign of their daughter True out last night -- but there was definitely baby on brain for our photog ... who asked the couple if they were planning on having any more adorable kids in the future. 

They didn't say no ... 

Steph Curry College Jersey Won't Be Retired ... Until He Graduates

1/14/2019 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Steph Curry is the most famous person to EVER play basketball at Davidson College (by far!) ... so, why hasn't his jersey been retired?!

Simple -- Steph's gotta get his degree first. Seriously. 

Remember, Steph is a LEGEND at Davidson, where he was a consensus 1st Team All-American and famously led the Wildcats to the Elite 8 in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. 

So, when we spotted Steph's old college coach, Bob McKillop out in D.C., we had to get an explanation for why Steph's old #30 jersey ain't hangin' in the rafters. 

"I think he's in the process of completing his degree," McKillop told us after heaping TONS of praise on his old player. 

We followed up with the school and athletic director Chris Clunie told us that Steph is still actively working on his degree ... and as soon as he completes his education, boom -- the jersey gets retired. 

Clunie says the school is extremely proud of all that Steph has accomplished on and off the court. They love the guy. 

By the way, during his college days, Steph listed his major as sociology. Unclear if he's still pursuing that major or if he's changed it like a ton of other kids. 

Shaq If I Were a Young Star ... I'd Sign With Knicks

1/13/2019 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Forget Los Angeles ... Shaq says if he were a young baller in today's NBA -- his next free agency contract would be with the Knicks!!!

"If I was a youngster, Madison Avenue would be turning into Shaq Avenue."

It's interesting ... seeing as EVERY big-name free agent over the last several years has passed on the Knicks for other (mostly Golden State-colored) pastures.

But, the Diesel tells us he doesn't understand why dudes aren't just lining up to play in Madison Square Garden.

"People always talk about business and business after basketball. Knicks don't have a star player, so any superstar that comes there, Madison Avenue is going to open up them doors."

That could change soon ... while the free agent market ain't exactly warm for NY next summer -- a high draft pick could be in the cards.

Does that mean Zion Williamson could be the next Knicks superstar?? We know one guy who'd love to see that ...

Michael Irvin Julio & Antonio Should Join Forces ... That's What Stars Do These Days

1/12/2019 2:15 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The times they are a-changin' ... which is why a legendary NFL wide receiver thinks Julio Jones and Antonio Brown should team up to win it all.

TMZ Sports got Cowboys HOF'er Michael Irvin outside of Catch in Weho Friday night, and he tells us he'd like to see the Falcons WR and the Pittsburgh WR -- who's on the outs with the Steelers -- get together to win a Super Bowl ... because neither one of 'em has won anything yet.

We broke the story ... Jones rejected the notion of A.B. coming to Atlanta, saying his team was good as is. But, Irvin thinks if LeBron can hook up with D. Wade, and Durant can hook up with Steph to get a ring ... Julio should be a little more open to the idea.

As for whether Michael would have welcomed Jerry Rice to be his tag team partner back in the day ... he's not going that far. Besides ... they both did fine on their own.

Byron Scott Divorce Advice For Jeff Bezos ... Take It From Me!!

1/12/2019 12:20 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Byron Scott knows what it's like to go through a nasty public divorce ... so here's the ex-NBA coach giving some very valuable advice to Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos!!

The ex-Lakers star was leaving Craig's in WeHo when we broke the news to him that Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, are calling it quits after 25 years.

Scott can relate -- he called things off with his wife Anita after 29 years of marriage back in 2014. The divorce wasn't exactly the friendliest split ... they went to war over everything from mansions to clothing and even hair care. 

Byron's divorce became official in 2015 after a yearlong battle -- so we had to ask if he had any pointers for Bezos. 

"Tell him I said, 'good luck' ... AND GET A GOOD LAWYER!!"

Hear that, Jeffy? Take it from Byron ... dude knows what he's talkin' about.

Auburn Women's Hoops Causes 'Uproar' W/ Locker Room Dance ... Awesome Moves

1/11/2019 1:01 PM PST
Breaking News

Need that extra push headin' into the weekend?? Here's the Auburn women's basketball team to get you hyped ... with one of the best locker room dance-offs you'll ever see!!

The Tigers turned their locker room into to a dance party with an incredible choreographed dance to Lil Wayne's "Uproar" ... and they went OFF!! ... with a mashup of all the best moves.

Dougie, shoot, Harlem Shake ... you name it, they killed it.

The girls clearly took their time to plan it all out ... and the results are incredible.

Your move, Bama.

Shaq Defends Kevin Hart 'He Apologized, Move On'

1/11/2019 10:03 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Shaquille O'Neal is calling for people to back off Kevin Hart ... saying he shouldn't have to keep apologizing for his old homophobic jokes and wants everyone to "just move on."

"Some people feel he made a mistake," Shaq said ... "He apologized for his mistake. I always thought comedians were allowed to crack jokes."

"Anyone that knows Kevin Hart should know that anything he said was never malicious."

Of course, Shaq is referring to some of Hart's tweets and stand-up bits from 2009 to 2011 -- when the comic described how he'd react if he found out his son was gay. 

"Yo if my son comes home & try's 2 play with my daughters doll house I'm going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that's gay,'" Hart tweeted in 2009. 

The material resurfaced after Hart was named the host of the 2019 Academy Awards -- and after a backlash online and a demand for renewed apologies, Hart pulled out of the show and only apologized after stepping down. 

"He shouldn't have to keep apologizing," Shaq said ... "He apologized twice."

"People should just move on. Everyone makes mistakes."

Of course, Shaq and Kev go way back -- Hart was a headliner Shaq's All-Star Comedy Jam back in 2009 and they've been friends ever since. 

Shaq's not the only big star who's come to Hart's defense -- Ellen DeGeneres also went to bat for the comic ... backing Kev's stance that he's evolved and said it's his right to host the Oscars. 

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