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Zion Williamson Never Gonna Pass on NBA Money ... Says Matt Barnes

5/19/2019 12:10 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Matt Barnes says there's no way in hell Zion Williamson's gonna pass up on NBA money just 'cause NOLA ain't New York ... telling TMZ Sports going back to Duke would be too much of a risk.

Earlier this week, there were rumblings Z-Dub could go back to Durham after the Pelicans won the NBA Draft lottery because he was hoping to go to the Knicks.

But, Barnes says all that talk is a bunch of hogwash ... 'cause the future #1 overall pick is expected to land a contract up to $45 million.

... Oh yeah, he's also probably gonna get a $100 MILLION shoe deal ... Soooo, maybe New Orleans won't be so bad!!!

"Money is different these days. I think he'd be passing up on 100-plus million to go back and possibly get hurt again in college, I don't think it's gonna happen," Barnes said. 

"The world lost their mind when his shoe blew out and they didn't think he should play anymore. So, I think the fact that there's this much money on the table, I don't see him passing it up."

Shaquille O'Neal Mocks Knicks Fans For Losing Zion Lottery!!!

5/15/2019 8:26 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Shaquille O'Neal is reveling in New York's misery -- saying he LOVES the fact the Knicks lost the Zion Williamson sweepstakes!!!

"I'm so happy that the Knicks didn't get their first pick," Shaq said in New York early Wednesday morning. 

"I'm here [in NYC] the next day, Knick fans are so pissed and I'm loving it!"

Of course, the Knicks were in the running to get the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday -- but the ping pong balls didn't bounce their way ... and they wound up with the #3 pick.

The New Orleans Pelicans ended up with the #1 pick -- and most people believe they'll select Zion when the Draft kicks off on June 20. 

But, Shaq says it's not a lock ... suggesting the Pelicans could even trade the first pick. He loves the drama!!!

As for the Knicks, Shaq says he thinks NYC will make a strong move for Zion's former Duke teammate, RJ Barrett ... but he also says teams should keep their eye on another possible superstar. 

"The guy everyone should be looking at is Bol Bol," Shaq said ... "Bol Bol can play. He's the real deal."

7'2" Bol Bol is the son of ex-NBA superstar Manute Bol -- and even though the former Oregon Ducks star missed most of this past NCAA season due to injury, Shaq thinks he's got HUGE potential. 

Blake Griffin Zion Can Be Best Dunker In NBA History ... '100 Percent'

5/13/2019 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Blake Griffin tells TMZ Sports that Zion Williamson can "100 percent" be the NBA's all-time best dunker ... saying of the former Duke star, "He's going to be a monster."

Of course, Zion has been legendarily rattling rims since he was a high school prodigy ... and now that he's on his way to the NBA, we had to ask Blake if Z can be one of the best dunkers ever.

Blake's opinion? He says there's no doubt in his mind Zion can be up there with Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins, telling us, "100 percent. 100 percent."

"If he keeps playing like he is, he's going to be a monster."

In fact, Blake seems to be a huge fan of Zion's game overall -- not just his dunking -- saying, "He's a really good basketball player ... he can do a lot of stuff. He's going to be really, really good."

As for Griffin's advice on how Zion should handle possibly participating in the dunk contest in his rookie season next year ... BG says the ex-Duke star should only do it if it feels right.

But, when Z eventually decides to compete ... Griffin says it'll be a show, telling us, "He's probably going to do some things that we haven't seen in a while."

#CantWait!

Wilt Chamberlain 100-Point Game Scorers Sheet ... Hits Auction Block

4/25/2019 12:51 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

For the first time ever, the official Philadelphia Warriors scoring sheet from Wilt Chamberlain's legendary 100-point game is up for sale ... and it's expected to rake in more than $100,000!!!

The game was March 2, 1952 -- Wilt's Philadelphia Warriors took on the New York Knicks in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Wilt racked up 100 POINTS that night -- the ONLY time a player has hit triple digits -- and Chamberlain famously posed for a photo with a sign that read "100."

We're told the Warriors' official team scorer's sheet -- which was signed by Wilt that night -- was taken home by the official team scorer. When he passed away, his widow gifted the item to a close family friend. 

Now, that friend has decided to offer it up to a worthy collector via SCP Auctions -- the starting bid was $15,000 ... and there's already been a ton of action. The auction closes Saturday night. 

Experts predict the sheet will ultimately skyrocket past the $100k mark -- since the official Knicks scoring sheet from that game sold for $100k back in 2012. 

Good luck ... 

Zion Williamson Knicks Drafting Him Could Be a Mess ... Says Jay Williams

4/18/2019 8:43 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Zion Williamson better hope New York doesn't end up with the #1 overall pick ... 'cause Jay Williams tells TMZ Sports he's not confident the Knicks owner would know how to handle a player of his caliber. 

"I live in New York City, so obviously everybody wants the answer to be New York. But, I don't know if I trust James Dolan enough with that yet."

And why? Jay -- who was outside The Cabin NYC -- doesn't go into detail, but it's pretty clear he's referencing ALL the missteps Dolan's taken recently ... which includes booting fans for telling him to sell the team.

So, where IS the ideal landing spot for the Duke beast? Jay tells us that's with the Hawks.

"It would be kind of dope to see him in ATL with Trae Young," Williams says.

Of course, Zion doesn't have much of a choice -- he's expected to be the top pick in June's NBA Draft either way -- so, better hope the ping pong balls land the right way!!!

By the way, when it comes to filling the voids left by Magic Johnson and Luke Walton on the Lakers ... ya gotta hear Williams' perfect fits for those jobs!!

Kristaps Porzingis Under Investigation for Rape ... Accuser Told Cops He Got Violent, Called Her 'Slave'

3/30/2019 5:01 PM PDT
Exclusive Details

5:55 PM PT -- Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the alleged victim told cops Porzingis pinned her down on a bed in his guest room, penetrated her vagina with his penis and then got violent.

The woman told cops he hit her in the face several times, spit on her, called her "my bitch" and "my slave" and said he owned her. We're told the accuser claims he stopped assaulting her as she was putting up a fight.

Former New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis is the target of an NYPD investigation after a woman came forward and accused him of rape ... TMZ has learned.

The woman claims Porzingis invited her to his Manhattan penthouse on February 7, 2018 -- just hours after he tore his ACL in a game at the Garden against the Bucks -- and held her down and raped her.

According to the New York Post ... the woman -- who's in her 20s and lived in the same building as Porzingis -- reported the rape to police Thursday ... and The Post claims investigators consider her story to be credible.

The accuser reportedly told cops Porzingis promised to give her $68,000 in hush money to pay for her brother’s college tuition, but then reneged ... which is why she waited to report the alleged sexual assault.

Porzingis was traded by the Knicks to the Dallas Mavericks in February. Mavs owner Mark Cuban says the team has been instructed by federal authorities not to comment on the rape allegation.

The NYPD’s Special Victims Division has reportedly taken over the case and is investigating.

We've reached out to Porzingis and his current and former teams ... no word back so far.

However, the player's attorney Roland G. Riopelle says they are aware of the woman's complaint and "unequivocally deny the allegations."

He adds they made a formal referral to the feds in December because the accuser was allegedly trying to extort Porzingis ... and the NBA is aware of the "ongoing federal investigation."

NBA's DeMarre Carroll NYC's Pumped for the Nets ... Finally!!!

3/21/2019 2:42 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

While the Knicks are busy booting fans from MSG ... the Nets are on the brink of making the playoffs ... and DeMarre Carroll says the city's totally buzzin' for them!!!

Of course ... New York's always been Knicks' territory. Even when the Nets came over to Brooklyn in 2012, the vast majority of folks held on to their beloved Knickerbockers and didn't care too much for the team from Jersey.

But, as it turns out ... the Nets are currently 7th in the East thanks to breakout seasons from players like D'Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie.

Earlier this week, BK had an insane 25-point, 4th-quarter comeback against the Kings ... behind Russell's 44 points.

And, the Knicks ... well, their 14-58 record is the worst in the NBA.

So, when we saw the NBAer out in Santa Monica on Thursday ... he said there's a lot of support for the squad as they head into the postseason.

"I think everybody's excited about what's going on, so it's a big time for the city," Carroll says.

We also asked Carroll how the league's gonna react to Zion Williamson ... and he says he ain't givin' the young bull ANY advice before he goes to the league but knows someone who might (cough, LeBron).

Ex-Knicks Player Chris Copeland I Love James Dolan!!!

3/18/2019 7:48 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Not everyone wants James Dolan to sell the Knicks ... and if ya don't believe us, here's ex-NBA player Chris Copeland telling TMZ Sports he LOVES his old boss!!

... but Copeland's friend?? Not so much.

We shot the ex-NBAer outside Madeo over the weekend and asked straight-up what the Knicks need to do to get back to relevance.

Copeland's friend had a few suggestions -- which would've gotten him BANNED from MSG if he had said it at a game -- but the hooper shuts down any of that talk and praised the team owner.

"I love Dolan, Dolan's my guy," Copeland tells us. I love Dolan, love the Knicks."

It's been the trend to tell Dolan off at Knicks games recently -- but it comes with a price. 

As we previously reported, fans have been getting 86'd from Knicks games or any other events being held at MSG for heckling him ... as we've seen with at least 2 different occasions in recent years.

Copeland knows what it's like to be on the winning side ... NY actually made the playoffs when he was on the roster ... and it sounds like he believes Dolan can get the team back to the postseason.

Knicks' James Dolan Banned Heckler In 2018 ... Also Said, 'Sell the Team'

3/12/2019 12:20 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Another NY Knicks fan claims James Dolan banned him FOR LIFE from Knicks games for telling the owner to "sell the team" in 2018 ... and TMZ Sports has the stay away document to prove it!!!

The guy we spoke with is still so afraid of retaliation from Dolan and the Knicks, he asked us to keep his identity a secret ... but provided us with the letter he got from MSG informing he was never allowed back in The Garden. 

This incident took place in 2018 ... the fan we spoke with describes the incident as nearly IDENTICAL to the one captured on video on Saturday. 

Basically, the fan says he yelled at Dolan to sell the Knicks -- and that's when he was approached by 2 cops and 5 security guards who escorted him to the bowels of MSG where he got his lifetime ban. 

In fact, the fan says Dolan personally grabbed security personnel to make sure his order was carried out. 

"Dolan himself made sure, came down and shouted 'FOR LIFE' and kept walking," the fan tells us, "It was surreal to say the least."

The fan says he was fully cooperative with law enforcement -- and insists some of the guards sympathized with him -- but he still got the ban. 

A short time later, the fan says he received a letter from the Senior VP of legal and business affairs at MSG spelling out his punishment -- "In light of this incident, you are hereby indefinitely banned from Madison Square Garden."

TMZ Sports posted footage of Dolan issuing the same lifetime ban to a different fan on Saturday. Guessing he'll be getting a similar letter sometime soon.

These guys aren't the only people who got the boot from Dolan -- ex-Knicks star Charles Oakley was famously dragged out of MSG in 2017 after an incident involving Dolan.

After the first incident from over the weekend, a rep for the arena told us, "Our policy is and will continue to be that if you are disrespectful to anyone in our venues, we will ask you not to return."

The bans have been met with criticism from Hollywood stars like D.L. Hughley and New York politicians, including Adriano Espaillat

NY Congressman Shades Knicks Owner 'I Don't Like People Being Banned'

3/11/2019 3:45 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

A pretty powerful NY congressman is taking issue with James Dolan -- telling TMZ Sports he's AGAINST banning fans unless they do something to really deserve it.  

We spoke with Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D) -- who represents NY's 13th District, which is comprised of Upper Manhattan and a small part of the Bronx. Basically, Knicks country. 

So, we asked Espaillat how he feels about Dolan banning a Knicks fan who shouted at the owner to "sell the team" during Saturday's game at Madison Square Garden ... and it seems he's against it. 

"I don't like people being banned," Espaillat tells us ... "Fans are fans. They're never wrong ... not unless they do something wrong."

Translation -- Dolan needs to grow some thicker skin. 

Of course, Espaillat ain't the only person who feels that way ... D.L. Hughley told us Dolan was WAY out of line and suggested the Knicks should be BEGGING fans to watch their games since they suck so bad. 

The Knicks have only won 13 games this season and boast the worst record in the NBA.

D.L. Hughley Rips James Dolan ... Knicks Are a 'Sh*t Sandwich'

3/11/2019 12:15 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

D.L. Hughley just went IN on James Dolan -- saying the Knicks fan he booted from MSG over the weekend should be GRATEFUL he won't have to watch the "sh*tty" Knicks play ever again. 

"Right now, if you kicked every Knick fan out, you'd be doing them a f*cking favor," Hughley told TMZ Sports

But wait ... there's more!! And, it's pretty hilarious. 

Remember, Dolan 86'd a fan from Madison Square Garden after the fan shouted at Dolan to "sell the team" because of their terrible play over the past few decades. 

D.L. says Dolan's ban is laughable -- "That's like saying, 'I'm not gonna let you have a bite of this sh*t sandwich."

Hughley -- a self-described Lakers fan -- added, "The Knicks are sh*tty and they're doing you a favor!" 

Dolan has been getting ripped pretty hard in the media for the way he treated the fan during Saturday's game -- a game the Knicks lost to the Sacramento Kings. 

The Knicks are currently 13-54 -- with the worst record in the NBA. They haven't made the NBA playoffs since the 2012-2013 season.

Knicks Owner James Dolan 'Rude' Fan Ruffles His Feathers ... No More Games for You!!!

3/9/2019 1:30 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

2:00 PM PT -- An MSG spokesperson tells TMZ ... "Our policy is and will continue to be that if you are disrespectful to anyone in our venues, we will ask you not to return."New York Knicks owner James Dolan got pissed when a fan urged him to sell the team to someone who can help them win ... so he flexed his owner muscles and 86'd the guy.

The abysmal Knicks were in the final minutes of another home loss Saturday against the Sacramento Kings when Dolan headed for the exits early. In the vid -- obtained by TMZ Sports -- a fan is heard giving James a parting shot ... and it really gets under his skin.

Check it out ... the fan yells, "Sell the team!" and instead of ignoring it, Dolan calls the man rude for sharing his opinion and tells him his days of taking in Knicks games at Madison Square Garden are over.

Then James sics security on him!

Witnesses tell us the fan was held while 2 cops and security came over to ID and question him before asking him to leave. It's unclear if he's been permanently banned from Knicks games ... we're working on it.

We're told there were other fans heckling Dolan, but he singled out the guy who doesn't want him to be the owner anymore.

The Knicks are 13-53 on the season ... currently dead last in the NBA.

Kendall Jenner Consoles Ben Simmons ... After Vicious Dunk Attack

2/14/2019 7:40 AM PST

Ben Simmons and Kendall Jenner just learned how tragedy can bring a couple closer together ... because lovebirds spent some quality time moments after Ben was assaulted on the hoops court.

By a vicious, savage, disrespectful, jaw-dropping dunk.

It happened during the Knicks vs. 76ers game Wednesday night, when Knicks rookie Kevin Knox delivered a two-handed destruction to Simmons that shook social media to its core (which is pretty easy to do).

It happened in front of a packed house of celebrities including Regina King (who almost got bulldozed by Joel Embiid), Tracy Morgan, Karrueche Tran, Justin Long and Maluma.

Kendall was there too, and after the game she and Ben hit the town with some pretty long (but beautiful) faces, probably contemplating Ben's basketball future, while dealing with post-dunk PTSD.

Here's the play ... please don't allow any young kids, people with cardiac conditions or small dogs to watch.

Get well soon, Ben!

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