Kyrie Irving Plays Pickup Football with Buddies ... Amid Vaxx Holdout Drama

Going deep ...
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Kyrie Irving might not be able to play basketball this season as he continues to resist getting the COVID-19 vaccine -- but the dude's still stretching his legs ... with pigskin, no less.

TMZ Sports has obtained video of the Brooklyn Nets superstar all in Sunday on a game of pickup football with some guys at a high school in New Jersey ... where he seemed to be playing wide receiver and running routes, but not getting a look on this particular play.

We're told they were playing 4 on 4 here ... and this was actually a soccer field. So, not really a gridiron, per se, but at least we're getting a chance to see him out in public.

He's been seemingly reclusive of late -- taking to IG Live to try and explain his vaccine status and rationale -- this as he remains the focus of national media amid his stance to not get the jab ... and forfeit millions of dollars to be a "voice for the voiceless."

While we imagine his coaches and teammates won't be too happy seeing this -- Kyrie hasn't practiced/played with the Nets in a good long while now, due to the NY vaccine mandates -- at least they can take solace in the fact that he's staying active and somewhat in shape(?) for if/when he caves and decides to get back on the court at some point this season.

Then again ... maybe he never will. It looks like the Nets are prepared to move forward without Kyrie for now -- and they could very well trade him if he stays hunkered down like this.

In the meantime ... maybe he can get a tryout with an NFL squad or something 😅.

David Ortiz Barry Bonds Is The Best Ever ... Belongs In HOF

It ain't Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays ... no, according to David Ortiz, the greatest baseball player ever is Barry Bonds.

The Red Sox legend made the claim to TMZ Sports out in Beverly Hills this week ... saying Bonds is his MLB G.O.A.T.

"He's the best player of all-time," Big Papi said.

SIMPLY THE BEST
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Ortiz added he believes the San Francisco Giants legend is, definitively, a Hall of Famer.

Of course, there's no denying Bonds is statistically the greatest ever ... he hit 762 home runs and stole 514 bases while winning SEVEN MVP awards in his 22 years in the Big Leagues.

The problem ... many believed the former outfielder used performance-enhancing drugs to help his game -- which is why he still hasn't been enshrined in Cooperstown.

Still, it's clear Ortiz believes that's a wrong that needs to righted ... and if you've seen any sorts of Bonds highlights -- it's hard to argue, right?

NFL's Isaiah Rodgers Cops Insane Terminator Cleats ... That Light Up!!!

Indianapolis Colts DB Isaiah Rodgers will be channeling his inner-Terminator for next weekend's game ... 'cause he just copped cleats featuring images from the classic 1984 action thriller -- that light up!

TMZ Sports has learned artist Rodney Jackson was workin' on some Terminator cleats with the idea of highlighting the T-800 model by using actual lights for the eyes.

And, when Jackson finished them ... he shared 'em with Rodgers and said the NFL player wanted 'em ASAP!

The cleats are dope -- they feature a detailed image of Arnold Schwarzenegger with a shotgun and dark shades ... the exact image of the '84 movie poster.

On the other side, the Terminator is painted on -- with red eyes that flash!

Jackson -- who also made Candyman cleats for Nyheim Hines earlier this season -- says it took a lot of wiring and a lot of work ... but he managed to get the spikes done in just one day!

You can catch 'em on Rodgers' feet during pre-game warmups next week ... when the Colts take on the 49ers.

UFC's Islam Makhachev Is A Better Version of Khabib ... Says Mgr. Ali Abdelaziz

How good is #5 ranked UFC Lightweight, Islam Makhachev? His manager, Ali Abdelaziz, believes he could be one of the most dominant fighters of all time.

"I think [Islam's] gonna be one of the greatest fights ever. I think he's a better version than Khabib. I truly believe he is. He's not now, but he can be. He's a future world champion, for sure," Ali tells TMZ Sports.

TOP FIVE FIGHTER
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Obviously, Nurmagomedov (literally) NEVER lost ... finishing his legendary career with a 29-0 record. He beat Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, and Conor McGregor.

If you're not familiar with 30-year-old Makhachev ... he's a beast. Islam's 30-1 ... with his sole defeat coming in his 2nd UFC fight way back in 2015.

Ever since ... he's dominated.

Next on the agenda is #6 ranked Dan Hooker at UFC 267 on October 30 ... a fight Abdelaziz says Hangman can only win with a fluke punch.

"Dan Hooker, great fighter, great guy, he's showing up for a paycheck. The only way he can win is a lucky punch."

Ali says he's personally witnessed Makhachev beat much bigger UFC stars in the gym.

"Let me tell you something, Islam Makhachev, I see him in the gym beating D.C. (Cormier), beating Luke Rockhold, beating some of my guys who's top 5 middleweight. Beating guys in the top 5 at welterweight."

"[Makhachev] is a problem. He is one of the worst guys to train with. He beats your ass. Khabib beats you, lets you relax. Islam beats you every second of the round. He does not give people time to breathe. He is very dangerous, striking, on the ground, wrestling, you have not seen the best Islam Makhachev yet, I promise you that."

Famous Dodgers Fans For The Win!

Playoff baseball is in full swing!

Famous Los Angeles Dodgers fans -- such as Cheech Marin, Rob Lowe, Joseph Baena, Nick Jonas and Thomas Rhett -- are celebrating their favorite team as they face-off against the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the NLCS!

Emily Osment, Jenna Fischer, and Joe Jonas are just a few other sporty stars visiting the stadium, chomping down on Dodger dogs, and cheering from the bleachers with high hopes they will take home the World Series title for a second year in a row!

You won't strike out as you scroll through this gallery of these celebrity fanatics!

Take me out to the ball game!

L.A. County to Vanessa Bryant Kobe Crash Pics Anguish??? Prove it w/ Psychiatric Exam!!!

Vanessa Bryant will submit to a physician-ran test on her mental state see if she's actually tormented over the Kobe crash site photos being shared ... that is, if L.A. County get its way.

The late Lakers star's widow is being asked to undergo a psychiatric evaluation -- by force via a judge's ruling if need be -- by County attorneys who want her (and others) suing them to prove she's going through the emotional anguish and distress she claims in her lawsuit.

According to court docs, obtained by USA Today, the County's rationale here is ... Vanessa and co. say they've suffered severe emotional distress as a result of the crash site photos allegedly being spread around among L.A. County Sheriff's deputies, firefighters and others.

But ... how do we know their ongoing agony isn't simply because of the the crash/deaths of their loved ones, as opposed to the photos being disseminated among a relatively small group of people??? That's the County's position -- and they wanna get to the bottom of it.

The County's legal filing reportedly reads, "Despite putting their mental condition front and center in this case, Plaintiffs refuse to submit to independent medical examinations (IMEs)."

They add ... "The County brings this motion to compel IMEs of the Plaintiffs, which are necessary to evaluate the existence, extent and nature of Plaintiffs’ alleged emotional injuries. Plaintiffs cannot claim that they are suffering from ongoing depression, anxiety and severe emotional distress and then balk at having to support their claims."

Vanessa's legal team fired back, saying this was nothing more than a "scorched earth" approach, and a slimy one at that ... where the County is overreaching in their discovery process and going to extreme ends to defend what her attorney calls indefensible conduct.

L.A. County notes ... the photos (which apparently showed off the remains of some of the bodies that day) were allegedly only shared among other County employees, and a bartender -- saying they were never publicly disseminated.

Yeah, this one's getting nasty ... a judge has yet to rule on this latest issue.

Another Shooting Gunfire Erupts at High School Football Game Intense Video of Chaos

A high school football game abruptly ended Friday night after gunfire erupted and 4 people were shot.

Players from Williamson High School were on the field against rival Vigor High School at the Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, when gunfire rang through the stadium, just before 10 PM.

Two of the 4 people shot were minors ... one person is in critical condition.

It's unclear where the shots came from, but it appears the shooter was not on the field or in the stands. As you see from the video, the players dropped to the ground and people in the stands fled ... leaving the stadium in a panic.

The shooter was not apprehended and it's unclear if police have any leads. A witness told cops 2 people and possibly more fled the stadium in a white sedan after the shooting, but it's unclear if they had anything to do with the shooting.

It's the latest in a string of shootings across the country, and not the first incident at a high school football game.

Andre Rison Defends Jon Gruden ... 'I Know He's Not A Racist'

"BE SINCERE IN YOUR APOLOGETICS"
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Andre Rison is going to bat for Jon Gruden ... telling TMZ Sports he knows the former NFL head coach is definitely "not a racist."

Rison -- who played for Gruden and the Raiders in the 2000 NFL season -- said despite the vile, racist, homophobic and misogynistic words Jon wrote in emails from 2011 to 2018 ... he still believes the guy is a good man.

"We all say some things behind closed doors that we regret or we wouldn't say in public," said Rison, who's remained close to Gruden even after the '00 season ended. "We've all made mistakes."

"I believe who he said and what he said and who he intended it for, it was intended for that person and nobody else."

Rison did admit Gruden did mean what he said in his messages to a Washington Football Team exec and others ... and offered to apologize on the coach's behalf.

But, Rison added in all the years he's been around the 58-year-old, he's never seen anything that would suggest Gruden is a bad person.

10/10/21
ADDRESSING THE CONTROVERSY
Las Vegas Raiders

Rison also told us he believes if this is the end of Gruden's time in the NFL, the former Raiders head man should hold his head high.

"You've already given this game some of the best tutelage and best leadership that you could possibly give," Rison said in a message to Gruden. "So if you don't ever touch the game again, don't feel any type of way."

"Go on with your life and enjoy it with the rest of the Gruden family."

Tommy Fury I'm Going To End Jake Paul's Boxing Career ... 'Easy Fight!!!'

KISS YOUR CAREER GOODBYE
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Tommy Fury says it's a wrap for Jake Paul's boxing career -- telling TMZ Sports he's going to knock the YouTuber-turned-fighter into retirement when they face off in the ring.

Fury -- lil' bro of boxing champ Tyson Fury -- finally agreed to be Paul's next opponent last week ... after initially saying the offer wasn't worth getting out of bed for.

We caught up with the 22-year-old earlier this week at LAX and had to ask what made him change his mind ... and he tells us the negotiations started to make sense.

"Things are looking up now between that fight," Fury says, "so hopefully we should get it closed in the next few weeks so we'll see."

GETTIN' FURY-IOUS

Of course, Fury believes he's gonna win this bout -- he's a 7-0 light heavyweight going up against Paul, who's also undefeated, but hasn't gone against an actual boxer.

"This is an easy fight for me. A real easy fight," Fury tells us, "I've been doing this job since I was 7."

"He's not a boxer. He's gonna see that when we fight."

Fury added, "I will end his boxing career. There’s no more Jake Paul after we fight. That’s it."

In fact, Fury believes he's doin' Paul a favor ... 'cause at the end of the day, winning this fight doesn't get him anywhere "in boxing terms."

"Beating Jake Paul doesn't get me a world title shot," Fury says, "It doesn't get me any respect to any of the fighters because everyone knows what the fighters think of him."

"All it is, is a good payday, an easy fight."

As for whether Tommy will actually legally change his name to "Tommy Fumbles" if he loses, ya gotta hear his response!!

Nate Diaz I Wanna Throw 1st Pitch At Giants Game ... Better Than Conor!!!

READY FOR ANYONE
TMZSports.com

S.F. fans might be hurting right now, but there's something to look forward to for next season ... 'cause UFC star Nate Diaz says he wants to throw out the first pitch at a Giants game -- and put Conor McGregor's toss to shame!!

Of course, Diaz's nemesis had one of the worst ceremonial first pitches EVER back in September ... chucking the ball wide right of the plate, but claiming it was actually great.

So, when we spoke with the 36-year-old at the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury fight last weekend -- before the Giants' heartbreaking exit from the postseason -- we asked if he was gonna try to get the same honor at Oracle Park.

Diaz disses McGregor with his response -- saying if he does get the opportunity, he's gonna hit the target!!

When we asked if his pitch will be better than Conor's, Diaz made it clear he'd look like Logan Webb out there on the mound.

We know it doesn't help ease the pain right now, Giants fans ... but it's the best we could do.

NFL Email Scandal NFL's Lead Atty & WFT Prez Secretly Claimed Players Too Lazy to Vote

The NFL's General Counsel Jeff Pash & then-Washington Football Team Prez Bruce Allen took a cheap shot at NFL players -- claiming almost none of them bother to vote.

Allen fired off the diss to his buddy Pash in an email TMZ Sports has obtained. Sources confirm the email exchange is among the more than 650,000 emails presented to the league during its 2020 investigation of the WFT organization -- and it says a lot about how the 2 high-ranking league officials felt about players.

In the 2018 email, Allen says, "I just got a phone call reminding me to vote in the Virginia primary before 7pm today (which I'm going to do). If NFL rules permitted NFL employees to gamble, I would bet $20.00 that less than 1% of NFL players voted in primaries this year."

Pash, who's been described as Commissioner Roger Goodell's right-hand man, replied, "Maybe even take the under" ... meaning, he'd bet even less than 1% of players votes.

Couple things to keep in mind -- this was the summer of 2018, less than 2 years after Colin Kaepernick and several other players were kneeling during the National Anthem to stand against police brutality and social injustice. So, suggesting players weren't interested in politics seems, at the very least, tone-deaf and misguided.

And, here's the bigger point ... according to our sources, the NFL had this email -- and the thousands of others -- more than a year ago, and yet took no action to discipline anyone involved. As you might know, in the wake of Jon Gruden's racist and homophobic emails (sent to Allen, BTW) ... there are calls for Goodell to release all of the emails. As of now, he has not.

The fact the league's own lead attorney and a team exec are on the record making distasteful remarks about players certainly isn't a good look -- and, perhaps, speaks to why the league's sitting on that mountain of emails.

For the record, WFT owner Dan Snyder fired Allen in December 2019, although there was no mention of the emails at the time.

Chuck Liddell Files For Divorce ... Days After Domestic Violence Arrest

Chuck Liddell has filed for divorce from his wife of 10 years ... just days after the UFC legend was arrested for domestic violence in Los Angeles, TMZ Sports has learned.

51-year-old Liddell filed for "dissolution w/ minor children" from his wife Heidi on Friday at a courthouse in L.A.

We broke the story ... Chuck was arrested early Monday morning at his Hidden Hills home after police responded to a call for a domestic disturbance.

When cops arrived, they spoke to Chuck and Heidi ... and determined a verbal argument turned physical.

While Chuck was taken to jail ... he's adamant he was actually the victim, and volunteered to go with cops so Heidi could remain at their home with a minor child who was in the house.

"I was the victim of the incident last night at our family home, as details of the case will reveal," Liddell said in a statement the day after the arrest.

"The deputies informed me that my wife would be arrested, as I did not respond to her assault while I sustained bruising and lacerations. I volunteered to go in her place."

Heidi was cited on the scene, but not taken into custody.

Chuck and Heidi have been together for over a decade ... engaging in November 2010. They have two children together.

Conor McGregor Bros Down With Fan ... Sick Tattoo, My Man!!!

BROS FOR LIFE
@thenotoriousmma / Instagram

Conor McGregor found a fan in Italy this week who had tatted the UFC star's face on his arm -- and he absolutely bro'd down with the guy to celebrate!!!

The clip -- which McGregor filmed himself -- is awesome ... the fighter looked the ink over up-and-down and praised it relentlessly.

"This is probably the best version, the best version of me," McGregor said, adding, "My man! Thank you, brother!"

The artwork featured a bearded McGregor surrounded by money signs ... and Conor loved it so much, he then threw his arm around the dude and took a selfie video.

The guys cheered and smiled ... and it seems like it was a blast for all involved.

Of course, Conor is a huge fan of body ink ... he's got some of the most recognizable tats in the world -- but as far as we know, there are no portraits of himself on the bod yet.

Maybe the trip to Rome will inspire it?? Stay tuned ...

David Ortiz Don't Blame Boone For Yankees' Woes ... 'Managers Don't Play'

CHEMISTRY, NOT MANAGERS
TMZSports.com

David Ortiz has a message for all of the Yankees' fans blaming Aaron Boone for their disappointing season -- STOP IT.

TMZ Sports got the Boston Red Sox legend out in Beverly Hills this week to talk about his old rival's team ... and he made it clear, Boone is not to blame for New York's early playoff exit this year.

"Managers don't play, man," Ortiz said. "Managers just make moves."

Instead, Ortiz said if the Yankees want to be successful, they just need to work on "chemistry."

"If you don't have chemistry, it doesn't matter if you have talent," Ortiz said. "They have the talent, they just need to work on their chemistry. I think they'll be all right."

Many New York fans would disagree ... Pinstripes supporters have been clamoring for the team's brass to fire Boone ever since the Yanks disappointingly dropped the AL Wild Card Game to the Red Sox.

Boone has been safe for now ... which Ortiz appears to think is the right call in New York, despite what fans may believe.

As for if former Yankees great Alex Rodriguez would make a good replacement for Boone if the guy is canned ... Oritz said he could see it, though he ain't sure A-Rod would want it!

MMA's Superbon Knocks Opponent Out Cold ... w/ Brutal Head Kick

This is one of the most brutal head kick knockouts you'll ever see -- courtesy of combat sports star Superbon Banchamek -- who starched opponent Giorgio Petrosyan with a perfectly placed strike, to win the ONE Championship title.

31-year-old, #2 ranked Superbon fought 35-year-old, #1 ranked Petrosyan Friday in Singapore for the inaugural ONE Championship Featherweight Kickboxing Championship.

The knockout happened in the 2nd round of a scheduled 5-round fight ... with 2:35 minutes remaining.

Just beating Petrosyan, one of the best kickboxers in the world, is an awesome accomplishment ... he's got a pro kickboxing record of 104-3-2.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

If you're not familiar with Superbon ... he signed with ONE in 2020. He made his debut with the promotion last July, beating Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong.

As for Giorgio's condition after the scary KO ... he was reportedly conscious in the arena after the fight. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he is being evaluated by doctors.

Peyton Manning Eli Felt Bad After Double-Bird Salute ... I Was In Real Shock!!!

OOPS!!!
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Eli Manning letting his birds fly on national TV was hilarious, but it turns out the Giants legend truly regretted the mishap ... this according to his bro, Peyton, who says he really felt bad afterward.

Remember, Eli was telling an anecdote about playing in front of Eagles fans in Philadelphia on "Monday Night Football" a few weeks back ... and got a bit too into it when talking about how 9-year-old kids would flip him off in the stands -- giving a visible demonstration on camera.

Peyton is now giving his take on the whole incident ... saying he's heard Eli share that story 100 times, but NEVER thought in a million years he would actually do the gesture.

"Out of all times to actually do it, I was in real shock about it," Manning said this week.

"But, he felt bad and he apologized. It was not intentional but it was just funny that was the one time he picked to do it."

We also talked about the Manning Bros' successful 'MNF' broadcast ... and Peyton says he's loved his time talkin' football with Eli -- and their star-studded guests have been having a blast, too!!

As for this season, Peyton shares his favorite contender so far ... and the folks in Baltimore are gonna love what he has to say.

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