NBA's Amir Johnson I'm For Double-Teaming in Pickup ... Part of the Game!!!

Exclusive
MAKES YOU BETTER
TMZSports.com

Sixers hooper Amir Johnson is weighing in on the Great Double-Team Debate of 2019 ... and he ain't siding with Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, telling TMZ Sports double-teams are all part of the game!!

It's been a massive argument on NBA Twitter this week ... after Book got super pissed for getting double-teamed in a pickup game with other NBA stars including Ben Simmons and Joakim Noah.

The Suns superstar has gotten a bunch of support from fellow NBAers like Trae Young and KD .... who say when elite players are playing pickup, you shouldn't be able to lean on teammates for defensive help. Defense should be 1 on 1 in gym games.

But, Amir disagrees ... telling us "Technically, if it's game point and you're competitive, you're trying to win. I don't see nothing wrong with double-teaming."

There's a HUGE divide -- we've been talking with NBA players and there's clearly a hard line in the sand ... some believe it's straight "weak sauce" to double-team in the gym.

But, for Johnson, the bottom line is this ... there's nothing for Booker to be complaining about -- "it's all part of the game."

Jason Garrett Fights Back Tears After Friend's Son's Death

Breaking News
MOURNING A LOSS
Dallas Cowboys

Extremely emotional moment at Cowboys camp Thursday ... head coach Jason Garrett fought back tears during his meeting with the media after learning of his friend's son's death.

Luke Laufenberg -- the 21-year-old son of ex-Cowboys QB Babe Laufenberg -- was diagnosed with Leukemia back in 2017 ... and he died Thursday after a 2-year-long battle with the disease.

Garrett addressed reporters shortly after learning the news ... and the scene was tough to watch.

Garrett was extremely emotional in trying to describe Laufenberg's son, saying, "You guys have heard me talk about fight a lot. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a better example of that in my life."

"What he’s gone through over the last couple of years, the spirit that he had every day, to battle through it, to always be thoughtful about the people in his life, ‘How’s my mom doing? How’s my dad doing? How’s my brother doing?’ Amazing."

Garrett and Babe's playing careers never crossed paths ... Jason started his Cowboys QB career in 1993 -- 3 years after Babe finished his time in Dallas.

But, the two have obviously gotten close over the years ... Jason's been the head coach of the 'Boys since 2010, while Babe's done work as the team's radio analyst for years.

Garrett didn't field any other questions from reporters during his news conference Thursday ... finishing his time at the podium by praising Luke for his courageous battle.

"It’s such a tragedy. It’s so hard to understand. But, I know I will and everybody who ever knew him will be forever inspired by the life that he lived.”

RIP

Barack and Michelle Obama Locking Down Incredible Martha's Vineyard Estate!!!

Barack and Michelle Obama may soon become Kennedy adjacent because we've learned they're in escrow for a remarkable, mega-expensive, Martha's Vineyard estate.

Multiple island sources tell us the Obamas are in escrow for the estate owned by Boston Celtics owner, Wyc Grousbeck. The former Prez and First Lady have been renting the house this summer and loved it so much, we've learned they made an offer. The property is listed at $14,850,000. Our sources say they're paying less, but we don't know how much.

The estate -- incredible. It's 29 beachfront acres. The main residence is just shy of 6,900 square feet. It has 7 bedrooms, so Sasha and Malia have a place to crash, along with several of their friends. It has the obligatory pool, an outdoor fireplace, a chef's kitchen, vaulted ceilings and 2 guest wings. It has incredible views, especially while soaking in the second-floor balcony Jacuzzi.

The beachfront is private ... and comes with a boathouse.

Downside -- only a 2-car garage!!! Sorry kids.

The estate is listed by the realtors who dominate the area -- Tom LeClair and Gerret Conover. They did not return our calls.

The estate is currently in escrow and it's not a done deal just yet. We're told there are contingencies so it's possible it could fall apart, but we're told so far it's a go.

Kristin Cavallari Wrecks Jay Cutler in Axe-Throwing Showdown

BAD AXE

Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler faced off against his reality TV star/fashion designer wife, Kristin Cavallari, in an epic axe-throwing challenge ... and it went exactly how you'd think.

Yeah ... Kristin whooped dat ass.

The couple showed off the results of their contest at Class Axe Throwing in Nashville ... and while the dude who made $122 MILLION off his arm failed miserably, the girl who starred in a Gavin DeGraw music video hit the bulls-eye with ease.

The best part about it -- Cutler's DGAF attitude transitioning into his axe-throwing career, 'cause the guy shrugged it off and captioned his video with "Nailed it."

Never change, Jay. Never change.

NFL's Patrick Chung Charged with Cocaine Possession ... Faces Prison

Breaking News
Getty

9:24 AM PT -- The Patriots have addressed the news ... saying, "We are aware of the reports regarding Patrick Chung. We will not be commenting while his judicial proceedings take place."

New England Patriots star Patrick Chung has been indicted for cocaine possession and now faces PRISON time if convicted.

It all stems back to an incident in New Hampshire on June 25 when cops say the 32-year-old was in possession of coke.

The case went to a grand jury which ultimately decided to charge Chung with a Class B felony which carries up to 7 years in prison if convicted, according to the Laconia Daily Sun.

Chung -- who's won 3 Super Bowl rings with the Patriots -- is scheduled to be arraigned next week.

Officials say Chung was not formally arrested and there is no mug shot.

Details surrounding the incident are sparse -- we're working on it.

Story developing ...

Originally Published -- 8:57 AM PT

Damon Dash Claims NFL Deal Proves ... 'Jay-Z Ain't S**t!!!'

LOOKING OUT FOR HIMSELF
No Jumper Podcast

Jay-Z's ex-business-partner-turned-nemesis, Damon Dash, claims the mogul's new NFL partnership has exposed him as a backstabber who "ain't s**t!"

Dame fired that brutal shot while talking to Adam22 on the No Jumper podcast. Dash, who started Roc-A-Fella Records with Jay, was asked about Jermaine Dupri's claim Jay talked him out of making the very same deal with the NFL that Jay just made (which JD's walked back a bit).

Dash said matter of factly, "If you ask anyone in the industry, it's a common knowledge that Jay ain't s**t." He added, "He's about the bag. We all know that. He's self-preserving. Period."

Now, full context ... Dame's beef with Jay goes back to the fall of Roc-A-Fella records. He claims Jay left him out in the cold and caused the label's collapse. So, Dame taking the shot isn't all that surprising.

WE'RE PAST KNEELING
NFL

However, of all the criticism Jay-Z's taken since announcing he's partnering with the NFL -- while Colin Kaepernick's still frozen out of the league -- Dame's is the most scathing.

His deepest cut of all, though, had to be comparing Jay-Z to President Trump. Just watch ... it's ice cold.

Conor McGregor Punch Victim Speaks Out 'He's a Bully with Money'

Breaking News
THE SUCKER PUNCH
TMZSports.com

The man who was punched in the face by Conor McGregor at a pub in Ireland is breaking his silence ... and he's BRAGGING that he can take a punch!!!

The victim spoke with the Irish Daily Star on the condition of anonymity -- and explained why he thinks Conor socked him with a left during an incident caught on video back in April.

"I am sitting on the bar stool just having a quiet pint with my friend then all of a sudden because I refuse his drink I get a punch," the man said ... "You don’t need that in life."

TMZ Sports broke the story ... Conor had been pouring shots of his Proper 12 whiskey to people at the Marble Arch Pub in South Dublin when one man refused ... and Conor let his fist fly.

The man took the punch like a champ -- with UFC star Stipe Miocic praising the dude's "chin of steel" -- and now the guy is bragging about his toughness too.

"Look-it, I can take a punch,” he told the Irish Daily Star.

Despite the way it played out on video, the man claims the punch really hurt and he was in pain for a week ... and went after Conor during his interview.

"He is a bit of a bully, a bully with money ... I'm glad people saw the video. I don't like him."

The man still has one major beef -- but it seems to be with the media. It was reported the guy was 60-years-old ... but the man wants to set the record straight.

"I'm 50."

As we previously reported, Conor has not been arrested or charged with a crime for the attack ... and cops in Ireland say they're still investigating, which is crazy because the whole thing is ON VIDEO!!!

UFC's Nick Diaz On Conor McGregor ... 'I'll Whoop His Ass!'

Exclusive
FIGHT TALK
TMZSports.com

Nate Diaz ain't the only member of his family who thinks he can beat down Conor McGregor ... his bro Nick Diaz tells TMZ Sports, "I'll whoop his ass!"

The elder Diaz bro was leaving Warwick with his pal, Bellator fighter AJ Agazarm when we brought up the possible trilogy fight between Nate and Conor ... a fight EVERYONE wants to see!

"I'll whoop his ass," Nick told us ... which triggered his pal AJ to start talking a TON of crap about the Irishman.

THE SUCKER PUNCH
TMZSports.com

"I can't believe he hit that old man! That was crazy! Who would do that?! If he's gonna hit an old man, I'll hit him," Agazarm told us.

By the way, Agazarm is a highly decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner who trains with the Diaz Bros at the Nick Diaz Academy ... so he's no punk.

In fact, AJ just defeated Jacob Landin at Bellator 224 in July ... and he wants a crack at Conor too!!!

"F*ck Conor, I'll f*cking choke him in the 1st round!"

Obviously, AJ will have to get in line ... Conor's got business to handle with Nate, Khabib and a long list of others before he gets a shot.

As for Nick, he hasn't fought since 2015 ... though there are rumblings he could return sometime soon.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 'My Back's Bruised Up Real Bad' ... After Plane Crash

Breaking News
TMZ

Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he's still VERY sore after surviving a plane crash just 7 days ago -- but he's already getting himself ready to RACE again next week.

"My lower back is bruised up real bad," the 44-year-old NASCAR legend told a fan on Twitter.

"Lots of swelling and I just need that to go down and the pain to chill out."

Of course, Dale, his wife, his 1-year-old daughter, his dog and two pilots were involved in a terrifying wreck last Thursday when their plane crash landed in Elizabethton, Tennessee.

THE CRASH SITE
Scott Reis

Dale and his family's injuries were initially described as bumps and bruises ... but now Earnhardt's revealing he's actually pretty banged up.

The good news ... Dale says he's gunning to get healthy enough to race in the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW200 at the Darlington Raceway on August 31, which features the biggest stars of NASCAR's XFINITY Series.

"I been treating the area [lower back] every day solely to get well to race," Dale says.

"I have a plan B but hope not to use it."

It's still unclear what caused Earnhardt's plane to go down last week ... but in a press conference, National Transportation Safety Board officials said the scene was scary, adding Earnhardt's plane bounced TWICE on the runway before it skidded to a stop.

Officials are expected to reveal a cause of the crash in the upcoming days.

Aaron Rodgers When In Canada ...

Breaking News

Is this cultural appropriation???

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers touched down in Winnipeg on Wednesday wearing traditional Canadian garb -- denim from head to toe -- and it was pretty amazing!!!

The 35-year-old paired his "Canadian Tuxedo" with a strong mustache Burt Reynolds would have been proud of ... all to get ready for a Thursday night pre-season game against the Oakland Raiders.

The Canadian tux is an outfit steeped in tradition ... everyone from Bing Crosby to Justin Timberlake and even Britney Spears have embraced the look at one point of their lives.

... and yeah, even Tupac sported the look back in the day.

Quite a look, eh?!

Colin Kaepernick Praised By Mario Woods' Mom ... 'I'm Very Proud Of You'

Exclusive
Getty Composite

Mario Woods would be "honored" to know his 2015 shooting death inspired Colin Kaepernick to begin his social justice campaign ... so says Mario's mom who's praising CK as a hero.

We spoke with Gwendolyn Woods who tells us she was "overwhelmed" when she read the PAPER Magazine article in which Colin says Mario's "execution" at the hands of San Francisco police officers essentially led to his kneeling protest during the National Anthem.

HE GAVE US A VOICE
TMZSports.com

Woods tells TMZ Sports ... she believes Colin has been doing great work putting a spotlight on police violence and applauds him for "putting his money where his mouth is."

As we previously reported, Mario was shot 21 times by SFPD officers who were responding to reports of a stabbing in the area. Mario was holding a knife and cops claimed he was a threat so they opened fire. But, cell phone video NEVER showed Woods getting aggressive with police. Gwendolyn sued the City of SF and got a $400,000 settlement in 2018.

Now, with Colin mentioning Mario's name again -- his story is back in the headlines and Gwendolyn says she's extremely grateful to Kaepernick.

"He should know that he's impacted a family and a community that never had a platform, never had a voice," Woods says ... "I am very proud of him."

Gwendolyn says Mario was a huge 49ers fan -- so aside from the social justice work, she thinks Mario would have gotten a huge kick out of knowing the starting QB of his favorite team was inspired by him.

"To feel that someone of Colin Kaepernick's stature spoke his name ... spoke truth to his light, yeah, I like to think my child can rest a little easier."

Lamar Odom Reveals Biggest 'DWTS' Threat

Exclusive
DANCIN' MACHINE
@adamglyn

Lamar Odom has some hefty competition standing in his way from "Dancing With The Stars" greatness ... but there's one fellow world champ who specifically has him SHOOK.

The ex-NBA star is competing on the newest season of 'DWTS' with celebs like Hannah B. from the 'Bachelorette', Kel Mitchell and James Van Der Beek ... but revealed to Adam Glyn who he thinks is his biggest threat.

"I think it'll probably be Ray Lewis," Lamar says.

Odom has reason to fear Ray ... you've seen his trademark moves on the gridiron (and, we gotta say, for a 6'1", 240-pound Hall of Fame linebacker, he was nimble AS HELL).

On top of that, fellow NFL players have won in the past -- like Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward and Donald Driver.

But, LO says he's looking forward to competing and sharing his comeback story with one of the biggest audiences he'll have since his NBA days ... and hints he's got a couple moves up his sleeve already.

Floyd Mayweather's Dad 'Pretty Sure' Floyd Will Fight Manny Pacquiao Again

Exclusive
HE DOESN'T STAND A CHANCE
TMZSports.com

Floyd Mayweather's father tells TMZ Sports he's "pretty sure" his son is down for the rematch with Manny Pacquiao ... and he's warning PacMan that TBE will "kick his ass" again!!!

"I'm pretty sure that they gonna fight," Floyd Sr. told us on the way into the Beverly Wilshire hotel ... "If Pacquiao says he wants to fight, I'm pretty sure they're gonna fight again."

Floyd Sr. would know ... he's pretty tight with his son. In fact, Floyd Jr. gave a heartfelt speech at his father's Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame induction earlier this month.

And, Fun Fact -- Floyd Sr. was his son's trainer for the first Pacquiao fight back in 2015, a fight Floyd easily won.

Speaking of Manny, he called out Floyd on social media after he beat up Keith Thurman back in July ... telling Floyd, "If you want to be relevant again #MayPac2."

Manny looked VERY impressive in his victory over Thurman -- but Floyd Sr. says he ain't worried about the 40-year-old Filipino superstar.

"Man, my son will kick his ass the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th [time]!!!"

Only one way to find out ...

By the way, Floyd Sr. is also helping to promote other fights ... he was at the Beverly Wilshire to spread the word about the October 12th GBO World Heavyweight title fight between Ronald Johnson and Sergio Ramirez.

Darren Till I'll Whoop Dat Ass!! ... Says Derek Brunson

Exclusive
BUSINESS AS USUAL
TMZSports.com

"Imma whoop Till ass, ain't no bones about it."

That's Derek Brunson -- fresh off his UFC 241 win over Ian Heinisch -- declaring to TMZ Sports that he'd beat Darren Till to a pulp.

"It ain't no beef, it's just business at usual, you know? Darren Till looking to move up to middleweight. He's a top guy. Fought for the title at welterweight. I feel it'd be a good challenge. A guy with a lot of hype behind him. I think we should definitely mix it up next."

Brunson is a 35 years old UFC vet who's been with the organization since 2012 and has messed up dudes like Lyoto Machida and Uriah Hall.

Till -- a 26 year old fighter from Liverpool -- is coming off the only 2 losses of his career (Tyron Woodley & Jorge Masvidal) ... but is still regarded as one of the baddest, brightest young stars in the UFC.

That's why Brunson wants this fight.

"It ain't I'm calling Till out cause I think I can just beat him up. I think I can beat everybody, but it's also about fights that make sense. Big fights, stuff like that."

Derek's dead serious about makin' this happen ... he already has his rep, Ali Abdelaziz, working on making the match.

"My agent reached out," Brunson told us ... "I'm yet to hear from [Till]."

He's waiting, Darren.

Martin Gramatica Carli Lloyd Could Make NFL Roster ... I'll Train Her!!!

Exclusive
SHE COULD PULL IT OFF
TMZSports.com

Be afraid, NFL kickers ... Martin Gramatica says after USWNT star Carli Lloyd hit a 55-yarder at Eagles' practice Tuesday -- she can legitimately take someone's job and make a team's roster!!!

Oh, and the legendary kicker says he's willing to help her do it!!!

After Lloyd showed off her insane leg at Philly's workout this week ... we had to give Gramatica a call to get his thoughts on her giant boot -- and, no surprise, the guy was impressed.

PUT ME IN COACH

In fact, 43-year-old Martin tells us, "If she put her mind to it and started training, I could see her going all the way."

Gramatica says he's seen Lloyd kick footballs before and was impressed with her ability back then ... but he had no idea she had a 55-yard range.

"55, that's impressive," Martin says ... "I think a lot of the NFL guys better be ready. Better watch their jobs. I know there's some openings, so be careful out there!"

Gramatica says he does see some flaws in her form that he's willing to help fix ... and he knows she'll have to adjust to learning how to kick with pads on.

But, Martin tells us if she truly devotes herself to the craft ... he could see her on a real NFL field someday.

"I'm glad I'm not an active kicker," Gramatica says. "I'd be worried right now."

Trae Young Defends Booker's Pickup Tantrum ... No Double-Teaming!!!

Breaking News
Getty

Trae Young is going to bat for his NBA buddy, Devin Booker ... saying the dude had every right to throw a tantrum in a pickup game Monday -- adding it's insane people were double-teaming him!!!

"DBook speaking facts," Trae said of the Phoenix Suns superstar Wednesday ... "There should be NO Double Teaming in pick up."

Of course, Booker went off on some guys in an open-run sesh earlier this week when he was doubled on the baseline while trying to attack the basket.

"Hey, bro, we not doubling in open gym, bro!" Booker yelled.

Devin caught a ton of heat for the blowup, with people claiming he was being a baby ... but Trae came to his defense on Twitter, saying Booker SHOULDA been pissed.

"When you trying to work on your game, and work on the moves and things you do individually in pick up... it’s annoying getting double teamed in that type of setting."

Trae added, "Just Sayin.. #OnlyAFewUnderstand"

For his part, Booker clearly appreciated the backing ... writing, "Only a few."

NBA season tips off in two months ... hold off on the doubles until then????