Jeremy Piven Goes To Bat For Edelman ... He's A 1st-Ballot Hall Of Famer!!!

LOOK AT THE STATS
TMZSports.com

"He's got 3 Super Bowl rings. He has 36 touchdowns. He's 5-foot-9. He's Jewish!"

Jeremy Piven says all of that -- and more -- are the reasons he's certain Julian Edelman is a Hall of Famer ... telling TMZ Sports the Patriots legend should be in Canton on the 1st ballot!

"He runs a 4.3 [40-yard dash], he played quarterback in high school," Piven told us out in L.A. this week. "I mean, I look in the mirror and I see Julian Edelman. I don't see me, and then I wake up and I see me and then it's pathetic."

"I celebrate him with the power of Christ. He's amazing! Put him in the Hall of Fame!"

The debate is now raging in the football world after Edelman officially retired from the game last Monday ... with people in both corners of the argument adamant they're right.

On one hand, you have guys like Rob Gronkowski, who still ain't so sure Edelman's gonna get the nod ... despite playing with the guy forever in New England.

NOT DONE YET
BACKGRID

On the other hand, you have dudes like Piven who are all in.

As for if Edelman truly deserves the bronze bust ... his regular season stats are solid -- 620 catches for 6,822 receiving yards and 36 TDs -- but not spectacular.

His postseason resume, though, certainly is. Julian's got 3 title rings, a Super Bowl MVP award and he's second all-time to Jerry Rice in total playoff receptions.

"He was one of Tom Brady's favorite targets," Piven added. "That's not a participation trophy. He ran great routes, he hustled. You look at his highlights and look at his stats."

"Even Belichick's coming out and saying the variable with Julian Edelman is he shows up at the big moments."

Five years until we find out the answer to the debate ... until then, we're loving the discussion!

Lil Yachty ATL Boycotts Won't Change Voting Laws

BOYCOTTS AREN'T PEACHY
TMZ.com

Lil Yachty doesn't think boycotts in Georgia will help change new, oppressive voting laws in his home state ... but he's got advice for people worried about getting to the polls.

We got the Atlanta rapper leaving dinner at Delilah in WeHo and asked about the impact of Major League Baseball, Hollywood productions and other big businesses pulling out of Georgia in protest over new laws that make it harder to vote ... mostly for people of color.

Lil Yachty says the boycotts won't last forever, and he thinks they won't actually do anything to sway lawmakers to jettison the law they just enacted ... because the Peach State is just too stubborn.

Yachty tells us why he's not worried about a business exodus hurting Atlanta's economy ... and he offers some sage advice for voters as they adjust to the new landscape.

Jake Paul Knocks Out Ben Askren!!!! In 1st-Round Obliteration

Jake Paul just made good on his promise ... DESTROYING BEN ASKREN in a ferocious 1st-round knockout!!!!

THE FIGHT LASTED LESS THAN 2 MINUTES!!!

Askren -- a decorated MMA fighter -- threw some shots that landed in the opening moments of the fight. But things changed quickly.

24-year-old Paul made it clear he was headhunting -- throwing big shots and connecting with a DESTRUCTIVE right hand that sent the UFC fighter crashing to the floor with 1:18 left in the opening round.

Snoop was so pumped -- he was shouting, "FINISH HIM! FINISH HIM!"

36-year-old Askren got up and wanted to continue -- but the ref waved it off, saying Askren was stumbling ... and ultimately ruling Ben was just too discombobulated to continue.

Jake WAS EMOTIONAL after the win -- crying in the ring and falling to his knees in disbelief, At one point, he got back up and started doing push ups to show he could keep going.

Snoop Dogg -- who was doing the announcing -- spoke with Jake after the fight saying ... "You f**king did that. You're a bad motherf**ker."

"I told y'all I would do it in the 1st round. I told you I'm a real fighter," Paul replied.

Snoop was in a VERY good mood following the knockout -- saying he won a $2 MILLION bet he claims to have made on the fight with UFC president Dana White.

"Dana, where my money at?" Snoop said during the broadcast.

Dana White has previously denied ever taking the action with Snoop.

As for Paul, he's now 3-0 as a pro fighter -- including a similar knockout over NBA star Nate Robinson.

The million dollar question for Jake ... WHO'S NEXT?!

The whole Triller Fight Club event was pretty damn entertaining -- with performances from Justin Bieber, the Black Keys, Snoop, Too Short, Doja Cat, Saweetie, Diplo and more.

And the hosting team -- which included Pete Davidson and Mario Lopez -- was also great.

MMA Star Kayla Harrison Cage Fighting Is 'Most Terrifying Thing In The World'

MAKIN' IT LOOK EASY
TMZSports.com

Kayla Harrison is an undefeated MMA fighter with 2 Olympic gold medals, but the PFL star admits cage fighting is SCARY, and says that's why she isn't underestimating her next opponent ... despite being a huge favorite.

TMZ Sports- talked to the 30-year-old, 8-0 fighter weeks before she attempts to win the Professional Fighters League million-dollar tournament for the 3rd straight time!!

Harrison is a massive favorite heading into her May 6 fight with 26-year-old Mariana Morais ... but don't make the mistake of asking Kayla (like we did) if it's hard to get motivated to fight the 16-10 journeyman when everyone expects her to easily win.

"Have you ever been in a cage with someone? It's the most terrifying thing in the world. It's like this person is trying to take your head off so there's no, I don't have to pump myself. There's no taking her lightly. Everyone is tough until you beat them," Harrison tells us.

Since joining the sport, Kayla has run through everyone she's faced ... causing some critics to say she isn't facing premier competition -- a claim Harrison takes umbrage with.

"That's fine, say that I'm fighting cans, say that I'm fighting bums. That's just 'cause I'm that good. That's what I want. That's fine, I want people to say that."

We also spoke to Kayla about a future super fight with Amanda Nunes (the opposite of a can) ... a match MMA fans badly want.

Nunes recently ran through top-contender Megan Anderson ... and many experts believe Harrison is the only woman who can give Lioness a run for her money.

Speaking of money ... Kayla says it's gonna take a whole lotta cash -- and some other things -- before that fight ever happens.

But ... she definitely didn't say no!!

NBA's Andre Drummond Cops Iced-Out Custom Grill ... Worth $20k!!!

DRUMMOND DIAMOND DANCIN'
@apjeweler_

New team, new bling!! At least, that's the type of wave Andre Drummond is on ... with L.A.'s newest star copping a brand new grill right after joining the Lakers!!!

TMZ Sports has learned ... the 6'10" big man decided he wanted his smile to be spotted from miles away ... so he hit up his guy, AP the Jeweler from Atlanta, to help him out with a new grill.

Since Drummond was still a Cavalier at the time, AP personally flew out to Cleveland back in February to get his molding and start the process.

Of course, Drummond's tenure in The Land ended shortly after placing his order ... but the timing couldn't have been more perfect -- he now had a new accessory for his big arrival in L.A.!!

AP -- who also made LaMelo Ball's grill -- tells us the 8-top, 8-bottom white gold piece is filled with 10 carats of VVS diamonds in a honeycomb set.

No word on how much Drummond paid for his teeth, but we're told a grill like this would cost anyone a solid $20,000.

Nice to see Drummond get himself a nice present -- after all, the dude's made more than $136 MILLION so far in his career ... so why not?!

Joe Buck Reportedly Set to Guest Host 'Jeopardy!' LeVar Burton Fans Pissed

Joe Buck is set to try and fill Alex Trebek's shoes on "Jeopardy!" -- at least temporarily, and perhaps forever(?) ... this according to some new reports.

Different outlets are reporting that Buck -- perhaps America's most famous sports broadcaster -- will serve as a guest host on the legacy game show soon ... with his episodes apparently slated to air later this summer.

Unclear when filming begins, or how long his stint will be -- but it probably wouldn't run longer than 2 weeks, which is about how long all the other guest hosts have stepped in. Word is his time on "Jeopardy!" won't get in the way of his other broadcast duties for FOX.

One report claims Buck's "Jeopardy!" attempt is actually being considered for a longer-term role ... maybe even as permanent host of the series. IF true, that'd be a huge blow to people who have been begging for LeVar Burton to get a shot ... which has yet to happen.

Of course, the actor was the longtime host of "Reading Rainbow" once upon a time ... and many think he'd be a natural fit. LeVar does too, apparently, as he's been very vocal recently about his desire to stand behind the podium ... even posting a viral petition demanding it.

LeVar has been even more explicit than that, though .. there's a clip of him doing an interview and getting into the nitty-gritty of the "Jeopardy!" gig, which he says he's had his eye on for a long time now ... harkening back to before Trebek passed and was in contract negotiations. At the time, LeVar notes he was quite interested ... and appears to remain so to this day.

The question, of course, is whether Sony Pictures Television -- which produces "Jeopardy!" -- is listening, and whether they'll actually cave in to the overwhelming sentiment that LB is perfect for the job.

You gotta imagine if they're going through the Rolodex of well-spoken, brainy and calm-your-nerves on-camera personalities ... then LeVar oughta be at least considered for a go at it. Nothing against Joe or anything, but the guy's got his hands full in the sports world.

We'll pile on too ... #LetLeVarHost

Peloton Treadmill Deemed Dangerous by U.S. Regulator ... Keep Kids & Pets Away!!!

Peloton's state-of-the-art treadmill is dangerous for kids and pets, and folks should refrain from using it immediately -- so says a U.S. regulator, who's got video evidence of the perils.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission -- formed in the '70s to help American consumers know which products can cause harm -- has come out strongly against Peloton and its Tread+ machine ... telling people with vulnerable loved ones to stop using it.

The agency says in light of a recent child death and "dozens" of reported instances of small children and pets getting sucked under the back roller of the conveyer belt -- and getting seriously injured in the process -- they're advising the Tread+ get temporarily unplugged.

The CPSC says it's aware of at least 39 injuries and one death related to the Tread+, and even says leaving the machine turned off can still pose a risk if the turn-on key is still accessible. They attached a graphic video that shows a toddler being pinned under the roller as it's in use by his older sister, who walks away ... with the kid left unattended.

We must warn you ... this is difficult to watch, but fortunately, the child appears to get himself out of the Peloton's clutches and gets up afterward. CPSC says this is just one example of the danger.

As for Peloton, they're playing down the CPSC's report ... calling it "inaccurate and misleading." They add, "The Tread+ is safe for Members to use in their homes and comes with safety instructions and warnings to ensure its safe use. Like all motorized exercise equipment, the Tread+ can pose hazards if the warnings and safety instructions are not followed. The Tread+ is not for children under 16. Peloton warns Members not to let children use the Tread+ and to keep children, pets, and objects away from the Tread+ at all times."

The CPSC notes that even when an adult is present, accidents still happen. Sounds like anything short of keeping the little ones completely clear of the machine is a gamble ... so the CPSC, for now, is telling folks who are parents of any kind to hold off for a bit.

Colton Underwood Let's Stop with Dating Talk ... I'm Not Even Starting!!!

Colton Underwood's gay and single, but apparently not ready to mingle ... TMZ's learned dating is not even on his radar after coming out.

Sources close to the former 'Bachelor' star tell us ... Colton isn't dating anyone now and wasn't dating anyone before he made his big announcement this week on "GMA."

ACCEPTING MYSELF
ABC

Our sources say shortly after Colton came out publicly to Robin Roberts, he left NYC and is back home with his family in Denver to hang out.

Of course, as we first told you, there's also a film crew in tow ... as Colton's new journey as a gay man is being documented for an upcoming reality series on Netflix.

Colton's dating life is an interesting topic because his coming out sparked talks among 'Bachelor' producers about having a gay season of the show, and obviously his name came up as a likely candidate.

We know he's got the 'Bachelor' experience ... but it seems he's in no hurry to date at all, let alone speed-date.

Stone Cold Steve Austin Sells Stunner L.A. Crib

Stone Cold Steve Austin can let out a big ole "Hell Yeah!" after parting ways with his stunning Marina del Rey home.

The WWE legend unloaded his 4-bedroom home for a cool $3,395,000 and the new homeowners are in for a treat. Stone Cold's place is 3,000 square feet of pure bliss ... it's decked out with a sparkling pool, hot tub and a sprawling yard ... perfect for some backyard wrestling.

Steve remodeled the place a few years back, sprucing up the kitchen with Viking appliances, Waterstone fixtures and countertops made from Ceasarstone and quartzite.

There's a double-sided fireplace in the living room, and the master bedroom comes with a powder room and a soaking tub.

Stone Cold's old stomping grounds are ready for the work-from-home life too ... the place has a spacious office accessed by big, barn doors.

Denise Fast of RE/MAX Estate Properties held the listing and Bob Safai and Brian Lane of Madison Residential repped the buyer.

Studs Gone Swimming Pool It Together!

Talk about making a splash, these pool selfies on IG of Hollywood hotties are making wet and wild sound like an understatement!

Stars like Alex Rodriguez, Justin Theroux, David Foster, and Mark Consuelos are clearly having some fun in the sun, and proudly sharing their good time!

Plenty of other famous fellas including Kyle Schmid, Nick Carter, Bryan Greenberg, Josh Duhamel, Dane Cook, Wells Adams and Brooks Laich have been posting pics from their aquatic adventures for you to soak up!

Dive into our gallery of studs gone swimming to see all the other celebs that have taken the plunge!

Lap 'em up!

NBA & WNBA Teams Raising Money for Daunte Wright Fund ... Donating Worn, Signed Items

The NBA and WNBA teams that honored Daunte Wright by wearing custom shirts in the wake of his death are now auctioning off the items to raise money for Wright's family, league officials confirm.

Players from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx -- along with the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat all wore special warm-up shirts this week with the message "With Liberty and Justice FOR ALL" in the days after Wright was killed by a police officer in Minnesota.

Now, the teams say various players will sign their warm-up shirts and donate them for an auction -- with proceeds benefitting The Daunte Wright Memorial Fund, which supports the Wright family.

Some of the players who wore the shirt are Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Karl-Anthony Towns, DeAndre Jordan, Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and many more.

The bidding starts at $200 per shirt -- but some of the items are exploding, like KD's shirt ... which already hit $500 just minutes after the auction went live.

Bidding closes at the final buzzer of Friday's Wolves vs. Heat game.

20-year-old Wright was shot and killed on April 11 during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis.

The officer responsible for the shooting, Kim Potter, has been arrested and charged with 2nd-degree manslaughter.

Potter has claimed she was trying to deploy a Taser on Wright -- but accidentally grabbed her handgun instead, fatally wounding him.

The shooting sparked outrage around the country -- and several NBA and WNBA teams held a moment of silence for Wright before games this week.

Wright is survived by his 2-year-old son -- and his family has set up a GoFundMe page to help covert funeral and burial expenses along with "mental health and grief counseling for Daunte's family."

The family says "no part of these funds will be used towards legal fees."

Nelson Haggerty North Texas Hoops Assistant Dead At 47 ... Single Car Crash

Tragic news out of the North Texas basketball program -- assistant coach Nelson Haggerty has passed away after a single-car crash Friday morning. He was 47 years old.

Haggerty was part of the coaching staff that helped lead the Mean Green to their first-ever NCAA tournament win last month ... when #13 North Texas beat #4 Purdue 78-69 in the first round on March 19.

Law enforcement officials in Texas say Haggerty was driving on Highway 380 near the city of Decatur in Wise County around 2:30 AM Friday ... when his car went off the right side of the road and hit a culvert, according to local reports.

Cops say Haggerty's vehicle flipped and hit a fence before coming to a halt. Emergency responders rushed to the scene, where Haggerty was pronounced dead.

Haggerty is a Texas hoops legend -- he was a high school star out of Houston ... and played 4 seasons at Baylor University, leading the NCAA in assists during his senior year.

NH went on to coach from 1997-2019 ... including 8 seasons with Midwestern State, where he became one of the most successful coaches in program history. He was named National Association of Basketball Coaches regional coach of the year in 2012.

Haggerty joined North Texas in 2019 ... and head coach Grant McCasland immediately praised his positive presence on the team.

The North Texas athletic department honored Haggerty Friday morning ... saying "Father, Husband, Friend, and Coach."

RIP.

Aaron Donald Video from Nightclub Fight Shows NFL Star Pulling Mob Off Alleged Attacker

BREAKING UP THE FIGHT
TMZSports.com

8:52 AM PT -- TMZ Sports has obtained footage from the surveillance video which appears to show Donald pulling people off of Spriggs after the alleged bottle attack.

Aaron Donald's lawyer claims the NFL superstar was the target of a bottle attack outside of a nightclub ... and he's got video to prove it.

Donald's attorney, Casey White, claims the assault allegations levied against the L.A. Rams superstar are provably false based on surveillance video they've obtained along with multiple witnesses.

As we previously reported, DeVincent Spriggs filed a police report against Donald -- claiming Aaron beat the daylights out of him outside the Boom Boom Room nightclub in the early hours of April 11.

But, Casey White appeared on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh on Friday morning and says the surveillance video proves Spriggs is 100% full of crap.

DONALD'S SIDE
The Fan Morning Show, 93.7

White says the two were at a party together at a residence above the nightclub when Spriggs bumped into Donald -- elbowing him in the back.

White says there was a minor conflict which resulted in Spriggs being kicked out of the party.

But, Spriggs allegedly waited for Donald in an alley outside -- that's when he tried to attack with a bottle.

"Mr. Spriggs starts walking toward Aaron and he's yelling and he's drunk and he's aggressive," White says.

"And, Aaron sees something in his right hand and first he thinks it's a gun."

"But, it's actually a bottle, a long liquor bottle. In fact, [Spriggs] swings with his right hand, Aaron ducks. The bottle grazes the top of Aaron's head ... he has a lump on his head from the bottle."

At that point, White says people in the area -- including Aaron's brother -- raced in to help Aaron and some people began beating Spriggs savagely.

Aaron was restrained during the beating, White says -- but eventually freed himself and actually began ripping people off of Spriggs.

"He actually saved Mr. Spriggs from further injury,” White said ... "It’s fantastic, from a defense attorney’s perspective, to be honest with you."

White says Spriggs was badly injured -- but insists the guy only has himself to blame.

White also claims he received an email from police saying investigators do not have any video evidence showing Donald assaulted Spriggs -- the implication being Donald will NOT be charged with a crime.

White also suggested he would be releasing footage soon to show everyone Donald did nothing wrong.

Originally Published -- 8:08 AM PT

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