David Ortiz Has Surgery To Remove Stomach Hernias ... Related To 2019 Shooting

David Ortiz is still dealing with medical issues stemming from the 2019 attempt on his life -- reportedly undergoing surgery Wednesday to remove two stomach hernias related to his gunshot wound.

Exactly 2 years ago TODAY -- the 45-year-old Hall of Famer was shot in the back while sitting in an outside patio area of a popular nightclub in the Dominican Republic.

The bullet struck Ortiz's liver and his small and large intestines -- he required emergency surgery to save his life, which included the removal of his gall bladder. He spent several days in the ICU.

6/9/19
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Ortiz has been rehabbing ever since ... and made a pretty incredible recovery. He was healthy enough to join FOX's MLB postseason coverage later that year.

While the Red Sox slugger's surgery Wednesday is related to the shooting, the procedure is considered to be "low risk" and has been scheduled since February, according to ESPN.

As we previously reported, 13 people were arrested in relation to the incident ... and officials believe Ortiz was NOT the intended target.

Rolfi Ferreira Cruz -- the alleged shooter -- has said on the record that Ortiz was not his target.

The preliminary trial is set for July.

Get well soon, Papi!

Virginia Tech Football Isi Etute Murder Case ... LB Allegedly Beat Man To Death Over Catfishing Incident

Suspended Virginia Tech linebacker Isi Etute told cops he beat the hell out of a 40-year-old after the man had catfished him ... this according to prosecutors.

Officials made the stunning revelation in a Virginia courtroom Wednesday ... explaining Etute broke it all down for cops during their murder investigation days ago.

Prosecutors say Etute told the cops he had matched with a person named "Angie" on Tinder believing she was a woman -- and had met up with her for oral sex on April 10.

Officials say Etute then told cops he and "Angie" set up another date on May 31, but when he discovered there that she was actually a man -- the football player attacked.

Prosecutors say Etute told cops he punched the victim several times in the face and also stomped on him.

Prosecutors say Etute added that he did not call cops after the attack, despite hearing "bubbling and gurgling" as he left the apartment.

The man was found dead two days later ... with officials saying he had missing teeth and broken bones in his face and skull.

But, Etute's attorney, Jimmy Turk, appeared to defend the football player's alleged actions ... saying in court, "Nobody deserves to die, but I don’t mind saying, don’t pretend you are something that you are not."

"Don’t target or lure anyone under that perception. That’s just wrong."

Etute -- who's been charged with 2nd-degree murder -- was granted bail at the hearing and is due back in court in September.

The linebacker, meanwhile, had participated in Va. Tech's 2021 spring practices and was expected to compete for a role on the team this year ... but he's since been barred from the team as the case plays out in court.

LeBron James Switching Jersey Number ... From #23 To #6

LeBron James' iconic #23 is no more ... the Los Angeles Lakers superstar is officially switching back to #6 for the start of next season.

So ... why the change?? Bron initially decided to gift #23 to Anthony Davis when he joined the Lakers in 2019 ... and said he would wear #6 -- a number he wore with the Miami Heat and Team USA -- instead.

Nike famously vetoed the number trade ... saying it would lose WAY too much money if the guys swapped, so they put the exchange on ice for a bit.

But, this is where things get tricky -- The Athletic is reporting AD is NOT taking LeBron's #23 and will keep #3 ... which means James' move is a bit of a head-scratcher.

There's one potential reason LBJ wants to go through with the change -- James dons #6 in the new "Space Jam: A New Legacy" flick ... so maybe he wants the movie to be as REAL as possible??

Either way, expect LBJ's new look to be at the top of NBA jersey sales again next year ... 'cause everyone's gonna need to update to that #6.

Team USA Soccer Rips 'Vile' Trolls For Racist Hatred ... Toward Mark McKenzie

Team USA Soccer has Mark McKenzie's back ... it released a statement Wednesday saying the racist trolls who spewed hate toward the USMNT player are NEVER welcome in the sport.

The org. stood up for the defender after he claimed that following the U.S.'s huge win over Mexico in the CONCACAF Nations League final in Denver on Sunday, he received tons of racist comments from fans online.

22-year-old McKenzie -- who struggled in the huge 3-2 win -- said the "racial abuse" and "personal attacks" were rampant ... and even affected family members.

But, on Wednesday, his team ripped all of the vitriol ... saying anyone sending the comments McKenzie's way (and any other player's way, for that matter) needs to stop ASAP.

"This type of behavior should not and cannot be allowed to continue," the org. said.

"If you make racist, homophobic, vulgar or disrespectful comments while hiding behind the anonymity of social media, you are not a true fan. And you are not welcome. Ever."

USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter echoed those statements in a meeting with the media Tuesday ... calling the racism flat-out "disgusting."

"We support Mark 100% and we don't stand for any of that stuff," Berhalter said. "We have absolutely zero tolerance for things like that."

The USMNT is slated to take the field next in an exhibition game in Utah on Wednesday against Costa Rica.

Pat Riley LeBron To Miami Talk Is Tampering!!! ... Fined $25k

Pat Riley opened his mouth ... and now he's gotta open up his wallet.

The Heat prez has been hit with a BIG fine for comments made about a potential reunion with LeBron James in Miami ... with the NBA determining he broke the league's anti-tampering rule.

Riley -- who orchestrated the Heat's Big 3 of LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh that won 2 titles in 4 years -- recently opened up about James in an interview with Dan Le Batard ... saying he'd welcome the King back to South Beach with open arms.

"I would leave the key under the doormat if he would call me and let me know that he's coming," Riley said Friday. "I would do that, but I doubt very much that key -- that key is rusted now."

He added ... "LeBron, look, he's one of the greatest of all time and for 4 years down here, if we want to go back and remember what those 4 years were like, it was 4 years in the Finals, 4 years of excitement, 2 world championships."

"It was the best time for the Heat. So, I wish him nothing but the best, and if he ever wanted to come back, I'll put a new shiny key under the mat."

Of course, LeBron is signed with the Lakers through the 2023 season, and execs aren't allowed to make comments about players under contract that could "entice" them to join their franchise.

The Association got wind of Riley's comments ... and slapped the legend with a $25,000 fine on Wednesday.

Now, that's a pretty hefty punishment, but if it gets LeBron thinking about taking his talents back to South Beach?? Worth every penny.

'Pushing the Line' Star Yes, I'm Kinda the Jackie Robinson of Slacklining ... Black People Can Do it Too!!!

OPEN TO ALL
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Slacklining, or highlining, definitely ain't for everyone -- the sport is high adrenaline and high risk, and one of its budding stars, Aaron Bray, knows it's not on the radar of most Black people ... something he wants to change.

Aaron joined "TMZ Live" Wednesday to talk about the new Discovery+ show, "Pushing the Line" ... which follows Aaron and 12 other extreme athletes busting tricks on long, narrow highlines over scenic canyons.

For the uninitiated ... slacklining's similar to tightrope walking, but uses a 1-inch wide strap that's less tensioned to allow for a bouncing effect. Think tiny, tiny trampoline.

Highlining, however, is a subset of slacklining and it's considered the peak of the sport. It's performed hundreds of feet above the ground or water ... and the mental toughness required is pretty damn unbelievable.

Aaron's been at it for 5 years now and he tells us he's one of the very few Black athletes in America who take part in the sport. He didn't shy away from our suggestion he's the Jackie Robinson of the sport -- in fact, he's embracing the responsibility.

Aaron says slacklining's always been seen as "more of a privileged white boy sport" but he's trying to shift that ... and hopes this new show helps people realize it's okay to break out of the norm.

Jay Williams Fires Back At Kevin Durant ... 'I Stand By My Story'

8:54 AM PT -- 6/9 -- Williams is finally responding to KD ... saying the incident 100% happened, but admitting he was "probably wrong" for airing out the interaction in public.

"I stand by my story," JWill said on ESPN Wednesday ... adding he's done going back and forth over the ordeal.

"I wish KD nothing but love and all the best success. I hope they win a championship."

No word on whether Durant will respond ... but it appears Williams is waving the white flag.

Kevin Durant is calling Jay Williams out for allegedly fabricating an entire story on national TV ... saying the whole thing is a "f***in' lie."

Here's the deal -- Williams recently shared an interaction he claims he had with KD at a holiday party a few years ago ... saying the Brooklyn Nets star confronted him over a comparison to Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Williams claims Durant was HEATED and said, "'Yo, don't you ever compare me to Giannis again! Don't you ever do that!"

Williams claimed he tried to explain the context behind the comments ... but KD wasn't having it.

"He's like, 'Nah, don't ever compare that dude to me, don't do it!'" Williams said on "Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin."

Naturally, the anecdote began to spread on social media like wildfire ... especially since the Nets and Bucks are currently duking it out in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

But, Durant is calling BS on the whole thing ... saying the incident never happened the way Williams made it out to be.

"This is a F***in lie," Durant said on IG Tuesday. "Jay Williams can NEVER speak for me, ever."

Williams has yet to respond ... but we're sure it's only a matter of time before he addresses the 2014 MVP's claims.

Originally Published -- 6/8 -- 8:13 AM PT

Scottie Pippen 'Cringed' at Being Called Jordan's Sidekick ... I Was 'Real Leader'

Scottie Pippen just announced he's dropping a new book -- and it seems like there's some shade being thrown at Michael Jordan.

Remember, Pippen said he was "not too pleased" at the way he was portrayed in MJ's acclaimed docuseries "The Last Dance" ... and was so upset, he addressed the issue with Jordan directly.

"I don’t think it was that accurate in terms of really defining what was accomplished in one of the greatest eras of basketball, but also by two of the greatest players – and one could even put that aside and say the greatest team of all time," Pippen told The Guardian.

Fast forward to Wednesday ... Pippen revealed he's dropping an "unflinching memoir" called "Unguarded" reflecting on his life, including his time with the Bulls -- and the official summary on the Simon & Schuster website is teasing some serious tea.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

First ... Pippen claims "there's no 'Michael Jordan' as we know him" without him -- adding, "The 1990s Chicago Bulls teams would not exist as we know them."

Next ...

"Pippen details how he cringed at being labeled Jordan’s sidekick, and discusses how he could have (and should have) received more respect from the Bulls’ management and the media."

Interesting ...

But, then a more direct shot -- criticizing MJ's leadership.

"[Pippen] discusses what it was like dealing with Jordan on a day-to-day basis, while serving as the real leader within the Bulls locker room."

So ... shots fired??

Book drops in November -- guess we'll find out soon enough!

Winnie Harlow Kyle Kuzma Slid Into My DMs ... 'He Shot His Shot!!!'

Message for all the hopeless romantics out there -- DM YOUR CRUSH RIGHT NOW!!! -- 'cause supermodel Winnie Harlow says that's how Kyle Kuzma tried to get her attention ... and it worked!!

The gorgeous 26-year-old personality joined the "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" this week to discuss her year-long relationship with the Lakers hooper ... admitting their relationship could've started a LOT sooner if it weren't for a social media hiccup.

"I got a DM a year prior from my boyfriend, and I never seen it," Harlow told guest host tWitch. "I don't know what the glitch in the system with Instagram is, but that never came up for me!"

But, Kuz wasn't about to give up on his dream girl that easily ... so he tried one more time to get Winnie to respond.

"A year later, at the top of quarantine, he DMed me again. He posted a picture of me in an outfit and I was like, 'Oh, hi!' ... and he shot his shot. He slid into the DMs."

"That was cute, and I was like, 'Oh hey, how's quarantine been?'"

Harlow says the DMs turned into FaceTimes every day ... which turned into Kuz asking her to quarantine with him in L.A. Of course, she said yes!!

Remember, TMZ Sports posted photos of the couple out in L.A. back in May 2020 ... holding hands and taking their quarantine love public for the first time.

Fast-forward to today, and it's clear they're as strong as ever!!

So, what's that tell us, folks?? Shoot. Your. Shot!!!

NFL's Thomas Davis Sr. 'Idiots' Wrecked My McLaren ... 'We Know Who Did It'

"WE FOUND THE GUYS"
@td58 / Instagram

6:49 AM PT -- 6/9 Bad news for the suspects in the Thomas Davis Sr. supercar theft case -- the ex-NFL star says the perps have been ID’d ... and it's only a matter of time before they're caught.

Davis posted a video Tuesday night explaining the situation ... saying, "We know who did it. We found the guys."

"We found it," the former linebacker added. "We know who did it."

It's unclear if authorities have made any arrests in the case yet ... we're working on it, but it seems they're close regardless.

As for Davis and his family's health, he said everyone is safe and sound despite the scary incident.

"We all good," he said.

12:02 PM PT -- Cops confirmed they responded to Davis Sr.'s house at around 5:25 AM Tuesday ... and say investigators believe the suspects may have crashed the NFLer's McLaren into their getaway vehicle.

Officials say they also noticed two firearms were taken from one of Davis Sr.'s cars ... and have not been recovered.

Cops added an investigation into the incident is underway.

Ex-NFL star Thomas Davis Sr. claims he has surveillance video showing two men breaking into his home and stealing his expensive McLaren supercar and wrecking it ... and now, he's offering a reward for help IDing the "idiots" involved.

The former Carolina Panthers linebacker claims the security video shows two men inside his garage this week -- sifting through his things ... before getting in his McLaren and taking it for a joy ride.

SURVEILLANCE FOOTAGE

38-year-old Davis claims the men eventually crashed the car ... and he posted photos to his IG page which appear to show the major damage to his beloved vehicle.

Davis says he's now offering a reward for anyone who can help him find the men.

"If any of you recognize either one of these idiots that decided it was good idea to come into my home and go through all of my cars and even steal and wreck my McLaren. I’m offering a cash reward for anyone that can help identify who these guys are!"

We've reached out to law enforcement to see if they're investigating, but so far, no word back yet.

Davis was a star in the NFL for over a decade -- a 3-time Pro Bowl selection and a 1st-team All-Pro pick in 2015. He retired after the 2020 season.

Davis reportedly made over $70 MILLION in his 15-year NFL career.

Originally published -- 6/8 7:22 AM PT

MLB's Ke'Bryan Hayes Commits Epic Blunder During HR ... You Forgot To Touch 1st!!!

One of the best young hitters in the MLB looked more like a Little Leaguer on Tuesday ... 'cause Ke'Bryan Hayes forgot to touch 1st base on a home run -- and the gaffe REALLY cost his team.

The Bad News Bears moment all went down in the bottom of the 1st inning of the Pirates' game against the Dodgers ... when Hayes cracked a shot to the opposite field.

The ball was a bullet that hit the foul pole, giving Hayes a home run ... but there was just one problem -- he never tapped 1st on his way around the diamond!

The Dodgers noticed Hayes' critical error, challenged the play ... and sure enough, Hayes was ruled OUT for the mistake.

Of course, the play was HUGE ... the first 4 innings ended up being played to a 0-0 tie, with the Dodgers only ultimately winning 5-3.

After the game, Hayes' manager said his 24-year-old third baseman needed to be better.

"Obviously, Ke' got caught watching the ball,'' Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said, before adding, "If he even thinks he misses [the bag], he has to go back and touch it."

Don't worry, Pittsburgh should find it easy to forgive Hayes ... he's batting .333 so far this year, and he's got future star written all over him.

Just, please, hit first next time!!

Golf Champ Angel Cabrera Extradited to Argentina Accused of Assaulting 3 Women

PGA champ Angel Cabrera -- who won The Masters in 2009 -- has been extradited back to his home country of Argentina ... where he's set to face charges of attacking 3 different women.

The 51-year-old golf star -- nicknamed "El Pato" -- was arrested in Brazil back in January after officials say he was considered to be a fugitive of justice after bailing on a meeting with prosecutors.

The women accusing Cabrera include 2 ex-girlfriends and his ex-wife.

As we previously reported, one of the women accused the golfer of punching her in the face, making threats and trying to run her over with his car in '16.

Another woman, Cabrera's ex-wife, Silva Rivadero, also reportedly filed two charges against the golfer ... including assault and threats.

Cabrera is already in custody in Argentina -- and his trial is reportedly slated for July.

And, get this ... Cabrera's defense isn't that he didn't attack the women, it's that the incidents weren't really that bad.

SERIOUSLY, THAT'S HIS DEFENSE!

Cabrera's attorney, Carlos Hairabedian, told TN Todo Noticias, "The accusations come from long ago ... and he was not in jail because the facts attributed to him are insignificant. They are light injuries."

WHAT?!?

Cabrera won the U.S. Open over Tiger Woods in 2007 and the Green Jacket in 2009 ... and narrowly lost in a playoff against Adam Scott in the 2013 Masters.

Joey Votto Rips St. Louis Fans 'S***-Talking Motherf***ers'

Cincinnati Reds star Joey Votto had some really kind words for the St. Louis Cardinals fan base on Tuesday ... and by "kind," we mean the exact opposite.

The 37-year-old first baseman kept it a buck when speaking about the Reds' 4-game road sweep of the Cards earlier this week ... saying it felt REALLY good to get revenge after STL swept Cincy earlier this season.

"We had some s***-talking mother f***ers in St. Louis after their first series sweep," Votto said Tuesday. "It’s kinda nice to go on the road at their road ballpark and let ’em have it."

"We had some people sweeping brooms and s*** like that while we were leaving. So, how’d you like that? How’d you like that?"

DAYUM, JOEY!!! Tell us how you REALLY feel!!!

Now, Votto said all this with a smile on his face ... but the hatred between the NL Central rivals is real -- remember, benches cleared when Yadier Molina shoved Nick Castellanos for getting all up in pitcher Jake Woodford's face back in April.

The Reds will host the Cards again next month ... and it's safe to say there will be even more drama.

Popcorn -- get it ready.

Julio Jones WR Won't Steal #11 From A.J. Brown I'll Take #2 Instead!!!

4:43 PM PT -- The Tennessee Titans have revealed Julio's new number ... and the star receiver is going with #2!!!

We must say ... the guy looks good with the new look, so everyone wins!!

For the first time in his NFL career, Julio Jones will NOT wear #11 ... A.J. Brown just revealed the newest Tennessee Titan has refused to take the digits.

Brown said Tuesday he tried like hell to give Jones the number -- considering, you know, Brown did recruit the former Falcons star to Tennessee HARD -- but he claims Julio just wouldn't accept it.

"I tried to give it up and he wouldn’t take it," said Brown, who got the Titans' #11 when he joined the team in 2019. "Respect."

Julio was drafted by the Falcons in 2011 and got the #11 shortly after ... but he'll clearly have to find a new number in Nashville now.

As for potential replacements ... Jones did rock #8 during his college career at Alabama -- and while Titans rookie punter James Smith has already been assigned the ocho, something tells us that'll change if Julio wants it bad enough.

After all, the Titans did give up a 2nd-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft AND a 4th-round pick in the 2023 Draft in order to get Julio (and another '23 pick) over the weekend.

Happy new number hunting from here, Julio!

Originally Published -- 9:32 AM PT

Billionaire Hedge Fund Exec Buys $44 Mil L.A. Mansion ... With Insane Custom Kobe Bryant Court

Ever wonder what it'd be like to have a golf simulator AND an insane Kobe Bryant themed-court at home?!?

For billionaire hedge fund exec Jeffrey Feinberg, that just became a reality ... 'cause the dude just bought a $44 million mansion in Los Angeles -- THAT COMES WITH BOTH!!!

Feinberg just purchased the property recently, the house’s developer, Ramtin Ray Nosrati, told The Wall Street Journal -- and it's one of the most ridiculous places you'll see.

There's 7 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, it's 54,885 square feet AND it sits on over 1.2 acres of land.

But, the best part of it? It's got a custom Kobe court that would make NBA arenas jealous.

Check out pics of the place ... it's got Kobe's signature, his jersey numbers and his famous Mamba logo emblazoned on it.

There's also pictures of NBA legends like Michael Jordan and LeBron James surrounding it -- and Feinberg, a huge basketball fan, actually told the WSJ it was a key reason he bought the place.

As for the rest of the crib ... it's got it all -- a room devoted to a golf simulator, an indoor pool and spa, a bar and so much more.

Still great to be rich, ain't it?

UFC's Amanda Nunes Hey, Kim Kardashian ... Wanna Fight?!?

Dana White told TMZ Sports Kim Kardashian vs. Amanda Nunes would be the biggest event in the history of MMA ... leading Nunes to ask Kim K -- WANNA FIGHT?!

'Lioness' vs. Kim K?!
TMZSports.com

Clearly, Amanda is just joking around ... as she would clearly murder any non-fighter -- male or female -- who stepped foot in the Octagon against her.

But, that didn't stop Nunes from hitting Kim on social media ... and c'mon, you'd pay good money to watch that fight!

Nunes is one of the greatest combat sports athletes of all time -- and is currently on a 12-fight win streak with victories over killers like Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko and Cris Cyborg.

Amanda hasn't lost since 2014.

The biggest question ... how many members of the Kardashian/Jenner family would it take to defeat Amanda Nunes is the Octagon?!

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