DeMar DeRozanPoses For Pics, Signs AutographsAfter Big Drew League Game

CHECKIN' IN WITH FANS
TMZ.com

NBA star DeMar DeRozan gave fans an experience they'll never forget after balling out in the Drew League on Saturday -- posing for pics and signing autographs for them, and TMZ Sports has the video!!

The Chicago Bulls forward and his teammate, Patrick Williams, led the MMV Cheaters back from a 19-point deficit to come away with a 102-94 win over Young Citi ... large in part thanks to DeRozan's 36 points and 6 rebounds.

Williams added 14 points and 14 boards himself ... but it was DD who came away with the player of the game nod.

Fun fact -- Sunday was DeMar's 33rd birthday ... so the honor was an early present for him!!

DeRozan was super chill with fans hoping for selfies and signatures as he left the facility ... signing jerseys and smiling with fans before heading out.

The Drew League has been filled with huge names so far this summer -- remember, LeBron Jamesplayed with DeRozan earlier this off-season ... as well as Trae Youngand John Collins.

Props to DeMar for being so chill with the fans ... and happy belated birthday!!

WWE Exec John LaurinaitisReportedly Fired ...Amid Misconduct Probe

Longtime WWE executive John Laurinaitis -- recently caught up in a report alleging Vince McMahon paid hush money to former employees -- has reportedly been terminated by the promotion, according to PWInsider.

Laurinaitis -- a former wrestler who served in multiple roles with the company since 2001, including Head of Talent Relations -- was terminated recently, likely within the last week, per the outlet.

The split with Laurinaitis was handled quietly behind the scenes, the outlet reports ... and comes on the heels of McMahon's resignation as chairman and CEO of the sports entertainment conglomerate.

Laurinaitis's future with the company has been in doubt since The Wall Street Journal published the report ... accusing now 76-year-old Vince and John of engaging in inappropriate behavior with WWE employees.

Vince -- the face of WWE since 1982 -- has been accused of paying multiple women he allegedly had relationships with "hush money" ... in exchange for their silence.

"The board’s investigation, which began in April, has unearthed other, older nondisclosure agreements involving claims by former female WWE employees of misconduct by Mr. McMahon and one of his top executives, John Laurinaitis, the head of talent relations at WWE, the people said," a June WSJ article read.

Laurinaitis -- brother of late "Road Warrior Animal" Joseph Laurinaitis -- started as an in-ring performer with WWE ... before moving over to management.

As a result of WWE's investigation, Laurinaitis was removed from his role with the company ... and placed on administrative leave in June.

WWE has not publicly announced Laurinaitis' termination.

Aaron RodgersBalks At COVID Death Joke... 'I Don't Find That Part Funny'

NO LAUGHING MATTER
Pardon My Take / Barstool Sports

Aaron Rodgers wanted no parts of crass jokes about COVID-19, vaccines, and the deaths associated with the virus ... shutting down the attempts at humor in a hurry this week.

Rodgers appeared on Monday's episode of Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" -- and he was having a blast with the hosts of the show, Big Cat and PFT Commenter ... but the Packers star got serious quickly when the quips turned toward coronavirus-related deaths.

As Rodgers was speaking about the backlash he received for going public with his vaccine stance last year -- PFT joked, "How many people do you think you killed? What's your count?"

Big Cat added on, "How many grandmothers? Let's just do grandmothers."

Rodgers, who had been in a very playful mood the entire interview leading up to that point, said sternly, "I mean, I know you guys are f***ing around, but I don't find that part funny."

"I really don't," he added.

The trio changed topics moments later -- and the guys went on to laugh and joke with each other for another half an hour or so on the show.

There didn't appear to be any further awkward moments between the guys, and all three took a pic together following the conclusion of the interview.

The 38-year-old has been willing to discuss his thoughts on COVID and the vaccines repeatedly throughout the last 12 months ... and has said that while he's not anti-vax, he doesn't feel like anyone should have to be forced to take the shots.

Clearly, though, he takes the matter very seriously ... and isn't ready to kid around about any of it.

OU Asst. Coach Cale GundyResigns ...Uttered 'Shameful And Hurtful' Word In Meeting

UPDATE

1:01 PM PT -- Despite multiple former and current Oklahoma players coming to Gundy's defense, Venables said in another statement on Monday that accepting the coach's resignation "was the right thing to do."

UPDATE

"He chose to read aloud to his players, not once but multiple times, a racially charged word that is objectionable to everyone," Venables said, "and does not reflect the attitude and values of our university or our football program."

UPDATE

"This is not acceptable. Period."

Longtime Oklahoma assistant Cale Gundy -- who's been helping coach the Sooners football team for over two decades -- has resigned ... after he says he uttered a "shameful and hurtful" word during a team meeting last week.

Gundy explained the situation in a lengthy statement on his social media page Sunday night -- saying he inadvertently used the word while reading off a player's iPad in a film session.

"I instructed my players to take notes," said the 50-year-old, who had just been tapped this offseason to coach the Sooners receivers this year. "I noticed a player was distracted and picked up his iPad and read aloud the words that were written on his screen. The words displayed had nothing to do with football."

He continued, "One particular word that I should never -- under any circumstance -- have uttered was displayed on that screen. In the moment, I did not even realize what I was reading and, as soon as I did, I was horrified."

Gundy did not say which word he used, but he did say it was "shameful and hurtful."

"The unfortunate reality is that someone in my position can cause harm without ever meaning to do so," Gundy said. "In that circumstance, a man of character accepts accountability. I take responsibility for my mistake. I apologize."

Gundy -- whose older brother, Mike Gundy, is Oklahoma State's famous head coach -- leaves his position with the Sooners after having coached the team in some capacity every year since 1999.

The former OU quarterback initially joined Bob Stoops' staff in '99 as a running backs coach. In the ensuing seasons, he held multiple different roles -- and had just been retained by new OU head coach Brent Venables this offseason.

"It's with sadness that I accept Coach Gundy's resignation," Venables said Sunday night. "He's dedicated more than half his life to Oklahoma Football and has served our program and university well."

"We're thankful for that commitment. We also acknowledge that in stepping aside he's placed the program and the welfare of our student-athletes first. In coaching and in life, we're all accountable for our actions and the resulting outcomes."

Ex-Sooners star Joe Mixon took to Twitter following the news and defended Gundy -- saying the coach "is not a racist in any way nor has a racist bone in his body, mind, or soul."

L'Damian Washington will now serve as the interim receivers coach.

Originally Published -- 6:16 AM PT

Duke OL Chance LytleFires Up Team With Opera Performance... 'The Voice Of An Angel'

GIVIN' 'EM A SHOW
TikTok / @dukefb

Prepare to be blown away.

Duke OL Chance Lytle has some pipes on him ... the 6-foot-7, 300-plus pounder showed off serious vocal skills, putting on a full-blown opera performance in front of his teammates, and the entire thing was awesome!

In a video posted on the Duke football team's TikTok, the big man was front and center as he stood on a chair ... serenading his fellow Blue Devils.

"The voice of an angel," Duke's official football team Twitter account wrote in a tweet. "Always a pleasure singing for ya'll," Lytle replied.

The team stood silent as Lytle performed ... but once the big guy finished, they went crazy, jumping up and down as they crowded around him, yelling, "Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay!"

Lytle joined the Blue Devils football program after graduating from the University of Colorado ... with a dual degree in music and voice performance and psychology, according to The Fayetteville Observer.

Of course, Chance hitting high notes should come as no surprise. In a video posted to the ACC Network's official Facebook page, Lytle introduced himself in vintage fashion -- performing a sweet-sounding opera.

"Meet Duke Football's renaissance man Chance Lytle," the account wrote.

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Lytle announced in March he would suit up for the Blue Devils in his final college football season.

They say first impressions are everything ... and it's clear Lytle is winning over his new teammates with the help of his musical skills.

Report: Kevin DurantUltimatum To Nets ...It's Either Me Or Nash And Marks!!!

Things are getting ugly in Brooklyn -- Kevin Durant reportedly drew his line in the sand during a meeting with Nets owner Joe Tsai ... saying the only way he'll stay in New York is if coach Steve Nash and GM Sean Marks get the boot.

33-year-old KD has wanted out of BK since late June ... but as of yet, there hasn't been any progress in granting his wish due to the Nets' asking price to trade their best player.

Now, Shams Charania is reporting the superstar met with Tsai in London over the weekend to reveal his ultimatum ... with sources saying he doesn't have faith in the team's direction.

Durant -- who signed a 4-year, $198 million deal with BK last year -- is singing a different tune than he did in April -- he previously said he felt Nash was doing his job "perfectly," despite all the obstacles the Nets faced so far during his stint at the head of the bench.

"I think he’s done a great job," KD said at the time. "The last two years, he’s been dealt a wild hand. Injuries, trades, disgruntled players, guys in and out of the lineup, stuff that he can’t control."

"I felt like he’s handled it as best he could (and) I think it’s on us as players to make his job easier."

As for Marks, the guy is pretty respected throughout the league and helped get KD and Kyrie Irving -- who also requested a trade this offseason -- to Brooklyn in the first place ... so it sounds like the forward just wants the team to clean house and start over.

Josh AllenRips Autograph Seeker Over Football Throw... 'Disrespectful!!!'

A Bills Mafia member took things way too far while trying to get a Josh Allen autograph out at Bills camp this weekend -- and the QB was so mad over their attempt to get him to sign a football, he screamed at them.

The incident with the Buffalo superstar was all captured on video ... when the 26-year-old signal-caller was jogging into the locker room after practice on Sunday.

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You can see the Pro Bowler was waving at fans -- when a football still in its original cardboard packaging was thrown at him.

Allen didn't have time to swat it away, and it caught him square in the groin. Immediately afterward, he stopped in his tracks, and scolded the fan who appeared to hurl it his way.

Allen, while pointing into the stands, called the fan "disrespectful" repeatedly.

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Stefon Diggs ran into a similar incident while out on the field Sunday as well -- as several fans threw jerseys and footballs at him to try to get his John Hancock.

The 28-year-old wideout was stunned by what he saw, but he kept signing anyway.

This ain't the first time we've seen fans go over the top for pro athletes' autographs this year ... just last month, a grown man was seen on video getting pushy with kids at the MLB All-Star game while trying to get a few things signed.

Let's keep it classy, everyone.

Sammy Guevara, Tay ContiAll Elite Wedding!!!... Get Married

newlyweds
Instagram / @alinepepe, @thaissideris, @luqueirozhair

Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti are officially tag team partners for life -- the AEW stars got married over the weekend ... saying "I do" in front of family, friends, and loved ones!!

In videos shared on social media, Sammy and Tay clearly had the time of their lives ... and were all smiles in front of their guests during the fancy event.

There were several notable wrestling names in attendance ... including WWE Superstar Nikki A.S.H., who served as one of Tay's bridesmaids.

29-year-old Sammy wore a cream-colored suit for the ceremony ... while his bride wore a gorgeous white gown.

Guevara and Conti followed the trend of having a unique hashtag for their wedding day ... going with the clever "#SammyTaysTheKnot."

The reception even featured a couples quiz to see how well the new Mr. and Mrs. know each other ... and by the looks of it, they knocked it outta the park.

As we previously reported, Guevara proposed to his pro wrestling star girlfriend at the Eiffel Tower in Paris ... dropping to one knee and asking Conti to marry him while presenting her with a nice rock.

Conti -- who's been dating Sammy since last December -- obviously said yes ... paving the way for the two lovebirds to seal the deal this weekend.

The AAA Mixed Tag Team champs know how to win together in and out of the ring -- so here's to love!!

Congrats!!

Paolo BancheroRips Murray For Saying Fame Changed Him... During IG Beef

Paolo Banchero is responding to Dejounte Murray -- who torched the NBA rookie for allegedly changing after getting drafted first overall -- saying he's the "same humble kid" he's been.

The backstory. 19-year-old Banchero and 25-year-old Murray played in Isaiah Thomas' Pro-Am hoops tourney this weekend ... when Dejounte, guarded by Paolo, alley-ooped the ball to himself, and emphatically threw down a dunk.

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The Atlanta Hawks guard put the highlight on his IG ... captioning, "WELCOME TO THE BIG LEAGUES!!!!!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Disrespectful They Said….. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™‚οΈ Yeahhhhh I KNOW!!!!!!!!""

Murray also wrote ... "You tried to flex that #1 pick s**t on me when I been rooting for you when you was a kid asking to rebound for me [Paolo]. Don’t get on this internet saying nothing… You changed from the humble kid you always was and I stand on real s**t boy and YOU KNOW!!!!!!!! You made it and changed and I lost all respect!!"

But, Murray didn't get the last word ... Banchero answered on social media, writing, "Same humble kid. Always vouched for u bro. Don't switch tha narrative for tha internet."

Now we're all caught up.

Chances are this isn't over ... Murray, who was traded to the Hawks in June, and Banchero, Orlando Magic forward, are both in the Southeast Division ... and will come face-to-face on the court this season.

Hawks-Magic rivalry heatin' back up ... stay tuned!

'Street Outlaws'Driver Ryan Fellows Dies in Crash ...Filming for Show in Vegas

UPDATE

11:58 AM PT -- We've obtained a photo showing the fiery wreckage, shortly after Ryan lost control of his vehicle.

UPDATE

"Street Outlaws: Fastest in America" star Ryan Fellows was killed in a car accident during filming for the popular Discovery show, TMZ has learned.

A source connected to the show tells us the crash happened just outside Las Vegas early Sunday morning. Ryan was racing another driver in what was the 8th out of 9 races scheduled for the night for the show.

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We're told Fellows was driving a gold Nissan 240z, and somehow lost control near the finish line, Ryan's vehicle rolled and caught fire ... onlookers were unable to get him out on time. Filming was ended for the day after the crash.

A spokesperson for Discovery tells us, "The Street Outlaws family is heartbroken by the accident that led to the tragic death of Ryan Fellows. We extend our deepest sympathy to Ryan's loved ones as they process this sudden and devastating loss.”

TMZ broke the story, earlier this year "Street Outlaws" star JJ Da Boss and his wife, Tricia, were involved in a wreck when filming for the show ... Tricia was hospitalized.

A GoFundMe created for Ryan's family reads, "Ryan was an avid car enthusiast and was a road 'warrior' in many ways that extended to loves of basketball, cars and business in sales/advertising. He was admired for tenacity and a relentless drive to overcome the challenges before him."

Ryan leaves behind his wife, Liz, and his two kids, Josiah and Olivia.

Jake PaulAgrees To Fight KSI Next Year... At Wembley Stadium

Jake Paul and KSI will finally step in the ring and squash their beef for good -- with the YouTubers-turned-fighters agreeing to a boxing match in 2023.

The two superstars aired out their negotiations via Twitter on Monday ... and they sound serious about making it happen.

"I’m gonna send you a contract," KSI tweeted at Jake. "We fight next year. Wembley Stadium. Winner of the fight takes all. 100% of the purse will be on the line."

"Put your money where your mouth is and let’s finally end this."

Jake was quick to reply ... saying he's "1,000%" down -- as long as KSI admits he's the inferior boxer right now.

"As of today in boxing you’re better," KSI clapped back. "Let’s run it bitch."

The history runs deep between the two -- remember, KSI first called out both Jake and Logan after his first win over Joe Weller in 2018 ... but the Problem Child ultimately took on his little brother, Deji, later that year.

Jake had previously talked about avenging KSI's win over Logan in 2019 ... but eventually went on to fight guys like Nate Robinson, Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley.

Things got even more heated between the two this week ... with Jake and KSI barking at each other over their own boxing events' issues.

KSI -- who recently showed off his insane body transformation -- was slated to fight Alex Wassabi later this month, but will now go up against rapper Swarmz on Aug 27 ... despite Jake's offer to fight him on short notice.

Fans will have to wait a year to see it happen ... but at least it's something to look forward to.

Barry SandersSaquon Will Rebound This Year... Book It!!!

THE POTENTIAL IS THERE
TMZSports.com

Fantasy Football players, listen up ... you better take Saquon Barkley in your drafts later this month -- 'cause Barry Sanders says he thinks the guy will be the real deal again in 2022!

TMZ Sports got the legendary tailback out at LAX this week -- and he told us if he had to bet, he'd say Barkley will return to form this season ... after down years in 2020 and 2021.

"I have all faith and confidence in Saquon," Sanders said.

It's a bit of a bold prediction -- considering the NY Giants star has been largely ineffective while battling injuries and poor O-line play for the past two seasons.

But, Sanders told us Barkley -- who's now close to two full years removed from an ACL tear -- should be able to regain the magic he had after the G-men made him the #2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

"He has the right stuff to make it happen on the field," Sanders said. "I've seen it. So, good luck to him."

Saquon has looked good in Giants camp so far this summer -- with media members reporting his speed and cutting ability appear to be fully back.

Season starts in just a couple weeks -- which means Fantasy drafts are just days away ... take note!

Billie EilishNight Racing Go-Karts ...I'm the Fast Guy, Duh!!!

Billie Eilish is crushing a track, but we don't mean one of her hit songs -- instead, she's fueling her need for speed by getting behind the wheel and racing go-karts!

Billie hit up Go Kart World in Carson, CA with her father and 2 friends. A spokesperson for the track tells us the singer was already packing plenty of muscle when she arrived ... referring to her 1,000-horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye.

Of course, Billie was pushing way fewer horses last Tuesday night once her group got on the venue's one-third mile Super Track, where they were zipping around in Euro Karts ... which top out at 40 mph.

The folks at Go Kart World had no idea Billie was coming in, and she stayed until closing. We're told she was extremely nice to the staff -- she and her friend Duckwrth even posed for a photo with the manager.

Of course, she didn't leave without showing off her skills behind the wheel ... leading everyone else in her group on each lap. Must be all that Hellcat experience!

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Other celebs who've hit the track atGo Kart World over the years include Kanye West, Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, Ashton Kutcher, Cameron Diaz, Christian Bale, Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.

It's safe to say, Billie's "Happier Than Ever" with her track results!

Pete RosePhillies Ceremony Criticized ...Amid Old Rape Claims/Qs

Pete Rose took the field in Philly for the first time in a long time -- which was quickly met with criticism after how he responded to questions about old allegations of statutory rape.

The controversial baseball legend -- Β who's been effectively banned from the game for life after it was discovered he gambled on matchups while playing -- was trotted out Sunday at Citizens Bank Park, where the org was honoring the 1980 WS team ... including himself.

He got a mixed bag response -- a standing O and lots of cheers, but some boos too.

Mind you, this was supposed to happen a few years ago -- but plans were scrapped after a woman claimed she'd had sex with PR while she was just 14 or 15 in the 1970s.

Rose admitted they had sex while on the Reds, but said he thought she was 16 -- the legal age of consent in Ohio -- and insisted they never left state lines ... so, presumably, it was all kosher, from his POV. That story torpedoed his would-be ceremony in 2017 ... but on Sunday, when it resumed, a reporter asked him about those allegations anew, and it didn't go well.

Inquirer reporter Alex Coffey tweeted, "I asked Pete Rose what he would say to people who say his presence here sends a negative message to women. His response: 'No, I’m not here to talk about that. Sorry about that. It was 55 years ago babe.'"

Of course, that got backlash almost immediately. Coffey further expanded, later saying Rose attempted to apologize to her for the earlier interaction ... but that, too, was seemingly botched. PR reportedly said to her, "Will you forgive me if I sign 1000 baseballs for you?"

Coffey goes on to say that when he was again asked about the old rape claims and questions about it, he reportedly said ... "I'm going to tell you one more time. I'm here for the Philly fans. I'm here for my teammates. I'm here for the Phillies organization. And who cares what happened 50 years ago."

One last gem from Rose ... "You weren't even born. So you shouldn't be talking about it, because you weren't born. If you don't know a damn thing about it, don't talk about it."

Safe to say -- the debate about whether Rose should be welcomed back to the league (and to Cooperstown for a HOF induction) will almost certainly rage on after this. Oof ...

Travis ScottKylie and Stormi Go Nuts for Him... During Sold-Out London Concert

Kylie Jenner and daughter Stormiwere all about Travis Scott's amazing concert Saturday night in London ... they were jammin' just like the normies in the packed stadium.

Kylie and their kid were arms up as Travis performed to a sold-out crowd at The O2 Arena ... which held 20,000 screaming fans.

This was Travis' first arena concert since the Astroworld tragedy last year, and it went off without a hitch ... well, actually, one idiot threw some sort of heavy object on the stage, missing Travis, but he was clearly pissed.

He has another show Sunday night, and he seems thrilled to be fully back.

The rapper wasn't holding back much, if at all. He was all over the stage with max energy, but he was clearly mindful of the crowd ... not wanting to encourage them to go too far.

Travis acknowledged K&S were in the crowd, and then dedicated "Mamacitas" to his daughter. Their baby boy, who was born in February, wasn't at the concert.

Travis intro'd a new song, "God's Country" ... it was supposed to be on Kanye's "Donda" album that was released last year, but didn't make the cut.

RAINING RAGE
Instagram / @kyliejenner

There were other celebs on hand ... Kevin Durant and James Harden were backstage popping champagne bottles and dousing their buddy Trav.

After the concert, Travis and Kylie were interlocking fingers as they made their way to a restaurant ... the hard-to-get-in The Twenty Two. Somehow they got a res!

Kylie and Storm had some serious mommy-and-me time all week in the town of Big Ben, shopping and just hanging out.

Travis isn't done this summer ... he's headlining at a festival in South America. He's also heading to Vegas for a residency.

WWE Legend X-PacBlown Away By Logan Paul... 'Huge Future'

CHAMPION CALIBER
TMZSports.com

Add Hall of Famer X-Pac to the growing list of people who think highly of Logan Paul's wrestling future -- the legend tells TMZ Sports the newly-signed WWE Superstar is a "natural" and has the serious makings of a champion one day.

We spoke with Pac -- a two-time inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame -- out at LAX this week, and he was effusive in his praise of Paul, who won his first singles match as a competitor over The Miz at SummerSlam last week.

"He's a natural, man," Pac said. "Huge future."

Pac admits he used to not think so highly of the Maverick following his suicide forest video scandal ... but can tell Paul has truly grown as a person.

Pac -- a former NWO and D-Generation X member -- said what separates Paul from other newcomers is his athletic ability coupled with his intuitive feel for knowing what to do inside the squared circle.

"A lot of people can be great athletes like him, but he has like an aptitude for this, man. His timing is really good. He grasps the psychology of a match."

"I got nothing but praise for that guy," he added. "He could be like WWE champion material at some point."

"Gotta call it like you see it."

Since making his in-ring debut at WrestleMania 38, Logan has been setting the WWE on fire ... earning the respect of fans in the WWE Universe and higher-ups like "The Game" Triple H.

ALL-NATURAL TALENT
TMZSports.com

Raw women's champion Bianca Belair echoed the same sentiments as Pac when she spoke to us recently, lauding Paul as a natural ... saying she could see him as WWE champ one day.

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