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Friday, May 29, 2020

Entertainment

Lamar Odom responds to Stephen A. Smith’s ‘crack’ comment

Lamar Odom

Stephen A. Smith has been outspoken about his displeasure with Phil Jackson and James Dolan’s efforts to run the New York Knicks. Thursday on ESPN’s “First Take,” he criticized Jackson, dating back to his first days in charge of the Knicks and Jackson’s interest in Lamar Odom. Smith boisterously added that Odom was using crack cocaine at that time:

Odom, and his lawyer, have responded.

Attorney Saam Zangeneh, who represents Odom, sent a letter to ESPN regarding Smith’s comments. Odom then tweeted the entirety of the letter, using hashtags “#slander” and “#ihopewearebetterthanthis”.

Zangeneh’s letter first denies that Odom was using drugs at the time in question, saying, “Let’s put aside the fact that Lamar passed all the required physicals and medical tests necessary to play in the league. Let’s put aside the fact that Mr. Smith attempted to qualify his statement by saying how much he likes Lamar, and wishes him well in his recovery.”

The letter goes on to criticizes Smith’s belittlement of addiction and those who battle that disease.

“Think about the others that are battling addiction. Those that have not had the strength of opportunity to share their struggle like Lamar. Imagine the effect this grotesque statement would have on any young athlete who is privately fighting this disease. To become the punch line of a vulgar joke.”

Jackson signed Odom to join the Knicks in April of 2014, but Odom never ended up playing for New York.

Shane McNichol covers college basketball and the NBA for Larry Brown Sports. He also blogs about basketball at Palestra Back and has contributed to Rush The Court, ESPN.com, and USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain.

Kardashians attend Game 4 of NBA Finals

The Kardashian element is strong in Cleveland for Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

ESPN Cleveland’s Jason Gibbs shared a video on Twitter Friday that showed Khloe Kardashian and mom Kris Jenner in the house for Game 4 of the NBA Finals:

Khloe was there to support boyfriend Tristan Thompson, whom she’s been dating since last year.

A report at the beginning of the season said LeBron James was leery of having the Kardashian distraction around, but a more recent report said the Cavs found Thompson dating Khloe to be amusing.

Rashad Jennings, Emma Slater win ABC’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’

NFL running back Rashad Jennings and his professional dancing partner, Emma Slater, capped off an incredible and unexpected season by taking home ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” crown on Tuesday night.

The duo of Jennings and Slater, once thought to have only an outside chance, narrowly defeated former Chicago Cubs catcher and current ESPN analyst David Ross and Lindsay Arnold in the finals.

“I feel amazing!” Jennings told Entertainment Tonight after the victory. “I feel good, truly, to come on the show, never danced in my life, and just keep on grinding and learning how to dance.”

For Slater, it was also her first victory on the show after participating in each of the last seven seasons. She had never before reached the finals.

“I’m her biggest fan, you have no idea,” Jennings added. “When you talk about the amount of hours we put in, part of that is because I want to see her go far.”

Jennings, who was released by the New York Giants earlier this offseason after three years with the team, joins NFL greats Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward and Donald Drivers as winners of “Dancing with the Stars.”

Jerry Rice, Calvin Johnson and Lawrence Taylor had also participated in the show, finishing second, third and seventh respectively.

After Jennings was declared the victor, Ross sent out a congratulatory tweet.

With “Dancing with the Stars” now over, the 32-year-old Jennings plans to return to the NFL.

Charlie Sheen working on ‘Major League 3’ with entire original cast

One of the best baseball movies ever created could be coming back for another installment, and Charlie Sheen says almost all of our favorite characters from the original film are going to be involved.

Sheen, known to “Major League” fans as Wild Thing, spoke with TMZ this week and said he has the entire cast of the hit movie on board for a third installment. Sheen also said they have a director for the film and just need backing from a studio.

“We’re trying to get ‘Major League III’ done,” Sheen said. “We’re just looking for someone to write a check. Everybody’s back except, sadly, Lou Brown. We’ll do it in his honor.”

Actor James Gammon, who played Indians manager Lou Brown in the original movie, died in 2010.

Since most of the original cast is now older and beyond Major League Baseball playing years, Sheen was asked if they are going to play softball players in the new film.

“Oh God, no. It’s a really smart story,” he said. “It’s a really great script.”

The original “Major League” came out in 1989, and it still has a massive cult following. Heck, MLB players to this day have tried on Wild Thing’s infamous hair cut. The sequel, “Major League II,” was a bit of a disappointment, but many of the original cast members were not part of the project.

I think I speak for baseball fans everywhere when I say a reunion between Ricky Vaughn, Willie Mays Hayes, Pedro Cerrano and yes, even Roger Dorn, is something to get excited about.

Lady Gaga fires back at body shamers after Super Bowl halftime show

Lady Gaga has heard some negative feedback about her appearance during the Super Bowl LI halftime show, and the Grammy Award-winning artist is not going to stand for it.

On Tuesday night, Gaga took to Instagram to call out the body shamers who criticized her figure after she changed into her second outfit on Sunday.

“I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too,” the singer wrote. “No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions. thank you so much everyone for supporting me. I love you guys. Xoxo, gaga.”

Gaga put on quite the show, making some rumors about the performance that we thought sounded absolutely insane come true. She even managed to not take attention away from the game by sparking a political debate, which many expected her to do. Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely silence the trolls.

Lady Gaga wants to perform on stadium roof at Super Bowl

Lady Gaga is not your average performer, so it should come as no surprise that the six-time Grammy Award winner believes singing on a stage at the Super Bowl next month would be too boring.

According to Oli Coleman of Page Six, Gaga has come up with an “elaborate and somewhat dangerous” plan to sing on top of the roof at NRG Stadium in Houston. Of course, there is concern that there could be technical issues in addition to the obvious safety risks, but Gaga is said to be “pushing” to make it happen.

“They’re writing up multiple plans about how to safely get her on the roof, including potentially [cutting] a hole in the ceiling of the dome,” a source with knowledge of the plan told Page Six.

Here’s more on the risky proposal:

Meanwhile, we’re told that perturbed pen pushers are working just as hard on the project. “Trying to figure out insurance for it is crazy,” said the worried insider.

A source close to the project says Gaga is hoping to do the stunt live during her halftime show performance, but other insiders worry that — if they can pull it off at all — the safer option might be doing the stunt as part of a pretaped commercial in the leadup to the game, “depending on what they actually figure out is doable.”

Gaga sang the national anthem at Super Bowl 50 last year (video here) and received great feedback, which is one of the reasons the NFL wanted her to do this year’s halftime show. We can only imagine the buzz she would create by literally performing from the roof of the stadium.

Dana White unloads on ‘uppity 80-year-old’ Meryl Streep for bashing MMA

Award-winning actress Meryl Streep blasted Donald Trump in an acceptance speech that lasted more than five minutes at the Golden Globes Sunday night. UFC president Dana White is a known Trump supporter, but you can’t blame him for taking offense to one of the things Streep mentioned in her monologue.

While driving her point home about the diversity in Hollywood, Streep decided to take a shot at mixed martial arts.

“Hollywood is crawling with foreigners and outsiders,” she said. “If we kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”

On Monday, White fired back at Streep.

“It’s not gonna be everybody’s thing, and the last thing in the world I expect is an uppity 80-year-old lady to be in our demographic and love mixed martial arts,” he told TMZ. “If you really look at who follows the UFC and mixed martial arts, it’s everybody. I don’t expect an 80-year-old woman to be a fan of MMA.”

When asked if MMA is an art, White said there is no question.

“Of course it’s an art. These fighters, the men and women, are so talented,” he replied. “They train their whole lives to become the best in the world. Saying something stupid like that is like saying (Streep) is not a talented actress, which she is.

“I’m not a big fan of golf. That doesn’t mean people should stop watching it. If you don’t like it, change the channel.”

Of course, White wasn’t alone. Scott Coker, the president of Bellator MMA, wrote a letter to Streep inviting her to an upcoming event so she can witness how “truly artistic” the sport is.

In case you were wondering, Streep is 67. She probably won’t appreciate White adding 13 years onto her age.

We doubt it’s a coincidence that Streep chose football and mixed martial arts to illustrate her point, especially given the history of people like White and this popular football player supporting the president-elect. Still, her insult seemed a bit off-base. Like football players and MMA fighters, Streep is in the entertainment business. Her message would have been the same without bashing the two sports.