Dallas Mavericks star forward Lamar Odom did not return to his team Tuesday after taking a leave of absence for unspecified “personal” reasons last week.

Odom, who was scheduled to return to the team after the All-Star break, was not in the Mavericks lineup for the NJ Nets vs Mavs game Tuesday night in Dallas. He also missed the previous game the Wednesday night before the break, against his former team the Lakers.

Speculation is running rampant about Odom’s future with the team. Coach Rick Carlisle and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban have both refuted rumors of a possible buyout of Odom’s contract.

“I knew I’d get the question over and over again until I said I wouldn’t do it,” Cuban told the Washington Post, adding there hadn’t even been a discussion about a buyout. “We want him to contribute. We want him to help.”

Sources close to Odom’s camp told Sandrarose.com that Odom, a 13-year veteran, missed a game last week to re-shoot scenes for his reality show ‘Khloe & Lamar‘ on E!

Another NBA team that could be affected by the reality TV shooting schedule of one of its star players is the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Click here to read more

British songstress Rita Ora is on fiyah right now! Since being introduced to the U.S. market by her mentor Jay Z, people can’t stop talking about how she is set to replace Rihanna as Urban/Pop music’s “IT” girl. Rita hopped on British rapper Tinie Tempah’s new single “R.I.P.” Fittingly, Rita sings R.I.P. to another girl’s career. “Her days are OVER!,” Rita sings.

“R.I.P.” was written by Young Money rapper Drake and produced by dubstep kings Chase and Status. The tracks follows the release of Rita’s debut single, “Party And Bullsh*t,” off her upcoming album. Rita’s new album is shaping up to be a classic, with contributions from Drake and big time producers, The Dream, Tricky Stewart, Polow Da Don, Ne-Yo, Rico Love and Stargate!

What do you think of Rita’s new single?

[audio:Tinie_Tempah_ft_Rita_Ora-RIP.mp3]

Actress Meryl Streep pulled an upset win over “The Help” star Viola Davis when she took home the Oscar for her role in “The Iron Lady,” at this year’s Academy Awards.

As a small consolation, Streep donated $20,000 in cash to 2 of Davis’ favorite charities.

According to the Chicago Tribune:

The Oscar winner wrote a check for $10,000 to Upward Bound to honor Davis, the program’s director Mariam Z. Boyajian confirmed to TheWrap.

Boyajian said it was the largest donation in the organization’s history.

“I was writing to her when you called,” Boyajian told TheWrap. “I wanted to give her a chance to settle down from the hectic weekend before I gave her the good news.”

Streep followed up that donation with a separate $10,000 check to Segue Institute for Learning, according to the Providence Journal.

Both Davis and her sister Dolores Davis Grant attended Upward Bound, a federally funded program that prepares low-income high school students for college.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America

When singer Beyonce took her newborn infant Blue Ivy out for a stroll on Saturday, everyone noticed that she ditched her 6-inch heels for the comfortable lIsabel Marant Bekket Wedge suede sneakers from the Spring/Summer 2012 collection. The wedge heel sneakers are not as dangerous as they sound. The wedgies are safer and far more stable for post-pregnant women than pumps. And they retail for only $725.

Supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio, who is pregnant with her 2nd child, was also spotted wearing the Isabel Marant wedge sneakers this week.

Photos: WENN via Upscalehype.com

A third victim has died as the result of a school shooting in Ohio yesterday. 17-year-old TJ Lane went on a shooting rampage in the cafeteria of Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, Monday. Lane gunned down 5 students, killing Daniel Parmertor, 16, and Russell King Jr, 17, yesterday. Demetrius Hewlin was the third victim to die Tuesday. 2 other students remain hospitalized from gunshot wounds.

Demetrius’ family described him as a happy boy. “We are very saddened by the loss of our son and others in our Chardon community,” a family statement said.

The statement continued: “Demetrius was a happy young man who loved life and his family and friends. We will miss him very much but we are proud that he will be able to help others through organ donation.”

The rampage occurred around 7:30 a.m. local time on Monday as the students were sitting down to breakfast in the cafeteria. The shooting ended when Chardon football coach Frank Hall chased Lane out of the school. Students and teachers are praising Hall for his bravery and quick thinking. “Coach Hall, he always talks about how much he cares about us students, his team and everyone,” student Neil Thomas told CNN.

Click here to read more

Early diagnosis is essential for children with autism, but minority children tend to be diagnosed later than white children, according to an article on Huffingtonpost.com.

HuffPo quotes an expert on autism who says cultural differences can lead to delayed diagnosis of autism in black children.

“The biggest thing I want parents to know is we can do something about it to help your child,” says Dr. Rebecca Landa, autism director at Baltimore’s Kennedy Krieger Institute.

She gives examples of cultural differences, for instance, toddlers pointing before they talk is a key early sign of normal development. But pointing is considered rude in some cultures, and some black parents might miss that important sign due to cultural beliefs and superstitions.

And some new parents don’t worry if their child is slow to start talking because other members of their family were slow to talk.

Singer Toni Braxton’s 9-year-old son, Diezel (pictured above), was diagnosed with autism at age 3.

“I’m lucky,” said Braxton in an interview with OK magazine. “I try to tell most parents ‘don’t dismiss the signs.’ It’s OK. When you find out early, you can get them all the help they need.”

Click here to read more

The backlash from her recent collaboration with abusive boyfriend, singer Chris Brown, has Rihanna feeling depressed and lonely. According to British tabloid, the Daily Mail, the once stylish “Umbrella” singer has ditched her brand name clothing for a loose-fitting Religion Union Jack jumper over tattered jeans and a black sun visor.

RiRi was seen leaving her London hotel today, on her way to a studio where she’s recording a music video. The normally jovial singer seemed depressed and out of sorts. According to a well-connected source, Rihanna is depressed about the public’s reaction to her duet with Brown on her full remix single “Birthday Cake,” which dropped on her 24th birthday.

Urban radio programmers have embraced Rihanna’s “Birthday Cake” remix by inserting the upbeat single into their daily rotations. But after the initial flood of spins on mainstream radio fell off, the single has failed to chart at all.

“Birthday Cake” failing to chart, and her former mentor Jay Z severing ties with her, except professionally, has Rihanna in a bad space right now. She has no one to blame but herself.

Photos: Splash News Online

In last night’s episode of VH1’s ‘T.I. & Tiny: family Hustle,’ Tameka “Tiny” Harris and her fiery hair stylist, Shakinah, decide to go into business together after Shakinah comes up with a prototype to dry their clients’ weaves faster.

The prototype involves using drinking straws to “direct” the flow of heat directly to the scalp. Of course, Shakinah’s “invention” is laughable, but reality shows wouldn’t have an audience if it weren’t for gullible viewers who believe everything they see on TV.

Tiny and Shakinah’s discussion about the money aspects of their partnership descends into arguments and hurt feelings. So, in a typical reality show move, the ladies decide to go see a mediator to mediate their arguments.

Also, T.I. goes into the studio with singer Usher to record a new collabo. Hopefully, the finished song will sound a whole lot better than the snippets that we heard.

Watch the full episode after the break.

Click here to read more