Los Angeles teams

Michael Smith happy Kobe's at peace with decision (2:07)

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg was asked if Kobe Bryant was the closest player to Michael Jordan that he had seen: "I think so," Hoiberg said. "Kobe, what he accomplished, the way he did it, the way he scored it, the tough shots that he hit, the fadeaways, the athleticism he did it with, the grace, yeah, I think he probably is the closest thing to Michael."

Keyshawn: We got it right (2:00)

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Taj Gibson played for USC in college and saw firsthand how much the city of LA adored Kobe Bryant. He spoke very highly of Kobe after Monday's shootaround. "One of the best players to ever play the game," Gibson said. "I'm just happy that I was able to play against him a couple times. Had great talks with him at dinner about the game ... Just a great guy. A superstar. Every time people heard about Kobe, from barbershops to street basketball corners, the city of LA loved Kobe."

Stugotz's Weekly Game Notes (2:43)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
1hDavid Schoenfield

Where will Johnny Cueto end up signing?

Johnny Cueto reportedly turned down a six-year, $120 million contract offer. So what would it take to sign him and who's going to step to the plate?


Rewind: Kobe Bryant's 81-point night

Take a trip back to Jan. 22, 2006 when Stuart Scott brought us all the highlights of Kobe Bryant's 81-point performance against the Raptors.

Le Batard: Kobe's legacy is enduring (1:25)
Stugotz: 'I don't like Kobe Bryant' (1:37)

Future looks bright for Trojans

According to ESPN's Recruiting Nation, USC has the Pac-12's 2nd-best recruiting class coming in. The Trojans also rank 10th nationally, two spots behind fellow Pac-12 member Stanford.

Helton hire offers consistency for USC players (2:21)

USC rises to No. 21 in ESPN rankings

That's a jump of five spots following its 40-21 win over UCLA. Next up for the Trojans and full-time head coach Clay Helton is Saturday's Pac-12 title game against Stanford. Power Rankings

Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

Dwight Howard's thoughts on Kobe Bryant

It's no secret Howard and Bryant have a somewhat frosty relationship. So when asked if he had learned anything from his former teammate, Howard laughed and said: "Awww man. We're going to go to the next question." But he also praised Kobe saying "[He's] one of the greatest to play the game."

Schad: Clay Helton earned this (2:18)

Ted Miller ESPN Staff Writer 

USC made it official Monday that Clay Helton will become the Trojans head coach, dropping his "interim" tag. So his status will be secure in advance of PAC-12 title game against Stanford. Interesting call from embattled athletic director Pat Haden. Helton has players support and he projects stability. He's not a young hotshot type like Kiffin and Sarkisian. On the other hand, he's not a choice that will energize the fan base, which was hoping for a big name. First question is how team handles business vs Stanford. Second is how Helton deals with a staff he inherited.

Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Clay Helton, USC sign multi-year deal

USC AD Pat Haden announced a multi-year agreement with Helton, who guided the Trojans to a 5-2 record as interim head coach this season. USC is playing Stanford Saturday in the Pac-12 title game.

Skip: Kobe's body failed him (2:01)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
3hChris Forsberg

Kobe Bryant's most memorable Celtics moments

With Kobe Bryant announcing that he'll retire at the end of the season, we look back at some of his special moments against the Celtics.