Los Angeles Teams

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

LeBron James recently credited Kobe Bryant for providing motivation, saying that he always knew he had to be in the gym because "I knew I had to be better because of Kobe Bryant." Did Bryant feel the same way? "I always felt like there was somebody somewhere [working]," Bryant said. "Even when I was in high school, I always felt like somebody somewhere is working. That would be in the back of my mind. But at the same time, I would say, it's impossible for somebody to work as much as I am. I'm here all the time. It wasn't like I had to force myself to do it. There was no place I'd rather be, and I just don't know if anybody else or any other player at that time in high school had that sentiment. The players that I was around, it was always like, I've got to go punch the clock and do these drills. For me, it was like, there's no place I'd rather be. So I was comfortable in that and I knew that, and because I had that feeling, I knew it just wasn't possible for somebody to outwork me."

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

Are Kobe Bryant and LeBron James rivals? Bryant doesn't think so. "I never looked to see what he was doing or something to kind of push me," Bryant said. "I just felt like we're completely different generations. I just missed that thing completely. It's not a Magic [Johnson] or [Larry] Bird sort of thing. It was more like, from the time he came into the league, it was more helping him, giving him direction and advice. I was so much older by NBA years. So I've never had that [with him.]"

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

Kobe Bryant said he and LeBron James are quite close. "We talk on the phone probably more than people know," Bryant said. "We talk about the game. We talk about different strategies that center around the game. We talk about things off the court, business related, [NBA] Players Association related. We speak with much more communication than people want to know."

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

Each of the last nine NBA Finals matchups has featured either LeBron James or Kobe Bryant, but never both."Our teams just never crossed paths, unfortunately," Bryant said before the two faced each other in Cleveland on Wednesday. "I wouldn't say it was weird or anything like that. It's just the ebb and flow of each season."

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Top 10 NBA Players of all time (1:43)

Dodgers have No. 2 farm system in 2016

If you say they bought this farm-system ranking, you'd be right. But that doesn't do justice to the successful draft picks in 2013 and 2014 that line their top 10 around the high-dollar international signings. Ranking all 30 farm systems (Insider)

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Paul Pierce on if he ever truly considered the Celtics as free agent this summer: "The Celtics were a rebuilding team. Young and up-and-coming. I think my career here ran its course. I had a great career here, 15 years. What more could you ask for? I was able to win a championship here. I've had my fun."

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Pierce, Clippers travel to Boston

Los Angeles can complete its 4-game road trip at a perfect 4-0 with a win in Boston tonight. This could be Paul Pierce's final game in Boston. Follow live

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Paul Pierce on if this could be his final season and final game in Boston: "It could be. I'm not 100 percent sure."

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Kobe opens up about relationship with LeBron (1:49)

Dave McMenamin ESPN Staff Writer 

LeBron James comes into tonight's game vs LAL needing 8 points to pass Paul Pierce (26,166) for 15th all-time.

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Tyronn Lue says Kobe once tried to fight him in practice (0:55)
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Waivers list for Feb. 10, 2016

As teams seek flexibility ahead of the Feb. 29 trade deadline, the following players were placed on waivers Wednesday.

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Windhorst: Never heard of suspension like Griffin's (1:21)
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Barron flourished in new position

The No. 7 overall pick in 2012 struggled as a safety, but looked promising as a weakside linebacker this season. Mark Barron could be a very effective option for a team in need this offseason. Free-agent sleepers (Insider)

ESPN Stats & Info

KU chasing UCLA's league title streak

Kansas, in jeopardy of its 11-year streak ending this season, is just two more conference titles away from tying UCLA's run.

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Clips should make a deal -- or two

ESPN's expert panel includes the Clippers among the West teams that should be active before the Feb. 18 trade deadline passes. There's even the suggestion of acquiring a former MVP. 5-on-5 (Insider)

ESPN Stats & Information

Don't hurry back, Blake ...

Blake Griffin has been out since Dec. 26 and won't be returning anytime soon, thanks to the Jan. 23 incident in which he broke his hand punching a Clippers staffer. After he heals from that, he'll serve a four-game suspension before returning to the court. Surprisingly, the Clippers have been markedly better without him.

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Taylor: Lakers would've won more championships with LeBron (1:49)