Los Angeles teams

Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Clay Helton signs 5-year deal with USC

USC AD Pat Haden gave a five-year guaranteed deal to Helton, who guided the Trojans to a 5-2 record as interim head coach this season. USC is playing Stanford on Saturday in the Pac-12 title game.

Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports

Simmons is majors' No. 7 shortstop

Andrelton Simmons heads from Atlanta to Anaheim. Buster Olney notes the Angels have bought in on a 26-year-old whose slick fielding might be slipping. Top 10 shortstops (Insider)

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."

All hail the Golden State Warriors (3:11)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
28mDavid 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.

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)