Los Angeles teams

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4mSteve Bisheff

Helton was logical, right choice for USC

Bigger names were out there, but a seven-game sample size -- and history -- suggest Clay Helton was the right choice to lead USC.

Russillo on Kobe: 'He's just another level' (2:06)

David Lombardi ESPN Staff Writer 

In 6 of the past 9 meetings between Stanford and USC, the game has not been decided until the final play. Cardinal kicker Conrad Ukropina, who beat Notre Dame with his 45-yard boot as time expired this past Saturday, expects that to be the case again in the upcoming Pac-12 championship game. Many of Ukropina's family members are Trojan fans, and the former walk-on earned a Stanford scholarship this year after sealing a September win over USC with a field goal. We'll see if a Rose Bowl berth depends on the Pasadena native's leg this week.

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)
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48mDavid 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."