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Bulldog News

    ATHENS The Georgia football opening game with Virginia is more than seven months away, but talking season is well underway and Heisman talk has begun. Incoming graduate-transfer quarterback Jamie Newman ranks among the Top 5 among Heisman favorites before throwing his first pass in a formal practice, currently at 14-to-1. Newman is ranked the No. 3 returning quarterback by Pro Football Focus, behind Ohio State's Justin Fields and Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. RELATED: Mark Richt says Jamie Newman can adapt to any kind of offense Fields, who spent his 2018 freshman season at UGA backing up departed starter Jake Fromm, is the co-favorite with Lawrence to win the Heisman, both at 4-to-1. Sophomore tailback Zamir White and sophomore George Pickens are also among the current favorites. White is at 80-to-1, and Pickens is at 100-to-1. The bettable opening Heisman odds are evidence there's plenty of outside buy-in on Kirby Smart's well-documented offensive makeover at Georgia. The Bulldogs hired 'Air Raid' pass game expert Todd Monken to take over as the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator, replacing James Coley who has since departed for Texas A&M. Monken was the offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns last season, but the year, before, he was the OC and play caller for a Tampa Bay Bucs offense that led the NFL in passing yardage. Newman, who transferred to Georgia from Wake Forest, is a dual-threat quarterback with dynamic arm strength and running ability. Smart's past three UGA offenses have leaned more toward a power run game, the head coach intent on utilizing dynamic backfields that included NFL stars Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and projected first-round pick D'Andre Swift the past two seasons. Georgia, however, appears to be intent on a more aggressive pass scheme now that the receiving corps is loaded up with talent at receiver and tight end. RELATED: Georgia top-ranked SEC team in PFF Way-too-early' Top 25 Smart has always professed coaching to the talent, and the hiring of Monken is an indication the Georgia head coach is betting more offensive balance is in order. The Bulldogs return a championship-caliber defense, with nine of 11 starters back on that side of the football from the 26-14 Sugar Bowl-winning team. Georgia's offense can afford to be more aggressive in marquee matchups with that sort of defense behind it. Most notably, in the Sept. 19 showdown with Alabama in Tuscaloosa that the college football world has circled. Favorite Player/School Odds T-1. Justin Fields/ Ohio St. 4-1 T-1. Trevor Lawrence/Clemson 4-1 3. Spencer Rattler/Oklahoma 12-1 T-4. Sam Ehlinger/Texas 14.1 T-4. Jamie Newman/Georgia 14-1 T-6. Travis Etienne/Clemson 20-1 T-6. Chuba Hubbard/Okla. St. 20-1 T-6 Ian Book/Notre Dame 20-1 T-9. Kedon Slovis/USC 25-1 T-9. Myles Brennan/LSU 25-1 11. Mac Jones/Alabama 25-1 12. Bo Nix/Auburn 25-1 13. D'Eriq King/Miami, Fla. 25-1 14. Adrian Martinez/Nebraska 30-1 T-15. Sean Clifford/Penn State 40-1 T-15. Najee Harris/Alabama 40-1 17. Kellen Mond/Texas A&M 50-1 T-18. Tyler Shough/Oregon 60-1 T-18. Brock Purdy/Iowa State 60-1 T-18. CJ Verdell/Oregon 60-1 T-18. Kyle Trask/Florida 60-1 T-18. Charlie Brewer/Baylor 60-1 T-18. Sam Howell/North Carolina 60-1 24. Master Teaguelll/Ohio Sate 60-1 25. Zamir White/Georgia 80-1 DawgNation Georgia football Malik Herring spearheads dominant defense Podcast: How Todd Monken might use Zamir White Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia football QB Jamie Newman ranked among Top 5 Heisman Trophy favorites appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS For once, it seemed, Georgia basketball freshman Anthony Edwards was not at ease talking basketball on Saturday evening. The Bulldogs had just dropped their third game in a row, falling at home to an Ole Miss team that had lost six straight and was sitting last in the SEC. Edwards squirmed, he fidgeted, he smiled and he frowned. An 18-year-old young man who should still be in high school by birthdate, Edwards didn't know what to do or what to say in this curious, awkward and pressure-filled situation. Four nights earlier, Edwards was held scoreless in the first half at Kentucky and committed five turnovers. Pressure cooker Every Georgia win and loss seemingly rides on Edwards' shoulders, and the weight of having a program's hopes reliant upon his performances appears to finally be taking a toll. ' I think he handles it pretty well, but sometimes I'll be worried about him,' UGA senior Jordan Harris said last Saturday. 'I'll always check on him like, are you good? Are you going through something? 'He deals with all the outside noise pretty well. I am shocked at the way he deals with it, because it is a lot for him.' But how could Edwards explain his 3-of-12 shooting night against Ole Miss? The Atlanta basketball prodigy nicknamed 'Antman' had taken (settled?) 10 shots beyond he 3-point arc, unable to get his 6-foot-5, 225-pound explosive frame to the rim. 'Teams are trying to defend me differently,' Edwards offered. 'They are trying to take me out of the game and make other people score. I've just got to find ways to help my team win.' That was the hope for Georgia basketball when Edwards signed on, turning down opportunities to go virtually anywhere else in the country to stay closer to his family. Edwards is projected by some to be the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, but more and more are having their doubts. 'To me, he's prospect, he's not a finished product,' ESPN analyst Seth Greenburg said. 'It's amazing people talk about him as the No. 1 overall pick.' Focus on winning Edwards has said since arriving that his focus is on winning, and he has maintained his confidence that he can help lift a Bulldogs' program lacking notable tradition or recent success. ' As a team, I want us to make it to the (NCAA) Tournament and go deep in it,' Edwards said after the opening exhibition game in November, in what now seems like an entirely difference season. 'Bring Georgia basketball back and have the most fun I can.' The Bulldogs haven't made the NCAA Tournament since the 2014-15 season. The hopes for 2019-20 took a decided downturn with the home loss to Ole Miss, and Edwards' expression suggested he knew it and was helpless to do anything about it. Georgia coach Tom Crean, who developed NBA lottery picks Dwyane Wade and Victor Oladipo, at Marquette and Indiana, respectively, is working to support Edwards on and off the court. 'If we put this in perspective, who is going through college basketball like he is right now?' Crean said after Edwards' 23 points weren't enough to lead the Bulldogs over Kentucky in front of a sold-out Stegeman Coliseum crowd in the SEC opener. 'I mean, who is? We talk about that all the time, people want to be Anthony Edwards, do you really?' Hard work Edwards' lifestyle as a Georgia student-athlete and as projected multi-million dollar draft pick expected to perform each night sounded like a lonely one as he discussed part of his workout routine after an 80-63 win over Tennessee earlier this month. 'I was in here until 1 o'clock (a.m.) on Monday, and yesterday I was in here until 10:30 or 11 (p.m.),' Edwards said, explaining how he reacted to a 22-point loss at Auburn. 'Most of the time I'm always in here late night, because that's when I like to shoot, that's when I have the most energy because I've got nothing to do.' Fact is, Edwards has plenty of areas to improve his game, even with the hard work and spectacular athleticism that's brought him this far. 'Part of it is not pre-determining, there's a laundry list, not getting fixed on one thing, learning to really see and learn the game,' Crean said. 'Those are all things he's learning. He's learning to put possession by possession together.' And now Crean said it's up to him and his staff to help find Edwards more ways to score and help the team win. Edwards' heart and competitive spirit is in the right place each time he launches his long-range shot, but 'it's not the game plan,' Crean said. Edwards, the leading freshman scorer in the nation (18.6 points per game), is hitting just 31.3 percent from 3-point range. Coaching adjustment Crean has reiterated how important ball movement and player movement is to an effective offense, and Edwards fits square in the middle of that plan. ' We made some real adjustments with him, he's got to continue to cut when they're denying him, he's got to continue to cut rather than stand, because he becomes very, very easy to guard when he's just standing in the slots, right, because they're not coming off him,' Crean said. 'Now, it might create a basket for somebody else, but he's learning a lot about cutting, a lot that he never knew. But we're nowhere near where we have to be with that.' And Edwards doesn't appear to be anywhere near where he was some two weeks ago, when he explained his jubilant sideline antics during the blowout win over the Vols. 'Basketball is always business for me, because I'm trying to make a lot of money playing this game,' Edwards said that night, ' but you never let the fun be taken away from it. That's why you play, because it's fun.' Georgia returns to action at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Missouri. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Mississippi State wins battle of Bulldogs in Starkville, decisively Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Closer look: Georgia basketball star Anthony Edwards hitting Freshman Wall' like no other appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Tears were shed around the globe as news spread of the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the life of 18 NBA all-star Kobe Bryant and four others in Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday morning. Women's Basketball Hall of Famer and three-time Olympic gold-medalist Dawn Staley heard the news shortly before tipoff of her No. 1-ranked team's game at Georgia. 'Now we get more details, it's horrific for Kobe; since he retired, he dedicated his life to his little girl and her career in basketball,' Staley said, referencing 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, who was among those killed in the crash. Bryant was traveling to basketball practice at the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks with his daughter, 'GiGi' and three other passengers when the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed amid the foggy conditions some 30 miles Northwest of Los Angeles. In addition to enjoying post-NBA success as an author, producer and Academy Award winner, Bryant was also coaching his daughter's AAU team five times a week, per 'SLAM' basketball magazine. Bryant's basketball skills and competitive fire helped transcend the game, an example for players of both sexes to work to emulate. Staley and Georgia coach Joni Taylor pointed out how Bryant had also elevated the women's game and provided much-needed support. 'It's unfortunate that we don't get a chance to see him coach any more, to see him impact girls' lives,' Staley said. 'He just talked about WNBA players being able to play in the NBA.' Indeed, just last Thursday, Bryant said WNBA players could 'keep up' when asked if one day women could play in the NBA. 'I think there are a couple of players that could play in the NBA right now, honestly,' Bryant said. 'There's a lot of players that have a lot of skill that could do it. Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Delle Donne, there's a lot of great players out there. They could most certainly keep up with them.' Kobe Bryant says there's WNBA players that could play in the NBA right now, including Diana Taurasi, Elena Delle Donne & Maya Moore! pic.twitter.com/4jdCZ282j9 Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 22, 2020 Staley fought to keep her emotions in check as she put the importance of Bryant's in perspective. 'We need more people like Kobe Bryant sticking up for women's basketball,' she said. 'He did it at the highest level, and we're prayerful. Godspeed to his family and all of us who had a connection to him.' Taylor said she didn't personally know Bryant, but like most every other player associated with the sport, she was influenced by him. 'You grow up watching him, he just means so much not only to the game of basketball, but to the game of women's basketball,' Taylor said. 'He was a fan, he was at the Final Four, his daughters played. 'He supported college basketball, the WNBA, all levels. He was a champion for us.' The Associated Press contributed to this story South Carolina coach Dawn Staley Georgia coach Joni Taylor SEC Network Twitter USC women's basketball coach @dawnstaley, who grew up in Philadelphia like Kobe, shared her thoughts on his passing and what he meant to the game of women's basketball https://t.co/sT30v0mnrU Mike Uva (@Mike_Uva) January 26, 2020 The post WATCH: Kobe Bryant death draws strong reactions from hall of famer Dawn Staley, Georgia's Joni Taylor appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The Latest on the death of retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant (all times local): 8:30 p.m. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva says his department's helicopters were grounded due to weather in the area where a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight other people crashed and burned Sunday morning. Conditions were extremely foggy when the NBA great's helicopter went down northwest of Los Angeles on a hillside in the city of Calabasas, killing everyone aboard. The sheriff told a press conference that debris is scattered over an area the size of a football field. The county medical examiner, Dr. Jonathan Lucas, says recovery of remains may take several days. Lucas says investigators will try to make identifications of the victims as quickly as possible. ___ 6 p.m. The Dallas Mavericks are paying tribute to Kobe Bryant by permanently retiring his No. 24. “Kobe’s legacy transcends basketball, and our organization has decided that the No. 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick,' Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said. Cuban's tribute was one of several around the NBA as players, coaches and fans were stunned by the news of Bryant's death. In the Memphis-Phoenix game Sunday, the Grizzlies won the opening tip and immediately took a 24-second clock violation. When the Suns took possession, they stayed in the backcourt for an 8-second violation – the 24 and 8 seconds representing Bryant’s two numbers during his NBA career. ___ 4:40 p.m. A Southern California community college baseball coach, his wife and daughter were among those killed in the crash of the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and his daughter. The younger brother of Orange Coast College coach John Altobelli confirmed the deaths as relatives, friends and players gathered at the school’s baseball field Sunday afternoon. Flowers and baseball caps were placed on home plate. John Altobelli’s brother, Tony, is the sports information director at the school. He said his 56-year-old brother died along with his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, who was about 13 and played on the same basketball team as Bryant’s daughter, Gianna. John Altobelli was entering his 28th season as coach at the community college in Costa Mesa, California. The team won a state championship last year and John Altobelli was named national coach of the year. The helicopter carrying Bryant crashed northwest of Los Angeles around 10 a.m. Sunday. All nine people aboard were killed. ___ 3:45 p.m. The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team of 18 people to the scene of the helicopter crash that killed NBA icon Kobe Bryant and eight others. NTSB member Jennifer Homendy said at a news conference that investigators will look at the pilot's history, the maintenance records and information on the helicopter's owner and operator. Homendy said investigators were not sure how many people the aircraft was configured to carry. The helicopter that crashed was a twin-engine Sikorsky S-76. ___ 3 p.m. Michael Jordan has reacted to the news about the death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash. “I loved Kobe - he was like a little brother to me,” Jordan said. Jordan was the most notable of former and current NBA stars to express how shocked they were at the news. Jordan commended Bryant for his fierce competitive streak and called him “one of the greats of the game.” Bryant's legacy is often compared to that of Jordan. Bryant won five NBA championships, compared to Jordan's six. ___ 2:45 p.m. Authorities say nine people died in the helicopter crash that killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva provided the updated death toll at a news conference Sunday. Initial reports indicated that Bryant was among five people killed in the crash. At the news conference, authorities also described the fiery wreckage and scene that was difficult to access after the crash at 10 a.m. ___ 1:45 p.m. A source familiar with the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant says the former NBA star's 13-year-old daughter was among those onboard who were killed. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the crash had not been released publicly. The crash happened around 10 a.m. Sunday about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Five people were killed in the crash, which remains under investigation. — Tim Reynolds ___ 12:35 p.m. The Grammy Awards pre-telecast ceremony opened with a moment of silence for Kobe Bryant. Interim Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. opened the ceremony where dozens of Grammys are handed out before the main show, telling attendees, “As most of you may know, we lost Kobe Bryant in a tragic helicopter accident today.' 'Since we are in his house, I would ask you to join me in a moment of silence,” Mason said. Artists arriving at the show reacted to Bryant's death and his influence. Blues artist and Grammys nominee Keb' Mo' called Bryant's death “a huge loss.” “He's just a huge role model,' Keb' Mo' said. British artist Labrinth said: “It was insane news to hear this morning. He's been part of my life for a very long time. ... I couldn't believe it.” ___ 12 p.m. Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash Sunday. He was 41. A person familiar with the situation tells the AP that Bryant died in a crash near Calabasas, California. It was unclear if other family members were on the helicopter. Bryant was an 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history and held that spot until LeBron James overtook him Saturday night. — Tim Reynolds
  • Kobe Bryant inspired a generation of basketball players worldwide with sublime skills and an unquenchable competitive fire. He earned Los Angeles’ eternal adoration during his two decades as the fierce soul of the beloved Lakers, and he was respected by basketball fans from every place with a hoop and a dream, including his native Philadelphia and in Italy, his other childhood home. Less than four years into his retirement, Bryant was seizing new challenges and working to inspire his daughters’ generation through sports and storytelling when his next chapter ended shockingly early. Bryant, the 18-time All-Star who won five NBA championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career all with the Lakers, died in a helicopter crash Sunday. He was 41. The crash occurred in the foggy hills above Calabasas, California, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Bryant was killed, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press, and a different person familiar with the case confirmed Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna also died. Both of the AP's unnamed sources spoke on condition of anonymity because few details of the crash had been released publicly. Authorities said nine people were on the helicopter, and all were presumed dead. No names were released. Bryant lived south of Los Angeles in coastal Orange County, and he often used helicopters to save time and avoid Southern California's notorious traffic. He traveled to practices and games by helicopter before his playing career ended in 2016. He continued to use them after retirement as he attended to his new ventures, which included a burgeoning entertainment company that recently produced an Academy Award-winning animated short film. The basketball world and Los Angeles reacted with an outpouring of pain and disbelief. Bryant is all but certain to be elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year, when he is eligible for the first time. “For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary ... but he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.” The crash occurred about 20 miles from Mamba Sports Academy, Bryant’s basketball training complex in Newbury Park, California. A youth basketball tournament — the Mamba Cup — was scheduled for a second day of competition Sunday at the facility, and Bryant had attended the opening day Saturday with Gianna. Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, had four daughters. He had been a vocal booster of women's sports since his retirement, coaching and mentoring basketball players around the world while also backing women's soccer and other endeavors. Bryant retired as the third-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points, all scored in Lakers purple and gold. The self-nicknamed Black Mamba was a prolific, gifted shooter with a sublime all-around game and a relentless, hard-edged work ethic that thrilled his fans and almost everyone else, even those who reviled him. Taking cues from Michael Jordan, one of his idols, Bryant played with a swagger that compelled him to talk trash, to guard the toughest opponents, to play through pain and to demand the ball at the biggest moments of games. He didn't always hit them, but Bryant never stopped trying. “He had zero flaws offensively,” LeBron James said Saturday night. “Zero. You backed off of him, he could shoot the 3. You body him up a little bit, he could go around you. He could shoot from mid-range. He could post. He could make free throws. ... He was just immortal offensively because of his skill set and his work ethic.” Bryant held the No. 3 spot in the league scoring ranks until the day before his death, when James passed him during the Lakers' game in Philadelphia. On Saturday night, James said he was 'happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play. One of the all-time greatest Lakers.” Bryant always reacted graciously to the achievements of James, his former on-court rival who joined the Lakers in 2018. “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames,” Bryant wrote in his last tweet. “Much respect my brother.” Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs great who also retired in 2016, is also expected to be part of the Hall of Fame class that will be announced at the NBA's All-Star weekend next month. Duncan, now a Spurs assistant, was visibly emotional on the bench during their game against Toronto on Sunday. Bryant had been spending more time with his daughters since leaving the league. The Bryants' first daughter, Natalia, turned 17 a week ago. Bianka Bella Bryant is 3 years old, and Capri Kobe Bryant was born last June. Gianna, better known as Gigi, had a promising youth career and a competitive pugnaciousness that reminded everybody of her dad. Bryant sat with her courtside at a Brooklyn Nets game late last year, clearly passing along his wisdom to his daughter. Bryant told Jimmy Kimmel in 2018 that Gianna wanted to play in the WNBA and recalled how fans would often approach him saying “you gotta have a boy, you gotta someone to carry on the tradition, the legacy.” Gianna took exception: “She’s like, 'Oy, I got this,’” Bryant recalled. News of Bryant’s death inspired an outpouring of grief around the sports world and beyond, but it was felt particularly painfully in Los Angeles, where Bryant was unquestionably the sprawling city's most popular athlete and one of its most beloved people. Buildings from downtown to Los Angeles International Airport were illuminated in Lakers purple and gold. The Lakers’ next game is Tuesday night against the crosstown rival Clippers, but hundreds of fans — many in Bryant jerseys and Lakers gear — spontaneously gathered at Staples Center and in the surrounding LA Live entertainment complex on Sunday, weeping and staring at video boards with Bryant’s image before the Grammy awards ceremony. “I thought he was going to live forever,” Lakers great Magic Johnson told KCBS-TV. “I thought he was invincible. ... There was nobody who took more pride in putting on that Laker uniform than Kobe. Nobody. He was just special. We will miss him and we’ll remember him for his greatness, but let’s not forget how he impacted the world, too.” Bryant retired as the Lakers' franchise leader in points, games played, 3-pointers and steals — no small feats on a franchise that has employed many of the greatest players in basketball history. The NBA kept its games on as scheduled when the news broke. The Spurs and Raptors both took voluntary 24-second shot clock violations at the start of their game in honor of Bryant, who wore No. 24 for the second half of his career. Several other teams followed up by deliberately taking delays of 24 and 8 seconds, honoring both of his jersey numbers. Many players were seen crying before their games, and James looked emotional on the tarmac when he got off the Lakers’ team plane from Philadelphia. Bryant’s future appeared to be limitless in retirement, whether in sports or entertainment. He opened a production company shortly after leaving the Lakers, saying he was just as passionate about storytelling as he had been about his sport. He won an Oscar in 2018 for his contributions to “Dear Basketball, ” an animated short about his relationship to the game. He also produced content for ESPN. In 2003, Bryant was charged with attacking a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort. He had said the two had consensual sex, and the charge was eventually dropped when the women declined to testify in a trial. The woman later filed a civil suit against Bryant that was settled out of court. Bryant went on to become one of the NBA's most popular players and the face of the Lakers. Winning a record four NBA All-Star Game MVP awards, he was the overall league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion, but he also earned 12 selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive teams. He teamed with Shaquille O’Neal in a combustible partnership to lead the Lakers to NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He later teamed with Pau Gasol to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010. A two-time Olympic gold medalist with the dominant U.S. team, Bryant retired in 2016 after scoring 60 points in his final NBA game. In December 2017, the Lakers hung banners retiring his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys in the Staples Center rafters in an unprecedented double honor. Bryant looms large over the current generation of NBA players, most of whom grew up either idolizing Bryant or absorbing his work ethic and competitive spirit in the same way Bryant's generation learned from Jordan. Bryant exemplified and passed on that mentality to James, Stephen Curry and the NBA's current wave of high-scoring superstars. After James passed Bryant on Saturday, he remembered listening in awe to Bryant when the superstar came to speak at a childhood basketball camp. “I remember one thing he said: If you want to be great at it, or want to be one of the greats, you’ve got to put the work in,” said James, who later teamed up with Bryant on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team in Beijing. Bryant was a basketball superstar for his entire adult life, and he grew up from a teenager to a respected veteran in the unforgiving Hollywood spotlight. He entered the NBA draft straight out of suburban Philly's Lower Merion High School in 1996 after a childhood spent partly in Italy, where his father, former NBA player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played professionally. Bryant was occasionally estranged from his now-65-year-old father, but reconciled. Bryant spoke four languages and played a major role in the NBA's international growth over his two decades in the league, traveling the world and connecting with athletes in other sports and celebrities. The Lakers acquired the 17-year-old Bryant in a trade shortly after Charlotte drafted him, and he immediately became one of the most exciting and intriguing players in the sport alongside O’Neal, who had signed with the Lakers as a free agent. Bryant won the Slam Dunk Contest as a rookie, and the Lakers gradually grew into a team that won three consecutive championships. Bryant and Gasol, the Spanish star, formed the nucleus of another championship team in 2008, reaching three straight NBA Finals and winning two more titles. Between those title runs and before the quiet final years of his career, Bryant accomplished innumerable feats including an 81-point game against Toronto in January 2006. Bryant's final NBA seasons were dogged by injuries, but he still went into retirement with that jaw-dropping 60-point performance against Utah. ___ AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.
  • Looking back on the past decade of Georgia football brings to mind the old introduction to ABC's 'Wide World of Sports,' with its touting of 'the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat the human drama of athletic competition.' Yeah, Dawgs fans experienced all of that during 2010-2019: 10 years of incredible highs, heartbreaking lows and some mediocre days not worth mentioning. Reading over the Blawgs I wrote in that decade has brought back some extremely fond memories and a few that still make me shudder. Or wince ( should-have-spiked the ball with 15 seconds left the Prayer-at-Jordan Hare and second-and-26 being three prime examples). Wallowing in misery isn't what I'm undertaking today, however. This is a look at the best of the decade for the Dawgs. I have to admit, compiling the most memorable players, games, plays and moments of that decade was easy on some counts, and much more difficult on others, particularly when it came to deciding who should make an all-decade team at certain positions where the Dawgs have enjoyed a bounty of top-notch talent. (Can you easily choose between Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel?) Other choices were clear-cut (at least, to me), especially the quarterback position , about which I wrote a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps you'll agree with my choices, or maybe you'll think I'm way off-base on some of them. That's the fun of this sort of exercise; feel free to share your own thoughts on the best of UGA football in the 2010s. Now, first up, my All-Decade Dawgs: Offense Center: David Andrews. Runnerup: Ben Jones. Tackles: Andrew Thomas, Isaiah Wynn. Honorable mention: John Theus. Guards: Cordy Glenn, Lamont Gaillard (who also played center). Tight ends: Orson Charles, Jeb Blazevich. Wide receivers: Malcolm Mitchell, Javon Wims, Tavarres King, A.J. Green. * Honorable mention: Chris Conley, Terry Godwin. QB: Aaron Murray. Runnerup: Jake Fromm. Tailbacks: Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel (a tossup, but a fully healthy Gurley gets the starting nod). Fullbacks: Christian Payne, Quavon Hicks. ( What the heck, Georgia had fullbacks for most of the decade and, unlike Kirby Smart, I'm a fullback guy. The toss would be more effective with a FB leading the way, I believe.) Defense Defensive line: John Atkins, Jonathan Ledbetter, John Jenkins. Linebackers: Roquan Smith, Jarvis Jones, Justin Houston* Alec Ogletree. Honorable mention: Davin Bellamy, Leonard Floyd. Cornerbacks: Deandre Baker, Sanders Commings. Runnersup: Damian Swann, Maurice Smith, Aaron Davis (the latter two both played nickel back). Safeties: Baccari Rambo, J.R. Reed. Runnerup: Dominick Sanders. Specialists Punter: Drew Butler. Runnerup: Cameron Nizialek.* Placekicker: Rodrigo Blankenship. Runnerup: Marshall Morgan. Returner: Isaiah McKenzie. Runnersup: Mecole Hardman, Brandon Boykin. *Green, Houston and Nizialek only played one season each for Georgia during the decade, but they deserve their spots. And now on to other highlights of the decade Most memorable games 2012: Georgia 17, Florida 9. A terrific Malcolm Mitchell run after catching a fourth quarter pass from Aaron Murray and breaking a tackle put Georgia ahead. However, the game against the No. 2-ranked Gators was dominated by a Georgia defense that forced six turnovers, including a gamesaver by Jarvis Jones at the end. 2013: Georgia 44, LSU 41. With ESPN's 'College GameDay' in town and the eyes of the nation on the quarterback showdown between former roomiesAaron Murrayand Zach Mettenberger,the resulting 'Redout' game was one of the most thrilling I've ever seen, and, to date, still the absolutely loudest I've ever heard Sanford Stadium from the first kickoff to the final whistle. 2014: Georgia 45, Clemson 21. Todd Gurley gained 293 all-purpose yards, scoring 4 touchdowns, and Nick Chubb literally ran out of one of his shoes in his freshman debut, as Georgia pulled away in the second half to beat Dabo Swinney's Tigers, who in the second half were held to only one first down, 15 yards passing and no yards on the ground. 2017: Georgia 20, Notre Dame 19. The first big road test for Jake Fromm, it wasn't a pretty game, as the two teams combined to punt the ball 17 times, eight by Georgia, in a largely defensive struggle. But, the Dawgs persevered, and finally won it on a Rod Blankenship field goal. The first of quite a few thrilling moments during that magical season. New Year's Day, 2018: Georgia 54, Oklahoma 48. The Dawgs' double-overtime Rose Bowl win over the Sooners in the College Football Playoff propelled them to the National Championship game against Alabama a week later. It's the highest scoring game ever in the history of the granddaddy of bowl games and, for me, ranks second only to the Sugar Bowl win over Notre Dame in January, 1981. Honorable mention: The SEC Championship 'revenge' win over Auburn in 2017 the absolute domination of Florida in Jacksonville during that same season and the Dawgs' tough win over Notre Dame Between the Hedges in 2019. Most memorable plays 2011, Florida: A tie between the two fourth-down touchdown passes against the Gators in 2011 to Michael Bennett and Tavarres King. Both admittedly were great catches, but Aaron Murray put the ball exactly where it needed to be. 2012, Florida: Jarvis Jones stripping the ball away from Florida's Jordan Reed as he was about to score, preserving the most important win of the season for Georgia. 2013, LSU: Trailing the No. 6 Tigers 41-37 with 4:14 left, Aaron Murray threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Justin Scott Wesley with 1:47 on the clock. 2014: Clemson: Todd Gurley's 100-yard-plus kickoff return was a thing of beauty, showing off his deceptive speed. 2017, Notre Dame: Terry Godwin's acrobatic one-handed, falling-backward third-and-goal touchdown catch was one of the best plays in a season of great plays. NBC Sports labeled it 'catch of the year.' Honorable mention: The flea-flicker play involving Jake Fromm, Nick Chubb and Terry Godwin that opened the 2017 game against a surging Mississippi State team; and Lorenzo Carter's block of an Oklahoma field goal attempt on the second overtime of the Rose Bowl game. Play of the decade Rose Bowl, against Oklahoma: Sony Michel takes a direct snap in the shotgun and, picking up a key block from quarterback Jake Fromm, streaks 27 yards down the left side for the winning score in the second overtime, sending the Dawgs on to the National Championship game. Memorable performances Jarvis Jones, with five solo tackles and four sacks in Georgia's 2011 come-from-behind win over Florida. Leonard Floyd, with eight tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss in Georgia's 2013 win over LSU. Nick Chubb, returning from knee surgery to run for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns in Georgia's 2016 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game win over North Carolina. Roquan Smith, with 13tackles, 10 of them solo and two of them for losses, plus two fumble recoveries and a sack in the 2017 SEC Championship win over Auburn. He rightly was named the game's MVP. George Pickens, tying a Georgia bowl record with 12 catches for 175 yards and a touchdown against Baylor in the Jan. 1, 2020 Sugar Bowl. Favorite moments 2013, South Carolina: Georgia grinds out a 14-play drive to eat up the final 8:28 of a big win over the Top 10-ranked Gamecocks, and, midway through the drive, USC head coach Steve Spurrier throws in the towel by removing his headset and declining to call a timeout. Sweet. 2017, Notre Dame: Bulldog Nation taking over the Fighting Irish stadium, with NBC analyst Doug Flutie noting at one point, 'This is almost a 50/50 crowd.' At the start of the fourth quarter, you would have thought it was Sanford Stadium as Dawgs fans lit up the place with their cellphones, bringing with them a then-new tradition from Between the Hedges. Runnerup: Kicker Rod Blankenship being mobbed by his teammates in the locker room after the 2017 win over Notre Dame as Kirby Smart had the former walk-on announce that he was now on scholarship. MVP of the decade This is tough. Aaron Murray was a quarterback capable of putting the team on his back and somehow finding a way to win. Todd Gurleywas the most talented running back at Georgia since Herschel Walker and probably would have won a Heisman if not for injuries and asuspension. Sony Michel spent his career at UGA in tandem with Nick Chubb and, by the end of their senior year, was the more versatile of the two backs. But Chubb was awesome on a consistent basis, and came back from a devastating left knee injury to run for a career total 4,769 rushingyards, trailing only Walker in SEC history. He recorded his 24thcareer game running for 100 yards or more against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. So, Nick Chubb is my MVP of the decade. Damn good Dawgs, all of them. Let me hear from you! I'll be answering Junkyard Mail next time, so, if you have any comments or questions on any UGA sports topic, please email me at junkyardblawg@gmail.com . The post Picking the Dawgs' greatest players, games, moments of the decade appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football rising senior Malik Herring started the season on the bench and ended it as the top returning defensive linemen in the SEC, per advanced metrics. Coach Kirby Smart wasn't and isn't going to have it any other way. It is Smart who has pushed Herring to the verge of greatness, ensuring the Forsyth product get the best out of himself and make the most of his talents on the field. 'Malik can be a good player, (but) he's gotta hone in and do the little things right, and he's gotta be a little more mature and serious about things to be the player we want him to be,'Smart said last spring.'He's talented, though, and he's played well. He's just gotta mature some.' Pro Football Focus, which grades players each week, has Herring as the top-ranked SEC defensive lineman in its Top 25. Herring comes in at No. 7 with Alabama's Chritisian Barmore second among league players at No. 12. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Herring showed just how much he'd grown in the 26-14 win over Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. Herring, starting in place of departing senior Tyler Clark, had five tackles, a pass break-up and 1.5 tackles for loss. Herring platooned all season in the Bulldogs' deep defensive front. It was a unit that set the tone for the nation's best run defense with its sound gap integrity. Georgia didn't allow a rushing TD until the 10th game of the season. But at the start of the 2019 campaign, on the road trip to Vanderbilt, Herring did not play. 'We talked about it after the game,' Smart said the next week. 'If he continues to use practice and get better, he'll play.' Herring did just that, earning nine starts and finishing with 24 QB hurries, third-best on the team. The Bulldogs have lost reliable seniors off the 2019 D-Line. Most notably, seniors Michael Barnett, David Marshall and Clark have moved on. But Herring is one of a handful of defensive linemen coming back with star potential that figure to play in the NFL one day. Nosetackle Jordan Davis was a Freshman All-American in 2018 and continued his run-stuffing ways last season. Freshman Travon Walker overcame in-season wrist surgery to make highlights, including the game-clinching sack at Auburn. Then there are the fellow seniors. Devonte Wyatt was second on the team with 27 QB hurries. Justin Young played in nine of 14 games and had his moments. Then there's Julian Rochester, a fifth-year senior after qualifying for a redshirt, playing just four games after coming off knee surgery. Amazingly, none of the Georgia defense was named first-team All-SEC by the Associated Press last season. This, even though the Bulldogs finished the regular season leading the conference in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense. Ultimately, safety J.R. Reed was named an All-American by one outlet, and linebacker Monty Rice and cornerback Eric Stokes were second-team All-SEC picks by the AP. But all was silent among the defensive tackles, nosetackles, and defensive ends from an awards perspective. WATCH: Dan Lanning champions no-name' Georgia defense Smart has said he prefers his players make noise with their helmets, so UGA players won't likely be tooting their own horns during the offseason. But those who watch and grade film have taken note, and Herring leads the way on a defensive front that could dominate the SEC in 2020. DawgNation Georgia football Herring makes time for Kids Fun Day in hometown Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia's Malik Herring rated top returning D-linemen in SEC, spearheads dominant front appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia suffered a 70-60 home loss to Ole Miss, a sellout crowd and decisive rebounding advantage not enough to get the Bulldogs back on track. The Rebels (10-9, 1-5 SEC) snapped a a six-game losing streak with the upset over Georgia (11-8, 1-5), which has lost two of its last three at home after opening the season 8-0 in Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia freshman Anthony Edwards continued his struggles with 13 points on 3-of-12 shooting. Ten of Edwards' attempts came from behind the arc, his inability to get to the rim out of the half court offense surfacing once again. Senior Jordan Harris led the Bulldogs with 15 points and eight rebounds in a game that saw UGA hold a decisive 38-28 advantage on the boards. Georgia however, couldn't overcome its poor shooting (17 of 55, 30.9 percent) while Ole Miss was an efficient 26 of 50 (52 percent). The loss marks UGA's first three-game losing streak of the season, sending many of the10,523 in attendance to the exits early as Ole Miss pulled away late. The Rebels threatened to run away at the start of the second half, scoring the first five points after intermission to make a 40-29, before Tom Crean called time out with 17:17 left. The Bulldogs responded with a 9-0 run sparked by a Harris 3-pointer and consecutive drives to the basket by Sahvir Wheeler (11 points) that resulted in a bucket and two free throws that cut the lead to 40-38 with 13:44 left. Moments later, Edwards pulled the trigger on a 3-pointer from the wing that put Georgia up 43-42 with 12:31 left and sent the crowd into a frenzy. It was the Bulldogs' first lead since a 13-12 advantage early, and Edwards first points since the 16:07 mark of the first half. It proved to be the final lead for Georgia. Ole Miss wrestled the lead back on a pair of J.J. Buffen (14 points) free throws the next trip down and didn't trail again. Breein Tyree scored 20 points to lead the Rebels. Georgia was down 35-29 at the end of the first half, a victim of its own 9 turnovers and 33 percent shooing (9 of 27). Ole Miss led by as many as 10 points, 32-22, before the Bulldogs battled back. Harris scored on a drive to the basket and hit a trey, and then Edwards capped the 7-0 run with a pair of free throws to make it 32-29. The Rebels scored the final three points of the half, the Bulldogs missing four shots on their final possession, squandering offensive rebounds. Georgia returns to action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Missouri (9-10, 1-5 SEC) before returning to Athens to play host to Texas A&M (9-9, 3-3) next Saturday. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Mississippi State wins battle of Bulldogs in Starkville, decisively Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Anthony Edwards struggles against Ole Miss, Georgia basketball hits three-game skid appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS The Georgia football offensive staff gyrations have continued into the weekend, and the next one could be processed as early as next week. Former Bulldogs' director of player personnel Marshall Malchow is headed to Texas A&M.DawgNation reported on Friday that former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach James Coley was headed to work for the Aggies. RELATED: James Coley leaves Georgia football staff, as expected The 247Sports network was first to report the news on Malchow on Saturday. Georgia coach Kirby Smart made Coley expendable when he hired former NFL offensive coordinator Todd Monken on Jan. 17 to take over the offense and play-calling. Monken was in attendance at the Bulldogs' basketball game on Saturday, part of UGA' big weekend filled with key visitors. RELATED: Todd Monken trades 'total mess' for championship quest The writing was on the wall for Coley and other assistants closely tied to him last Monday. The hiring of former Southern Miss offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Buster Faulkner last Monday temporarily as an offensive analyst was more evidence Coley was likely on his way out. RELATED: Kirby Smart hires QB coach Buster Faulkner to offensive staff Faulkner is the odds-on favorite to fill the staff position vacated by Coley, though nothing is official at this point. Former UGA All-American Jon Stinchcomb told DawgNation that Faulkner was the right fit to work with Monken. 'You just brought in someone with experience with the NFL ranks who knows what it looks like when you have some of the elite athletes on the planet playing for you,' Stinchcomb said in regard to Monken. 'Buster comes from a background where you have to create a little more opportunities because you don't have that same level of talent. 'I think this new role for him is a great compliment to coach Monken being hired and the rest of the staff.' The departure of Malchow, an Alabama graduate, represents more collateral damage from Coley taking his recruiting prowess to Jimbo Fisher's staff in College Station. Coley has previously worked for Fisher at Florida State. Smart, who has stayed silent throughout the changes, traditionally holds a February signing day press conference, at which point he could address the new Georgia staff. More from DawgNation Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Podcast: Brandon Adams shares his take on Brock Vandagriff addition Kirby Smart has turned Georgia offense upside down Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia football changes continue, another staff member leaves for Texas A&M appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia basketball returns to the friendly confines of Stegeman Coliseum where the team is 9-1 his season, seemingly, just in time. The Bulldogs (11-7. 1-4 SEC) play host to Ole Miss (9-9, 0-5) at 5:30 p.m. (TV: SEC Network) in desperate need of a victory to rekindle any sort of NCAA tournament hopes. The fan support is certainly there. The only remaining Georgia home basketball games with tickets available this season are South Carolina (Feb. 12) and Auburn (Feb. 19). This, even though virtually no one outside the program is projecting Coach Tom Crean's young team, filled with nine freshmen on the roster, to make the so-called Big Dance. Even with projected NBA lottery pick Anthony Edwards on the roster. Still, sophomore Tye Fagan and freshman Toumani Camara confirmed that is indeed the long-term season goal, even if the focus never goes beyond one game. 'Most definitely, without a doubt, we take each game one at a time so we're not thinking so far into the future,' said Fagan, who's coming off a 6-of-6, 13-point shooting performance at Kentucky last Tuesday. 'But that is the goal.' The surge from the 6-foot-8 Camara over the last 12 games, has provided a boost. Camara is UGA's second leading rebounder (5.2 rpg) and third on the team in scoring (7.6 ppg) and minutes played (26.9 mpg) in that span. But the Bulldogs, No. 56 in the projected RPI rankings, had better get back on the winning track and take advantage of the softer stretch of the schedule. After opening the 2020 with six opponents and seven games against teams that played in last year's NCAA tournament and going 2-4 in that stretch so far, with wins at Memphis and against Tennessee Georgia's schedule lightens up this week. Saturday's Ole Miss home game is followed by a road trop to Missouri (9-9, 1-5) on Tuesday, and then a home game with Texas A&M (9-8, 3-3) next Saturday. Crean, understandably, isn't losing sight of the task at hand against the Rebels. ' Right now we're focused on how we get ready for Ole Miss,' Crean said. 'I had the number one team in the country and wasn't talking about the NCAA Tournament, back at Indiana. 'What you do is you focus. We're in late January here. We focus on the team and what we have to do and be absolutely wrapped up in that.' Crean said he's not certain if freshman point guard Sahvir Wheeler is back at 100 percent after suffering an ankle injury in the 80-63 win over Tennessee on Jan. 15. Wheeler has played the last two games, but he has last the explosion and quickness that makes him so effective. He has scoring just one basket and dished out two assists in the last 38 minutes he played against Mississippi State and Kentucky. Edwards continues to lead the nation's freshmen in scoring with 18.9 points per game, but he's still learning to get to the rim and overcome the extra attention defenses are paying to him. Edwards was held scoreless in the first half at Kentucky last Tuesday night before scoring 16 points in a second half at Rupp Arena that saw the Bulldogs fail to get closer than seven points. RELATED: Too little, too late from Anthony Edwards at Kentucky Crean, however, defends Edwards' youth and is focusing on developing him like he does every other player. ' I came in knowing we're going to have to develop him every day, help him grow every day,' Crean said. 'It's all different when you get them and how they process, how they learn, what do they have to get better at, how they apply it, how you build confidence, how you tweak them, how you challenge them is all a part of the daily process. We're just right in the midst of that and I'm enjoying it.' A win over Ole Miss would make Crean and Georgia enjoy the process of the team growing more, as well as keeping what appears to be scant NCAA tourney hopes alive. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Mississippi State wins battle of Bulldogs in Starkville, decisively Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Georgia basketball delivers signature Top 10 win at Memphis Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Georgia basketball returns to home sellout, desperate for win over Ole Miss appeared first on DawgNation.

Local News

  • New automotive technology that promises enhanced fuel efficiency may have a serious downside, including significant climate and public health impacts, according to research from the University of Georgia College of Engineering.   The gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine is one of the most prominent technologies car manufacturers adopted to achieve the fuel economy and carbon dioxide emission goals established in 2012 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The market share of GDI-equipped vehicles increased from 2.3% in model year 2008 to 51% in model year 2018. The EPA projects 93% of vehicles in the U.S. will be equipped with GDI engines by 2025.   While this technology is credited with boosting fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions, GDI engines produce more black carbon aerosols than traditional port fuel injection engines. A strong absorber of solar radiation, black carbon exhibits significant climate warming properties.   In a study published this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, a team of researchers at UGA predicts the increase in black carbon emissions from GDI-powered vehicles will fuel climate warming in urban areas of the U.S. that significantly exceeds the cooling associated with a reduction in CO2. In addition, they believe the shift will nearly double the premature mortality rate associated with vehicle emissions, from 855 deaths annually to 1,599. The researchers estimate the annual social cost of these premature deaths at $5.95 billion.   “Even though emissions from gasoline vehicles constitute a small fraction of the black carbon in the atmosphere, the vehicle emissions are concentrated in regions with high population densities, which magnifies their effect,” said Rawad Saleh (pictured above), an assistant professor in UGA’s School of Environmental, Civil, Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering and the study’s principal investigator.   The increase of black carbon is an unintended consequence of the shift to GDI-equipped vehicles that some scientists suspected was based on experimental data, according to Saleh. He says the UGA study is the first to place these experimental findings in a complex modeling framework to investigate the trade-off between CO2 reduction and an increase in black carbon.   While previous research has reported the shift to GDI engines will result in net benefits for the global climate, the UGA researchers say these benefits are rather small and can only be realized on timescales of decades. Meanwhile, the negative impact of black carbon can be felt instantaneously.   “Our research shows the climate trade-off is much different on the regional scale, especially in areas with high vehicle densities. In these regions, the climate burden induced by the increase in black carbon dominates over the climate benefits of the reduction in CO2,” said Saleh. “The study concludes the social cost associated with the acute localized climate burden and public health impacts induced by GDI vehicles largely overweigh their marginal global climate benefits.”   The interdisciplinary study was a collaboration between the UGA College of Engineering, the department of geography in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy and the UGA President’s Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Program. 
  • The University of Georgia debuts at No. 4 in the USA TODAY Sports preseason baseball coaches top 25 poll, it was announced Thursday.   Georgia’s No. 4 ranking is its best in the preseason since 2009 when Collegiate Baseball and the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches poll both had the Bulldogs at No. 4. The 2009 Bulldogs reached No. 1 for several weeks during the regular season.    The USA TODAY Sports voting board is made up of 31 coaches at Division I institutions and all are members of the American Baseball Coaches Association. The 2020 top five featured Vanderbilt, Louisville, Texas Tech, Georgia and Arkansas.    The Bulldogs and Razorbacks are the only two schools to earn a national top eight seed in each of the past two NCAA Championships. In 2019, the Bulldogs went 46-17 including a school record 21 Southeastern Conference wins during the regular season. They were a No. 4 national seed in 2019 and a No. 8 national seed in 2018.    The 2020 season, under the direction of Ike Cousins head coach Scott Stricklin, begins on Feb. 14. Season tickets are sold out but single game tickets are available. Fans can call (706) 542-1231 to purchase tickets or go online at www.georgiadogs.com/tickets.    In 2020, Georgia welcomes back 20 lettermen and 18 newcomers. Seven starting position players return including two 2019 draft picks in Gold Glove Award-winning shortstop Cam Shepherd and infielder/outfielder Riley King. On the mound, Georgia will have a pair of projected first round draft prospects in right-handers Emerson Hancock and Cole Wilcox. Also, junior left-hander C.J. Smith, who was a key member of the starting rotation that helped win series over nationally ranked Vanderbilt and LSU in 2019, is back. Last year, Georgia went 46-17 and set a school record with a .980 Fielding Percentage, and its 3.24 Earned Run Average was the second best in school history.    In other 2020 preseason top 25 polls, Georgia is ranked No. 5 by D1Baseball.com, No. 7 by Collegiate Baseball poll, No. 7 by Baseball America and No. 10 by Perfect Game
  • Police in Gainesville say they have identified the child found wandering in a Wal Mart store, apparently left there by his father. From the Gainesville PD…   Thank you!!! Child has been identified. **Help** Located Child The Gainesville Police Department is seeking the assistance of the public to help identify a child. On January 26, 2020 at around 11:30am officers were called to the Walmart at 400 Shallowford Road, Gainesville, GA in regards to a child being located within the store. The child is possibly 3 years of age and may go by the name Brandon. His father is possibly named Alejandro. He was possibly dropped off by a Hispanic male driving a white Ford cargo van. We are asking the community to call Hall County Dispatch at 770-534-5251 if you have any information regarding this case.
  • The University of Georgia ranked 14th on the list of Best Big Colleges in the U.S. by rankings platform Niche. The rankings compare the best large private and public universities in the U.S. with at least 15,000 undergraduate students along measures of academics, value and student life, among other factors. UGA, the birthplace of public higher education in America, has consistently ranked as a top value university and is the largest institution to place experiential learning as a core part of its undergraduate curriculum. With its comprehensive reach, the university’s 17 colleges and schools enroll more than 37,000 students and have produced over 315,000 alumni living worldwide. The top institution on the Niche’s ranking was the University of Southern California. Other SEC schools on the list included University of Florida at #10 and Texas A&M University at #22. UGA was the only school in Georgia to make the list.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS The Georgia football opening game with Virginia is more than seven months away, but talking season is well underway and Heisman talk has begun. Incoming graduate-transfer quarterback Jamie Newman ranks among the Top 5 among Heisman favorites before throwing his first pass in a formal practice, currently at 14-to-1. Newman is ranked the No. 3 returning quarterback by Pro Football Focus, behind Ohio State's Justin Fields and Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. RELATED: Mark Richt says Jamie Newman can adapt to any kind of offense Fields, who spent his 2018 freshman season at UGA backing up departed starter Jake Fromm, is the co-favorite with Lawrence to win the Heisman, both at 4-to-1. Sophomore tailback Zamir White and sophomore George Pickens are also among the current favorites. White is at 80-to-1, and Pickens is at 100-to-1. The bettable opening Heisman odds are evidence there's plenty of outside buy-in on Kirby Smart's well-documented offensive makeover at Georgia. The Bulldogs hired 'Air Raid' pass game expert Todd Monken to take over as the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator, replacing James Coley who has since departed for Texas A&M. Monken was the offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns last season, but the year, before, he was the OC and play caller for a Tampa Bay Bucs offense that led the NFL in passing yardage. Newman, who transferred to Georgia from Wake Forest, is a dual-threat quarterback with dynamic arm strength and running ability. Smart's past three UGA offenses have leaned more toward a power run game, the head coach intent on utilizing dynamic backfields that included NFL stars Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and projected first-round pick D'Andre Swift the past two seasons. Georgia, however, appears to be intent on a more aggressive pass scheme now that the receiving corps is loaded up with talent at receiver and tight end. RELATED: Georgia top-ranked SEC team in PFF Way-too-early' Top 25 Smart has always professed coaching to the talent, and the hiring of Monken is an indication the Georgia head coach is betting more offensive balance is in order. The Bulldogs return a championship-caliber defense, with nine of 11 starters back on that side of the football from the 26-14 Sugar Bowl-winning team. Georgia's offense can afford to be more aggressive in marquee matchups with that sort of defense behind it. Most notably, in the Sept. 19 showdown with Alabama in Tuscaloosa that the college football world has circled. Favorite Player/School Odds T-1. Justin Fields/ Ohio St. 4-1 T-1. Trevor Lawrence/Clemson 4-1 3. Spencer Rattler/Oklahoma 12-1 T-4. Sam Ehlinger/Texas 14.1 T-4. Jamie Newman/Georgia 14-1 T-6. Travis Etienne/Clemson 20-1 T-6. Chuba Hubbard/Okla. St. 20-1 T-6 Ian Book/Notre Dame 20-1 T-9. Kedon Slovis/USC 25-1 T-9. Myles Brennan/LSU 25-1 11. Mac Jones/Alabama 25-1 12. Bo Nix/Auburn 25-1 13. D'Eriq King/Miami, Fla. 25-1 14. Adrian Martinez/Nebraska 30-1 T-15. Sean Clifford/Penn State 40-1 T-15. Najee Harris/Alabama 40-1 17. Kellen Mond/Texas A&M 50-1 T-18. Tyler Shough/Oregon 60-1 T-18. Brock Purdy/Iowa State 60-1 T-18. CJ Verdell/Oregon 60-1 T-18. Kyle Trask/Florida 60-1 T-18. Charlie Brewer/Baylor 60-1 T-18. Sam Howell/North Carolina 60-1 24. Master Teaguelll/Ohio Sate 60-1 25. Zamir White/Georgia 80-1 DawgNation Georgia football Malik Herring spearheads dominant defense Podcast: How Todd Monken might use Zamir White Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia football QB Jamie Newman ranked among Top 5 Heisman Trophy favorites appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS For once, it seemed, Georgia basketball freshman Anthony Edwards was not at ease talking basketball on Saturday evening. The Bulldogs had just dropped their third game in a row, falling at home to an Ole Miss team that had lost six straight and was sitting last in the SEC. Edwards squirmed, he fidgeted, he smiled and he frowned. An 18-year-old young man who should still be in high school by birthdate, Edwards didn't know what to do or what to say in this curious, awkward and pressure-filled situation. Four nights earlier, Edwards was held scoreless in the first half at Kentucky and committed five turnovers. Pressure cooker Every Georgia win and loss seemingly rides on Edwards' shoulders, and the weight of having a program's hopes reliant upon his performances appears to finally be taking a toll. ' I think he handles it pretty well, but sometimes I'll be worried about him,' UGA senior Jordan Harris said last Saturday. 'I'll always check on him like, are you good? Are you going through something? 'He deals with all the outside noise pretty well. I am shocked at the way he deals with it, because it is a lot for him.' But how could Edwards explain his 3-of-12 shooting night against Ole Miss? The Atlanta basketball prodigy nicknamed 'Antman' had taken (settled?) 10 shots beyond he 3-point arc, unable to get his 6-foot-5, 225-pound explosive frame to the rim. 'Teams are trying to defend me differently,' Edwards offered. 'They are trying to take me out of the game and make other people score. I've just got to find ways to help my team win.' That was the hope for Georgia basketball when Edwards signed on, turning down opportunities to go virtually anywhere else in the country to stay closer to his family. Edwards is projected by some to be the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, but more and more are having their doubts. 'To me, he's prospect, he's not a finished product,' ESPN analyst Seth Greenburg said. 'It's amazing people talk about him as the No. 1 overall pick.' Focus on winning Edwards has said since arriving that his focus is on winning, and he has maintained his confidence that he can help lift a Bulldogs' program lacking notable tradition or recent success. ' As a team, I want us to make it to the (NCAA) Tournament and go deep in it,' Edwards said after the opening exhibition game in November, in what now seems like an entirely difference season. 'Bring Georgia basketball back and have the most fun I can.' The Bulldogs haven't made the NCAA Tournament since the 2014-15 season. The hopes for 2019-20 took a decided downturn with the home loss to Ole Miss, and Edwards' expression suggested he knew it and was helpless to do anything about it. Georgia coach Tom Crean, who developed NBA lottery picks Dwyane Wade and Victor Oladipo, at Marquette and Indiana, respectively, is working to support Edwards on and off the court. 'If we put this in perspective, who is going through college basketball like he is right now?' Crean said after Edwards' 23 points weren't enough to lead the Bulldogs over Kentucky in front of a sold-out Stegeman Coliseum crowd in the SEC opener. 'I mean, who is? We talk about that all the time, people want to be Anthony Edwards, do you really?' Hard work Edwards' lifestyle as a Georgia student-athlete and as projected multi-million dollar draft pick expected to perform each night sounded like a lonely one as he discussed part of his workout routine after an 80-63 win over Tennessee earlier this month. 'I was in here until 1 o'clock (a.m.) on Monday, and yesterday I was in here until 10:30 or 11 (p.m.),' Edwards said, explaining how he reacted to a 22-point loss at Auburn. 'Most of the time I'm always in here late night, because that's when I like to shoot, that's when I have the most energy because I've got nothing to do.' Fact is, Edwards has plenty of areas to improve his game, even with the hard work and spectacular athleticism that's brought him this far. 'Part of it is not pre-determining, there's a laundry list, not getting fixed on one thing, learning to really see and learn the game,' Crean said. 'Those are all things he's learning. He's learning to put possession by possession together.' And now Crean said it's up to him and his staff to help find Edwards more ways to score and help the team win. Edwards' heart and competitive spirit is in the right place each time he launches his long-range shot, but 'it's not the game plan,' Crean said. Edwards, the leading freshman scorer in the nation (18.6 points per game), is hitting just 31.3 percent from 3-point range. Coaching adjustment Crean has reiterated how important ball movement and player movement is to an effective offense, and Edwards fits square in the middle of that plan. ' We made some real adjustments with him, he's got to continue to cut when they're denying him, he's got to continue to cut rather than stand, because he becomes very, very easy to guard when he's just standing in the slots, right, because they're not coming off him,' Crean said. 'Now, it might create a basket for somebody else, but he's learning a lot about cutting, a lot that he never knew. But we're nowhere near where we have to be with that.' And Edwards doesn't appear to be anywhere near where he was some two weeks ago, when he explained his jubilant sideline antics during the blowout win over the Vols. 'Basketball is always business for me, because I'm trying to make a lot of money playing this game,' Edwards said that night, ' but you never let the fun be taken away from it. That's why you play, because it's fun.' Georgia returns to action at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Missouri. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Mississippi State wins battle of Bulldogs in Starkville, decisively Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Closer look: Georgia basketball star Anthony Edwards hitting Freshman Wall' like no other appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Tears were shed around the globe as news spread of the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the life of 18 NBA all-star Kobe Bryant and four others in Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday morning. Women's Basketball Hall of Famer and three-time Olympic gold-medalist Dawn Staley heard the news shortly before tipoff of her No. 1-ranked team's game at Georgia. 'Now we get more details, it's horrific for Kobe; since he retired, he dedicated his life to his little girl and her career in basketball,' Staley said, referencing 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, who was among those killed in the crash. Bryant was traveling to basketball practice at the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks with his daughter, 'GiGi' and three other passengers when the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed amid the foggy conditions some 30 miles Northwest of Los Angeles. In addition to enjoying post-NBA success as an author, producer and Academy Award winner, Bryant was also coaching his daughter's AAU team five times a week, per 'SLAM' basketball magazine. Bryant's basketball skills and competitive fire helped transcend the game, an example for players of both sexes to work to emulate. Staley and Georgia coach Joni Taylor pointed out how Bryant had also elevated the women's game and provided much-needed support. 'It's unfortunate that we don't get a chance to see him coach any more, to see him impact girls' lives,' Staley said. 'He just talked about WNBA players being able to play in the NBA.' Indeed, just last Thursday, Bryant said WNBA players could 'keep up' when asked if one day women could play in the NBA. 'I think there are a couple of players that could play in the NBA right now, honestly,' Bryant said. 'There's a lot of players that have a lot of skill that could do it. Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Delle Donne, there's a lot of great players out there. They could most certainly keep up with them.' Kobe Bryant says there's WNBA players that could play in the NBA right now, including Diana Taurasi, Elena Delle Donne & Maya Moore! pic.twitter.com/4jdCZ282j9 Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 22, 2020 Staley fought to keep her emotions in check as she put the importance of Bryant's in perspective. 'We need more people like Kobe Bryant sticking up for women's basketball,' she said. 'He did it at the highest level, and we're prayerful. Godspeed to his family and all of us who had a connection to him.' Taylor said she didn't personally know Bryant, but like most every other player associated with the sport, she was influenced by him. 'You grow up watching him, he just means so much not only to the game of basketball, but to the game of women's basketball,' Taylor said. 'He was a fan, he was at the Final Four, his daughters played. 'He supported college basketball, the WNBA, all levels. He was a champion for us.' The Associated Press contributed to this story South Carolina coach Dawn Staley Georgia coach Joni Taylor SEC Network Twitter USC women's basketball coach @dawnstaley, who grew up in Philadelphia like Kobe, shared her thoughts on his passing and what he meant to the game of women's basketball https://t.co/sT30v0mnrU Mike Uva (@Mike_Uva) January 26, 2020 The post WATCH: Kobe Bryant death draws strong reactions from hall of famer Dawn Staley, Georgia's Joni Taylor appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The Latest on the death of retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant (all times local): 8:30 p.m. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva says his department's helicopters were grounded due to weather in the area where a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight other people crashed and burned Sunday morning. Conditions were extremely foggy when the NBA great's helicopter went down northwest of Los Angeles on a hillside in the city of Calabasas, killing everyone aboard. The sheriff told a press conference that debris is scattered over an area the size of a football field. The county medical examiner, Dr. Jonathan Lucas, says recovery of remains may take several days. Lucas says investigators will try to make identifications of the victims as quickly as possible. ___ 6 p.m. The Dallas Mavericks are paying tribute to Kobe Bryant by permanently retiring his No. 24. “Kobe’s legacy transcends basketball, and our organization has decided that the No. 24 will never again be worn by a Dallas Maverick,' Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said. Cuban's tribute was one of several around the NBA as players, coaches and fans were stunned by the news of Bryant's death. In the Memphis-Phoenix game Sunday, the Grizzlies won the opening tip and immediately took a 24-second clock violation. When the Suns took possession, they stayed in the backcourt for an 8-second violation – the 24 and 8 seconds representing Bryant’s two numbers during his NBA career. ___ 4:40 p.m. A Southern California community college baseball coach, his wife and daughter were among those killed in the crash of the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and his daughter. The younger brother of Orange Coast College coach John Altobelli confirmed the deaths as relatives, friends and players gathered at the school’s baseball field Sunday afternoon. Flowers and baseball caps were placed on home plate. John Altobelli’s brother, Tony, is the sports information director at the school. He said his 56-year-old brother died along with his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, who was about 13 and played on the same basketball team as Bryant’s daughter, Gianna. John Altobelli was entering his 28th season as coach at the community college in Costa Mesa, California. The team won a state championship last year and John Altobelli was named national coach of the year. The helicopter carrying Bryant crashed northwest of Los Angeles around 10 a.m. Sunday. All nine people aboard were killed. ___ 3:45 p.m. The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team of 18 people to the scene of the helicopter crash that killed NBA icon Kobe Bryant and eight others. NTSB member Jennifer Homendy said at a news conference that investigators will look at the pilot's history, the maintenance records and information on the helicopter's owner and operator. Homendy said investigators were not sure how many people the aircraft was configured to carry. The helicopter that crashed was a twin-engine Sikorsky S-76. ___ 3 p.m. Michael Jordan has reacted to the news about the death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash. “I loved Kobe - he was like a little brother to me,” Jordan said. Jordan was the most notable of former and current NBA stars to express how shocked they were at the news. Jordan commended Bryant for his fierce competitive streak and called him “one of the greats of the game.” Bryant's legacy is often compared to that of Jordan. Bryant won five NBA championships, compared to Jordan's six. ___ 2:45 p.m. Authorities say nine people died in the helicopter crash that killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva provided the updated death toll at a news conference Sunday. Initial reports indicated that Bryant was among five people killed in the crash. At the news conference, authorities also described the fiery wreckage and scene that was difficult to access after the crash at 10 a.m. ___ 1:45 p.m. A source familiar with the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant says the former NBA star's 13-year-old daughter was among those onboard who were killed. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the crash had not been released publicly. The crash happened around 10 a.m. Sunday about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Five people were killed in the crash, which remains under investigation. — Tim Reynolds ___ 12:35 p.m. The Grammy Awards pre-telecast ceremony opened with a moment of silence for Kobe Bryant. Interim Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. opened the ceremony where dozens of Grammys are handed out before the main show, telling attendees, “As most of you may know, we lost Kobe Bryant in a tragic helicopter accident today.' 'Since we are in his house, I would ask you to join me in a moment of silence,” Mason said. Artists arriving at the show reacted to Bryant's death and his influence. Blues artist and Grammys nominee Keb' Mo' called Bryant's death “a huge loss.” “He's just a huge role model,' Keb' Mo' said. British artist Labrinth said: “It was insane news to hear this morning. He's been part of my life for a very long time. ... I couldn't believe it.” ___ 12 p.m. Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash Sunday. He was 41. A person familiar with the situation tells the AP that Bryant died in a crash near Calabasas, California. It was unclear if other family members were on the helicopter. Bryant was an 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history and held that spot until LeBron James overtook him Saturday night. — Tim Reynolds
  • Kobe Bryant inspired a generation of basketball players worldwide with sublime skills and an unquenchable competitive fire. He earned Los Angeles’ eternal adoration during his two decades as the fierce soul of the beloved Lakers, and he was respected by basketball fans from every place with a hoop and a dream, including his native Philadelphia and in Italy, his other childhood home. Less than four years into his retirement, Bryant was seizing new challenges and working to inspire his daughters’ generation through sports and storytelling when his next chapter ended shockingly early. Bryant, the 18-time All-Star who won five NBA championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career all with the Lakers, died in a helicopter crash Sunday. He was 41. The crash occurred in the foggy hills above Calabasas, California, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Bryant was killed, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press, and a different person familiar with the case confirmed Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna also died. Both of the AP's unnamed sources spoke on condition of anonymity because few details of the crash had been released publicly. Authorities said nine people were on the helicopter, and all were presumed dead. No names were released. Bryant lived south of Los Angeles in coastal Orange County, and he often used helicopters to save time and avoid Southern California's notorious traffic. He traveled to practices and games by helicopter before his playing career ended in 2016. He continued to use them after retirement as he attended to his new ventures, which included a burgeoning entertainment company that recently produced an Academy Award-winning animated short film. The basketball world and Los Angeles reacted with an outpouring of pain and disbelief. Bryant is all but certain to be elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year, when he is eligible for the first time. “For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary ... but he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.” The crash occurred about 20 miles from Mamba Sports Academy, Bryant’s basketball training complex in Newbury Park, California. A youth basketball tournament — the Mamba Cup — was scheduled for a second day of competition Sunday at the facility, and Bryant had attended the opening day Saturday with Gianna. Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, had four daughters. He had been a vocal booster of women's sports since his retirement, coaching and mentoring basketball players around the world while also backing women's soccer and other endeavors. Bryant retired as the third-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points, all scored in Lakers purple and gold. The self-nicknamed Black Mamba was a prolific, gifted shooter with a sublime all-around game and a relentless, hard-edged work ethic that thrilled his fans and almost everyone else, even those who reviled him. Taking cues from Michael Jordan, one of his idols, Bryant played with a swagger that compelled him to talk trash, to guard the toughest opponents, to play through pain and to demand the ball at the biggest moments of games. He didn't always hit them, but Bryant never stopped trying. “He had zero flaws offensively,” LeBron James said Saturday night. “Zero. You backed off of him, he could shoot the 3. You body him up a little bit, he could go around you. He could shoot from mid-range. He could post. He could make free throws. ... He was just immortal offensively because of his skill set and his work ethic.” Bryant held the No. 3 spot in the league scoring ranks until the day before his death, when James passed him during the Lakers' game in Philadelphia. On Saturday night, James said he was 'happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play. One of the all-time greatest Lakers.” Bryant always reacted graciously to the achievements of James, his former on-court rival who joined the Lakers in 2018. “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames,” Bryant wrote in his last tweet. “Much respect my brother.” Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs great who also retired in 2016, is also expected to be part of the Hall of Fame class that will be announced at the NBA's All-Star weekend next month. Duncan, now a Spurs assistant, was visibly emotional on the bench during their game against Toronto on Sunday. Bryant had been spending more time with his daughters since leaving the league. The Bryants' first daughter, Natalia, turned 17 a week ago. Bianka Bella Bryant is 3 years old, and Capri Kobe Bryant was born last June. Gianna, better known as Gigi, had a promising youth career and a competitive pugnaciousness that reminded everybody of her dad. Bryant sat with her courtside at a Brooklyn Nets game late last year, clearly passing along his wisdom to his daughter. Bryant told Jimmy Kimmel in 2018 that Gianna wanted to play in the WNBA and recalled how fans would often approach him saying “you gotta have a boy, you gotta someone to carry on the tradition, the legacy.” Gianna took exception: “She’s like, 'Oy, I got this,’” Bryant recalled. News of Bryant’s death inspired an outpouring of grief around the sports world and beyond, but it was felt particularly painfully in Los Angeles, where Bryant was unquestionably the sprawling city's most popular athlete and one of its most beloved people. Buildings from downtown to Los Angeles International Airport were illuminated in Lakers purple and gold. The Lakers’ next game is Tuesday night against the crosstown rival Clippers, but hundreds of fans — many in Bryant jerseys and Lakers gear — spontaneously gathered at Staples Center and in the surrounding LA Live entertainment complex on Sunday, weeping and staring at video boards with Bryant’s image before the Grammy awards ceremony. “I thought he was going to live forever,” Lakers great Magic Johnson told KCBS-TV. “I thought he was invincible. ... There was nobody who took more pride in putting on that Laker uniform than Kobe. Nobody. He was just special. We will miss him and we’ll remember him for his greatness, but let’s not forget how he impacted the world, too.” Bryant retired as the Lakers' franchise leader in points, games played, 3-pointers and steals — no small feats on a franchise that has employed many of the greatest players in basketball history. The NBA kept its games on as scheduled when the news broke. The Spurs and Raptors both took voluntary 24-second shot clock violations at the start of their game in honor of Bryant, who wore No. 24 for the second half of his career. Several other teams followed up by deliberately taking delays of 24 and 8 seconds, honoring both of his jersey numbers. Many players were seen crying before their games, and James looked emotional on the tarmac when he got off the Lakers’ team plane from Philadelphia. Bryant’s future appeared to be limitless in retirement, whether in sports or entertainment. He opened a production company shortly after leaving the Lakers, saying he was just as passionate about storytelling as he had been about his sport. He won an Oscar in 2018 for his contributions to “Dear Basketball, ” an animated short about his relationship to the game. He also produced content for ESPN. In 2003, Bryant was charged with attacking a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort. He had said the two had consensual sex, and the charge was eventually dropped when the women declined to testify in a trial. The woman later filed a civil suit against Bryant that was settled out of court. Bryant went on to become one of the NBA's most popular players and the face of the Lakers. Winning a record four NBA All-Star Game MVP awards, he was the overall league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion, but he also earned 12 selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive teams. He teamed with Shaquille O’Neal in a combustible partnership to lead the Lakers to NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He later teamed with Pau Gasol to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010. A two-time Olympic gold medalist with the dominant U.S. team, Bryant retired in 2016 after scoring 60 points in his final NBA game. In December 2017, the Lakers hung banners retiring his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys in the Staples Center rafters in an unprecedented double honor. Bryant looms large over the current generation of NBA players, most of whom grew up either idolizing Bryant or absorbing his work ethic and competitive spirit in the same way Bryant's generation learned from Jordan. Bryant exemplified and passed on that mentality to James, Stephen Curry and the NBA's current wave of high-scoring superstars. After James passed Bryant on Saturday, he remembered listening in awe to Bryant when the superstar came to speak at a childhood basketball camp. “I remember one thing he said: If you want to be great at it, or want to be one of the greats, you’ve got to put the work in,” said James, who later teamed up with Bryant on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team in Beijing. Bryant was a basketball superstar for his entire adult life, and he grew up from a teenager to a respected veteran in the unforgiving Hollywood spotlight. He entered the NBA draft straight out of suburban Philly's Lower Merion High School in 1996 after a childhood spent partly in Italy, where his father, former NBA player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played professionally. Bryant was occasionally estranged from his now-65-year-old father, but reconciled. Bryant spoke four languages and played a major role in the NBA's international growth over his two decades in the league, traveling the world and connecting with athletes in other sports and celebrities. The Lakers acquired the 17-year-old Bryant in a trade shortly after Charlotte drafted him, and he immediately became one of the most exciting and intriguing players in the sport alongside O’Neal, who had signed with the Lakers as a free agent. Bryant won the Slam Dunk Contest as a rookie, and the Lakers gradually grew into a team that won three consecutive championships. Bryant and Gasol, the Spanish star, formed the nucleus of another championship team in 2008, reaching three straight NBA Finals and winning two more titles. Between those title runs and before the quiet final years of his career, Bryant accomplished innumerable feats including an 81-point game against Toronto in January 2006. Bryant's final NBA seasons were dogged by injuries, but he still went into retirement with that jaw-dropping 60-point performance against Utah. ___ AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.