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More investigation needed in fatal Cowboys crash

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More investigation needed in fatal Cowboys crash

DALLAS (AP) The manslaughter case against Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent will likely require several more days of investigation by suburban Dallas police, authorities said Thursday.

Brent is free on bond after the Saturday morning accident that killed practice squad player Jerry Brown. Police from Irving, who say Brent was driving drunk, met with prosecutors from the Dallas County district attorney's office to discuss the case.

``They talked about the case and where we are in the investigation,'' police spokesman John Argumaniz said in an email. ``They also discussed things the DA would need to file the case.''

Prosecutors hope to present a case to the grand jury this month, said Heath Harris, the first assistant Dallas County district attorney. He said a typical involuntary manslaughter case includes a reconstruction of the accident scene and an examination of restaurant or bar receipts.

Irving police said they were also still waiting on results from a blood-alcohol test for Brent. Harris said he expected a few more weeks of investigation before prosecutors get the case.

An intoxication manslaughter charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, but a defendant with no prior felony convictions in any state is eligible for probation, Harris said. Brent pleaded guilty three years ago to driving under the influence - a misdemeanor - while he was playing at Illinois. In the Illinois case, Brent was sentenced to 60 days in jail and two years of probation, according to court records.

A misdemeanor drunken-driving charge wouldn't stop a defendant from getting probation on an intoxication manslaughter conviction, Harris said.

``We haven't made any conclusions on this particular case, because we don't have all the facts,'' he said.

Brown's parents and relatives have expressed support for Brent after the crash, and Brent's attorney, George Milner, has said the two former college teammates at Illinois were extremely close. Asked how much those relationships would matter, Harris said the family's wishes could be a factor in how prosecutors pursue the case, but not the only one.

``We're not just looking at that victim's family,'' Harris said. ``We're also looking to make sure we can speak for all the victims and potential victims here in Dallas County when we prosecute these cases.''

Also Tuesday, police released tapes of two callers reporting an overturned vehicle Saturday morning. Both callers said smoke or fire appeared to be coming from the car. Police also released dash-cam video that shows the overturned vehicle at the crime scene. According to an arrest affidavit, officers who arrived found Brent pulling Brown from the wreck.

Brent was placed Wednesday on the reserve/non-football illness list by the Cowboys, which ends his season but keeps him on the team. He attended a memorial service for Brown earlier this week with teammates and Brown's family.

Coach Jason Garrett has declined to talk about specifics of the accident.

``There's going to be a lot of details that come out about exactly what happened and I don't think it's appropriate for me to stand up here and address the different things,'' Garrett said. ``Again, we continue to support Josh ... in every way that we can and also at the same time help other people that are in a similar kind of situation.''

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AP Sports Writer Schuyler Dixon contributed to this report.

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Remembering Kobe Bryant's 55-point game against Michael Jordan, Wizards

Remembering Kobe Bryant's 55-point game against Michael Jordan, Wizards

As the basketball world mourns the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, memories of his career and the highlights that made us fall in love with him are surfacing. One of the most well-told narratives of Bryant’s 20-year career was his pursuit of Michael Jordan as the greatest player of all-time. 

Bryant idolized Jordan and was relentless in his pursuit of at least matching Jordan’s six championships. He competed like Jordan, scored like Jordan, berated teammates and opponents alike like Jordan and came up one title short of his idol’s total.

On one night, however, Bryant did get the best of His Airness -- in their last of eight head-to-head matchups. 

On March 28, 2003, a Friday night in Los Angeles, Bryant put on a show, scoring 55 points in what would stand as his highest scoring total ever against the Washington Wizards.

The Lakers defeated the Wizards, 108-94. Jordan, who had just turned 40 that February and was less than a month from ending his legendary career, finished with a team-high 23 points in over 40 minutes.

Bryant was in a different zone, though, dropping 42 points in the first half alone. Through the first two quarters, he made 14 of 19 shots from the field, including 8 of 11 three-point attempts. While he cooled off in the second half, shooting just 1-for-10, he added to his point total by knocking down 10 free throws. The performance stands as the ninth-highest scoring total of Bryant’s career, and his three-point shooting that night -- 9-of-13 -- is the biggest reason the Wizards are the only team he shot over 40 percent from three against in his career.

Going into that game, Bryant was already a three-time NBA champion at 24 years old and seemed to have gained Jordan’s respect as a player. But Jordan may have inadvertendly fueled Bryant's performance that night. Ex-Wizard Gilbert Arenas told a story on "The No Chill Podcast" of MJ telling Bryant he could never fill his shoes after the Wizards defeated the Lakers earlier in the season. Arenas claims Bryant didn't talk to his teammates for two weeks leading up to the rematch. He internalized the jab from Jordan and turned it into the 55-point game he put up against the Wizards.

After learning of Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash on Sunday, Jordan released a statement through his spokeswoman saying Bryant was like a little brother to him.

“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing. Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling. I loved Kobe -- he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply -- and took pride in his daughter’s love for the game of basketball. Yvette joins me in sending my deepest condolences to to Vanessa, the Lakers organization and basketball fans around the world.”


Jordan and Bryant exchanged some fun and memorable banter in not only that game but in several of their meetings towards the latter part of Jordan’s career. Just a month earlier, the two went head-to-head in the 2003 All-Star Game. Each started and clocked 36 minutes in the double-overtime game, Bryant scoring 22 points for the winning Western Conference, while Jordan scored 20 for the East.

Bryant actually finished his career with a 5-3 record head-to-head against Jordan -- four of those matchups coming against the Wizards. Jordan averaged 24.5 points in those games and Bryant averaged 22.8 points. Whether Bryant actually surpassed Jordan or other legends as the greatest basketball player is debatable, but most agree that Bryant’s style and how he approached the game was as close to Jordan as any other player.

There was no better example than this March night in 2003.

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Rui Hachimura says, 'Kobe was a hero for me'

Rui Hachimura says, 'Kobe was a hero for me'

Kobe Bryant's popularity stretched far beyond the United States. He was a global icon and especially loved in Asia. 

Following the NBA star's shocking death on Sunday, the entire sports world grieved and shared fond memories of Bryant all over social media. 

Rui Hachimura grew up in Japan idolizing Bryant, so he took to Twitter a day after the accident to share his thoughts on his hero.  

"I was very shocked to hear of this incident," Hachimura said. "I really can't believe it. I can't speak. Kobe is also a hero to me, and I've seen [him] a lot since I was little. I have met him only once.

"Three years ago, during [the] Final 4, [Bryant gave] a special pair of shoes as a surprise to the team," he said. "Not only that, he talked about what Mamba Mentality is and what people should be before basketball players. 

"He was more than just a basketball player," he said. "It is really sad that this accident was like this. I wish good luck to his family and those who have been involved in this accident. Thanks, Kobe."

After Michael Jordan retired, Bryant became the most popular player in Japan. Along with Hachimura, he inspired players like Grizzlies forward Yuta Watanabe to play the game of basketball in the first place. 

Similar to what made Bryant so popular in the United States, Japan loved him for his tireless work ethic and killer instinct on the court. That's what earned him 15 All-NBA selections and five NBA titles, and along with his efforts off the court post-retirement, earned him the love and respect of so many people around the world. 

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