1. The whole mess is done with 2. Depending on the amount they set, it might save Bryant some money compared to defense costs 3. Kobe will always be able to say he paid to dispose of it, and that will likely be how this is largely remembered...if the case proceeded, there's always a chance he could be found liable, and then he's really tarnished
ESPN Radio here in Los Angeles has been speculating (what else did you expect from sports radio??) on this settlement all day.
They had ESPN legal analyst Roger Kossak(sp?) on earlier & he says it's probably in Kobe's best interest to pay the girl to make this go away. In a civil trial, virtually nothing is off limits. The accuser's attorneys can dig up/bring up/ask him about anything they want. Of course that works against the accuser too, but Kobe has more to lose in that scenario than she does (In Roger's opinion).
I didn't watch the All-Star Game but I did happen to flip to it during LeAnn Rimes' performance, and I thought that was the PERFECT song for the NBA to roll out during halftime. I anxiously await NBA Finals halftime, starring "The Wiggles".