by Eric Freedlander (@E_Freeds)
As I sit here at the start of May, the city of Los Angeles is a place I want to get to more then ever before. For the first time since the spring of 1993, the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and Kings are all in the playoffs. At the same time, the Dodgers are playing some of their best baseball in the past three years, as they lead the National League West. Thus, as May turns into June, we at Spent Radio wonder, which LA team really deserves a title the most?
Of the four LA based franchises, it would be tough to say that the Lakers deserve another title. As a franchise, the Lakers are one of the best, as they have won 17 NBA titles, which are third most on Sporcle.com “Most Championships by Team” quiz. The Lakers have always been a strong team, as in they have won five of 11 possible championships in this decade alone. In fact, prior to last season’s Miami Heat v Dallas Mavericks final, the Lakers led by the legendary Kobe Bryant, had been featured in three consecutive NBA finals appearances, winning two. In other words, if there is one team that doesn’t need another title, it is the Lakers.
On the other hand, the Los Angeles Clippers are a team that absolutely is in need of a Championship. Since moving from San Diego in 1984, the Clippers have been terrible. Entering this season, the Clippers had not made the playoffs in nearly six years! As one can imagine, the Clippers were on the receiving end harsh insults, instead of compliments for a successful season. With the franchise seemingly in a doomed state, hated owner Donald Sterling and GM Neil Oshey got together and created a master plan to give long suffering Clippers fans and the NBA something to care about for that other LA team. In essence, Sterling and Oshey were able to steal top point guard Chris Paul from under the nose of the rival Lakers, while giving up players Sterling was never going to keep around. Along with Chris Paul, Oshey signed Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler, two veterans that could help the Clippers take the next step in their development. As of this writing, the Clippers appear headed to the second round, and possibly to their first NBA title.
The Los Angeles Kings are a team that like the Clippers has yet to experience the taste of Championship glory. Since coming into the NHL in 1967, the Kings have gone 45 years without a Stanley Cup victory. As a matter of fact, the Kings franchise has only made it to the Stanley Cup finals once, during the 1992 – 1993 season, when they lost to the Montreal Canadiens. After 19 years, long suffering Kings fans similar to the Clippers fans, have seen their team turn a corner. With a date with the Phoenix Coyotes, the Kings find themselves back in the Western Conference finals for the first time since the 1992 – 93 season. What’s interesting is that the Kings backed their way into the playoffs, as they finished as the eight seed, and on a losing streak. Nevertheless, the Kings were able to knock off the top ranked Vancouver Canucks in five games, and the second seeded St. Louis Blues in four games, can they defeat Phoenix, and move on to the Stanley Cup Finals?
Lastly, the Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the most popular and most historic teams in professional sports. The Dodgers are comparable to each of their three LA colleagues, as they are as reputable as the Lakers, but have struggled as much as the Clippers and Kings. Historically, the Dodgers have won six World Series titles. Yet, the Dodgers haven’t won the World Series or made the finals since 1988. Comparable to the Clippers, the Dodgers have also not made the playoffs in quite sometime, as their last appearance was in 2009. From a nostalgic standpoint, the Dodgers would be the most popular choice to win a title, as they have one of the most deserving fan bases.
In a dream scenario, the city of LA boasts all three championships, the NBA title, the World Series and the Stanley Cup. If it were up to us, the Kings would win the Stanley Cup in June, the Clippers would win the NBA title, after defeating the Lakers in the Western Conference finals, and then the Miami Heat in the finals, and the Dodgers would beat the Angels in the World Series. Fans would receive the best of both worlds, three teams with long droughts would finally get over the hump, while the city of LA would have three parades. Would there really be any other place to live if the city of LA won three of the biggest titles in professional sports?
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