2011 felt like a special year for Los Angeles sports teams. The Dodgers entered the 2011 season with a new attitude, and new manager Don Mattingly after a disappointing 2010 campaign saw them lose fifteen more games than they had in 09′. The Dodgers finished the season 82-79 and missed the playoffs despite the stellar award worthy seasons of Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw.
The Lakers entered the 2011-2012 season with high hopes and low expectations in their first year without “zen master” Phil Jackson. Mike Brown did his best to guide Kobe and the old looking Lakers crew through the playoffs, but they ultimately fell to the younger, faster Oklahoma City Thunder in 5 games.
The Kings began the season as favorites to win the pacific division, but after a slow 13-12-4 start, management decided to fire Terry Murray and hire Darryl Sutter. This proved to pay off as they finished the season hoisting the Stanley Cup after an improbable run to the finals as the 8th seed in the western conference.
The Clippers brought their winning percentage up from a terrible .390 to a respectable .606 in just one season with the help of newly acquired point guard Chris Paul and a cast of veteran bench players. Although Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and company couldn’t hold off the Spurs in the playoffs, they changed the losing culture of the Clippers for at least one season.
The Question is, can they all build on their previous seasons in route to a championship in their respective sports this year? Obviously The Lakers and Clippers both can’t with the Larry O’brien trophy in the 2012-2013 campaign, therefore we will most likely have to sacrifice the Clippers season for the well being of our beloved Lakers. In all seriousness, the Clippers have a great chance at making a title run this season and the western conference could be in for a surprise. The Clips lost the explosive Nick Young and veteran guard Randy Foye signed elsewhere, but they stocked up on a few bench players who should help add depth. They started by signing the most talented underachiever ever in Lamar Odom who is attempting to bounce back from a tantrum he threw the entire 2010-2011 season. Jamal Crawford signed with the Clippers and should help solidify the bench along with Eric Bledsoe. Although the Clippers are L.A.’s version of the lovable losers, they may prove us all wrong this season and win their first NBA championship. The Lakers 2012-2013 season may be one of the most anticipated in years for all basketball fans because of the amazing team they have managed to assemble. They first made a huge splash by signing one of the greatest point guards to ever play the game in Steve Nash.
If that wasn’t enough, they followed by trading away injury prone and immature Andrew Bynum for Orlando superstar Dwight Howard in a 4 team trade that sent Bynum to Philadelphia. They sured up their bench marginally by resigning Jordan Hill and Darius Morris, while signing Antawn Jamison to crash the boards and score bench points. They added Darius Johnson-Odom to help with bench offense and Jodie Meeks was signed to shoot three pointers at a higher level than Metta World Peace ever thought he could. Please Metta, stop shooting. With a starting lineup of Metta World Peace, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, and oh yeah, Kobe Bryant, I expect the Lakers to meet the Miami Heat in the NBA finals in what would prove to be a battle of super teams.
The Kings are looking to prove that they can repeat one of the most amazing seasons any L.A. Sports team has ever accomplished. The 90′s provided three different back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions, but there hasn’t been back-to-back champs since the 97′ and 98′ Red Wings. The Kings have great ownership as well as experienced but young players on their roster. With the cast of Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, Mike Richards and others, the Champs have a great shot at repeating in their 2012-2013 season.
The Dodgers are 62-53 and currently second in the NL west division. They made a bit of trade deadline news with the acquisitions of Brandon League, Joe Blanton, and Shane Victorino. League adds depth to the bullpen which is in need of a little help. Blanton is a solid starter that will eat innings and has playoff experience. Victorino has intangible skills and a great attitude that fits perfectly with this current Dodgers team. Along with Kershaw, Ethier, and Kemp, I believe these 2012 Dodgers won’t be disappointed come playoff time. They are primed to make a deep playoff run and possibly bring a World Series Championship to Los Angeles.
The last city to pull off the championship trifecta was Detroit in 1935 when the Lions, Red Wings and Tigers each won their respective sports championships. Los Angeles is ready to make sporting history in these 2012-2013 seasons and despite the outcome, I can assure you this is going to be a fun and wild ride. Go L.A.!