The Los Angeles Lakers have been the most successful team in the LA sports industry for the past half-century. The other sports teams residing in the same market have not had the success which the Lakers have enjoyed. Crosstown rival the Clippers have always been the laughing stock of the city. The Los Angeles Dodgers have a rich history but their fans have not seen that success in recent years. The Kings, LA’s hockey franchise, until recently, have not been serious contenders since the end of the Wayne Gretzky era in 1996.
However, sports in Los Angeles today has changed dramatically. The Lakers have always been where they have been. The Clippers have new life with Chris Paul taking the reins and turning them into a playoff team. The Kings look like they will breeze their way to the Stanley Cup Finals, having lost only one game this postseason while making it to the Western Conference finals. The Dodgers not only led the NL West, but also have the best record and the best player, Matt Kemp, in baseball this season.
So how did this all happen? In short, for the past decade where these teams had little or no success, they compiled young talent through high draft picks. They were able to use those blue chip assets to trade for players and build draft prospects into great players.
The Clippers are a great example of that. Drafting Blake Griffin, and then using the assets they complied over the years to trade for superstar point guard Chris Paul, have led to success for the first time in many years of misery—which the fan base had to endure.
As a Southern California sports fan, it is a refreshing change to follow multiple hometown teams, especially since they are all finding success. There is also a sense of pride that comes when your hometown team, or in this case teams, can accomplish something amazing. Now only if Los Angeles could score an NFL franchise.