The city of Los Angeles is buzzing all throughout sports headlines right around this time of the year. We have this magical run by the Dodgers that is taking over the MLB headlines. LA also has two football teams starting up training camp, just a week away from starting preseason. Last but not least we have the megastar Lonzo Ball revitalizing the Lakers organization. Which brings me to question, which team runs Los Angeles?
We posted an article earlier this year that the Dodgers had surpassed the Lakers as the most popular organization in Los Angeles. The truth is, this city will always be dominated by both Dodger and Laker fans. No other organization has won close to the number of championships these two teams have won for Los Angeles. Now with Magic Johnson running operations for the Lakers organization and as part-owner of the Dodgers, these two organizations will even have more connections together.
What has been fun these past few months is that these two teams have stolen all the headlines on sports talk radio or sports news in general. Many topics are trending around the success of both organization’s rookie sensations. Cody Bellinger for the Dodgers and Lonzo Ball for the Lakers.
It was almost at the exact same time that these two young superstars became the talk of LA. Cody Bellinger made his debut at the end of April, and the Lakers were virtually solidified to draft Lonzo Ball in the middle of May when the ping-pong balls fell their way.
Fast forward four months later and these two continue to dominate the sports scene and at very young ages. Cody Bellinger just turned 22-years-old this past July and Lonzo Ball is 19, just two years removed from high school.
Despite their youth, Lonzo and Cody have made a significant impact on their respective teams and are well deserving of the stories written about them. Cody Bellinger just last night became the first rookie to hit 30 home runs in the National League and is the 3rd fastest to reach that mark since 1900. Lonzo Ball just led the Lakers to their first summer league championship and was named MVP of the league even after missing the championship game.
So who’s city is this?
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Well, considering Bellinger is a from Scottsdale, Arizona and Lonzo Ball is from Chino Hills, California, the answer might be Lonzo Ball (right now). Take nothing away from Bellinger and his terrific season he’s having as a rookie, but Lonzo has that California personality.
From growing up in Chino Hills to playing basketball at UCLA, to leading the Lakers to their first summer league championship. Lonzo is home grown.
While it’s easy for me to say Lonzo has the keys to the city right now because of his antics of his excessive dad, LaVar Ball, Lonzo has done his part for the city of LA in his brief start. But that’s exactly it. A brief start.
Lonzo showed flashes of becoming a transcending player in the NBA to lead the Lakers back to their winning culture but still has yet to do so against real NBA competition. A summer league MVP is an excellent start to a rookie season, but that’s only a taste of the NBA, not the full meal.
Meanwhile, Bellinger is already proving to have success in the major league against major league pitching during major league moments. Bellinger already has the Rookie of the Year award locked away somewhere in his closet despite joining the league three weeks after the start of the season. The question surrounding Bellinger now is if he could bring home more hardware and become the first Dodger player to win the MVP since Clayton Kershaw did in 2014.
Heck, personal achievement awards won’t mean anything if either player leads their team to a championship.
But I asked the LA audience who they thought had has the brighter future. As I write this, it’s an overwhelmingly one sided pole with Bellinger as the runaway. But we’ll check the final results when they post.
Whether you want to count home runs or the triple doubles, these two young players are future stars in LA. Bellinger will continue to hit tape-measure shots, and Lonzo will continue to make unbelievable passes. The point here is to embrace the young talent in Los Angeles.
I’ve written this far and haven’t even mentioned how Corey Seager could perhaps be one of the top five players in baseball, nor that Mike Trout IS the best player in baseball. Or in another sport the fact that the Rams just drafted Jared Goff with the number one overall pick in last year’s draft. Okay, maybe Goff may not be on those other player’s level, but you got the idea.
The point here is that LA is in the up and coming cities of taking over the sports industry. The Dodgers are poised to be competitive for the next five to ten years, and the Lakers figure to be competitive within the next two seasons. Los Angeles is at a historic time for the sports world. New arenas are being built within the next ten years, and LA even won their bid to host the 2028 Summer Olympics. I was born and raised here in Los Angeles, and I just have to say, it’s nice to sit back and watch the success unfold before your eyes.