UNITED STATES—Los Angeles has been home to some of the most successful and well-known professional sports teams down through the years. Superstar athletes have flocked to the City of Angels to play for the likes of the Lakers, the Raiders and the Dodgers.
But there has been little to celebrate in LA in recent times. For all their high profile players, the Lakers have only won one championship in the last 11 years – and the Dodgers have just one World Series title in the last 30. Even a more successful sports team, the LA Galaxy, has not tasted victory for over ten years after a flurry of MLS Cup titles. It is fair to say that California sports betting fans have not been backing their hometown favorites for a while.
Hopefully 2022 will mark a change in fortunes for Los Angeles. But which of the city’s teams can claim to have been the best in 2021?
#4 – Lakers, NBA
The Lakers like to make headline news when they pick up new players – even veterans through free agency – and this year was no different. After only scraping through the play-in game last year and crashing out to Phoenix in the first round of the playoffs, the Lakers brought in Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony as well as Russell Westbrook as part of a five-team trade.
Even though the roster forced the sportsbooks to rate the Lakers’ chances highly before the new season began, it has been far from a classic so far. There is still a good chance of making the postseason once again – but Lakers fans demand much more than that and they could be disappointed once again next year.
#3 – Rams, NFL
Los Angeles has a strange relationship with the NFL. There have been some great teams representing the city in the past. But the Raiders have left LA twice now – and the Rams have spent some time away as well. The Chargers now reside here as well, but it was the Rams who came out on top last season and make it into these rankings thanks to their run to the Divisional playoffs.
The 2021 regular season held much promise for both LA teams before the first snap of the year. But both seem destined for a Wild Card spot at the moment. The Rams look the more likely to go further and showed their intent with the deal bringing Odell Beckham Jr. to LA. We will have to wait to see whether he becomes just another big name who fails to shine.
Figure 2 There was little star quality in LA when it came to sports in 2021
#2 – Dodgers, MLB
The Dodgers have been one of the more consistent teams in baseball in recent years, but have been unable to dominate the sport. This year was something of a disappointment, with an exit in the NCLS after failing to win the NL West for the first time since 2012. There was immediate revenge beating the Giants in the NLDS though.
The Major League Baseball lock out will slow things down for all teams now, but the Dodgers will be looking to come back next year and repeat the World Series triumph of 2020. It is true that the Dodgers have probably been the best Los Angeles sports team in the last few years but 2021 will be marked down as a failure – and that is why they have only made the number two spot here.
#1 – Clippers, NBA
It will come as a surprise for some casual LA observers to discover the identity of the number one ranked sports team in the city for 2021. Forever in the shadow of the team they share their home arena with, the Clippers were able to become the best in the city this year, thanks to a postseason journey that went all the way to the Western Conference Finals.
Kawhi Leonard was the standout star of the team but it was a collective effort that took the Clippers to just one step from the NBA finals. But an ACL injury that could see him miss the whole of this season means that a lot has been heaped on the shoulders of Paul George now. There may not be any kind of repeat in 2022 but the Clippers performance last season has earned them the title of ‘Kings of LA’ 2021.