We’ve ranked 10 of the Top 25 Most Important People in Sports in LA Today.
Here’s who we’ve ranked thus far, and why
#25 Steve Nash—-You must be pretty studly to have never played a single game in a Lakers uniform, and already be one of the most important figures in Los Angeles sports today. But Nash’s resume speaks for itself. He is number 5 on the all time assists list with 9,916, an 8 time NBA All Star, a two time regular season MVP (Kobe has only been once), and has lead his team to the Western Conference finals 4 times. AND he accepts Keystone’s in the middle of the 110 freeway.
#24 David Beckham—-Naturally, we want to rank Beckham higher because of his international celebrity and appeal, but its because its his celebrity more than his play on the field today that he is number 24. But to give him some credit, the man was a big part of the Galaxy winning the MLS Cup title in 2011. And on top of that he is part of the community—he is LA. Its noteworthy when he and Denzel and any other celebrity are at Lakers games, and Kings games to his credit. Plus he re-signed with the Galaxy rather than leave.
#23 Jack Nicholson—-He is the face of the Lakers franchise. He may not play the games, but it’s not a Lakers game until the KCAL cameras (or TWC SportsNet now) cut to him with Stu Lance adding “and of course, Jack.”
#22 Pau Gasol—-Pau Gasol often flies under the radar when it comes to Lakers success, but he often gets much of the blame. But lets not forget what Gasol has accomplished with the Lakers—he’s been in three NBA finals and won two NBA championships. Plus he must be popular since he speaks and is Spanish in largely Hispanic Los Angeles.
#21 Jered Weaver—-Yeah Anaheim isn’t LA (sorry Arte), but Jered Weaver is from Simi Valley and is still a stud. Without the 20 game winner, the Angels and their monstrous payroll would have been wrestling last place from the Mariners. Plus, the guy who quickly resigned with the franchise threw a no hitter this season.
#20 Ned Colletti—-No matter his successes, its pretty tough to dispute Colletti’s importance to the Dodger’s success, his willingness to try and win now, and how both effect the city of Los Angeles. It’s not like Colletti wasn’t working, he got Hanley, Adrian Gonzales, Josh Beckett (ahem Juan Uribe), but the Dodgers still missed the playoffs.
#19 Lane Kiffin—-He is not the face of the Trojan team in 2012, but over the last decade he’s been the most consistent figure in USC football not named Tommy Trojan. Kiffin is 18-7 as the head coach in his first two seasons as head coach in LA. This season is Kiffin’s opportunity to take the next step as a coach rather than be a high profile yet underachieving coach. There’s one loss in the books for 2012 with Oregon and Notre Dame still to come.
#18 Dustin Brown—-Dustin Brown is the Captain for the Stanley Cup Champions Los Angeles Kings. What more needs to be said. Brown had 8 goals, 12 assists, and a whopping +16 +/- in the playoffs. Those aren’t role player numbers–the captain has skills.
#17 Dean Lombardi—-Dean Lombardi is an architect of a Stanley Cup Champion team. There are only 7 General Managers today who can claim that for their current team. He pulled the trigger on some blockbuster deals in the offseason, midseason, and of course bringing Sutter aboard. Lombardi gathered all the missing pieces of the puzzle to be a Cup Champion.
#16 Darryl Sutter—-Lombardi gathered the pieces, but Sutter had the pieces, and the puzzle didn’t put itself together. Why is Sutter always the biggest boss in the room? He just does his own thing his own way, and his confidence in himself takes over any room he is in—even a room as big as Staples Center. Being a farm boy from Canada he isn;t as much LA as say Pat Riley–but championships definitely are.
#15 Mike Trout—-A top 15 ranking is not just for an MVP season (regardless of the final voting), but on potential. He may not be a Triple Crown winner, but Mike Trout is the best player in the American League. He is a highlight on every play in a slow paced game. He helps the Angels win games, although he didn’t help the Angels TV ratings much.
Come back to LA Sports Hub to see the Top 15