It is the time of year for celebration and reflection, and in the city of Los Angeles. That means it is time to give thanks for the elements of the sports landscape that we enjoy, treasure, and cherish. In each corner of our sports universe. Here is what we are thankful for in the world of LA Sports.
The Lakers have a bright future ahead with unheralded rookie Kyle Kuzma and expectation-carrying Lonzo Ball. Though the duo has been uneven at times this season, the highlights are promising, and have led to an optimism not felt by Lakers fans in at least half a decade. At 22 and 20 years old, respectively, we are thankful that these two have the talent to form a solid foundation for the next ten years at Staples Center.
We are also thankful that this looks like the final season for the Clippers’ head coach, Doc Rivers. The play has been sloppy and uninspiring, and the deterioration of the team without Chris Paul has made evident that it was he, not the head coach, that was carrying this team to the second round in recent years. We appreciate the fact that the Clippers can, once again, start over and try to escape the albatross that has been around their collective necks since they moved to Los Angeles.
It was 29 years since the Dodgers appeared in the fall classic, and the Dodgers faithful were rewarded with a trip to the World Series in 2017. For that, we are forever thankful, despite the outcome of Game 7.
The city of Los Angeles once again erupted in fountains of Dodger blue, as the area was abuzz with a Dodger fever not experienced in three decades. Furthermore, we are thankful that Clayton Kershaw is only 29 years old. Oh yeah, Corey Seager is only 23 years old – and Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger is only 22. We are thankful for a promising future in Chavez Ravine.
The city of Los Angeles is thankful that we will likely see another season of Sam Darnold at USC. Initially projected to be a top-five draft pick, Darnold struggled with inconsistency but still showed the brilliance that will likely lead to him manning the quarterback slot for an NFL team in 2019. We are also thankful to have a top-10 basketball program that is not in Westwood, surprisingly.
Across town at UCLA, it was definitely a tough year but there is still an opportunity to give thanks. Fresh off of a win over third-ranked Baylor, the fifth ranked UCLA Women’s hoops team is led by superstar Jordin Canada, who will be piling up points in the WNBA soon enough. See her while you can; she is amazing. We are thankful for a new beginning for the football program, who will replace Jim Mora and hopefully build upon his first four years, not his last two.
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Rams fans are going to have a full plate this Thanksgiving, with a surprising run to the NFC West division title led by the maturation of Jared Goff, under the smart leadership of wunderkind head coach Sean McVay. Anchored by Aaron Donald on a stout defense, the Rams have become something of a darling in NFL circles, especially with Todd Gurley scoring more than a touchdown per game.
Down in Anaheim, fans of the Angels can always be thankful for Mike Trout. Even in an injury-shortened season, he finished fourth in MVP voting. As the best player of this generation, it is truly a treasure to be able to watch him roam centerfield on a nightly basis.
Los Angeles Kings fans, prematurely hibernating in the preseason for fear of a lost season, have been thankful for the changes fomented by new head coach John Stevens, whose softer approach has rejuvenated Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, and Drew Doughty. With Jonathan Quick as stonewalled as ever, the Kings are the surprise of the NHL with a first place standing in the Pacific Division.
For fans of the Sparks, this was definitely a year full of thanks. Another WNBA finals appearance behind the duo of Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker augurs well for the future of the team – and its fans – and we are definitely thankful for the most successful basketball team to call Staples Center home in 2017.
Chargers fans are thankful that they still have a shot at the playoffs despite a woeful start to the season. With Philip Rivers still hucking the ball downfield and Melvin Gordon leading a potent rushing attack, the Chargers still hold on to second place in the AFC West, one game out of a playoff spot. We are thankful that they play in a cute little stadium that is described as the best place to watch a game in the NFL.
In a city with the Dodgers, Angels, Lakers, Clippers, Rams, Chargers, UCLA Bruins, USC Trojans, Sparks, and Kings, there are many reasons to be thankful – both on Thanksgiving and always. Here is a huge thank you to our teams from L.A. Sports Hub and wishes for even greater things in 2018.