Hollywood got a fresh influx of star power this summer, with Los Angeles' two NBA franchises making a series of blockbuster additions that reshaped the league. The Lakers struck first by acquiring Anthony Davis via trade, giving LeBron James an elite running mate with whom he will try to end the longest playoff drought in the storied franchise's history (six seasons). Not to be outdone, the Clippers signed two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and traded for Paul George, giving L.A.'s other NBA team two of the very best two-way players in the game today. This creates a Battle of L.A. situation, with two teams vying for city and league supremacy. Wait a second. This sounds familiar ...
Ah, yes: The City of Angels also boasts a pair of high-octane contenders on the gridiron. Sean McVay's Rams just made it to the Super Bowl in the wunderkind coach's second year at the helm. With the core of that roster remaining intact, Aaron Donald, Jared Goff and Co. are looking to take the next step: hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. Meanwhile, the Chargers are fresh off a 12-4 season that ended in the Divisional Round with a loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Patriots. Could 2019 be the year Philip Rivers finally puts a ring on it?
One city, two sports, four top-shelf teams. This begs one question ...
Rams are a great football team, but we saw them stumble down the stretch. Opponents figured out their blueprint, and now that
Todd Gurley will get fewer touches, what do the
Rams look like? And the
Chargers haven't shown me they can make that final jump late in the year.
The other three teams have a much tougher road to a championship. The
Chargers, although they've vastly improved in recent years, are in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. Plus, every AFC team must go through
Tom Brady in the postseason, and we all know how that song usually ends ... Meanwhile, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers still have to go through the Warriors, who still have a big three without Kevin Durant. Same goes for the Clippers.
Football is the ultimate team game, and it's much harder to build a title team. In the NBA, one person can take over a game (we've seen this countless times through the years). That doesn't happen in the NFL.
Maybe you've heard of him?
That's right, I'm going with the Los Angeles Angels. I know the Dodgers have been to the past two World Series. And there is a good chance that there will be a third straight team celebrating a World Series title in Chavez Ravine. I mean, a third American League team. I'm not going to say it's going to be the Angels this season. However, since GM Billy Eppler has taken over the organization (and allowed Jerry Dipoto to go up and ruin the Mariners), the Angels farm system has become robust. Double-A phenom Jo Adell is expected to join the club next season (maybe at the end of this year). Shohei Ohtani will rejoin the rotation as a dominant ace next year. (BTW, he's hitting close to .300 with a bunch of bombs since returning from Tommy John surgery this year.) That window is going to be wide open next year.
Oh, wait -- we're not doing baseball? Please forgive me. Lemme reassess ...
OK, I'm going with the Lakers. I really am. For starters, the Lakers team you see right now is not going to be the team that takes the court on Christmas Day. Wait, that's when the NBA season starts, right? Or just when I start paying attention. But the combo of LeBron and AD gives them two of the best five players in the NBA right now. The Lake Show will add more pieces and will not only challenge the Warriors, but will move past them and win the title this year.