Is LA about to become the sports capital of the world – again?
Remember when The City of Angels had Magic Johnson starring for the Lakers, Tommy Lasorda managing the Dodgers and Wayne Gretzky being the Great One of the NHL Kings?
Well, look at what’s happening in LA now.
LeBron James signed the mega-free agent deal with Magic, who is now running the Lakers. That brings Showtime back to the Staples Center and makes the Lakers the chief rival of perennial NBA champion Golden State. Whether they can dethrone the Warriors is a big question, but sure will be fun watching.
A month after that signing, the Dodgers made the biggest mid-season trade by winning the battle for Manny Machado, the heart and soul of the pathetic Orioles who are trading all of their veterans away for a major rebuilding effort. Machado is off to a great start with the Bums, who are holding a one-game lead in the National League West and favored to get back to the World Series. Of course, Magic Johnson owns part of the Dodgers.
The Los Angeles Rams, entering their third season after returning to LA from St. Louis, shocked the pro football world by giving former Georgia All-American Toddy Gurley the biggest contract of any running back in NFL history. Gurley, who grew up in Tarboro, North Carolina, signed a four-year extension through 2023 that is valued at $60 million, 45 million guaranteed.
That turns the running back market upside down for a position that has not seen star players last for more than four or five seasons due to injuries from all the pounding they take. But Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell, who is still holding out for a long-term deal with the Steelers, has just had his bargaining power go up, as has the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott.
What a 2018-19 sports season Los Angeles will be counting on. Can Machado power the Dodgers back to another Series against whatever power emerges from the American League? And can the Rams, who also signed wide-receiver and former Patriot Brandin Cooks to an $80 million deal, go deeper in the playoffs and reach Super Bowl 53 in February?
That will be the month when the Lakers will be making their big push for the post-season with LeBron and the team Magic will have constructed around him. Perfect time to be in LA. Plus, the weather is great year-round, by the way.