Los Angeles is arguably the biggest sporting city in the United States, home to some of the most iconic sports teams in the country’s history.
LA is the second most populous city in the US, boasting over 4 million people, with the majority of the residents firmly attached to one local team or the other.
From the Lakers to the Kings, we pay homage to the greatest sports teams in LA!
1) Los Angeles Lakers
With 17 NBA titles, the Los Angeles Lakers are the joint most successful team in the league, sharing that honor with the Boston Celtics.
Originally known as the Minneapolis Lakers, when they were founded in 1947, the team relocated to Los Angeles in 1960.
As the Minneapolis Lakers, the franchise dominated the early 1950s, winning five league titles between 1949 and 1954, but their first title as the LA Lakers did not arrive until 1972.
Inspired by the legendary Wilt Chamberlain, the Lakers defeated the New York Knicks in five games to end their lengthy title drought. Since then, they have had several spells of dominance triggered by some of the most famous names in the game.
Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabber powered the Lakers to five titles in the 1980s, while Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal helped LA to three straight titles between 2000 and 2002.
Kobe would deliver two more triumphs in 2009, and 2010 before LeBron James inevitably added his chapter to Lakers folklore by inspiring LA to the 2020 crown- the record-equalling 17th title.
No other team in Los Angeles has enjoyed as much success in their sport as the Lakers have done in the NBA over the years.
In recent years, they have not been as strong as they used to be, but with such a winning tradition embedded within the franchise, Los Angeles faithful are always hopeful that their beloved team would beat the odds and go all the way. Some have even taken the extra leap of faith to stake their money where their hearts lie!
Sports betting may not be legal in California, but Lakers fans extend well beyond CA and are never shy of taking a punt on LA to regain the Championship.
Unfortunately, the team has not quite gone all the way for a few years now. Good job, US sportsbooks have numerous betting bonuses and freebies to cushion the effect of those lost Lakers’ wagers!
For sure, though, it is only a matter of time before one of America’s greatest franchises returns to championship-winning ways.
2) Los Angeles Dodgers
California is home to a handful of very successful Major League Baseball teams, but no team in the state has more World Series championships than the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers were formed in Brooklyn in the 19th century before relocating to LA in 1958.
Six of their seven World Series championships have come since that switch from Brooklyn to LA.
The move to Los Angeles reaped immediate success as they won the 1959 title, with further crowns coming in 1963, 1965, 1981, 1988, and after a very long drought, 2020.
Naturally, the Dodgers have a huge fan following. They boast over 2.5 million followers on Twitter and another 3-plus million on Instagram. According to Forbes, they are the second most valuable team in Major League Baseball.
3) Los Angeles Kings
Despite winning just two Stanley Cup titles, the Los Angeles Kings have played a pivotal role in the popularity of ice hockey in the City of Angels.
Founded in 1967, the King’s often flattered to deceive in their early decades, and it wasn’t until the acquisition of the legendary Wayne Gretzky- arguably the greatest ever hockey player- in 1988 that they began to make the step up toward Stanley Cup glory.
The Kings reached their maiden Stanley Cup final in 1993 but lost to the Montreal Canadiens.
They couldn’t quite kick on from all of that progress, majorly due to financial problems, and slipped into a lengthy lull.
The most glorious period in the team’s history would arrive almost two decades later, as the Kings claimed the Stanley Cup titles in 2012 and 2014.
4) Los Angeles Rams
As is the case in the NBA and MLS, Los Angeles is home to two NFL teams- the LA Rams and the LA Chargers- but the Rams have the more storied history.
With four championships (two before the 1970 NFL-AFL merger), they are the more successful of the two LA franchises. It is worth noting that only two of their four titles have come while the team has been based in Los Angeles.
The Rams have the distinction of being the only NFL team to win the championship while being based in three different cities.
They began as the Cleveland Rams in 1936, winning their first title in 1945, but they moved to Los Angeles in 1946 and won the 1951 NFL Championship as the LA Rams.
The Rams left LA for St. Louis in 1995 and were champions again as the St. Louis Rams in 1999. The merry-go-round returned to LA in 2016, and they have remained in the City of Angels till today. They won the Super Bowl in 2022, the second time they would be champions as an LA team.
5) Los Angeles Galaxy
Soccer may not be as popular as America’s traditional sports, but the Los Angeles Galaxy have definitely played their part in boosting the spread of the round-leather game.
No team has won more MLS Cups than the LA Galaxy. Along with their five Cups, they also have four MLS Supporters’ Shields – a record they share with DC United. They have won the US Open Cup twice and have in their cabinet one CONCACAF Champions Cup title.
Founded in 1994, LA first featured in the MLS in the inaugural season of 1996 but did not claim their first MLS Cup until 2002. They went on to claim further triumphs in 2005, 2011, 2012 and 2014.
LA Galaxy has been home to a wide array of global superstars, including English legend David Beckham and charismatic Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
They have also had American great Landon Donovan, who remains the record goalscorer for the club. Galaxy currently shares a city rivalry with Los Angeles FC. LAFC earned some city bragging rights when they claimed their maiden MLS Cup title in 2022, but they have a long way to go if they are going to get anywhere near LAG.
Photo: Sport League Maps