The City of Los Angeles has a tremendous history, a history that involves many sports legends and championships. It is home to teams in the National Basketball Association in the Lakers and Clippers and Major League Baseball’s Dodgers. In the past, fans in LA have cheered on players like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Sandy Koufax all legends to the city and to their sport.
But the City of Angles has seemed to always forget about the Kings.
Although the Kings share the same city as all three of the teams mentioned and even the same building as the Lakers and Clippers they never really got the attention of the city they called home.
Recently the tides have began to shift and Los Angeles has began to transform into a hockey town. When walking down the streets you see more silver and black jerseys with Kopitar or Doughty across someone’s back than any other LA jersey. You see billboard sized Kings players staring down on the freeways of Southern California, but no Lakers or Clippers. People are even going to games for the hockey and not the fights.
As shallow as it sounds (outside of the die hard fans for any team that will stick throughout the lowest of lows) Los Angeles is a city that embraces success, something that the Kings are finally getting.
Last night the Kings won their second Stanley Cup Championship in the last three years. Their only hiccup in the three seasons, a playoff run that came up short in the Western Conference Final to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.
In the past the Kings were in the shadow cast by the Lakers and their NBA championships. They stood inline behind the likes of Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol. But now Shaq is gone, Bryant is on the back end of his career and the Lakers are a team that struggles to get in the win column.
Just as the Lakers began to fade away the Clippers burst onto the scene with big name stars like Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. The two have been putting together highlight reel games and plays on a nightly basis. But the team has yet to make a Conference Final and even have a chance to grab a championship.
Outside of Staples Center, the Dodgers, a team that has not won a championship since ’88, continues to be in the thick of the MLB’s best. However the Boys in Blue continue to come up short despite making headlines and having one of the MLB’s highest payrolls.
In the same time the Kings have brought home two Stanley Cups, the Dodgers, Lakers and Clippers have failed to even qualify for the final round of the playoffs in their respective leagues. The last team to bring a title to Los Angeles before the Kings was the Lakers in’10.
The Kings are a team that has been carefully built by General Manager, Dean Lombardi since he came into his position in ’06. All of Lombardi’s hard work has come into fruition and Lombardi and the Kings have two Stanley Cups to show for it.
When this team was put together by Lomardi and the Kings’ front office they were not thinking about a Cup or two over three years. They were thinking long term.
The Kings have brought in players like Jonathan Quick, the 2012 Conn Smythe winner, Jeff Carter, Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Alec Martinez who are all world class players that are locked up for the immediate future.
This team wants to win and wants to keep winning, and for now, in Los Angeles, they are the only team doing so. Which is why the city needs to recognize them as the best of the best and the true kings of Los Angeles. If things continue to trend the way they have, the could be for some time.
Tags: Los Angeles Kings