City of Stars: In the City of Champions, a New King has Arrived

Kurtis Newton, Writer

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Los Angeles, California. A city where the biggest stars and hopeful talents meet alike, chasing  fortune and following some of the world’s brightest lights: the flash of a camera, or the gleam of gymnasium floors. Film is only a portion of LA’s allure; over the past two years, another one of LA’s  bright spots has, caught flame: their sports. The LA Rams, now sitting at 9-1 after a 36-31 victory to the Seahawks, are Super Bowl favorites and are playing their best football since 2001, their last run in the Super Bowl. The Dodgers have just made their second World Series in a row and taken 6 straight division titles, asserting their dominance as one of the most powerful and consistent baseball teams in the past six years.

The Lakers? Where have they been, you ask? The former 16- World-Championship team has missed the playoffs the past five seasons (the most missed in consecutive seasons in franchise history) and has since been lead by “big” name players such as Brandon Ingram and pass-first-player, Lonzo Ball.

The Lakers have been the bottom of the food chain, the worst of the worst, and- for my French speakers- absolute garbage, making them really difficult to watch. It’s a shame, to see such a historic franchise take a such a giant sucker punch to the gut. It’s been unbearable for fans and players, but most of all, for the NBA.

The Lakers franchise has a historic greatness and devoted fan base that has kept them above the water, even in recent years. And despite their shortcomings, are still one of the most popular teams in the NBA (even if Kobe Bryant has retired). The once untouchably fantastic franchise now sits as a “No Man’s Land” destination, where the appeal of the franchise no longer intrigues free agents and signing a superstar seemed impossible.

July 9th, 2018. The official date where NBA superstar Lebron James, considered the best player to ever play by many, left the Cleveland Cavaliers (with whom he went to four straight NBA finals and won one championship) and officially signed a three year deal to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Lebron James. NBA figurehead, four time MVP, and three time champion now suiting up for the purple and gold? It sounds like the ailing Laker’s fever dream. But,  “The King” is the superstar the Lakers had so soley needed, their hope for the future. With his signing, the Lakers are now favored to reach the playoffs and have the best odds to sign on another superstar next offseason, a far cry from seasons past.

NBA TV ratings are the highest they have ever been for a preseason, and are expected to jump exponentially during the course of the season. Lakers games also jumped from seven nationally televised games last year to 18 this year, for which they can thank Lebron James.

What a difference one man makes; a small town hero is now playing under  brightest lights in basketball-Lebron James is officially the King of LA. Whether you like him or not, the City of Stars has a new member joining their brightest ranks.

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City of Stars: In the City of Champions, a New King has Arrived