The Los Angeles Lakers broke a 10-year dry spell by winning the franchise’s 17th NBA championship. Led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, L.A. dominated throughout the unusual playoffs, never needing more than six games to take care of an opponent.
Meanwhile, the L.A. Dodgers, led by Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner and Clayton Kershaw, clawed their way to their third World Series appearance in the past four years.
Now, as the Dodgers took care of the Tampa Bay Rays in six games, both L.A. mainstays get to hold up a championship trophy. This marks the first time since 1988 that both the Dodgers and Lakers won a title in the same season.
While the 2020 season fared similarly for both teams, that was not the case in 1988.
That year, the Lakers were the favorites to take home the Larry O’Brien trophy. Led by Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, L.A. was the best team in the NBA for a majority of the season, finishing with a league-best 62-20 record.
At the same time, the Dodgers held the third best record in baseball at 94-67. However, winning the World Series meant defeating two 100-win teams in the New York Mets and Oakland Athletics. The Athletics, led by Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco and others, were considered the clear favorites.
However, after a seven-game bout with the Mets, the Dodgers took care of the favored Athletics in just five games. Kirk Gibson’s walk-off home run in Game 1 of the World Series remains one of the most iconic moments in L.A. sports history.
The 2020 season saw far more similarities between the two L.A. teams. Both acquired superstar talents in the offseason to pair with their MVP-caliber players. Davis and Betts completely shifted the culture for both franchise’s, with the latter signing a lifetime deal with the Dodgers while the former is expected to sign an extension of his own as well.
Both dominated all season long despite the ongoing pandemic, securing top-two records in their leagues. All the way down to playing Florida-based teams in the final round, the Lakers and Dodgers seemed destined to reach their milestones together.
With the 2020 World Series win, the Dodgers ended a drought that dated back to 1988. Heading into 2021 — and the foreseeable future — the Dodgers and Lakers have the tools in place to continue their dominance.
LeBron James working with Dodgers to turn stadium into election polling place
The intertwining of L.A.’s two premier teams hardly ends within the confines of sport. James, who has been in L.A. just two years, is doing everything he can to make positive change.
He partnered with the Dodgers to make Dodger Stadium a polling place for the 2020 United States Presidential Election, being held on Nov. 3.
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