The Los Angeles Sports Council revealed the honorees for their 16th annual Sports Award. Included in the 2020 group were L.A. Lakers star LeBron James, who was one of the three winners for Sportsperson of the Year, and Jeanie Buss, the sole winner of Executive of the Year.
The award show will be taped in March but will air at a later date on Spectrum SportsNet. James and Buss will be honored alongside five other L.A. sports leaders.
The L.A. Sports Awards were created by this council in 2005 as a way to recognize the excellence and achievements by various professional athletes in the area. 2020’s version of the show is especially important as the Lakers and L.A. Dodgers won their respective championships, meaning there was clear impact on the city.
James — in his second season with the Lakers — broke through in the tough Western Conference. The Lakers had the conference’s best record for nearly the entire season, and their dominance did not change when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced the season to resume from the confines of a bubble.
James finished as the runner-up in MVP voting but wound up winning Finals MVP after the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in six games to win the franchise’s 17th championship.
Buss was one of the people most directly responsible for the Lakers being able to win the title in the first place. She allowed Rob Pelinka to have control over the team’s decision-making, she created the right team culture, and she put together the right staff.
This was Buss’ first title as the controlling owner of the team, becoming the first female owner to win a major sports championship.
Some other award highlights include Dodgers’ Mookie Betts and L.A. Sporks’ Nneka Ogwumike joining James for Sportsperson of the Year. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was the winner for Coach of the Year and L.A. Rams’ Andrew Whitworth won Community Athlete of the Year for his work in the surrounding areas.
James imagining fans at Staples Center
James — in just his third season with the Lakers — has become very close with the fans of the team and the city in general. While playing games at an empty Staples Center due to the pandemic, James is imagining a different scenario. “I’m definitely imagining our fans being in the building,” James said. “It’s just not the same without them.”
“I miss our fans a lot. There’s a lot of momentum plays that happen in a game where a team calls timeout, or at the end of the quarter, and you know fans are going to be up.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!