Part of the perks of playing professional sports in the city of Los Angeles is the crowd and fandom that it brings. This city has seen many successful dynasties when it comes to the major sports, whether from the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Galaxy, or the Los Angeles Kings.
Throughout the years, these teams have continued to have success on the field, while always having a diehard fan base that will cheer them on. At the same time, it is up to the players and coaching staff to live up to the expectations, while having the same goal in mind. That main goal could be said of Luke Walton and his Lakers, as they enter the 2017-18 campaign with no excuses and no first-round draft pick to bank on.
Walton and his squad could learn a lot from the likes of the Dodgers, as they opened up a 2-0 series lead over the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series.
The Lakers head coach recently stated his admiration for the winning culture manager Dave Roberts has instilled in the Dodgers, as they are just two wins away from the World Series, via Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
“I think what makes that team so good is that throughout the year they just kept finding ways to kind of get it done, and it was from different people on the roster. It wasn’t just certain stars carrying everybody. They’re definitely one of those successful teams that does it by everyone buying in, which is where we’re trying to get to.”
Walton’s comments reaffirm the mission that the Dodgers have been on since the new ownership group, headlined by Lakers legend Magic Johnson, were brought into office. Since then, the Dodgers have won five consecutive division titles and have been in the championship series in three of five seasons.
It is no secret the amount of pressure the Dodgers have, as they carry the weight of a city that desires their first World Series trophy since 1988. However, this team has remained focused, humble, and hungry, ready to get what they feel belongs to them.
That kind of selflessness has been a key reason why this team got to 104 victories this season, with each player stepping up in different spots so that they succeed as a collective. Walton is right in stating that is a desirable quality, one that he hopes to instill onto his young team. The Lakers open up the regular season this Thursday, as they continue to move the franchise in the right direction.