Revenge of the Also Rans
This is a relatively good time to be a fan of LA's secondary teams. While Los Angeles has always been a Laker and Dodger city, some feel it may fast becoming a Clipper and Angel city. The Lakers continue to flounder, after losing 110-101 to the Clippers, dangerously falling out of the 8th playoff position.
While the Dodgers may wind up winning the West, Arte Moreno's Los Angeles of Anaheim caught the attention of the New York Times, which loves to make fun of LA. Columnist Selena Roberts was making light of Moreno's aggressive push to make LA an Angel town, and how the Dodgers have gone on the defensive putting up "This is LA Baseball" billboards everywhere. Mmm...what do you mean by that, Frank McCourt?
So is LA really going to be a Clipper and Angel town? Fat chance.
First off the Clippers may have Elton Brand, Corey Maggette, and Mike Dunleavy, but they still stink. No one in this city has ever taken the Clippers seriously, even during their one fleeting moment in the sun when they had their own ESPN show. The fact of the matter is that Jerry Buss refuses to let his Lakers lose for very long, while we have seen in the past that Donald Sterling is usually content with subpar records. The Clippers real moment of truth came in the offseason, and they lost out on Kobe Bryant.
As for the Angels, they may have forced MLB to abbreviate the Dodgers as "LAD", but they are still an Orange County team. It still is a pain for most Angelenos to trudge along the 5 for a regular season baseball game, and not visit Disneyland.
The Dodgers have enough history and tradition to last them generations. And no 2002 World Series championship will change that. The Mets may have won the World Series in 1969 and 1986, but throughout that time New York was still a Yankee town. Four Islanders Stanley Cups didn't stop New York from remaining Ranger country either. Chicago will always be a Cubs city, no matter how good the White Sox are.
The only time we've seen one team surpass another in an intracity popularity was when the Raiders jumped past the Rams in the late-1980s, early 1990s. (Remember whe we had pro football) But LAist thinks that has a lot more to do with the Rams' ill-advised move to Anaheim than any brilliant marketing ploys by Al Davis.
So barring extremely long periods of futility by the Lakers, Dodgers, USC Football, or UCLA Basketball, those teams will remain the flagship teams for Los Angeles.