The Los Angeles Lakers have largely been on a downturn since winning their last NBA championship in 2010. Conversely, the Los Angeles Dodgers emerged from a tumultuous ending to the Frank McCourt era and have won four straight National League West titles.
The Dodgers reached the NL Championship Series in 2013, and last year were two wins away from reaching the World Series for the first time since 1988. That’s also the same year Los Angeles last won the World Series.
In a city with multiple professional sports teams, a number that’s grown with the NFL’s Rams and Chargers recently relocating, the Dodgers and Lakers have historically reigned supreme over others.
And typically, the Lakers, perhaps benefitting from the NBA generally being considered a more popular sport, have long been considered the team in Los Angeles.
But a recent survey conducted by Loyal Marymount University found the Dodgers to be L.A.’s favorite team by a slim margin, via Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
The Dodgers got 36% of the vote and the Lakers 35%, making each team more than four times as popular in Los Angeles as any other local team. The Clippers got 7%, the Angels and Kings 6% each, the Galaxy and Rams 5% each and the Sparks 0.2%.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Anaheim Ducks were not included as options in the survey. In a survey last year of 2,400 Los Angeles County residents, the Lakers were selected as the favorite local team by 37 percent of the participants, while the Dodgers received 35 percent.
In the inaugural year of the survey (2014), the Lakers enjoyed a larger cushion over the Dodgers, at 42 percent to 35 percent. Beyond reaping benefits of nostalgia, both franchises are intertwined and connected by one Magic Johnson.
He of course starred for the Lakers during the “Showtime” era, helping the team to five NBA titles. Johnson is a partner in the Guggenheim Baseball Management group that purchased the Dodgers from McCourt, and in February, Johnson was hired as Lakers president of basketball operations.
While speaking at the unveiling of the Jackie Robinson statue at Dodger Stadium, Johnson highlighted what the organization and team has accomplished the past five seasons. He then addressed the Dodgers’ pursuit of a championship.
“We’ve got one more box to check,” Johnson said. “And that is winning the World Series.”