Johnson first became a part of the Dodgers organization in 2012, joining Guggenheim Baseball Management in their successful bid to purchase the team. And now, after a Hall-of-Fame basketball career that resulted in five NBA championships, he’s tasked to lead the Lakers to further greatness out of the front office.
While the Dodgers have established themselves as a perennial championship contender, the Lakers haven’t quite returned to that level just yet.
During an interview on ESPN’s SportsNation, third baseman Justin Turner revealed that he believes the Dodgers — not the Lakers — will deliver Johnson his next championship:
“The Dodgers. Kobe’s gone, man. I love the Lakers, too, though.”
The Lakers have seen tremendous growth from its young core this season, with second-year forward Brandon Ingram taking the next leap in his development, while rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma have flashed glimpses of their potential superstardom as well.
The team is still a ways from returning to the NBA Finals, but their timeline could further accelerate this summer if they’re able to make a splash in free agency. Though, that may no longer be the franchise’s priority.
On the contrary, the Dodgers have won five consecutive National League West division titles while appearing in back-to-back NL Championship Series. They finished one win shy from ending a 29-year World Series drought, and figure to once again be a prominent contender in 2018.
Led by Turner and young superstars Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager, the Dodgers boast an excellent blend of youth and veterans in their everyday lineup. Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw will once again headline the club’s starting rotations, while Kenley Jansen adds an element of security out of the back end of the bullpen.