Top five most successful sports cities

As a continuation from yesterday’s piece, I thought it might be interesting to reflect back on the last 15 years of sports champions. More specifically, I am ranking the top ten sports cities in the US since 2000. This includes the five largest sports leagues in America, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS. The rankings will mainly rely on championships won by a single city but I will also take into account appearances in the finals as well. Let’s see if your city cracked the top five.

#5 Chicago: 3 total titles in 6 total appearances
Chicago actually has fewer titles than San Antonio but gets the nod for the extra finals appearance and diversity across more than one sport. Chicago is home to the two-time finalist Fire of the MLS in 2000 and 2003. The Bears also claim the Windy City as home. Even though this NFL team hasn’t won a Super Bowl since 1985, they did make it to 2007 Super Bowl. Despite the Cubs century long struggle to win the World Series, the White Sox claimed a title in 2005. The other two titles came from the NHL side. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010 and 2013. Chicago has seen championship berths from the spread out across these 15 years. The Bulls, despite all the success in the 90s, have not made it to the finals since the turn of the century.

#4 Miami: 4 total titles in 6 total appearances
Florida’s major city clocks in at number four largely due to the success of the Miami Heat during this decade. The Heat made it to a NBA-record four straight NBA Finals, winning the middle two. The Heat also locked up a championship back in 2006 as well over the Dallas Mavericks. So yes, most of the credit goes to the NBA team but the baseball team based in Miami has a World Series title as well. The Marlins, who back then were only the Florida Marlins but still played in the city, won the 2003 World Series over the New York Yankees. The titles from two different sports gives Miami a boost. Now if only the Dolphins could help the city out. Soccer could be springing up as well soon as David Beckham seeks to set up a MLS expansion team. For now though, Miami is nowhere close to jumping over the top three cities on the list.

#3 Tri-State: 6 total titles in 15 total appearances
This seems like it is cheating a little bit but it is hard to differentiate New York and New Jersey. Despite being called the New York Giants, Jets and Red Bulls, all of these teams play in New Jersey, along with the Devils. Either way, The Giants locked up two Super Bowl titles in 2008 and 2012. The Red Bulls made a Cup run in 2008, falling short to Columbus. The Yankees won two World Series titles in 2000 and 2009, the 2000 one over the cross-town rival Mets. The Yanks also made the 2001 and 2003 Series. On the ice, the Devils have two Stanley Cups from runs in 2000 and 2003 to go along with losses in the 2001 and 2012 final. Even the Nets, who back then played in Jersey, made consecutive title appearances in 2002 and 2003. Worth noting, New Jersey based teams have accounted for 4 titles in 9 appearances while New York teams only have 2 championships in 6 showings. Looks like Jersey is holding up their end of the deal…

#2 Boston: 9 total titles in 18 total appearances
You know a city is dominant when they have more finals appearances than there are years in our criteria. Boston’s 18 championship runs is one less than the number one team on this list. The cities 9 titles are incredible though. The largest contributor has been the Patriots, with Super Bowl victories in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2015 and losses in 2008 and 2012. The Red Sox have held up their end of the bargain as well, delivering 3 World Series titles in 2004, 2007 and 2013. The Celtics and Bruins even locked up a title each in 2008 and 2011 respectively. The little known fact is that Revolution actually have contributed the second most title appearances, with five. The issue is that they have come up short every time in the MLS Final. Still Boston’s titles are very impressive. They just couldn’t edge out number one.

#1 Los Angeles: 14 total titles in 19 total appearances
Wow. 14 titles in 15 years. It’s no wonder stars love going to Los Angeles. With teams in every one of the sports being considered but football, LA probably solid chances of succeeding but still 13 championships in 15 years in unprecedented. The LA Galaxy have brought home 5 MLS Cups in 7 attempts in 2002, 2005, 2011, 2012 and 2014. The Lakers have the same numbers with their titles coming in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010. The Kings have been stellar of late, nabbing two Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014. The Anaheim Ducks grabbed a trophy on the ice in 2007. The Anaheim Angeles added a World Series title in 2002 as well. When one city has three different teams winning titles in a single year (2002), there is really no discussion. This city has truly become Titletown since the year of 2000.

Disagree with the list, tell me who you think should have been included and who should have missed the cut.

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The post-Rondo rebuild begins in Boston

I guess Boston knew they had to rebuild already but now the Celtics are in for a full scale remodeling. Celtic’s General Manager Danny Ainge just pulled the trigger on shipping away Boston’s last piece from the Big 3 era: Rajon Rondo is now a Dallas Maverick. That is a great thing for Dallas fans, but we will get to that in a little bit. Right now, I want to look at the Celtics side of things.

The trade officially sends Rajon Rondo to the Mavericks in exchange for Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson and Brandon Wright as well as a future first and second round draft pick. Boston might lose their superstar but it gains three competent veterans that can contribute and the draft picks allow them to continue building this young team. The Celtics already have some promising young players in Marcus Smart, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynek. There are a couple players who could still pan out in Evan Turner and Tyler Zeller as well. While Boston is still a while away from being a title contender again, adding Nelson, Crowder and Wright is a plus. And this team is still only half a game out of a playoff spot in the unbelievably weak Eastern Conference. Wright has been having a very consistent and efficient year contributing on both ends of the court. Nelson is a decent scoring option and does well distributing the ball. Crowder is young and cheap. Another piece Celtics’ coach Brad Stevens has a chance to mold. None of these guys are starters by any means but they are all solid role players who can contribute and make an NBA team better.

Now for the Mavericks’ side of the deal. Dallas managed to avoid giving up very much, the one that hurts the most is Wright because of his contributions on both ends. Nelson was not getting any better at 31 years old and Crowder was barely averaging 10 minutes a game. Mavericks’ General Manager/Owner Donnie Nelson managed to keep his team mostly intact and he landed an All-Star point guard. Rondo brings a little flare offensively to the Dallas Mavericks. He is not a great shooter as it is often pointed out but he is the best distributor in the NBA. And now you pair him up with the likes of Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis and Chandler Parsons, Rondo will be dishing out more assist than ever. I think it will also make Rondo into a better offensive player because he will have to shoot less and he won’t be the center of attention for the defense. Rondo also gives Dallas a good perimeter defender. He is averaging 1.68 steals per game this year, good for 11th in the league this year. Hopefully, it will improve a Dallas defense that is allowing the seventh most points per game. Assuming there are no bumps in the transition, this makes the Mavericks a title contender in the West. Rondo is an upgrade of current starter J.J. Barea, who will still fill an important role off the bench for Dallas. Rondo is still only playing around 32 minutes per game meaning Barea will still see playing time.

This trade involves two teams going in very different directions. Boston continues to plunge into rebuild mode while Dallas just elevated itself to a top pick to win the rugged Western Conference and likely the NBA title this season. While that may be true, both teams benefited from this deal. Dallas landed their final assumed final piece to the puzzle and is poised to make a title run while Boston cashed in on Rondo while it still could, as he was likely to leave in free agency otherwise. Only time will tell who got the better end of the deal but right now, Dirk Nowitzki must be really happy he took that pay cut this summer to give the Mavericks flexibility with cap space. It is likely going to pay off with a deep playoff run this year. The interesting question is will Rondo stay will Dallas passed this season. But that is something to worry about later. For now, sit back and watch Rondo assist Nowitzki on one of his famous fadeaways. It will take a while to get used to that, especially for Boston fans.