The Los Angeles Sports Council named the Los Angeles Kings’ Stanley Cup triumph as the greatest sports moment of 2012 at the 8th Annual L.A. Sports Awards Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton. Jonathan Quick was named 2012’s Sportsman of the Year, Darryl Sutter was named the area’s Coach of the Year, and AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke was named the Sports Executive of the Year.
Olympic gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings shared the award for Sportswomen of the Year. Long Beach and Orange County teams, events and sportspeople were also eligible for consideration.
Having won the Stanley Cup for the first time in the organization’s 45-year history, the Kings’ top billing was hardly a shock. Considering Leiweke presided over a pair of championship teams in the Kings and the Los Angeles Galaxy, his nomination wasn’t a surprise, either.
Sutter’s only real competition probably came from Jim Mora, Jr., who guided UCLA Football’s resurgence. Bruce Arena of the Galaxy also likely drew his share of votes. Amongst the longer shots in this category? Don’t overlook what Dan Monson has done to resuscitate Long Beach State’s men’s basketball program, which finished with a 25-9 record a season ago, including a 15-1 sprint through the Big West.
As magnificent as Quick was throughout the Kings’ dream season, he likely had the stiffest competition. Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim didn’t turn 21 until the dog days of the 2012 season, yet bat .326 with 30 homeruns, stole an impressive 49 bases and drove in 83 runs en route to the American League’s Rookie of the Year award and second place finish in MVP voting. And while Teemu Selanne likely didn’t come close to either Quick or Trout in Sportsman of the Year voting, leading the Ducks in scoring as a 41-year old is certainly worth a mention, even on a Los Angeles Kings blog.
The full ranking of achievements is as follows:
1. Kings Win the Cup (June 11): The Kings beat New Jersey in six games to win their first Stanley Cup.
2. Galaxy Win MLS Cup (December 1): The Galaxy defeated Houston, 3-1, at the Home Depot Center to win its second consecutive Major League Soccer championship.
3. Mike Trout Wins AL Rookie of Year Award (November 12): The Angels outfielder batted .326 with 30 home runs and was named the League’s top rookie.
4. Clippers Win 17 Straight (November 28 – December 30): The Clippers put together the greatest winning streak in franchise history.
5. Guggenheim Buys the Dodgers (May 1): Guggenheim Baseball Management purchased the Dodgers for a whopping $2.15 billion.
6. Steve Nash and Dwight Howard Join the Lakers (July 4 and August 10): Over the summer, the Lakers acquired two of the NBA’s top superstars via trade.
7. Kim Rhode Medals at Her 5th Straight Olympics (July 29): Rhode, from Monrovia, won a gold medal in women’s skeet and became the first American athlete to medal in an individual or team event in 5 consecutive Olympic Games.
8. UCLA Beats USC to Win Pac-12 South Football Title (November 17): The Bruins defeated the Trojans, 38-28, at the Rose Bowl to clinch the Pac-12 South championship.
9. Clippers Beat Memphis in Dramatic Playoff Series (May 13): The Clippers defeated the Grizzlies 4 games to 3, rallying from 27 points behind in Game 1 and winning Game 7 on the road.
10. Allyson Felix Sprints to 3 Gold Medals in London (August 8, 10 and 11): The Los Angeles native won gold in the 200 meters and as a member of the 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams.