Commentary

The decade's top L.A. sports moments

The list might be USC- and Lakers-heavy, but they outshined the rest

Updated: December 31, 2009, 1:24 AM ET
By Arash Markazi | ESPN Los Angeles

The decade basically began and ended with Kobe Bryant orchestrating the improbable at Staples Center.

Ten years ago, it was Bryant feeding a picture-perfect alley-oop to Shaquille O'Neal to cap a 15-point comeback against the Portland Trail Blazers in the final 10 minutes of the Western Conference finals, and this month Bryant hit an off-balance left-handed buzzer-beater over Dwyane Wade to defeat the Miami Heat.

Both those moments are etched into the memories of Los Angeles sports fans, but only one made the list of the top 10 Los Angeles sports moments of the decade.

That's what made this list so hard to compile. For every Derek Fisher 0.4-second shot that just had to be included in the list, there was an equally memorable Fisher 3-pointer in last season's NBA Finals that wasn't able to make the cut.

The first thing that might jump out from the list is that seven of the 10 moments belong to the Lakers and USC. It makes sense when you consider the runs both teams have had this decade, with the Lakers playing in six NBA Finals and USC playing in seven consecutive BCS bowl games. Not only did both teams have incredible runs but they provided some of the most memorable moments in all of sports in the past decade.

The USC-Texas Rose Bowl culminating with Vince Young's game-winning touchdown and the Bush Push at Notre Dame aren't only two of the most memorable moments in Los Angeles sports, they are two of the greatest moments in college football history.

The same can be said for Bryant's iconic lob pass to O'Neal, which was the signature moment in their storied partnership, and Fisher's 0.4 shot, not to mention the night Bryant went for 81.

As difficult as it was to leave off the AnaheimDucks winning the Stanley Cup, David Beckham and Landon Donovan leading the Galaxy back to the MLS Cup and the Sparks winning back-to-back WNBA championships, I don't remember where I was when those events took place.

OK, I lied. I was in the Honda Center the night the Ducks beat the Ottawa Senators and drank out of Lord Stanley, but I hardly remember it. Unfortunately, those weren't moments that resonated with me or most other sports fans in Los Angeles.

The one common denominator of every moment on this list is that they all were talked about for weeks and months after they happened and are still remembered as vividly today as they were the day they happened.

Arash Markazi

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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