Sports Council honors the best of 2020 with annual awards

Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES — The year 2020 was a momentous one for Southland sports franchises, and the Los Angeles Sports Council honored those who made it possible March 24 with the annual Los Angeles Sports Award program.

LeBron James of the Lakers and Mookie Betts of the Dodgers were among those among those recognized.

James, Betts and Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks were honored as the sports people of the year, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was named coach of the year and Lakers owner Jeanie Buss was honored as executive of the year.

Rams offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth was recognized as the mayor’s community athlete of the year, while the late Rafer Johnson was honored with a lifetime achievement award.

The LA Sports Council also unveiled its ranking of the greatest sports moments of the year. The list of moments, in alphabetical order by team, included:

Angel City FC: An all-star investor group announces formation of the National Women’s Soccer League franchise set to begin competing in 2022 (June 21).

• The Angels’ Albert Pujols hits his 661st and 662nd home runs to pass the legendary Willie Mays for fifth on MLB’s all-time home runs list (Sept. 18).

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert throws for 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns in his first season in the NFL, capping a remarkable season that earned the 22-year old the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and NFL Pepsi Rookie of the Year honors.

Clippers President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank was named 2019-20 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year (Oct. 8) after leading the front office to shape a roster headlined by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Dodgers win the World Series for the first time since 1988, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays, four games to two (Oct. 27).

• Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw strikes out six in Game 5 of the World Series (5.2 innings) to set an all-time postseason record for strikeouts with 207 (Oct. 25).

Lakers defeat Miami, 106-93, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals — held in the “NBA Bubble” in Orlando — to earn the club’s 17th NBA title (Oct. 11).

Lakers’ Anthony Davis hits game-winning three to lift the Lakers to a 105-103 win over Denver, giving the team a 2-0 lead in the NBA Western Conference Finals (Sept. 20).

LAFC: MLS international Diego Rossi, 22, wins the 2020 MLS Golden Boot, leading the league with 14 goals in just 19 appearances. Rossi is the youngest player in league history to win the award and LAFC is the first club to ever produce back-to-back Golden Boot winners after Carlos Vela took the title in the 2019 season. (Nov. 8).

SoFi Stadium: Rams open SoFi Stadium, LA’s new indoor-outdoor, 70,000-seat venue, with a Rams 20-17 win over Dallas on Sunday Night Football (Sept. 13).

• UCLA senior Kyla Ross repeats as Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year, becoming only the second back-to-back winner in conference history (March 25).