The 10 Best Professional Athletes In Los Angeles Right Now, Ranked

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lebron james

The Greatest of All-Time debate has gotten dull, boring, no matter what Skip Bayless and the rest of the commentators say.

Who’s the best professional athlete playing in Los Angeles right now…today. If you’re in Los Angeles, what athlete is worth the price of admission, the person you want to look back on 25 years from now and say “I saw them play.”

MORE: Best LA sports franchises right now

Of course, the list is subjective. You’re comparing different sports, and the truth is the best athlete in LA today might be a beach volleyball player who plays eight hours a day, every day.

You can have your GOAT lists, let’s do GORN (Greatest of Right Now).

10. Anze Kopitar, LA Kings

Coming off his 16th year with the Kings and Kopitar has started to slow down just a hair. The center had a team-high 67 points for LA’s National Hockey League franchise and his plus/minus rating was down.

But Kopitar now makes up for any athletic deficiencies with his guile and leadership. He’s a two-time Selke Award winner and hoisted two Stanley Cups in a Kings jersey.

9. Sydney Leroux, Angel City FC

Women’s soccer is big deal in America and Leroux is one of the best talents to ever play for the USA winning an Olympic Gold Medal in 2012 and was part of the Women’s World Cup championship team in 2015. She’s still a star forward one of those soccer players you watch and think ‘they’re just wired differently.’

8. Mookie Betts, LA Dodgers

With baseball players it’s hard to figure out just where they stand on the athlete spectrum, so much of what they do requires hand-eye coordination and I don’t know how to properly evaluate pitchers. Some pitchers are just born with a great arm and nothing else (remember Bartolo Colon), but Betts has speed, power and plays the game so smoothly, he has to be a great athlete.

7. Carlos Vela, LAFC

The MLS club made a big splash last month signing the former MLS MVP to a contract. He’s had injuries the last two years, but in 2019 he was a dominant player in a sport that, uh, doesn’t have dominant players. Vela played for Arsenal in the Premier League and was on the Mexico World Cup teams in 2010 and 2018. In 101 MLS regular season games he has 102 points.

6. Justin Herbert, San Diego Chargers

Quarterbacks used to be like baseball pitchers, sort of blessed with one special skill: the ability to throw a ball with speed and accuracy.

That’s all changed now. Quarterbacks have to be big enough to take a pounding of defenses, smart enough to handle the changes in the game and now, athletic enough to scramble and do everything all at once. That’s what Justin Herbert has shown in his two years already in the NFL.

5. Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers

I’m partial to basketball players when it comes to best athletes of all-time lists. They have to be in superior condition to run long distances, short bursts of speed, jump (high) and contort their bodies in all sorts of positions. When healthy (big caveat) Leonard has shown the ability and instincts to be the best basketball player in the world. He can do all of those things and is blessed with unique physical abilities.

4. Nneka Ogwumike, LA Sparks

Now here’s a player who is actually playing in Los Angeles, like, right now. This is Ogwumike’s 12th year with the Sparks and she may be playing the best basketball of her career, averaging 18 points a game. She was WNBA MVP in 2016 and a six-time WNBA All-Star. She made the W25 as one of the best players in the league’s history. Shooter, scorer, defender, she’s a tremendous athlete.

3. Mike Trout, LA Angels

He was a basketball player and baseball player in high school in New Jersey and his strength mixed with his speed make him the premier baseball player in the majors today. Trout can hit three home runs a game and then make a leaping catch over the fence to steal a home run from an opponent. If only the Angels could put a team around him that was worth watching.

2. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Like I said, I am partial to basketball players and James may not go down in history as the GOAT, but he may go down as the best physical specimen to ever play the game. NBA players still back away from James when he is thundering down the lane. No human being should be able to move that quick, and dare I say, that graceful at his size. Yes, his age is starting to catch up to him. Maybe. But he’s a supreme athlete.

1. Aaron Donald, LA Rams

The thing about Aaron Donald is he can probably do everything everyone else can do on this list: hit a home run, dunk a basketball, but his strength is what sets him apart. Donald makes his living going up against big, tough offensive linemen and he devours them. He’s a unicorn in the NFL and one of the best players of all time. Right now, he’s the GORN.