Yes, another year-end, top-of-the-decade list, this time from Sports Illustrated. The magazine says the Los Angeles Lakers are the sports franchise of the decade. The Staples Center-based ballers beat out the NFL's New England Patriots (number two), the University of Connecticut's women's basketball team (number three), the San Antonio Spurs (number four) and the New York Yankees (number 5). USC football, by the way, came in at number seven.
Of the Lakers, SI states, “No team in the four major professional sports — NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB — won more titles during the 2000s than the Lakers (four). Los Angeles made six appearances in the NBA Finals during the decade, reached the playoffs nine times and had seven seasons with at least 50 victories.” It also voted Phil Jackson as coach of the decade.
The magazine notes, however, that the team slumped mid-decade after trading Shaquille O'Neal and seeing its star, Kobe Bryant, injured. Bryant, by the way, ranked seventh among the decades top athletes.
Southern California native and sometime philanderer Tiger Woods took the number one spot there and also beat out tennis' Roger Federer (number two), swimmer and bong-hitter Michael Phelps (number three), Lance Armstrong (number four) and runner Usain Bolt (number five).
In its biggest sports stories run-down, Sports Illustrated ranked baseball's steroids scandal above Tiger Woods bizarre crash and subsequent admission that he's a player both on and off the greens.