The Los Angeles Lakers, with the weekend signing of LeBron James, now have the second-best odds to win next year’s NBA title.

That is what the signing of James to a four-year, $154 million max contract did. The Lakers, who were previously 20/1 to win it all next year, now have the second best odds to win it all at 7/2. They come in only behind, you guessed it, the Golden State Warriors. On the flip side, the Cleveland Cavaliers  odds have plummeted to 500/1 without LeBron.

Remember, these odds are just with the addition of James to the Lakers’ roster. There could be another addition, like Kawhi Leonard or DeMarcus Cousins. Los Angeles could make another move odds wise.

The question is who will be the “other player”? Or will LeBron, as I wondered out loud in these pages a while back, go it alone with the existing Lakers roster?

Will Trout Ever Win?

Mike Trout of Los Angeles Angels has long been considered the best player in baseball. This qualifies him as a superstar. And superstars, by a large majority, win games en route to championships.

Not Mike Trout. Not yet anyway. I have been reading more and more national sport stories calling Trout ‘the wasted superstar.’ Most of these articles slam the Angels’ franchise for not surrounding Trout with a supporting cast. Lately, I have seen a few question Trout’s ability to lead while asking if he is a winner.

Of all the major sports, baseball needs more than one star on a team. Trout is only one of nine guys on the diamond. And he is not a pitcher.

Trout and the Angels recently went through a span of time in June that illustrates just how great Trout is and how bad the Angels are as a team.

There was a stretch in June where he reached base in 29 of 37 plate appearances over an eight game span. He actually only made eight outs in the nine days! He was getting on base, on average, almost four times per game while hitting just under a mind-blowing .700. Surely, the Angels won a majority of these games. Think again. The team had just two victories during Trout’s tear.

Frustration has had to set in on both Trout and Angels’ fans. Baseball’s best player is better than he’s ever been, likely better than any of us have seen, and it still hasn’t been enough for his team to win half of its games.

Again, one guy’s presence can only possibly affect so much. Trout’s whole career has illustrated that point, with the last two years defining it ever so clearly. The Angels have had back-to-back losing seasons, and throughout them, he was unquestionably the best hitter in baseball.

I am not with those who are starting to question if Trout is a winner. I am with those who recognize he is the best player on the field when the first pitch of a game is thrown.

Magic Johnson has snapped up LeBron James
Mike Trout