Sports Illustrated's 2018 Sportsperson of the Year is ... the Golden State Warriors
They're not the first team to take home the honor
The Golden State Warriors have claimed yet another title and, unlike their previous three, this one came as a bit of a surprise.
On Monday morning, it was announced that the Warriors were to receive the Sports Illustrated "2018 Sportsperson of the Year" honors, making them the latest recipient in a long line of distinguished athletes and coaches that have had a significant impact on their respective sports and/or communities.
And while it might seem silly that the Warriors -- a sports team, not a sportsperson -- have claimed the award, they're not the first collective unit to be named Sportsperson of the Year. The 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, the 1999 World Cup-winning U.S. women's national soccer team and the 2004 Boston Red Sox also received the honor, which has been handed out annually since 1954.
There's no arguing that the Warriors are a special team. They're currently the class of the NBA and are working a dynasty that will be recognized as a notable point in league history for years to come. Their NBA championship earlier this year was their third in four years, and they set the league's single-season wins record by going 73-9 during the regular season a few years ago.
But when compared the previous teams that took home the honor -- 1980 Olympic team was an actual miracle, the 1999 World Cup squad was dramatic and historic and the 2004 Red Sox broke one of the most significant "curses" in sports history -- this Warriors selection just seems rather mundane.
And then of course there's the recent internal issues that have infiltrated the Golden State locker room, namely the altercation that left Draymond Green with after he repeatedly called teammate Kevin Durant "a b----."
Here's how the SI editors justified the choice of the Warriors as a whole:
For all the individual brilliance of Steph Curry—a selection whom few would have protested—the Warriors have always been most delightfully viewed through a collective prism. There have been superteams that have forced us to reimagine how the game is played, but none perhaps in a generation, maybe two, are so beautifully choreographed as the Warriors. At the Dubs' most golden, their movements and pieces seamlessly blur into each other to the point where it impossible to distinguish the magic of one player from another, even magic so singular as that of Curry or KD.
In any case, if the goal was to generate some buzz and catch people off-guard, I would say that Sports Illustrated has successfully done so. It just seems like there were a number of other candidates who could have easily taken home the honor. This year we saw the resurgence of Tiger Woods, an Olympic star breakout in Chloe Kim, a Triple Crown winner in Justify and one of hockey's greatest ever in Alex Ovechkin finally capture his first Stanley Cup championship.
And if we're taking into consideration sports figures who had a massive impact beyond just athletic performance, there were all gymnasts who came forward to ensure that Larry Nassar would spend the rest of his life behind bars. Given how powerful and prominent that story was in 2018, it seems like that could've (and should've) been a strong candidate.
But, at the end of the day, it's also a question of which person or team is the best sell, both in terms of interest and magazines. Clearly, the Warriors came out on top over the competition once again.
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