The Warriors cruised to another NBA championship in 2018, sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers to capture their third in four years. The championship triumph cemented the Warriors as a dynasty.
Sports Illustrated explained their decision for giving the Warriors the nod, noting the incredible and beautiful style of basketball they've displayed on the court.
"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."
Despite injuries to key players last season, the Warriors stayed the course and survived a scare from the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals. Golden State trailed 3-2 in the series, but they rallied to win the next two games and book yet another trip to the big dance.
The Warriors won the NBA championship without breaking a sweat against the Cavaliers, with Kevin Durant winning NBA Finals MVP for the second straight year. And the Warriors look poised to win yet another in 2019.
Sports Illustrated also praised the Warriors for their impact on politics, comparing it to the 'Showtime' Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics in the '80s, and the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in the '90s:
"The current boom, too, has coincided with the increasing intersection of sports and the hard questions of politics, race and identity, among others, that have so divided the country. The Warriors—forcefully but civilly—embraced the unique platform afforded them."
Off the court, multiple Warriors players have been heavily involved in the political and cultural aspects of sports. The team announced they would not attend the White House after their victory, and their invitation was cancelled by the office.
What This Means
The Warriors' have undoubtedly left quite an impact on the basketball world, completely revolutionizing the game with their historically dominant three-point shooting. Like it or not, the Warriors found a new style of basketball to build around, and it's led to three championships, with more certainly on the way.
This team has racked up the team (and individual) hardware over the last four years. Now, they're being recognized for their impact on and off the court.