NBA Warriors and Patriots fall, while Dodgers, Chiefs and Lakers end their droughts
Nor there are streaks that are eternal in sports. Eventually, the drought has to end and the boom season is over. It happens in every sport, but 2020 was an atypical year, not only because of the pandemic, but because several sports seem to have the beginning of a new era.
In the NFL, the New England Patriots were eliminated from the postseason for the first time since 2008, the year Tom Brady injured his knee in the first half of the first game. Not only will they not be in the new 14-team Playoff, but they have a losing record, something that hasn’t happened since 2000, Bill Belichick’s first season at Foxborough.
And it seems that there is already a successor. The Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV in February, their first degree in 50 years, and the 2020 season they finished as the best team in the league. They have the best quarterback in the league, Patrick mahomes, who is still on his rookie contract, which keeps the window of making a dynasty open. Mahomes will be in the team until 2031, but his 500 million contract it could affect other positions. Even so, they have one of the greatest talents in history in the most important position of the sport, which will allow them to fight as long as their health allows them.
In the NBA, the Golden State Warriors ended their streak of 5 consecutive appearances in the Finals. Klay Thompson’s injury in Game 6 of the 2019 Finals combined with Kevin Durant’s departure and Stephen Curry’s injury in Game 4 of the 19/20 season to not only be out of the Playoffs, but to be the worst team before the stop for the pandemic. They selected James Wiseman with the second draft pick, but Klay tore his Achilles tendon and will remain out all season. They started 2-2 still with the loss of Draymond Green, which could augur a better campaign than the 15-50 of 19/20, but they seem to be several steps behind the true contenders, who lead the Lakers.
The Los Angeles team ended its longest run of playoff appearances (since 2013), appearing in the Finals (2010) and one of the most titled (2010) with the arrival of Anthony Davis, who made a formidable pair with LeBron James to win the ring in the Orlando bubble. They renewed between seasons and seem to have a better team still than last season, so they are the favorites again.
In Major League Baseball, one of the most popular teams, the Dodgers, ended the 22-year drought without a ring, beating the Rays in the World Series to end once and for all the curses of the team … and Clayton Kershaw.
With Mookie Betts commanding the league’s most feared offense and quality arms like Kershaw, Mexico’s Uras and Walker Buehler, the Los Angeles team also aspires to stay on top for several more years.