The Golden State Warriors have been named Sports Illustrated's 2018 Sportsperson of the Year.
"There are multiple individuals whom Sports Illustrated could have selected as the 2018 Sportsperson of the Year and few would have argued," Chris Stone, Editor–in–Chief of Sports Illustrated, said. "But it was impossible to overlook the influence that the Warriors, as a collective group, have had on their sport and the broader culture over the last half-decade. They are a generational phenomenon, the likes of which we might not see again for decades, if at all."
Since 1954, Sports Illustrated has selected a Sportsperson of the Year: the athlete or team who best exemplifies the ideals of achievement and sportsmanship. This year's award focused on the power of sports to amaze, surprise and inspire. This year, the Warriors exhibited those attributes on and off the court.
From the moment they finished off the 2017 title, the Warriors were expected to do it again in 2018. After winning 58 games in the regular season, they went on to complete the first Finals sweep in 11 years, clinching their third title in four years by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers and establishing themselves as a dynasty.
In awarding Sportsperson of the Year to the Warriors, SI is also recognizing the team's franchise-wide commitment to service, community and the importance of taking a stand on matters beyond basketball.
“This is an incredible honor and one that certainly signifies our Strength in Numbers philosophy as a team and organization,” Warriors President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Bob Myers told The Associated Press. “Our success is due to the contributions of every single player, coach and staff member in our organization; for Sports Illustrated to recognize this unique dynamic is truly special.”
The Warriors are the fourth team ever and the first since the 2004 Boston Red Sox to win SI's Sportsperson of the Year award.
The U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey Team in 1980 and the US Women's Soccer team in 1999 were the other two teams to win the award. They join last year's winners, José Altuve and J.J. Watt, as one of 65 total honorees. Other athletes to win Sportsperson of the Year include LeBron James, Serena Williams, Michael Phelps, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and Wayne Gretzky.
The Golden State Warriors will be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated's Dec. 17 issue.
SI's other 2018 award honorees will also be featured in the magazine. Those recipients include John Cena, Muhammad Ali Legacy Award; Rachael Denhollander, Inspiration of the Year; Aaron Donald, Performer of the Year;Alvin Kamara, Breakout of the Year; and Leah Hayes, SportsKid of the Year.
The Golden State Warriors will be celebrated as this year's Sportsperson of the Year at the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Award Show, airing on NBC Sports Network Thursday, December 13 at 9 p.m. ET. Comedian and actor Joel McHale will host this year’s event.