The Golden State Warriors have not lost in a long time — a very, very long time. Sure, they technically dropped four of their seven preseason games back in October, but seriously, who cares about the preseason? The fact of the matter is, the Dubs have not succumbed to the bitter taste of defeat in a meaningful contest since Game 3 of the 2015 NBA Finals on June 9. If the team can extend their current 22-0 start during a game against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, Wednesday will represent exactly six months since the Warriors last saw an “L” next to their name, which is absurdly noteworthy.
Lots and lots of things have transpired in the world of sports since Golden State fell behind the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, two games to one. If you consider every single world sporting event, dozens of new records have been set. We’ll go out on a limb and say that an upwards of 100 championships have likely been earned and tons of superstars have signed contracts. So, picking just five notable occurrences since that now-historic June night in Cleveland is tricky. We focused on U.S. sporting events that generated the most buzz and snagged the most headlines, with all five events occurring after the Warriors’ last loss on June 9.
1. 2015 NBA free agency (Began on July 10)
Just a few short weeks after the Warriors completed their 4-2 NBA Finals victory over the Cavaliers, the 2015 NBA free agency period officially began. While July 1 was the first day when teams could start meeting and negotiating with players, the signings could not begin until July 10. The big move for the champs was re-upping forward Draymond Green, ensuring that he would be a part of the team’s historic start this fall. But other than Green, some big names moved while others stayed put.
LeBron James, Marc Gasol, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, and DeAndre Jordan all stayed in their respective cities, although Jordan’s process was an infamous, controversial one. The Portland Trail Blazers lost a whole lot of talent in the off-season — the most notable one being LaMarcus Aldridge, who took his talents to San Antonio to join Leonard, Tim Duncan, and company on a four-year, $84 million deal. Many NBA pundits immediately crowned the Spurs as the Western Conference champions and the Warriors had a good laugh about it.
2. Deflategate continued (June 23 – September 3)
You thought you’d escaped any more mentions of Deflategate? Think again. The never-ending saga that began on January 19 (the day after the New England Patriots’ 45-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game) lost some steam over the summer months, but came back with a shocking bang in September. First though, Tom Brady’s appeal took place in New York on June 23 (about six weeks after Brady appealed his four-game suspension).
The ordeal included 10 hours of testimony. Then, on July 28, the NFL announced that Brady’s four-game suspension would not be reduced. Finally, on September 3, U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman revoked No. 12’s suspension completely. Through 12 games this season (all Brady starts), the Patriots are 10-2 and Brady is one of the front runners for league MVP.
3. Kansas City Royals win the 2015 World Series (November 1)
When the Warriors last lost, the Kansas City Royals were in the midst of a modest four-game winning streak, sitting atop the American League Central Division at 34-23. The Minnesota Twins were playing well, only trailing Kansas City by a pair of games. Despite the strong start for KC, some were skeptical of the team’s chances of making the World Series. Just under five months later though, Ned Yost’s crew finished off the New York Mets at Citi Field in Game 5, taking home their first World Series championship since 1985.
While the final series of the MLB season may have been a bit anti-climactic, the playoffs provided constant drama and excitement throughout October. From the various underdogs who made the postseason field and the legendary heroics of Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy to the nice run from the upstart, championship-deprived Chicago Cubs, this fall had it all. In the end though, it was Kansas City that was truly “royal.”
4. Ronda Rousey’s stunning loss (November 15)
For a still up-and-coming sport like mixed martial arts to make the list of prominent events that occurred in the last sixth months, something special needed to happen. On November 15, that miracle happened in one of the most stunning defeats in UFC history. In UFC 193: Rousey versus Holm, more than 56,000 people packed Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia to see the previously undefeated fighter, Ronda Rousey, take on challenger Holly Holm for the women’s bantamweight title.
The match was the most-attended UFC event in the history of the franchise, but that was far from what people will remember most about that fateful night. The heavily-favored Rousey (who entered 12-0 in her MMA career) fell to Holm after the victor knocked out Rousey with a head kick knockout just 59 seconds into the second round. Though the fight is now over three weeks old, fans and analysts alike are still buzzing about the shocking upset.
5. Carolina Panthers’ 12-0 start (September 13 – present)
The Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos, and Atlanta Falcons all started strong this season. The Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots were approximately halfway through their campaigns without a loss before eventually falling. But entering Week 14 on Thursday, only one of the NFL’s 32 teams is undefeated.
The Carolina Panthers had modest expectations coming into the year as they were one season removed from “winning” the NFC South and making a probably undeserved playoff appearance. Now, they are 12-0 and just four wins away from the first 16-0 season in the league since the 2007-08 Patriots. You can say what you want about Brady, the pleasant surprises of the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs, and other intriguing NFL storylines, but the Panthers’ undefeated streak is clearly the top-dog right now.
Back in June, when Golden State last lost, Carolina was still two months away from the devastating season-ending injury to stud wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. Now, they’re on top of the football world as one of the favorites to capture Super Bowl 50. Plain and simple, a ton has happened in the wide world of sports since Stephen Curry and company last lost a basketball game. That’s what happens when you knock off win after win and are 22-0, chasing NBA history.
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