Pushnaija: The most valuable sports team of 2021
The past year hasn’t been kind to some sports teams by most accounts. This is mainly because some seasons have been shortened, tournaments have been cancelled and most international competitions were played in empty stadiums. These are the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic’s never-ending reproduction of variants that causes spikes in the number of cases around the world.
However, not all of the reasons why some teams lose is due to external factors such as the pandemic. Some are also because of their lack of teamwork, passion and inspiration. As we look back on the highs and lows of the 2021’s sporting calendar, we can say that certain teams truly are the best. Check out some of these sports teams below:
- Tampa Bay Lightning
The Bolts were the defending Stanley Cup champions in 2021, thus they were in better shape than other teams. However, Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2020 title came under unusual circumstances despite lacking some key players such as the injured Nikita Kucherov. While it appeared that they would have stronger competition, Tampa persevered. They finished 16-7 in a postseason that saw Kucherov’s contentious return. This fine-tuned their salary-cap position to finish tied for the league’s eighth-best record during the regular season.
- Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers, like the Lightning, entered 2021 as defending champions after a shortened 2020 season. On paper, the Dodgers appeared to have even more talent this season than they did the year before. However, despite their success, the season was far from easy. Fortunately, due to some remarkable off-season acquisitions, they won 106 games and made it through the wild-card round.
Although they had beaten the Giants in a tense division series, they lost in an NLCS rematch with the eventual champion Atlanta Braves. The Los Angeles Dodgers made decisions along the way that cost them money and trust. Even so, they are still baseball’s most dominant club for most of the season and this year’s top champion in all major pro sports.
- Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors have the finest turnaround story of 2021, beating out their Bay Area MLB colleagues and a slew of NBA competitors. It began last season when the Warriors overcame a nightmare due to the absence of Steph Curry and came close to returning to the playoffs.
Fortunately, the Warriors have found another gear this season, looking like the league’s most outstanding team in the early going. The current Warriors have a striking resemblance to the team that set an NBA record for most wins in a single season prior to the arrival of Kevin Durant.
- The United States Women’s Basketball
Only 3 times has the US women’s Olympic basketball team lost a game in an official competition. The most recent of these was in 1992. The United States women stormed their way to a 7th consecutive gold medal at the Summer Games in Tokyo, bringing the program’s total Olympic wins to 70. Led by WNBA stars Brittney Griner and Breanna Stewart, the Americans outscored their 6 opponents by an average of 19.3 points.