In part two of our Sports in America: Basketball free English class series, we will look at one of the greatest comeback stories in NBA history: the rise and fall of the Golden State Warriors!
Approximately 15 minutes
The Rise and Fall of the Golden State Warriors
Click below to listen to a recording of this passage.
The Early Years
The Golden State Warriors are a professional team founded in 1946 in Philadelphia. Back then, they were simply known as the “Warriors.” In 1962, the team relocated to San Francisco, California. Almost a decade later, they adopted a new moniker to reflect California’s state nickname — The Golden State.
The team struggled to find success in the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, in the mid-1980s, the Golden State Warriors played in a Western Conference Semifinal match that is still celebrated as one of the greatest games of all time. Thanks to the stunning performance of Sleepy Floyd and the rest of the team, the Golden State Warriors gained a new following in the San Francisco Bay area.
Time to Rebuild
Though the team continued to struggle in the late 90s and early 2000s, they seemed to have finally found their savior in Steph Curry. The Golden State Warriors chose Steph Curry in the 2009 NBA draft. Despite the abilities of their newest point guard, they failed to make the playoffs that year due to a string of injuries. Nonetheless, the owners and coaches persevered and signed Jeremy Lin, the first Taiwanese-American player in NBA history. They would spend the next few years adding to their all-star lineup with Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green.
The Golden Years
In the 2012 season, Steph Curry broke the single-season NBA record for the most three-pointers. The Golden State Warriors reached the playoffs in two consecutive seasons for the first time since the 1990s. In 2014, the team hired Steve Kerr, a rookie coach who would lead the Golden State Warriors to the NBA Finals. That same year, the team set a league record with a total of 67 wins and just 15 losses. Additionally, Steph Curry was named the MVP (Most Valuable Player) and the Golden State Warriors became the NBA Champions for the first time since 1975.
Steve Kerr and Steph Curry led their team on to four more appearances in the NBA Finals. During this time, the team picked up Kevin Durant, adding to an already powerful arsenal of offensive players. After years of mediocrity, the Golden State Warriors had finally become one of the most successful franchises in the history of the NBA.
Trouble in Paradise
Despite winning records and NBA Finals appearances in both 2018 and 2019, the Golden State Warriors suffered a series of injuries that hindered the team’s success. In 2018, star center Demarcus Cousins suffered a quad injury. That same year, Kevin Durant would experience several injuries before ultimately leaving the team. Finally, Klay Thompson tore his ACL during the finals, helping the Toronto Raptors beat out the Golden State Warriors to become the 2019 NBA Champions.
While the future of the Golden State Warriors is uncertain, the 2020 season is not looking good. Since the start of the calendar year, they have lost 25 of the 30 games they’ve played. Though the NBA season has been indefinitely postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it remains to be seen if the Golden State Warriors will ever return to their former glory.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the words in bold from the passage:
Grammar Center: The Imperfect Tense
However, you may not be as familiar with the “imperfect” tense. The imperfect tense is used for any action in the past that does not have a specific beginning or end. The most common example is the past continuous:
However, this is not the only way to form the imperfect tense. Let’s take a look at a few sentences from the passage:
As you might have noticed, each sentence uses the auxiliary verb “would,” followed by an infinitive verb. In all three examples, we have a general idea of when the events took place, but the timeline is vague and imprecise.
In addition to talking about continuous or habitual events in the past, the imperfect tense can refer to events spread out over an indefinite period of time. Here are a few more examples using both would and could as the auxiliary verbs:
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