The Washington Nationals’ road to triumph was a unique, resilient, and captivating compilation of baseball. They exorcised recurring playoff heartbreak and did so by coming back late in games and series.
It’s the second time this year that we’ve seen a team in professional sports overcome adversity and finally break through to win a championship. This fall it was the Nationals. Back in the spring it was the NBA’s Toronto Raptors.
From 2014-18, the Raptors, a perennial threat to win the Eastern Conference and the NBA Finals, continually ran into a wall in the postseason. They never escaped the conference and simply couldn’t win the big series. Sometimes that wall was LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, sometimes it was the Washington Wizards, and sometimes it was the Brooklyn Nets.
Throughout it all, they had some great teams headlined by the likes of the potent backcourt duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, as well as big men Jonas Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka. Then president Masai Ujiri made some bold decisions after the 2018 playoffs, the first being firing head coach Dwane Casey and promoting assistant Nick Nurse.
The other? Trading DeRozan, Raptors royalty,…