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Injuries robbed Bay Area sports fans in 2020

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The Golden State Warriors and San Francisco 49ers suffered devastating injuries that robbed each organization of a chance at a title.

Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Let’s call it what it is. The year 2020 sucks. More than 250,000 American lives lost to COVID-19, people are losing their livelihoods due to the pandemic, and we just went through the most tumultuous federal election in recent history.

When we learned that sports would be coming back during the summer of 2019, it was a welcome surprise. Instead of being stuck in our homes, continually thinking about the state of flux the world was in, we would at least have something to distract us from everything that is going wrong in the world.

But, for Bay Area sports fans, the distraction turned into a reminder that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Golden State Warriors supporters have been waiting for more than 18 months to see the beloved Klay Thompson back on the court for the 2020-21 NBA season. Dub Nation was recharged after the reset year that followed five-consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, which resulted in three championships.

The 2020-21 season was supposed to be the joyous return of the Splash Brothers. Thompson and Stephen Curry were going to go on a Revenge Tour alongside Draymond Green and run roughshod over the NBA.

Instead, it will be another what-if season with Thompson suffering a season-ending Achilles injury. The Dubs should still be a playoff team with Curry and Green back, plus whichever players general manager Bob Myers can add to the roster, but this will feel like an empty season.

What happened to the Warriors is similar to their Bay Area brethren, the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners didn’t win three championships over five years like the Dubs but came agonizingly close in 2019. San Francisco surrendered a 10-point fourth quarter lead and lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

Like the Warriors were supposed to be in the coming season, the Niners were set to begin their Revenge Tour in 2020. The roster was stacked with high-end talent going into Week 1, but just 14 days later, the 49ers were fielding a squad that was missing Nick Bosa, George Kittle, Richard Sherman and Jimmy Garoppolo.

San Francisco’s playoff hopes are hanging by a thread, and fans are left to ponder what could have been as the franchise faces a plethora of changes going into 2021.

Other than in 2019, the Warriors and 49ers have never been championship contenders at the same time, and we were on the cusp of seeing both franchises vying for a title simultaneously for the next few seasons.

Instead — like many other things in the world — 2020 had other ideas.