The Warriors Blew a 3-1 Lead refers to a series of jokes about how the NBA's Golden State Warriors lost the 2016 NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers after having three wins against Cleveland's one in the Best-of-Seven series. That season, Golden State set the record for wins in the regular season with 73, and had the league's first-ever unanimous Most Valuable Player in Stephen Curry. Despite needing only one more victory to win the championship, Golden State lost the following three games and the series. This made them the first team in NBA History to blow a 3-1 series lead in the NBA finals. The jokes are a way to troll Warriors supporters who claimed the team was the best in NBA history.
In June of 2016, the Golden State Warriors met the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. After winning three of the first four games in the series, Golden State lost the following three games and the championship.
Following The Warriors Game 7 loss on June 19th, "The Warriors Blew a 3-1 Lead" became a popular punchline on Twitter to mock Warriors fans. One of the earlier recorded instances of the joke came on June 29th, when Twitter user @MrJayGomez joked that Brexit was a way to distract the public from remembering the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead.
The jokes continued throughout the summer of 2016 during the NBA offseason. On August 30th, Jacob Rosen created a Storify list in which he compiled dozens of tweets featuring "The Warriors Blew a 3-1 Lead" jokes. On September 13th, Ohio sports blog Waiting For Next Year did the same. Some tweets had a conspiracy theory-esque style to them; for example, user @SportsTalkJoe tweeted:
The joke soon began appearing in relation to stories that sometimes had nothing to do with basketball. For example, on October 9th, during Fox News' coverage of the second 2016 United States Presidential Election Debate, a sign was seen behind a Fox News pundit reminding viewers how the Warriors Blew a 3-1 lead (shown below). It has also been used in relation to football quarterback Robert Griffin III's injury, the Olympics, and Frank Ocean. A user on Etsy sells wristbands with the phrase written on them.
In the 2016 World Series, the Cleveland Indians went up 3 games to 1 against the Chicago Cubs. They went on to lose the series in seven games, leading fans to create images and tweets reveling in the irony that in the first major sporting championship since the 2016 NBA finals in which the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 to a Cleveland team, a Cleveland team blew a 3-1 lead.
 Storify (via Wayback Machine) – The Warriors lost a 3-1 lead in the Finals and Twitter still loves it
 Waiting For Next Year – Eternal memes for celebrating champions: While We’re Waiting
 Etsy – The Warriors Blew A 3-1 Finals Lead Wristbands Cleveland Cavs Championship (item no longer available)
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