In 1997, then team owner Abe Pollin decided to change the club's nickname from Bullets to Wizards. The reasoning behind the name change was because Pollin did not want the team's name to continue to be associated with any violent connotations. The name change also included new logos, colors and uniforms, coinciding with the team's move to the new MCI Center. The new team's colors were blue, bronze and black. The primary logo depicted a wizard conjuring a basketball with a quarter moon. In 2007, the Wizards made minor modifications on their team jerseys and logos. To accommodate the goldblack alternate jerseys they introduced the previous season along with the design change on the Verizon Center floor, they changed their secondary team colors from bronze to metallic gold, and the player's name on the back of the jersey was changed from white/blue with bronze trim to gold (blue on home uniforms) with a change in lettering.
In the Eastern Conference finals, they trailed the San Antonio Spurs 31, but they mounted a comeback by winning two straight games to force a game seven at the Capital Centre. The Bullets rallied again, overcoming a fourthquarter deficit to beat George Gervin and the Spurs 107105 in one of the NBA's all-time greatest games and advance to the NBA Finals and a rematch with the Seattle SuperSonics.
NBA Coach of the Year
On July 17, 2012, the Wizards exercised the amnesty provision from the 2011 CBA to release Andray Blatche. They also signed A. J. Price.Then, on August 29, 2012, Martell Webster was signed to the Wizards for one year on a $1.6 million contract. He played above average for what he was signed for and had a .422 average for three-pointers and a .442 field goal percentage.
Washington, boasting the league's tallest player (Murean, whose height is 7ft 7 in), two very athletic forwards (Howard and Webber) and one of the league's top point guards (Rod Strickland), started the 199697 season at 2224. That led to the dismissal of head coach Jim Lynam. Bernie Bickerstaff, an assistant coach with the Bullets when they won their only NBA Championship in 1978, was called upon to resurrect his former team. The Bullets responded, winning 16 of their final 21 games to finish 4438, their best record since 197879. The late surge enabled the Bullets to climb within reach of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. In a win-or-go-home game with the Cavaliers on the season's final day, the Bullets squeezed past Cleveland 8581 to end the franchise's longest playoff drought. And while the Bullets were swept by the Bulls in the first round, they lost the three games by a total of 18 points.
Prior to the 196465 NBA season the Bullets pulled off a blockbuster trade, sending Dischinger, Rod Thorn and Don Kojis to the Detroit Pistons for Bailey Howell, Don Ohl, Bob Ferry and Wali Jones. The trade worked out well; Howell proved to be a hustler and a fundamentally sound player. He helped the Bullets get into the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. In the 1965 NBA Playoffs, the Bullets stunned the St. Louis Hawks 31, and advanced to the Western Conference finals. In the finals, Baltimore managed to split the first four games with the Los Angeles Lakers before losing the series 42.
In October 2016, they were ranked 93rd of 122 worst franchises in major sports by Ultimate Standings.
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The team's original nickname was a nod to Chicago's meatpacking industry; their home arena, the International Amphitheater, was next door to the Union Stock Yards. However, it was extremely unpopular since it was the same nickname used by the NFL's Green Bay Packers, bitter rivals of the Chicago Bears. After only one year, the organization changed its name to the Chicago Zephyrs and played its home games at the Chicago Coliseum (Saperstein's ABL Majors prevented the team from playing in the larger Chicago Stadium). Their only season as the Zephyrs boasted former Purdue star Terry Dischinger, who went on to win Rookie of the Year honors. In 1963 the franchise moved to Baltimore, Maryland, and became the Baltimore Bullets, taking their name from a 1940s'50s Baltimore Bullets BAA/NBA franchise and playing home games at the Baltimore Civic Center (the NBA would return to Chicago in 1966 when the Chicago Bulls began play). In their first year in Baltimore, the Bullets finished fourth in a fiveteam Western Division.
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One of the few high points of the season came on February 27 when recently inaugurated President Barack Obama attended a Wizards game against the Chicago Bulls, sitting in a northeast court-side seat. The Wizards produced their second-biggest victory margin of the season with a 11390 win; Jamison paced the side with 27 points.
2019 ScheduleAll times ET
The Wizards hold the draft rights to the following unsigned draft picks who have been playing outside the NBA. A drafted player, either an international draftee or a college draftee who is not signed by the team that drafted him, is allowed to sign with any non-NBA teams. In this case, the team retains the player's draft rights in the NBA until one year after the player's contract with the non-NBA team ends. This list includes draft rights that were acquired from trades with other teams.
In the Bullets' 199596 season Webber suffered a dislocated left shoulder in a preseason game against the Indiana Pacers on October 21, and opened the season on the injured list. He was activated on November 27, but strained his shoulder against the New York Knicks on December 29. After hoping the injury would get better with rest, Webber finally underwent surgery on Feb 1 which sidelined him for the remainder of the season. The Bullets were 96 with Webber in the lineup as he averaged a team-high 23.7 points plus 7.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.80 steals in 37.2 minutes per game when he was able to play. Other players injured included Mark Price (who only played in 7 games) and Robert Pack (31 games played out of 82). Bright spots of the season included the selection of Rasheed Wallace in the 1995 NBA draft and the All-Star play of Howard. Howard averaged a career-best 22.1 ppg and 8.1 rpg and kept the Bullets slim playoff hopes alive until the end of the season. Center Gheorghe Murean was named Most Improved Player of The Year, averaging 14.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks. The Bullets improved to 3943 but just missed the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season.
Blocks Per Game
Jim Boylen's new deal with the Bulls replaces an old one that would have ended after the 2019-20 season.
The Shepard (Palos Heights, IL) varsity basketball team won Monday's neutral playoff game against Chicago Washington (Chicago, IL) by a score of 106-50.
After retiring from the Chicago Bulls in early 1999, Michael Jordan became the Washington Wizards' president of basketball operations as well as a minority owner in January 2000. In September 2001, Jordan came out of retirement at age 38 to play for Washington. Jordan stated that he was returning "for the love of the game." Because of NBA rules, he had to divest himself of any ownership of the team. Before the All-Star break, Jordan was one of only two players to average more than 25 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds as he led the Wizards to a 2621 record. After the All-Star break, Jordan's knee could not handle the workload of a full-season as he ended the season on the injured list, and the Wizards concluded the season with a 3745 record.
In the late 1960s, the Bullets drafted two future Hall of Fame members: Earl Monroe, in the 1967 draft, number two overall, and Wes Unseld, in the 1968 draft, also number two overall. The team improved dramatically, from 36 wins the previous season to 57 in the 196869 season, and Unseld received both the rookie of the year and MVP awards. The Bullets reached the playoffs with high expectations to go far, but they were eliminated by the New York Knicks in the first round. The next season the two teams met again in the first round, and although this one went to seven games, the Knicks emerged victorious again.
Jonathon Simmons scored 20 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 125-109 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night in the regular-season finale for both teams.
On January 30, Jamison went down with a sprained left knee in a win against Detroit. Washington went 48 in the 12 games without him. On February 3, Songaila made his Wizards debut against the Lakers. On February 18, Eddie Jordan became the first Wizards/Bullets coach to coach the NBA All-Star Game since Dick Motta in 19781979. Arenas played in his third straight All-Star game and Butler made his All-Star Game debut.
Fight childhood cancer with every touchdown scored in September
On February 13, 2010, after a 1733 record at the season's midway point, The Wizards traded Butler, Haywood, and Stevenson to the Mavericks in exchange for Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross and James Singleton. Three days later, the Wizards traded Antawn Jamison to the Cavaliers in exchange for Zydrunas Ilgauskas and obtained Al Thornton from the Los Angeles Clippers in a three-team deal. Ilgauskas reported long enough to take a physical (to make the trade official). His contract was immediately bought out, making him a free agent. On February 26, 2010, the Wizards signed Shaun Livingston to a 10-day contract. With Gilbert Arenas suspended and Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison being traded, the Wizards finished the season at 26-56, posting an abysmal 923 record to finish the season. They were the only Southeast Division team not to make the post-season.
76ers rest starters ahead of playoffs, beat Bulls 125-109
Flip Saunders reached an agreement to become the new coach of the team in mid-April 2009. Despite having the second best chance at obtaining the number one overall pick in the 2009 draft, the Wizards were randomly chosen to pick fifth overall in the NBA Draft Lottery. This pick was later traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, along with Songaila, Thomas, and Oleksiy Pecherov, in exchange for Randy Foye and Mike Miller. On May 21, 2009, Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld announced that the team has named Randy Wittman and Sam Cassell as assistant coaches.Then on August 11, 2009, the Wizards signed Fabricio Oberto, many weeks after he committed to signing with the team.
In 197677, under new head coach Dick Motta, the Bullets again fell short of the Central Division title for the second straight year. Elvin Hayes finished sixth in the league in rebounds with 12.5 rebounds per game. After opening the 1977 NBA Playoffs with a three-game series victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Bullets took a 21 series lead in the second round against the Houston Rockets. With a chance to take a 31 series lead at home, the Bullets lost 107103, and the Rockets took the series in six games.
2018-19 Team Leaders
Bold denotes still active with team.
A contest was held to choose a new name and the choices were narrowed to the Dragons, Express, Stallions, Sea Dogs, and the Wizards. On May 15, 1997, the Bullets officially became the Wizards. The new name generated some controversy because "Wizard" is a rank in the Ku Klux Klan, and Washington has a large African American population.A new logo was unveiled and the team colors were changed from the traditional red, white and blue to a lighter shade of blue, black and bronze, the same colors as the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL), also owned by Pollin. That same year the Wizards moved to the then MCI Center, now called Capital One Arena, which is home to the Capitals, the Washington Mystics of the Women's National Basketball Association and the Georgetown Hoyas men's college basketball team.
After the season, majority owner Pollin fired Jordan as team president, much to the shock of players, associates, and the public. Jordan felt betrayed, thinking that he would get his ownership back after his playing days ended, but Pollin justified Jordan's dismissal by noting that Jordan had detrimental effects on the team, such as benching Hughes for Tyronn Lue, making poor trades, and using the team's first-round draft pick on high schooler Kwame Brown. Without Jordan in the fold the following year, the Washington Wizards were not expected to win, and they did not. Despite the signing of future All-Star point guard Gilbert Arenas, in a move that was ironically made possible by Jordan's prior cap-clearing maneuvers as a team executive, the team stumbled to a 2557 record in the 200304 season.
After a poor start to the 201112 season, head coach Flip Saunders was fired and replaced by assistant Randy Wittman. On March 15, the Wizards were involved in a three-way trade that sent JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to the Nuggets and Nick Young to the Clippers in exchange for Nen and Brian Cook. After ending the season on a six-game win streak, the Wizards finished with a record of 20-46 (season was shortened due to the 2011 NBA Lockout) and the second worst record in the NBA, comfortably ahead of the 7-59 Charlotte Bobcats who set a new NBA record for the lowest win percentage in a season with .106.