“You’ve gotta be a fan of old D.C. to know what the Bullets mean to me.”
– Bullets Fever, by Nils Lofgren, 1978.
Don’t look now, but something good just happened to a Washington, D.C. sports team. The Washington Wizards unveiled their new, back to the future, red, white, and blue uniforms Tuesday at the Verizon Center. While owner Ted Leonsis isn’t changing the name of the franchise back to the Bullets, the overwhelming majority of the fan base is happy with the retro look, if internet comments are any indication.
Leonsis promised the color scheme change last year and delivered, with a home version reminiscent of old Bullets uniforms, and a road uniform that is mostly red, with “Washington” on the front and the name “Wizards” conspicuously absent.
Wizards guards John Wall and Jordan Crawford modeled the home and away versions of the uniforms, while former Bullets greats Elvin Hayes and Bobby Dandridge stood on stage and helped unveil the new uniforms.
In addition to the Big E and Bobby D, more than 20 former Bullets were in attendance, including Phil Chenier, Kevin Grevey, Clem Haskins, Tom Henderson, Rick Mahorn, Gheorghe Muresan, Kevin Porter, Mike Riordan, Jeff Ruland, and Larry Wright. Former Bullets general manager Bob Ferry also attended the ceremony.
Leonsis has made a commitment to honor the team’s great history, as evidenced by the uniform change and the establishment of the Bullets/Wizards Alumni Association. Leonsis changed the uniforms just one year after he took over the team, and the connection to the franchise’s old players is long overdue. The Bullets’ historic past includes an NBA championship in 1978, three other trips to the finals in the 1970s, and 18 playoff appearances in 20 seasons from 1969 to 1988.
To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.