Posts Tagged ‘Bullets’

Washington Wizards unveil red, white and blue uniforms, invoking memories of Bullets history

May 12, 2011

The Washington Wizards unveiled their new red, white, and blue uniforms Tuesday. The uniforms are similar to those of the old Washington Bullets.

“You’ve gotta be a fan of old D.C. to know what the Bullets mean to me.”

  Bullets Feverby 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.

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Leonsis won’t change name of Wizards to Bullets but may change colors back to red, white and blue

June 11, 2010

Check out this awesome Bullets jersey.

New Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said Thursday he will not change the name of the Wizards, but said a change in colors back to the traditional red, white, and blue is likely at some point. Leonsis also asked the fans to welcome back former all-star guard Gilbert Arenas.

Leonsis formally took over ownership of the Wizards Wednesday. Recent speculation has centered on whether the Wizards will change their team colors and even their name after the upcoming season, with many fans clamoring to a return to the Bullets, the team’s name from 1963 to 1997.

Interest in the Wizards is high again after they won the rights to the number one pick in the NBA Draft Lottery last month. What was the good luck charm? Irene Pollin wore her late husband Abe’s 1978 Washington Bullets NBA championship ring.

For the rest of my article on examiner.com, click here.

Excerpt:

The Washington Monuments?

Could the Wizards change their name to the “Washington Monuments” in the future? Though Leonsis denied the possibility of any name change, the name of the new company could be a clue to a future franchise name. “Monumental Sports” is an awkward name, but “Washington Monuments” does have a ring to it. If Leonsis had mentioned a name change as a possibility, speculation by the media and fans could have taken away from the product on the court, so it was smart for Leonsis to deny the possibility of a potential future name change. Leonsis has said he doesn’t want to disrespect the wishes of Pollin, who stated that he changed the name from Bullets to Wizards because of the city’s gun violence, so a name change back to the Bullets would be a long shot

New Rule: Washington D.C. residents need to know the names of the local NBA, NHL, and MLB teams (Wizards, Caps, Nats)

January 13, 2010

I’m making a new rule.  If you live in the Washington, D.C. metro area, you need to know that the Wizards are the area’s pro basketball team, the Capitals are the hockey team, and the Nationals are the baseball team.  (Everybody knows that the Redskins are the football team, and unfortunately, it’s too much to ask for people to know that the soccer team is D.C. United).

Last night I met a woman who didn’t know who the Wizards were.  When I told her they were Washington’s NBA team, she laughed and said, “Oh yeah, but they’re new – they’re an expansion team.”  Then I told her that, no, the Wizards were the Bullets before that, and they won the NBA championship in 1978 and appeared in the finals three other times in the 70s.  Both the Wizards and the Caps franchises have been in D.C. for nearly 40 years, and the Bullets were in Baltimore before that.

(The current state of the Wizards is irrelevant.  I predicted disaster for this team in my blogs before the season began).

This has happened now almost 10 times to my estimation – someone doesn’t know who the Wizards are, doesn’t know who the Caps are, or mixes them both up.  This isn’t like the 140-question test on football that one of the characters in the movie “Diner” gave to his fiancé.  Just know the basics.  The names of the teams.  If you don’t, it’s disrespectful.  Disrespectful to yourself, to Washington, to your country, and disrespectful to God.

It’s like with the news.  I may not be an expert, but I can at least tell you the very basics.  I also think people who live here should know the very basics about area geography.

One time I mentioned to a lifelong area resident something about the Caps.  “Oh, they’re the basketball team, right?”  “No, they’re the hockey team,” I said.

A month later, I mentioned something about the Wizards and Caps.  “Which one is the basketball team?” she said.

About another month later, she still didn’t know the difference between the Wizards and the Caps.

Is it too much to ask that you know who the local sports teams are?  I’d never expect anyone to know that D.C. United is the pro soccer team, though it’d be nice.  The Nationals have only been around for five seasons so not knowing them might be slightly less egregious.

The Bullets had two of the NBA’s all-time greatest players – Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld.  Hayes was known as the “Big E.”  The crowd at the Capital Centre used to say, “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE…” when he went up for one of his patented fadeaway jumpers.  He was also a great rebounder and shot blocker.  Unseld was a center who played great defense and was an excellent rebounder.  He won the Rookie of the Year award and the MVP award in the same season.  His specialty was the outlet pass over his head all the way down the court.  I know, nobody cares.  I’ll probably save this stuff for another blog post.

The Caps made the Stanley Cup finals in 1998 and the semifinals twice, in 1990 and last year.  They have the greatest player in the world in Alex Ovechkin.

Just like local residents should know about the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and the museums, you should also at least know who the local sports teams are.