The Washington Wizards are an American professional basketball team based in Washington, D.C. The Wizards play in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
- International Amphitheatre (1961-1962)
- Chicago Coliseum (1962-1963)
- Baltimore Civic Center (later the Baltimore Arena, now 1st Mariner Arena) (1963-1973)
- US Airways Arena (originally Capital Centre) (1973-1997)
- Verizon Center (formerly MCI Center) (1997-present)
The early years
The team now known as the Wizards started as the Chicago Packers in the 1961-62 season. The next season, they changed their name to the Zephyrs. And the season after that, they moved to Baltimore, Maryland and became the Baltimore Bullets, no relation to the 1940s-50s Bullets franchise, in their first year there they finished 4th in a 5-team Western Division.
Prior to the 1964-65 NBA season the Bullets pulled off a blockbuster trade sending Terry 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 as Howell proved to be a hustling, fundamentally sound player that helped the Bullets get into the playoffs for the 1st time in franchise history. In the 1965 NBA Playoffs, the Bullets stunned the St. Louis Hawks, 3 games to 1, and advanced to the Western Conference Finals. In those Finals the Bullets managed to split the first 4 games with the Los Angeles Lakers before losing to them, 4 games to 2.
The late 1960s & 1970s
In 1968 the Bullets got two future Hall of Famers: Earl Monroe and Wes Unseld. The team improved dramatically, from 36 wins the previous season to 57 in the 1968-69 season, and Unseld received both the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards. The Bullets made the playoffs with high expectations to go further, but they went back down to earth as they were eliminated by the New York Knicks that season in the first round. The next season the two teams met again in the first round, and although this one went to 7 games, the Knicks barely advanced to the next round.
In the 1970-71 season, the 42-40 Bullets again met the Knicks, this time though in the Eastern Conference Finals. With the Knicks team captain Willis Reed injured in the finals, the injury-free Bullets took advantage of his absence, and in Game 7 at New York's Madison Square Garden, the Bullets' Gus Johnson made a critical basket late in the game to lift the Bullets over the Knicks 93-91 and advance to their first NBA Finals in franchise history. They were swept in four games by the powerful Milwaukee Bucks.
Even when Monroe was traded, the Bullets remained a playoff contender throughout the 1970s. After a less than spectacular 1971-72 NBA season, the Bullets improved dramatically by acquiring Elvin Hayes from the Houston Rockets and drafting Kevin Porter. After a slow start the Bullets began to make their charge in December posting a 10-4 record on the way to capturing the Central Division Title for the 3rd straight year. In the NBA Playoffs, they would face the Knicks with Monroe in the 1973 NBA Playoffs, but the Bullets did not have a chance as they were beaten by the Knicks who went on to win an NBA Championship that year.
During November 1973, while waiting for the completion of their new arena in Landover, the Bullets played their home games at Cole Field House on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park. The Capital Centre (later known as the USAir/US Airways Arena) opened on December 2, 1973, with the Bullets defeating the Sonics. Through the mid-1990s, the Bullets still played a few games per season in Baltimore.
The 60-22 Bullets made it back to the 1975 NBA Playoffs, that year they posted a 36-5 home record at the Capital Centre. In the first round of the playoffs, they survived a 7-game war against the Buffalo Braves as both teams won all of their games at home. In the Eastern Conference Finals, they beat the defending NBA Champion Boston Celtics in 6 games to advance to the NBA Finals. The Bullets were favorites to win the NBA Championship, but were shockingly swept by the Rick Barry-led Golden State Warriors in 4 games. They lost games 1 and 4 at the Capital Centre.
The loss at the NBA Finals lingered into the 1975-76 NBA season as they won 12 fewer games than last year, and in the Playoffs they were shockingly eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 7-game shootout, even worse after the season the Bullets fired head coach K.C. Jones, despite having a career 62% winning percentage as the Bullets head coach.
In the 1976-77 NBA season Under new head coach Dick Motta, the Bullets would again fall short of the Central Division title for the second straight year. Elvin Hayes finished 6th in the league in rebounds with 12.5 rebounds per game. After opening the 1977 NBA Playoffs with a 3-game series victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Bullets got off to a good start in the second round of the playoffs as they take a 2-1 series lead against the Houston Rockets. However with a chance to take a 3-1 series lead at home, the Bullets would lose 107-103 as the Rockets went on take the series in 6 games.
The miracle 1977-78 season
Although they had future hall of famers Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld on the team, The Bullets finished the season 44-38 and were a longshot to win the NBA Championship, but coach Dick Motta used the famed phrase "The opera ain't over 'til the fat lady sings!" This became the rallying cry for the Bullets as they finished a playoff run that led to the NBA Finals, defeating the Seattle Supersonics in 7 games to bring a professional sports championship to Washington D.C. for the first time in 36 years.
A tough act to follow
The Bullets were the best team in a league that already had drug problems, selfish team play, on-court fights, and declining attendance. Now in the 1978-79 NBA season the Bullets moved to the Atlantic Division, but the team continued to play well as they easily captured the Atlantic Division title. However, they entered the 1979 NBA Playoffs by losing 8 of the final 11 games to finish the regular season at 54-28. In the playoffs the Bullets nearly blew a 3 games to 1 lead against the Atlanta Hawks, but still they beat the Hawks in 7 games.
In the Eastern Conference Finals, they trailed the San Antonio Spurs 3 games to 1, but they mounted a big comeback by winning 2 straight games to force a Game 7 at the Cap Center. The Bullets would rally again, overcoming a 4th-quarter deficit to beat George Gervin and the Spurs 107-105 in one of the NBA's all-time greatest games and advance to the NBA Finals and a rematch with the Seattle Supersonics. In Game 1, the Bullets defeated the Sonics 99-97 on two game winning free throws, but that was the high point of the series as the Sonics would win four straight to beat the Bullets in 5 games and become the NBA Champions.
After a great decade, age and injuries finally caught up with the Bullets. In the 1979-80 NBA season, they barely made the playoffs as they capture the sixth and final playoff spot with a tiebreaker despite posting a 39-43 record. In the playoffs, they were swept by the Philadelphia 76ers in a 2-game playoff series. The following year the Bullets failed to make the playoffs for the first time in 13 years, after the season, Wes Unseld retired and Elvin Hayes was traded to the Houston Rockets where he would finish his career there, ending a great chapter in the Bullets history.
With Hayes and Unseld gone, the team was now mediocre as ever. They played strong, finishing the regular season with a 43-39 record, and although they advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals in the playoffs, they had clearly lost their form of the late 70's.
The Bullets continue to play with the same talent they had in the previous year. They finished with a winning record, but in a highly competitive Atlantic Division they finished last and missed the playoffs.
The next two years saw the Bullets continue to play mediocre basketball as they finished with losing records but they made the playoffs in the new expanded NBA Playoffs format that involved the 16 best teams to make the playoffs, the Bullets were eliminated in both years in the first round of the playoffs.
In the 1985-86 season, the Bullets got a big man named Manute Bol, whose specialty was blocking shots. That year, he blocked 397 shots (a Bullets record), part of a team that blocked 716 shots (a Bullets team record). But the Bullets finished with a disappointing 39-43 record, and were eliminated by the 76ers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
The Bullets acquire center Moses Malone from the Philadelphia 76ers for center Jeff Ruland. Moses would lead the team in scoring with a 24.1 points per game as he would be joined by Jeff Malone who averaged 22.0 points per game. The Bullets' 42-40 record would be their last winning season until the 1996-97 NBA season, in the playoffs they were eliminated by the Detroit Pistons in 3 games.
To balance Manute Bol, who at 7'7" is the tallest player in NBA history, the Bullets drafted Muggsy Bogues who at 5'3" is the smallest player in NBA history. The Bullets would get off to a slow start as coach Kevin Loughery is fired 27 games into the season with the Bullets holding an 8-19 record. To replace Loughery, the Bullets hired former MVP Wes Unseld. Under Unseld the Bullets played much better as they were able to sneak into the playoffs again with a record of 38-44. After losing the first 2 games on the road in the first round of the 1988 NBA Playoffs to the Detroit Pistons, the Bullets fought back and forced a 5th game with 2 home wins. However, back in Detroit for game 5, the Bullets are beaten by 21 points and were eliminated in the playoffs. It would be 9 years before the Bullets would return to the NBA Playoffs.
The Bullets played a little better as they finished with a 40-42 record but they missed the playoffs by two games.
The Bullets got off to a 5-1 start but hopes of a good season fades quickly as they lose 16 of 18 games form Mid-December to Mid-January. They would finish with a 31-51 record despite stellar seasons by Jeff Malone and Bernard King, who averaged 24.3 and 22.3 points per game respectively to lead the team.
The lone highlight of the Bullets 30 win season was the successful comeback effort by Bernard King as he came all the way back from knee surgery he suffered while playing for the New York Knicks in the 1984-85 NBA season to finish 3rd in the NBA in scoring with a 28.4 points per game. In 1991, the team would name Susan O'Malley as its president, the first female president of a franchise in the history of the NBA. She is the sister of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley and the daughter of former Dodger owner Walter O'Malley.
Injuries continue to bite the Bullets as key players Rex Chapman and Calbert Cheaney (the club's 1st round draft pick) miss significant stretches, and Pervis Ellison misses almost the entire season. The result was a miserable 24-58 record, but help was on the way.
The Bullets selected Juwan Howard in the 1994 NBA Draft and traded Tom Gugliotta along with three first round draft picks to the Golden State Warriors for the rights to Chris Webber. While the season started out with promise, a shoulder injury to Chris Webber (ironically against the Warriors) caused him to miss 19 games and the Bullets struggled through the rest of the season finishing a then franchise worst (percentage wise) 21-61. Webber averaged 20.1 ppg and 9.6 rpg but declined surgery for his dislocated shoulder. This would prove costly for the next season.
The Bullets 95-96 season seemed over before it started as Chris Webber suffered a dislocated left shoulder in a preseason game against Indiana on October 21 and opened the season on the injured list. He was activated on Nov. 27, but strained his shoulder against New York on Dec. 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 9-6 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). Brights spots of the season included the selection of Rasheed Wallace in the 1995 NBA Draft and the All-Star play of Juwan 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. The Bullets improved to 39-43 but just missed the playoffs.
Washington, blessed with the league's tallest player (center Gheorghe Mureşan 7'7"), two of the game's most athletic forwards (Juwan Howard and Chris Webber) and one of the league's top point guards (Rod Strickland), Struggled out of the gate to a 22-24 start. 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 44-38, their best record since 1978-79. The late surge enabled the Bullets to climb within reach of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the final playoff spot. In a winner-take-the-eighth-playoff-spot game with the Cavaliers on the season's final day, the Bullets squeezed past Cleveland 85-81 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 just 18 points, a sign that the team is one to be reckoned with.
Webber led the way in scoring (20.1 ppg), rebounding (10.3) and blocks (1.9) and shot 51.8 percent from the floor to make his first All-Star team. Howard averaged 19.1 ppg and 8.0 rpg, while Strickland averaged 17.2 ppg and 1.74 spg and finished fifth in the league in assists with 8.9 per game. Muresan clogged the middle and led the NBA in field goal percentage (.599). Washington also received valuable contributions from Calbert Cheaney (10.6 ppg) and Tracy Murray (10.0 ppg).
Bullets become the Wizards
In 1995, owner Abe Pollin announced that the franchise was to be renamed because Washington Bullets carried violent overtones. A contest was held to choose a new name and the choices were narrowed to the Dragons, Express, Stallions, Sea Dogs, or Wizards. On May 15, 1997, the Bullets officially became the Washington Wizards. The change generated some controversy because Wizard is a rank in the Ku Klux Klan. A new logo was unveiled and the team colors were changed from the traditional red, white and blue to blue, black and bronze, the same colors as the Washington Capitals, a hockey team also owned by Pollin. That same year the Wizards moved to the then MCI Center, now called Verizon Center. The Verizon Center is also home to the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League, the Washington Mystics of the WNBA and Georgetown Hoyas men's college basketball team.
Late 90's decline
The newly named Wizards began the season playing 5 home games at the US Air Arena before moving to the new MCI Center on December 2, 1997. The Wizards finished the season with a 42-40 record including 4 straight victories to end the season but just missed the playoffs. Highlights of the season included Webber leading the team in scoring (21.9 ppg) and rebounding (9.5 rpg). Rod Strickland led the league in assists (10.5 apg) before suffering an injury near the end of the season. Tracy Murray averaged 15.1 ppg off the bench including a 50 point game against Golden State. Off court distractions led to the trade of Chris Webber to the Sacramento Kings for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe in May 1998.
The Wizards finished the lockout shortened season of 1998-99 with a record of 18-32. Mitch Richmond led the team in scoring with a 19.7 ppg average. In the 1999-00 season, the Wizards ended with a 29-53 record. Mitch Richmond led the team with 17.4 ppg. 1999 NBA Draft pick Richard Hamilton led the team in scoring the following season with 18.1 ppg. However, as a team they did even worse with a 19-63 record ( a new franchise low). Despite the solid play of Juwan Howard, he was starting to get booed during home games because of the fact that the amount of his contract did not allow the Wizards team to make moves to improve the team.
On February 23, 2001, the Wizards were involved in a blockbuster trade days before the trading deadline. The team sent Juwan Howard, Obinna Ekezie and Calvin Booth to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for five Mavericks and $3 million. The Wizards received Hubert Davis, Alexander, Christian Laettner, Loy Vaught and Etan Thomas.
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 2000. However in September 2001, Michael Jordan came out of retirement at age 38 to play basketball for the Washington Wizards. 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 only one of two players to average more than 25 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds as he led the Wizards to a 26-21 record. Cleveland Cavaliers’ head coach John Lucas even insisted that Jordan was the league’s first-half MVP, saying, “He’s doing it with smarts and not the same talent he had…What he’s done this year is off the charts…Our league has the best 300 players in the world, and the best one is 39 years old.” Unfortunately, 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 37-45 record. Still, Jordan had led the Wizards to an 18-win improvement from the previous season.
Jordan announced he would return for the 2002-03 season, and this time he was determined to be equipped with reinforcements, as he traded for All-Star Jerry Stackhouse and signed budding star Larry Hughes. Jordan even accepted a sixth-man role on the bench in order for his knee to survive the rigors of an 82-game season. However, a combination of numerous team injuries and uninspired play led to Jordan’s return to the starting lineup, where he tried to rebound the franchise from its early-season struggles. The move led to mixed results, as several of Jordan’s younger teammates complained about playing in Jordan’s shadow and his unfair expectations of them. By the end of the season, the Wizards finished with a 37-45 record once again. Jordan ended the season as the only Wizard to play in all 82 games, as he averaged 20.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.5 steals in 37.0 minutes per game.
After the season, Wizards' majority owner Abe Pollin discarded Jordan as team president, much to the shock of teammates, associates, and the public. Michael Jordan felt he was 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 Larry Hughes for Tyronne Lue when Lue passed the ball to Jordan more, making poor trades, and squandering the teams' 2001 1st round draft pick on high schooler Kwame Brown who never panned out. Without Jordan in the fold the following year, the Washington Wizards were not expected to win, and they didn’t. Despite the signing of future All-Star point guard Gilbert Arenas, the team stumbled to a 25-57 record in the 2003-04 season.
Jordan's stint with the Washington Wizards was closely watched by both fans and the media. While the team failed to qualify for the playoffs in either of Jordan’s two seasons as a player, the team was competitive and sold out arenas around the league. Everyone watched the Wizards to see if Jordan was still the same player he was with the Chicago Bulls, and at times he was. However, at other times, it was clear that time had caught up with him. Jordan was clearly still an effective player, but he was no longer a superstar.
The Wizards replaced Jordan's managerial role with Coach Eddie Jordan and General Manager Ernie Grunfeld. The team's current roster only has two holdovers from the Michael Jordan era, Etan Thomas and Brendan Haywood, and these two centers were both signed to contract extensions by Grunfeld. The Grunfeld tenure has been widely lauded as being tremendously successful. In particular, the trade of underachieving first round bust Kwame Brown for All-Star Caron Butler is considered to be one of the all time uneven trades in NBA history.
Recent Resurgence and "The Big Three"
The 2004-05 NBA season saw the team (now in the new Southeast Division) post its finest regular season record in 26 years (45-37) and marked the first time the franchise had ever made the playoffs as the Wizards. During the regular season, the scoring trio of Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Larry Hughes was the highest scoring trio in the NBA and earned the nickname of "The Big Three." Hughes also lead the NBA in steals with 2.89 steals per game. Arenas and Jamison were both named to the 2005 Eastern Conference All-Star team, marking the first time Washington had two players in the All-Star game since Jeff Malone and Moses Malone represented the Bullets in the 1987 All-Star Game.
With a 93-82 win over the Chicago Bulls on April 13, 2005, the Wizards clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 1996-97 . Long suffering fans celebrated by buying over 16,000 playoff tickets in two and a half hours the day tickets went on sale . In Game 3 of the first round against the Chicago Bulls, the Wizards won their first playoff game since 1988. In the Wizards Game 5 victory in Chicago, Gilbert Arenas hit a buzzer-beater to win the game  and the Wizards took their first lead in a playoff series since 1986. In Game 6 at the MCI Center, the Wizards won their first playoff series in 23 years, defeating the Chicago Bulls 94-91 and becoming only the 12th team in NBA history to win a playoff series after being down 0-2. Following the series ending victory, the Wizards wore T-Shirts commemorating their advancement to the 2nd Round.
The 2005-06 NBA season was one filled with ups and downs. The beginning of the season was marred with talk that the loss of Larry Hughes to the Cleveland Cavaliers would greatly impact the team. During the offseason, Washington acquired Caron Butler and Antonio Daniels. During the regular season, the Wizards again had the best scoring trio in the NBA, this time consisting of Arenas, Jamison and Caron Butler as the "Big Three." The Wizards started the 2005-06 season at 5-1, but went on an 8-17 funk to go to 13-18 through 31 games. Then, they went 13-5 in the next 18 games. On April 5, 2006, the team was 39-35 and looking to close in on the 45 win mark achieved the previous year, yet Caron Butler suffered a thumb sprain and the Wizards lost all five games without him. Caron returned and the team pulled out their final three games, against the Pistons, Cavs and Bucks, all playoff bound teams, to finish the year at 42-40 and clinch the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference. They averaged 101.7 points a game, 3rd in the NBA and tops in the East and clinched a playoff berth for the second year in a row for the first time since 1987.
Their first round match up with Cleveland was widely seen as the most evenly matched series in the 2006 NBA Playoffs. The teams exchanged wins during the first two games in Cleveland, with Game 2 highlighted by the Wizards holding LeBron James to 7-25 shooting from the floor while Brendan Haywood gave James a hard foul in the first quarter that many cited as the key to shaking up the rest of LeBron's game. In Game 3 at the Verizon Center, LeBron James hit a 4-footer on the way down with 5.7 seconds left to take the game and the series lead for the Cavs with a 97-96 win. Coach Eddie Jordan, Wizard players and fans, believed that James was traveling when he hit this shot. Arenas missed a potential game winning 3-pointer on the other end to seal the win for the Cavs. Game 4 saw the Wizards heat up again, as Gilbert Arenas scored 20 in the fourth quarter after claiming he changed his jersey, shorts, shoes and tights in the locker room and the Wizards won 106-96. Yet in Games 5 and 6, the Cavs would take control of the series, both games decided by one point in overtime.
In Game 5, despite the Wizards being down 107-100 with 1:18 to play, the team drove back and eventually tied the game on Caron Butler's layup with 7.5 seconds remaining to send the game to OT, where LeBron James would tip-toe along the baseline to score with 0.9 seconds left in overtime to send the Cavs to a 121-120 win. The series came back to the Verizon Center for Game 6, where the game went back and forth all night. The Wizards blew a 14-point first-quarter lead, then for 24 minutes, from early in the second quarter to early in the fourth, neither team led by more than five points at any time. The Wizards blew a seven point lead with just under 5 to play and needed Arenas to hit a 31-footer at the end of regulation to take the game to overtime. Yet in OT, Arenas missed two key free throws after James taunted Arenas at the line, the Cavs rebounded the ball, went downcourt and Damon Jones hit a 17-foot baseline jumper with 4.8 seconds remaining to give the Cavs the lead for good. Caron Butler would miss a 3-pointer on the other end to seal the game, and the series, for the Cavaliers.
In the offseason, head coach Eddie Jordan received a contract extension, and despite losing free agent Jared Jeffries to the New York Knicks, Washington signed free agents DeShawn Stevenson and Darius Songaila. In the NBA draft, Washington selected Oleksiy Pecherov, although Pecherov will play this season in Europe. The team also unveiled new alternative uniforms for the season  which are currently the only uniforms in the NBA (not counting throwback or retro uniforms) that feature jerseys and shorts of different colors. During training camp, Etan Thomas beat out fellow center Brendan Haywood for the starting center position.
Currently, Washington is 31-22 on the season, 21-7 at Verizon Center and 10-15 on the road, first place in the Southeast Division and third place in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards started off the season 0-8 on the road, a franchise-worst. With a win on December 4 against the Mavericks and a win December 22 against the Suns, the Wizards became only the fourth team in NBA history to end two winning streaks of more than 12 games in a single season, earning them the name of "streak busters." All-Star guard Gilbert Arenas set a Washington franchise record with a career-high 60 points against the Lakers on December 17. Arenas is currently averaging 29.6 points per game, 2nd in the league only behind Carmelo Anthony, and, combined with Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler, average 70.3 points per game, the highest-scoring trio in the NBA. On January 2, 2007, Arenas and coach Eddie Jordan were named Eastern Conference Player and Coach of the Month, respectively, for December, and on January 25, 2007, Arenas was named a starter for the 2007 All-Star game in Las Vegas, narrowly beating out Vince Carter for the Eastern Conference guard position by 3,010 votes. On February 1, Caron Butler was chosen by the Eastern Conference coaches as an All-Star reserve, his first selection. Eddie Jordan was named the coach of the Eastern Conference squad a day later.
On January 30 against the Detroit Pistons, Jamison went down with a knee injury after colliding with DeShawn Stevenson. He is expected to miss 3-6 weeks. The Wizards are currently 4-6 without Jamison. Also of recent note was the third fistfight in two years between centers Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas.
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, % = Percentage
|1964–65||37||43||.463|| Won Division Semifinals|
Lost Division Finals
| Baltimore 3, St. Louis 1|
Los Angeles 4, Baltimore 2
|1965–66||38||42||.475||Lost Division Semifinals||St. Louis 3, Baltimore 0|
|1968–69||57||25||.695||Lost Division Semifinals||New York 4, Baltimore 0|
|1969–70||50||32||.610||Lost Division Semifinals||New York 4, Baltimore 3|
|1970–71||42||40||.512|| Won Conference Semifinals|
Won Conference Finals
Lost NBA Finals
|Baltimore 4, Philadelphia 3|
Baltimore 4, New York 3
Milwaukee 4, Baltimore 0
|1971–72||38||44||.463||Lost Conference Semifinals||New York 4, Baltimore 2|
|1972–73||52||30||.634||Lost Conference Semifinals||New York 4, Baltimore 1|
|1973–74||47||35||.573||Lost Conference Semifinals||New York 4, Capital 3|
|1974–75||60||22||.732|| Won Conference Semifinals|
Won Conference Finals
Lost NBA Finals
| Washington 4, Buffalo 3|
Washington 4, Boston 2
Golden State 4, Wash. 0
|1975–76||48||34||.585||Lost Conference Semifinals||Cleveland 4, Washington 3|
|1976–77||48||34||.585|| Won First Round|
Lost Conference Semifinals
| Washington 2, Cleveland 1|
Houston 4, Washington 2
|1977–78||44||38||.537|| Won First Round|
Won Conference Semifinals
Won Conference Finals
Won NBA Finals
| Washington 2, Atlanta 0|
Washington 4, San Antonio 2
Washington 4, Philadelphia 2
Washington 4, Seattle 3
|1978–79||54||28||.659|| Won Conference Semifinals|
Won Conference Finals
Lost NBA Finals
| Washington 4, Atlanta 3|
Washington 4, San Antonio 3
Seattle 4, Washington 1
|1979–80||39||43||.476||Lost First Round||Philadelphia 2, Washington 0|
|1981–82||43||39||.524|| Won First Round|
Lost Conference Semifinals
| Washington 2, New Jersey 0|
Boston 4, Washington 1
|1983–84||35||47||.427||Lost First Round||Boston 3, Washington 1|
|1984–85||40||42||.488||Lost First Round||Philadelphia 3, Washington 1|
|1985–86||39||43||.476||Lost First Round||Philadelphia, 3, Washington 2|
|1986–87||42||40||.512||Lost First Round||Detroit 3, Washington 0|
|1987–88||38||44||.463||Lost First Round||Detroit 3, Washington 2|
|1996–97||44||38||.537||Lost First Round||Chicago 3, Washington 0|
|2004–05||45||37||.549|| Won First Round|
Lost Conference Semifinals
|Washington 4, Chicago 2|
Miami 4, Washington 0
|2005–06||42||40||.512||Lost First Round||Cleveland 4, Washington 2|
|2006-07||41||41||.500||Lost First Round||Cleveland 4, Washington 0|
|2007-08||43||39||.524||Lost First Round||Cleveland 4, Washington 2|
Stats updated at end of 2011-12 season
†-season in progress
Players of note
Not to be forgotten
- 11 - Elvin Hayes, F, 1972-81 (1972-73 Baltimore)
- 25 - Gus Johnson, F, 1963-72 (all in Baltimore)
- 41 - Wes Unseld, C, 1968-81 (1968-73 Baltimore); Head Coach, 1987-94
Up and Coming Stars
- 0 - Gilbert Arenas Point Guard, University of Arizona
- 3 - Caron Butler Forward/Guard, University of Connecticut
- 4 - Antawn Jamison Forward, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Other famous players
Washington Hall of Stars
The Washington Hall of Stars, a series of banners on the right-field wall of Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington, honors several D.C. sports heroes. The Bullets/Wizards figures honored are:
- 45 - Phil Chenier, G, 1971-80; Broadcaster
- 24 - Bob Ferry, C, 1964-68 (all in Baltimore); General Manager, 1970-87
- 11 - Elvin Hayes, F, 1972-81
- 41 - Wes Unseld, C, 1968-81; Head Coach, 1987-94
- Abe Pollin, Team Owner, 1964-present
The Hall also honors Arnold "Red" Auerbach, who played collegiately at D.C.'s George Washington University, and Horace "Bones" McKinney, who played for the Washington Capitols in the early days of the NBA. Both men also coached the Capitols, who played from the NBA's founding in 1946 until the team folded in 1951.
Most games are carried on Comcast SportsNet which is available in the Washington, D.C. area and other parts of the Mid-Atlantic states. Alternate local carriers include WDCW-TV and cable station NewsChannel 8. Wizards games are announced by Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier. Chick Hernandez or Dave Branch serves as a sideline reporter for some broadcasts.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Peterseim, Locke. "Like magic, Wizards' name becomes cool". Page 2 Goes to Washington (ESPN.com). http://espn.go.com/page2/wash/s/closer/020316.html. Retrieved 2006-07-07.
- Washington Wizards official web site
- Washington Wizards official blog
- Sports E-Cyclopedia
- Washington Wizards blog fan site
- Unofficial Washington Wizards fan blog
- Washington Wizards News
- Full Rosters Since Team Inception
Portland Trail Blazers
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