- 2010 - 2020
New Nickname: WizardsIn 1995, owner Abe Pollin announced he was changing the team’s name because Bullets had acquired violent overtones that had made him increasingly uncomfortable over the years, particularly given the high homicide and crime rate in the early 1990s in Washington, D.C. The final straw was the assassination of his longtime friend, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. A contest was ...
Opening of Verizon CenterThe Verizon Center, located in the Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Chinatown, originally opened on December 2, 1997, as the MCI Center, named after its sponsor, MCI Inc. Nearly a decade later, in January 2006, Verizon Communications purchased MCI Inc., and the arena’s name was changed accordingly. The following year, in 2007, the “first true indoor high-definition LED scoreboard” was installed ...
Ted Leonsis Takes OverLeonsis became the majority owner of the Washington Wizards in June 2010, inheriting a team that had 26 wins and 56 losses during the previous season. Leonsis has taken a fan-centric approach to run the franchise, by listening and responding to the concerns of Wizards supporters through his email and personal website. On May 10, 2011, the Wizards unveiled a ...
John Wall eraOn April 7, 2010, Wall announced that he would forgo his final three seasons of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2010 NBA draft, where he was expected to be the first overall selection for the Washington Wizards. On May 3, Wall signed with agent Dan Fegan. On June 23, 2010, Reebok revealed Wall as its latest signing, casting him as ...
History of the Wizards
The Washington Wizards have a long and storied history in the NBA. The team began as the Chicago Packers in 1961 when they were one of two expansion teams added to the league that year. They moved to Baltimore for three seasons before becoming known as the Capital Bullets from 1973-1997, and then finally settling on their current name of Washington Wizards beginning with their 1997-1998 season.
Throughout its history, many great players have suited up for this franchise, including Hall of Famers Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes, along with more recent stars like Gilbert Arenas and John Wall. While they’ve never won an NBA championship title since becoming “the Wiz” back in '97 (their only titles coming during their time as “the Bullets"), they've had plenty of success over these past few decades making five conference finals appearances between 1975-1979 (when still called "Capital") & 2005 & 2017 (as "Wizards").
Most recently, however, it has been a down period for this franchise, missing out on playoff contention each year since 2018 due to injuries or lack thereof talent around star point guard Bradley Beal - who is currently leading all scorers across both conferences at 33 points per game! With new head coach Scott Brooks entering his fourth season at the helm, though, there is hope that things could turn around soon enough given his track record thus far, which includes getting them within one win away from playoffs last season despite having no true superstar alongside Beal - so here's hoping we see some better days ahead sooner rather than later!
Chicago – Baltimore – Washington D.C.
1961 – Present / National Basketball Association
1997 – Present / Washington Wizards
1974 – 1997 / Washington Bullets
1973 – 1974 / Capital Bullets
1963 – 1973 / Baltimore Bullets
1962 – 1963 / Chicago Zephyrs
1961 – 1962 / Chicago Packers
Wizards – The Washington Wizards have been a staple of the NBA since their establishment in 1961. Throughout their time in the league, they’ve gone by various nicknames, including “Bullets” and “Wizards.” But what is the origin of these monikers? Let's look at how each nickname came to be associated with this storied franchise.
The team was initially named The Chicago Packers when it first entered into existence as part of the National Basketball Association (NBA) expansion from 1959-1961. After relocating to Baltimore for two seasons, owner Abe Pollin wanted his team to represent his home city: Washington, D.C. In 1963 he changed its name from "Baltimore Bullets" to "Washington Bullets." This new moniker was meant as an homage to those who fought during World War II and represented strength, given DC's reputation as one of America's most potent cities then.
However, after 25 years under this title, Abe Pollin felt like it no longer fit with what he wanted his organization to stand for, and so on May 15th, 1997, he announced that they would change their name once again -this time becoming known simply as 'the Wizards.' While some fans were initially upset about losing such an iconic identity, Pollin explained that changing names again allowed them to start fresh while still paying tribute to past successes. He chose 'Wizards' due to its connection magic which made sense given how basketball can seem almost magical when played well enough!
The evolution of three distinct nicknames has helped shape the history of the Washington Wizards. From representing war heroes all way up through modern-day magicians –it is clear why this franchise holds a special place in many hearts!
NBA Championships 0
2018 - Present / Capital One Arena
2007 – 2017 / Verizon Center
1997 – 2006 / MCI Center
1994 – 1997 / US Airways Arena
1973 – 1993 / Capital Centre
1963 – 1973 / Baltimore Civic Center
1962 – 1963 / Chicago Coliseum
1961 – 1962 / International Amphitheatre
2010 – Present / Ted Leonsis
2009 – 2010 / Estate of Abe Pollin and Ted Leonsis
1999 – 2009 / Abe Pollin and Ted Leonsis
1964 – 1999 / Abe Pollin
1961 – 1964 / David Trager
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
10 / Earl “The Pearl” Monroe
11 / Elvin Hayes
25 / Gus Johnson
41 / Wes Unseld
45 / Phil Chenier
*Blue is this team’s history