Washington Wizards HISTORY

Player info
Team info
Draft picks
Packers and Zephyrs
Season standings


Quick facts:

Founded:  1961   
Arena:    Verizon Center
Division Championships:           7 (69,71,72,73,74,75,79)
Eastern Division championships:   1 (69)
Central Division championships:   5 (71,72,73,74,75)
Atlantic Division championships:  1 (79)
Eastern Conference championships: 4 (71,75,78,79)
NBA Titles:                       1 (1979)
Playoffs:                         27

First Expansion Team?:
There is some debate over what Chicago team is the NBA's first expansion team; is it the Packers or is it the Bulls? The Packers were the first new team the NBA had added since the merger in 1949, but there was no expansion draft. The Bulls on the other hand did have an expansion draft when they replaced the Packers/Zeyphyrs in 1966, but both teams paid an entrance or expansion fee when they joined the NBA.

Naming issues:
Perhaps no franchise in sports has had more name changes than the Wizards. The team began life in 1961 as the Chicago Packers. The name Packers was highly disliked by the fan base because it was the same name of the Chicago Bears fiercest rival the Green Bay Packers, so the next season the name was changed to Zephyrs.

The name remained the Zephyrs for only one season because the franchise left Chicago and relocated to Baltimore and became the Bullets. The Bullets name was chosen as a node to the original Bullets franchise who joined the BAA in its second season and won the league championship the same year.

In 1973 the team went under another rebranding as it moved from Maryland to the Washington D.C. area and became the Capitol Bullets. That name lasted only a season before they became the Washington Bullets.

The name Washington Bullets was the teams longest, though it will soon be overtaken by the Wizards name, and lasted from the 1974 season until the 1997 season.

In 1995 Bullets team owner Abe Polian announced his intent to rename the team. Bullets had taken on a negative overtone due to the high rate of homicides and shooting in the Nations Capitol, it also is likely that Polian changed the name because of the assassination of his good friend Yitzhak Rabin, who was the Israeli Prime Minister. Wizards originally faced some controversy because of the title given to high ranking KKK members, but that was soon laid to rest.

The team has been called the Wizards for nearly 20 season and currently there are no plans to change the name.

Golden Age of Bullets basketball:
The 1970s were a fantastic era for the Bullets. The team won 6 division titles, 4 Eastern Conference titles and their only NBA title during the decade. Nearly all of their franchise accolades came during a stretch from 1967 until 1982. In that period besides the afore mentioned team success, the franchise also seen its only MVP winner(Wes Unceld) and all but 5 of its end of season awards. Also, about half of their playoff appearances (13) and all but 4 of their playoff series wins came during this time.

Since 1982 the franchise and declined to the point of become a near constant bottom feeder. From 1982-2016 the franchise made the playoffs just 12 times and had a winning record only 10 times and never won more than 46 games in a season.



More NBA History
Bernard King