Washington Wizards

Wizards History…

1997/98A year after making the playoffs for the first time in eight years, there was a new beginning for basketball in Washington as the team changed its name to Wizards fearing Bullets endorsed gun violence. The change came complete with a new logo and new uniforms and a new arena as the MCI Center in downtown Washington opened on December 2nd with the Wizards beating the Seattle Supersonics 95-78. At the MCI Center the Wiz were hard to beat as they posted a 24-12 record while setting a team record in attendance. However the Wizards would fall one game short of the playoffs as they finished in fourth place with a 42-40 record.

Prior to the start of the season which was delayed by a 4-month lockout the Wizards would trade Chris Webber to the Sacramento Kings for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe. Richmond would have a solid season finishing second in the league with 9.9 assists per game. However the Wizards would continue to under achieve as they finished in sixth place with a disappointing record of 18-32.

The Wizards continue to underachieve finishing in last place with a dreadful record of 29-53 as the team went through two coaches for the second straight season. However, the biggest news would involve the front office as Michael Jordan the best player in NBA history joins the team as Vice President. Following the season Jordan would begin to influence personal decisions as Leonard Hamilton was hired as head coach.

Under new Coach Leonard Hamilton the Wizards continued to struggle as people scoffed that their best player was sitting up in the owner’s box. During the season in which they finished in last place again with a dreadful record of 19-63, Juwan Howard, who grown disgruntled with all the team failures is traded to the Dallas Mavericks along with Obinna Ekezie and Calvin Booth for Hubert Davis, Alexander, Christian Laettner, Loy Vaught and Etan Thomas.




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