This franchise has seen 4 different names and 3 different cities since 1961. They have also seen their fair share of stars, including Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes, Michael Jordan, Gilbert Arenas and John Wall. They also have one championship under their belt. The Wizards play in Verizon Center
, which features the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame.
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Originally the Chicago Packers, the team now known as the Washington Wizards was the NBA's first expansion team. Founded in 1961, the packers underwent a slew of name and location changes that began after its first year. In 1962, the Chicago Packers became the Chicago Zephyrs. In 1963, the Chicago Zephyrs became the Baltimore Bullets. In 1973, they changed again to the Capital Bullets, then again to the Washington Bullets in 1974. The Washington Bullets are perhaps best known for their 1977-1978 "Miracle Season."
Finishing with a 44-38 record, the Bullets barely made it into the '78 playoffs. No one gave them a chance to make a playoff run, but after Washington beat Atlanta, San Antonio, and top-seeded Philadelphia, they found themselves in the NBA Finals against the Seattle Supersonics. The teams traded games, which led to a game 7. The improbable Bullets team defeated Seattle 105-99.
In 1997, the Bullets changed their name to the Wizards. With this name change, the team struggled at first. The spark the team needed came in 2001, when one of the greatest players of all time joined the Wizards roster. Michael Jordan came out of his second retirement to play with the team, and provided a much needed boost before injuring his knee near the end of the season. He played again the following year, but then retired for the final time in 2003.
Without Jordan, the Wizards struggled to compete for several years, but have gradually returned to playoff contender status. A few solid personnel decisions are all it takes for this team to return to a state of prominence.
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