Washington Wizards Details
Originally the Chicago Packers when they joined the league in 1961, the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1963 and to Washington, DC in 1973. In Baltimore, and in the organization’s first 24 years in DC, the team was called the Bullets. The Washington Bullets won the franchise’s only NBA Championship in 1978.
Michael Jordan became a minority owner of the Wizards after he retired from the Chicago Bulls. After a short time as an owner, Jordan came out of retirement again to play for the Wizards. The team had mixed success: Jordan’s numbers were respectable, especially for his age—he was 40 in his last season—but the Wizards did not make the playoffs in his two years as a player. The Wizards controversially fired Jordan after he retired as a player for the last time.
In 2016-17, the Wizards had their best season since the Bullets won the Western Conference in 1979. The Wizards won the Southeast Division, finishing six games ahead of the second place Hawks and capturing their first division title since ’79. The Wizards defeated the Hawks in the first round of the playoffs before losing in seven games to the Boston Celtics.
The Wizards have one of the best starting lineups in the NBA. Point guard John Wall was an all-star last season and signed a max contract this offseason to stay in Washington. Small forward Otto Porter has continued to develop—he set career highs in most categories—and was sought after in the offseason by the Brooklyn Nets. Shooting guard Bradley Beal also improved last season, scoring over 20 points per game for the first time in his career. The Wizards are an exciting young team, and their dynamic starting lineup should stay intact for a while.