It’s been a long time coming. Well, 35 years to be exact. That’s how long this drought has lasted. To put it into perspective, the nation’s capital has not had a NBA championship since Jimmy Carter was the POTUS.
Despite the recent history, the Wizards/Bullets organization has not lacked in the talent department, whatsoever. A total of 11 players who have donned the Bullets/Wizards jersey have entered the Hall of Fame… names like Unseld, Hayes, Monroe, Malone and King. On top of this, a slew of past All-Stars as well like Jeff Malone, Michael Adams, Juwan Howard, Chris Webber and Gilbert Arenas.
Surprisingly, this trend of futility on the court while acquiring talented individuals have continued with the young and dangerous backcourt dual of John Wall and Bradley Beal, along with newly drafted Hoya, Otto Porter Jr. It is what it is, That being said, here’s a look at the 25 greatest players in franchise history.
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25. REX CHAPMAN
One of the toughest spots to fill. This is the equivalent to ranking the 100th greatest basketball shoe ever produced between the years of 1985 to 1995 under the price of $100. Sure, this University of Kentucky product didn’t quite live up to the hype surrounding him coming out of high school, but he was never afraid to jack up a shot and had his share of moments. Though he never led a Bullets team to the playoffs, he generated plenty of exciting moments in his three-plus seasons.
24. RICHARD HAMILTON
A NCAA standout, capping his three-year career at the University of Connecticut with a NCAA championship, was picked seventh in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Wizards. In his third and final season with the Wizards, he averaged 20 ppg while helping to lead the team, along with an aging Michael Jordan, to a 37-45 record. Though he would go on to spend his peak years with the Detroit Pistons, he left his mark as a deadly midrange shooter that could run for days.
23. TERRY DISCHINGER
Originally drafted by the Chicago Zephyrs in their last season in Chicago, then playing in one inaugural season with the Baltimore Bullets, Dischinger averaged a solid 22.7 ppg over the course of two seasons. He was an All-Star both seasons and won Rookie of the Year in the 1962-63 season.
22. LARRY HUGHES
After a frustrating first season in Washington having to play the third fiddle to Jerry Stackhouse and Michael Jordan, upon Gilbert Arenas’ arrival Hughes found his rhythm. Hawking passing lanes and harassing others with his help-side defense, Hughes averaged an All-Star-like 22 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.7 apg and 2.9 spg (led the NBA) in 2004-05. Though he was able to leverage that season into a lucrative multi-year deal with Cleveland, he was never able to duplicate that level of success elsewhere.
21. MICHAEL ADAMS
A diminutive, undersized point guard with an unusual hitch in his jump shot, there were many doubters when Adams entered the league after a solid college career at Boston College. Generously listed at 5-10, he was waived twice within an 11-month period and traded, all within a 2-year period, to start off his NBA career. By the time the 1991 season rolled around, Adam had established himself as a potent scorer and distributor. He averaged a solid 15.1 ppg from 1991-1994 with the then-Bullets and led the team in assists all three seasons.