When the Washington Bullets officially changed to the Washington Wizards in 1997, fans were in an uproar about the seeming insignificance of the new nickname. Wizards don’t have anything to do with the Washington professional basketball team, as some have taken to calling them following the change, but it was an innocuous moniker for a team with an unfortunate overlap with their pior nickname. As John Wall recently revealed, he prefers the old Bullets name, even while still aware the franchise is likely to never change back.
The venerable columnist for the Washington Post, Michael Lee, tweeted out Wall’s thoughts on the old name:
John Wall on Bullets cap: “The Wizards logo is cool. I like all that, but I wish we could go back to these â€“ I know we’re never going back."
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) March 20, 2014
If you’re unaware, at the time of the change, Washington DC â€” capital of the United States government and a ticking time-bomb of violence with the incursion of crack cocaine, primarily in DC’s disadvantaged southeastern neighborhood, Anacostia â€” was home to the highest number of murders, per capita, of any U.S. city over 100,000 residents. Basically, the Bullets housed some of the most violent urban areas in the whole country, which made the Bullets name a bit discomforting.
The name change also ended up as even more of a blessing in disguise because a decade later Gilbert Arenas set off a firestorm after bringing pistols in the Wizards locker-room during an argument with teammate Javaris Crittenton. If the name had still been Bullets at the time of the incident, that would have likely facilitated a change anyway.
Wall and Damian Lillard were in Portland during a joint autograph signing venture for the adidas “Florist City” unveiling on Wednesday, and Wall told Michael Lee he likes the throwback Bullets hats, and he really wishes he could wear a throwback Bullets jersey at least once:
“I like the Bullets hats. I like wearing them. I just think they have more style, more flavor,” Wall said. “The Wizards logo is cool. I like all that, but I wish we could go back to these â€“ but I know we’re never going back. One time in my career, I would like to wear some throwback jerseys, just one time, one time. I want to wear it one time. I know it’s tough, but it’d be cool.”
Probably not going to happen, but we agree the Bullets gear has got a certain OG cache â€” even though we’re about shooting jumpers not guns â€” the hohum Wizards name definitely lacks.
Will the Wizards ever change back to the Bullets?
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