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Washington Wizards

Washington Wizards Tickets

The Washington Wizards are a professional basketball team based in Washington, D.C. They play in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team now known as the Wizards begins play as the Chicago Packers in the 1961-62 season. The next season, they changed their name to the Zephyrs. In 1963 the franchise moved to Baltimore, Maryland and became the Baltimore Bullets with no relation to the 1940s-50s Bullets franchise. In their first year in Baltimore, the Bullets finished 4th in a 5-team Western Division.In 1995, owner Abe Pollin announced renaming of the team because Washington Bullets carried violent overtones. A contest was held to choose a new name and the choices were narrowed to the Dragons, Express, Stallions, Sea Dogs, or Wizards. On May 15, 1997, the Bullets officially became the Washington Wizards.

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Bullets logo, the Bullets, when based in Baltimore in 1968, acquired two future Hall of Famers: Earl Monroe and Wes Unseld. The team improved dramatically, from 36 wins the previous season to 57 in the 1968-69 season, and Unseld received both the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards. The Bullets reached the playoffs with high expectations to go further, but they were eliminated by the New York Knicks in the first round. The next season the two teams met again in the first round, and although this one went to 7 games, the Knicks emerged victorious again.

Although they had future hall of famers Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld on the team, The Bullets finished the season 44-38 with a slight possibility to win the NBA Championship, but coach Dick Motta used the legendary phrase "The opera ain't over 'til the fat lady sings!" This became the rallying cry for the Bullets as they finished a playoff run that led to the NBA Finals, defeating the Seattle SuperSonics in 7 games to bring a professional sports championship to Washington D.C. for the first time in 36 years.

As age and injuries finally caught up the Bullets, so in the 1979-80 NBA season, they barely made the playoffs capturing the sixth and final playoff spot with a tiebreaker despite posting a 39-43 record. In the playoffs, they were swept by the Philadelphia in a 2-game playoff series. The following year the Bullets failed to make the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. Wes Unseld retired and Elvin Hayes was traded to the Houston Rockets the following season.

In 81, Washington played strong ending the season with a 43-39 record, and although they advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals in the playoffs, they clearly lost their form of the late 70's. The Bullets continued playing with the talents of the previous year, although they finished with a winning record, but in a highly competitive Atlantic Division they finished last and missed the playoffs.The Bullets got off to a 5-1 start in 1989, but hopes of a good season faded quickly as they lost 16 of 18 games from Mid-December to Mid-January. They would finish with a 31-51 record despite stellar seasons by Jeff Malone and Bernard King, who averaged 24.3 and 22.3 points per game respectively to lead the team.

The isolated highlight of the Bullets 30 win season was the successful comeback effort by Bernard King as he recovered from knee surgery he suffered while playing for the Knicks in the 1984-85 NBA season to finish 3rd in the NBA in scoring with a 28.4 points per game. In 1991, the team named Susan O'Malley as its president, the first female president of a franchise in the history of the NBA. She is the sister of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley and the daughter of former Dodger owner Walter O'Malley.

The 2004-05 NBA season saw the team post its finest regular season record in 26 years (45-37) and marked the first time the franchise had ever made the playoffs as the Wizards. During the regular season, the scoring trio of Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Larry Hughes was the highest in the NBA and earned the nickname of "The Big Three." Hughes also lead the NBA in steals with 2.89 steals per game. Arenas and Jamison were both named to the 2005 Eastern Conference All-Star team, marking the first time Washington two players in the All-Star game since Jeff Malone and Moses Malone represented the Bullets in the 1987 All-Star Game.

The Wizards in a home game against the Toronto Raptors, 30 March, 2007.The 2006-2007 season started out very promising for the Wizards. Etan Thomas beat out Haywood for the starting center job. After starting the season 0-8 on the road, Washington rebounded to win 6 of 7 away from Verizon Center. After a 4-9 November, Washington went 22-9 through December and January. Arenas scored a franchise-record 60 points against the Lakers on December 17. Both he and Eddie Jordan were named player of the month and coach of the month for December, respectively. On January 3 and again on January 15, Gilbert hit buzzer-beating three-pointers to beat Milwaukee and Utah.

The Wizards retained a majority of their roster from the 2006-07 season, only losing Jarvis Hayes to Detroit due to free agency. Washington also signed Oleskiy Pecherov, the team's first-round pick in 2006, as well as 2007 picks Nick Young and Dominic McGuire. The 2007-08 season begins for Washington on October 30 on the road against the Indiana Pacers.

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