Washington Wizards – The Wizards franchise is well traveled, both geographically and moniker wise. The team came into existence in 1961 as the Chicago Packers and its name was changed just one season later to the Chicago Zephyrs.
A year later, the club uprooted and landed in Baltimore where it became the ‘Bullets’. The team spent 10 years in the Charm City before finding its way to Washington, D.C. in 1974.
Washington spent its first season in the United States capitol city operating as the Capital Bullets, but it took on the Washington Bullets name in 1974. And that name remained until 1997 when the franchise adopted the more politically correct mascot ‘Wizards’.
In spite of all its early transplanting, Washington found plenty of success on the court in its first 21 years of existence, reaching the playoffs 15 times. The then Bullets fought their way to the NBA Finals four times in the 1970s and it won the NBA Championship in 1978 with a formidable starting lineup that featured Hall of Famers Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld.
Hayes, who remains Washington’s all-time leading scorer and shot blocker, posted 21.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per contest in leading the Bullets to the title.
Joining Hayes and Unseld in the pantheon of Washington greats are Gus Johnson, Walt Bellamy, Earl Monroe, Bobby Dandridge, Michael Jordan, Chris Webber and Bernard King.
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