These teams were constant contenders and featured Hall of Fame players like Was Unsold, the only player to win the MVP award as a Bullet, Walt Bellamy and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe. They were a consistent playoff threat and won an NBA title behind some best players in team history in 1978.
While the Wizards haven't had too much success in recent years, the team has had its fair share of great players on its roster. Even the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan, playing his final days in Washington, the team had trouble mustering a playoff threat.
At one point, superstar guard Gilbert Arenas was one of the best players in the league. Today, the Wizards hopes are pinned to star point guard John Wall, the number one overall pick in the 2010 draft.
In 1995, then owner, Abe Pollen believed that the nickname Bullets had a negative influence in the Washington D.C. area due to the rising crime and increasing murder rate. There were also rumors that when Pollen’s friend was assassinated it was a breaking point for the owner.
Ralph Sampson: All-Star, college basketball legend and Hall-of-Famer, and Washington Bullet. The same reason I would list Michael Jordan as the worst Washington Wizard: it wasn’t that great of a stint as fans would have hoped.
Sampson played 10 games for the Bullets during the 1991-1992 season before being waived. Apparently a bad team, proving that beggars can be choosers.
Unfortunately, the once highly-touted superstar suffered through various injuries making his NBA career not as great as the critics would have imagined. He was the three-time national player of the year in college, and he was supposed to be the best to ever play the game, but when you’re waived by the Bullets late in your career, it kind of puts a damper on your success.
Albert Cheney was an early first-round pick by the WashingtonBullets in 1993, and he is one of the few players who stuck around for the name change. He had a decent career for Washington ; especially his best season in 1994-1995 when he averaged over 16 points a game which is definitely respectable.
Well, they’ve been rebuilding for a few decades now, but Cheney certainly assisted in rerouting the franchise in an optimistic direction. We can’t blame Jim McClain for being one of the worst WashingtonBullets in franchise history; it was just bad timing.
He averaged around 2.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks a game until being traded away… and that was his best year of the two spent in D.C.! He was given an opportunity with the Seattle Supersonic (here we go with the connections again), being hurled from a rebuilding franchise to a championship contender.
He was a solid contributor to the organization, increasing his production while serving as a defensive presence. Mcillvaine didn’t have the greatest NBA career, but at least he married a 6’7” woman with the hopes of making giant children.
Gwendolyn McClain was also a basketball player so who knows, keep an eye out for their kids if they have any… you won’t miss them… they’re the tall ones. Some may claim Minute Box’s skill level was weak in aspects of his game.
He was also one of the tallest players to ever play the game professionally, so you would expect him to be considered an extraordinary defender. However, his real work came off the court as he was a dedicated activist, relaying most of his NBA earnings to help his home-nation of Sudan and other charities.
Of course, Fox exploited his good nature, but if you want to look up his bout on celebrity boxing then feel free, and look up why he decided to compete. We all remember Ben Wallace as a defensive catalyst for the Detroit Pistons in the early part of the 21st Century.
This is kind of a gray area because he did play decently for the Wizards, but as a Bullet he was hardly a contributor. In 1996-1997, a season before the name change, he failed to get on the court consistently and only averaged a tad over 1 point a game.
Like Jim McClain, Wallace was a defensive presence with upside that was never utilized until impatience settled in with ownership. In fact, those random two games that Box rejoined the WashingtonBullets late in his career was simply to help Mean develop as a player.
I’m beginning to see a trend here: the Bullets like centers who are gifted defensively and then traded away, or who are massive, but lack a complete game. The Romanian big man was a fan favorite, and he had glimpses of stardom and productivity throughout his career, being named the NBA’s most improved player in 1996 and also leading the league twice in field goal percentage in 1996 and 1997.
Statistically, Duvall was the worst player on the WashingtonBullets when they lost to the Golden State Warriors in four games during the 1974-1975 finals. Rod Strickland was a journeyman to say the least, playing for nine franchises throughout his NBA career.
On the other hand, many players today still don’t understand the rule, and neither to the referees it seems. To new beginnings!” Anyway, Strickland’s career year occurred during the 1997-1998 season where he became the 25th NBA player to eclipse 10,000 points and 5,0000 assists which is quite impressive.
Walker set the record for most minutes played in a game without registering a statistic. He had zero assists, blocks, points, rebounds, steals, and didn’t even attempt a field goal.
Then in Miami he was not a member of the “Big Three” for the Heat, but reaped in the rewards by just having a slot on the roster. Before South Beach and after Ann Arbor, Howard was a Washington Bullet for three seasons, and a Wizard for an additional four.
He made the All-Star game in 1996, and was a solid contributor for the Bullets during their rebuilding years. Lastly, the most impressive thing about Howard is that though he left school early, he still graduated with his class as scheduled while competing in the NBA.
Though his career in Washington was full of injuries at the start, he certainly established himself as a star. In fact, Hayes still averaged double-digit points in Houston the entire time Davis was a Bullet.
After the New York Knicks released the Hall-of-Famer in 1987, King wanted to prove himself once more, show the league that he wasn’t washed up, and he did exactly that. He played phenomenally for the Bullets during his four-season tenure with the franchise, averaging over 20 points a game each season.
He reached the All-Star Game in 1991 at 34-years-old and essentially retired on top… until he made some lame comeback with the New Jersey Nets that turned out to be a pretty bad decision like most “coming-out-of-retirement” choices are, whether you’re an athlete or an office drone. He didn’t win a championship with the Bullets like he did with the Knicks, but he certainly brought some excitement to the fan base because the rest of the decade wasn’t all that great.
The other half of the Elvin Hayes trade involved Sidney Lowe who was selected in the second round of the 1983 NBA Draft. So we already discussed Charles Davis’ pathetic contribution to this trade, but Lowe’s was worse because he didn’t even play for the WashingtonBullets.
Hayes was a part of three NBA Finals appearances for the Bullets, claiming the championship in 1978. He was a 12-time All-Star, and NBA scoring champion and has both his numbers from the University of Houston and Washington retired, 44 and 11 respectively.
Bradley competed in a lot of games for reputable minutes, but didn’t accomplish really anything. Statistically, he was one of the worst Bullets during the two losing seasons he was part of the roster.
Was Unsold is the only reason Elvin Hayes isn’t number one on this list. The Hall-of-Famer spent his entire career with the Bullets franchise from Baltimore to “Capital” to Washington.
Not only did he play for the Bullets, he also worked in the front office for the franchise after his retirement, coached the team from 1987-1994, and became the general manager after leaving the bench. Case and point: he won Rookie of the Year and MVP his first season, and only some guy named Wilt Chamberlain has also accomplished that feat.