home Blogs Wayback Wizards: The sprawling Cap Centre, Ledell Eackles, and what’s Rex Chapman been up to?

Wayback Wizards: The sprawling Cap Centre, Ledell Eackles, and what’s Rex Chapman been up to?

Ask a Wizards fan what they think of being in playoff contention this late in the season and you’ll likely be met with heavily guarded optimism. For a franchise that has been on the outside of postseason contention for the past six years, it makes sense.

Washington invented basketball futility. Basketball futility makes for amusing artifacts.


The Capital Centre

“Owners talk new design/
Well, let me help you see ‘em/
I blow the room off my arena/
Call it The Coliseum.”

Abe Pollin, 1973

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The Capital Centre, erected in a historically downtrodden part of Prince George’s County, MD, was a sprawling, oddly shaped sports arena. The Washington Bullets shared this space with other local professional and college teams such as the Washington Capitals, Georgetown Hoyas, Tastycake Jr. Bullets, and whoever else wanted to run the floor.

The Capital Centre was later renamed to the U.S. Air Arena, and eventually abandoned by the Bullets owner Abe Pollin moved on to greener pastures in Washington, D.C.

What I’ll miss most about that place: watching Allen Iverson play from courtside. Because, really, ushers didn’t give a damn where you sat.


Ledell Eackles


There are league underdogs, and then there’s Ledell Eackles. Eackles spent all but one of his NBA seasons with the Washington Bullets/Wizards, with overseas and CBA stints sprinkled in between.

But man, that guy was hefty. Profiles of Eackles I found had him listed as high as 220 lbs., but I swear he played closer to 250 lbs. Seeing a wing player fling his rotund upper body around was something to marvel at. He’d labor up the court after jumpers and collapse helplessly to the floor after getting fouled. To that end, when he finally was able to lift his frame off the floor to dunk, it was something really gotdamn special.

Ledell is one of my favorite Washington players ever.


Rex Chapman



Rex was a solid NBA player that unfortunately got mired in some of the Bullets’ horrible, awful early 90s teams. And he didn’t deserve that, man.

One of my favorite memories of Rex in Washington was him hitting the game winning shot in 1992 in the team’s home opener against Orlando. It was all downhill from there.

Rex would go on to play in Miami and Phoenix before retiring.

According to Deadspin, he’s now being harassed by an obsessed fan. Hooray!

we are Hoop District

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