Ted Leonsis’s Summer Loving Tour has been nearly utopian in the opinion of most. One thing that factored in to it was when he delivered a hit with the first alternate uniform for his Washington Wizards since 2006. Make no mistake about it, the announcement of a new uniform is a big deal, there are websites devoted to fashion and pro sports. Daren Rovell, as an example, is a millionaire because of the business of sports and we shouldn’t think for one second the introduction of a new jersey is just a token of fan appreciation.
I’m even sure someone out there in the blogoverse will somehow tie this into a measure to lure home a certain young man who attended Montrose Christian. What better way to make more national TV appearances than with a snazzy new jersey to debut in a couple marquee away games.. oh let’s say maybe Boston and Brooklyn. Doesn’t it already sound good?
Per NBA rules, teams will only introduce a new third jersey at least two years after unveiling a new logo and uniform set. Washington is fortunately in that window and coming off an impressive playoff run, followed by an impressive offseason with the addition of Paul Pierce, and of course a great Summer League run by the “Junior MAFIA” as the Wizards continue to ride a good wave of publicity and public perception.
With the debut of a new uniform, two websites automatically rise to the top in terms of places I need to visit: Uni-watch and Scott Creamer’s Sports Logo site. With the help of those sites, I took a look back at some of the logos and the jerseys worn during those time periods. For your viewing pleasure they are listed below. I like the new alternates a lot, but nothing beats the ones worn in ’78-79 in my opinion. Feel free to leave your thoughts as well.
The Chicago Packers 1961/62
I’m a huge fan of retro jerseys and have always been appreciative of where my hometown teams originated but this one does nothing for me. First offm when you say Packers nobody thinks basketball, and secondly, perhaps if there wasn’t still a team in Chicago I’d be more okay with this combo set. But there is a team there, and it’s a very historic and successful one. The only reason I wouldn’t rank this as my least favorite would be thanks to the re-branding of the team in 1997.
The Chicago Zephyrs 1962/63
Did you know: The Zephyrs passed on John Havlicek and Kevin Loughery to select Bill “The Hill” McGill in 1962. Neither did I, but thank you NBA.com/bulls. The Wizards used this throwback to celebrate their 45th anniversary and at the moment it was announced, I’m pretty sure every Wizard fan was happy we wouldn’t have to see the awful uniforms they would wear the majority of the season. This was a welcome break but far from a favorite of mine.
The Baltimore Bullets 1963/64 – 1968/69
Abe Pollin, the original owner of the Bullets bought the Chicago Zephyrs for $1.1 million, which was a record at the time. He then moved the team to the city of Baltimore and named them the Bullets.
The Baltimore Bullets 1969/70 – 1972/73
Now we start getting into my favorites. The ‘L’ hands are first introduced and while the colors aren’t the best, I love the lower case lettering and the simple design of these uniforms.
The Capital Bullets 1973/74
Not the biggest fan of these, I think the striping is odd but again the uniform says bullets on them, has the hands for L’s and came at a time when the team was on top of the NBA. It’s just a shame I wasn’t even around to see those years as my birth didn’t happen until five years later.
The Washington Bullets 1974/75 – 1986/87
Does anything else need to be said about this era of the uniforms they wore? Two words: NBA Championship. These are my personal all-time favorite uniforms. It was such a clean look and I’m a sucker for red, white and blue. The long socks are just a bonus.
The Washington Bullets 1987/88 – 1996/97
If I can’t have back the old Championship Bullets look, then this is number two on my list of all time favorites. Clean look and my last memory of these uniforms is that of a team that could have and should have done a lot more together.
The Washington Wizards 1997/98 – 2006/07
Since we are sticking to the uniforms – and only the uniforms – I won’t say anything other than this. Probably my least favorite time period as far as fashion AND the production of my favorite basketball team is concerned. The lettering, colors, along with the team that played in them..just everything about this point in franchise history is sort of like a blur in my mind, sometimes as if it never happened. Luckily we have the internet to help us remember there were a couple good moments. A couple.
The Washington Wizards 2007/08 – 2010/11
In 2007, the Wizards underwent a subtle change to their uniforms, and changed their secondary team colors from bronze to metallic gold, and the player’s name on the back of the jersey was changed from white/blue with bronze trim to gold (blue on home uniforms) with a change in lettering. One year of the playoffs followed by “Gun-Gate” and the rest of Arenas drama didn’t help to make this an attractive look for Washington.
The Washington Wizards 2011/12 – Present