After I posted about the popularity of Bullets gear at the Wizards online store last week, longtime reader Andy Minor shared this fantastic tale....
A few guys from my company, Thermopylae Sciences and Technology, play 3-on-3 with the Arlington Athletic & Social League every Sunday in Crystal City. We had a team last year before I joined the company, and then started up again when they restarted the league last August.
Teams fielded by Thermopylae for various social sports (kickball, bowling, what have you) are typically named “The Spartans” in honor of our Greek heritage, but I decided to change it up because I hate the name “Wizards” and this was my only chance, as a D.C. local, to play for a team named “The Bullets.”
Alongside myself we added Randy Kasper, Jamel Monroe, Alex Cochran, and Allen Hudson (who doesn’t work for Thermopylae, but his girlfriend does and he's got a pretty sweet pick-n-pop move so we let him play).
So our first season, which ran from August-September, resulted in us winning the championship. Our gracious CEO sent a letter out to the whole company with a picture of the trophy, blah blah blah. We decided instead of “fat lady sings” rings, we’d get custom Bullets jerseys to wear for the next season, which started at the end of October.
All of us are children of the glory days of the NBA, when men were men and Wizards were Bullets. We searched around, but with the lockout and all it was a) pretty hard to get NBA gear and b) even harder to get NBA gear with expired names/logos.
Pretty much any Bullets jersey we could find was just a Jordan throwback. We couldn’t even find blanks we could order and take to a shop to get our names/numbers on them. We really wanted to match, though, to both look sharp and to be the only team in the league that was somewhat coordinated.
Anyway, Randy started searching around online and came across an eBay store with someone who said she’d do them for roughly $30/jersey. After sending a few e-mails back and forth to haggle, it was pretty clear that her English, while good, was not her native tongue.
There was never really any clear idea that she was in Korea specifically, but she certainly wasn’t in the U.S. Normally ordering something this way is a little sketchy, but Randy said he was willing to foot the bill if we paid him back. So since it wasn’t my credit card on the line, we got the approval and went ahead and ordered them.
There was a pretty quick turnaround, and then they were shipped. Then they sat in Manila for, oh, two weeks or so? After that they were sent to New Jersey where they sat at customs until they were shipped to Randy’s house.
They arrived just in time for the playoffs and everyone was really impressed. People in the league thought we looked really sharp, and other people in the gym that day were remarking about how much they wished the real Bullets would come back to the NBA. We were all super-impressed by the quality, and overall I’d say it was a pretty good experience. At the end of the day, Thermopylae Sciences even picked up the tab for us as a “championship gift,” so we got free jerseys, which we are looking forward to wearing as we compete in two more leagues starting in January.