John Wall and Jordan Crawford were an exciting backcourt pair at the end of the regular season, sharing ball-handling duties, going on scoring binges and making history. And, on Tuesday at 11 a.m., the two players will take their turns as models when the Wizards unveil their new red, white and blue look at a highly-anticipated news conference.
The Wizards have been working on changing their identity ever since Ted Leonsis took over as owner of the team last June. Despite the clamoring from a large portion of the fan base for the franchise to change its name back to the Bullets, the team will continue to be called Wizards, but Leonsis will at least appease those who are craving for the old color scheme.
After months of working with the NBA league office and designers with shoe partner adidas, the Wizards will introduce their re-brand with Leonsis, Executive Vice President of Business Operations Greg Bibb, President Ernie Grunfeld, Coach Flip Saunders, Bullets legends Elvin Hayes and Bobby Dandridge. The news conference will be broadcast live on CSN Washington and livestreamed online at www.washingtonwizards.com. Merchandise will go on sale at Verizon Center and online at 11:30 a.m. Fans who donate “gently worn” Wizards jerseys and apparel at Verizon Center between Tuesday and Friday will receive a 10 percent discount. The collected items will be donated to the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program.
“We are excited to introduce a portion of our latest merchandise line in conjunction with the unveiling of the team’s new look,” Bibb said in a statement. “We are also pleased to offer a limited time discount on new Wizards gear as a thank you to our fans and as a way to collect much-needed apparel for donation to a worthy cause.”
The WNBA’s Mystics basically changed the color scheme and little else when it recently unveiled its new logo, causing some trepidation about what the Wizards had planned to do. While the team has been pretty tight-lipped about the entire re-design, multiple sources have informed me that the current logo — with a wizard shooting out of a crescent basketball — will no longer be prominent image to represent the franchise.
Something new will replace it, and I hear that it will go a long way toward reconnecting with the past. That wouldn’t be a stretch, considering how Leonsis already established the Bullets-Wizards alumni association and what he did when he made his last significant uniform change with the NHL’s Capitals, essentially modernizing the old look.
The Wizards have undergone several different looks over the years, starting out with a navy and orange look when the team was known as the Baltimore Bullets and later switching to red, white and blue when the team moved to Washington. When the late Abe Pollin changed the team name from Bullets to Wizards in 1997, he also changed the colors to state blue, black, white and bronze. They had a gold and black alternate uniform in 2006 and eventually swapped the bronze for gold in 2008.
But now, it’s on to the next one. Or rather, the old one.