Everyone from President Carter on down is lining up to honor the Washington Bullets today at a series of scheduled rallies, beginning at Capital Centre and ending up with a tailgate party in the parking lot at RFK Stadium.
In between, the players, coaches and other club personnel will receive the key to the city form Mayor Walter E. Washington, have a private visit with the President at the White House and receive copies of resolutions being prepared by the D.C. City Council and the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
The celebration will kick off at the Landover arena at 2:30 p.m., after Coach Dick Motta, owner Abe Pollin and General Manager Bob Ferry have concluded their part in the NBA draft.
There will be a brief ceremony in the arena parking lot (free admission) with Prince George's County Executive Winfield M. Kelly Jr. making the first of a series of speeches by politicians in praise of the champions.
The Bullet players will make the first of a series of appearances on makeshift platforms before heading off at 3 p.m. in a motorcade for the District building downtown.
The police-escorted motorcade will follow Central Avenue to the District line, and then move along East Capitol Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.
From 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, the 100-piece marching band from W.T. Woodson High School will escort the motorcade to the 13 1/2 Street entrance to the District Building, arriving about 3:30 p.m.
There, Mayor Washington will present a key to the city to Pollin, and Council Chairman Sterling Tucker will read a proclamation from the City Council. Representatives of other area cities and towns will be on hand to applaud the team.
Everybody will then move up the street a few blocks to the southwest gate of the White House, from where the Bullets will go to the East Room for a meeting with the President and some of his senior staff.
The President has set aside 25 minutes on his schedule to meet with the team, after which he will leave for Camp David for the weekend.
The next scheduled stop is at the east front steps of the Capitol, at about 5:30 P.m.
Sen. Charles McC. Mathias (R-Md.), Reps. Gladys Spellman (D-md.) and Newton I. Steers (R-Md.) and Del. Walter E. Fauntroy (D-D.C.) will head the bipartisan welcoming group in front of the rotunda.
Mathias introduced a resolution in the Senate last night that lauded the Bullets as "the new basketball champions of the world" and similar plaudits were expected to be passed on the House side.
Finally, sometime between 6 and 6:30 p.m., the motorcade is scheduled to arrive at Parking LOt 4 at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, where the non political fans will get their chance to greet their heroes.
The D.C. Department of Recreation, which is in charge of the love-in at RFK, suggests that fans who drive park their cars (again free) in lot 7. The party should end between 7:30 and 8 p.m., meaning fans able to use the Metro, which closes at 8 p.m.