After consecutive losses to open their first-round playoff series with the Raptors in Toronto, the Wizards will look to get even stateside beginning Friday at Capital One Arena. The Wizards announced earlier this month that they’ll wear their City edition uniforms — the ones that feature “The District of Columbia” across the chest — for every home game throughout the playoffs. In keeping with that theme, all fans at Game 3 will receive a free Wizards “Rep the District” T-shirt, and a new line of “Rep the District” apparel will be available in the team store.
“We know our crowd will come out and be amazing for us,” Wizards point guard John Wall said Thursday. “Us as a team, we gotta come out with more energy and more sense of focus.”
Fans may recall Washington wore its white stars-and-stripes uniforms for every home playoff game last year and went 6-0 in Chinatown during the postseason. The Wizards introduced the patriotic alternates during the regular season for military appreciation nights, and they were so popular with fans that the team sold out its entire supply of retail inventory before the playoffs started. With the NBA set to switch from Adidas gear to Nike gear for the 2017-18 season, no additional stars-and-stripes uniforms were produced.
“Unfortunately, the way uniform ordering goes for retail, there’s a long lead time,” Monumental Sports senior VP of marketing and brand strategy Hunter Lochmann said last year. “If we wanted to order more, we wouldn’t have gotten them until June. It was disappointing, because we saw how popular they became, but it is what it is.”
Wizards fans could face a similar problem this postseason, depending on how long Washington is alive. Anticipating the popularity of the “District of Columbia” alternates, the Wizards ordered six times more City edition Nike uniforms this year than they did Adidas stars-and-stripes uniforms last year. Still, Lochmann said, the white D.C. alternates with the beveled numbers and the marble-colored side panels have sold out everywhere except the team store at Capital One Arena.
“When these are gone, they are gone,” Lochmann said, noting that Nike will produce a new City edition uniform for the Wizards next season, as the company will for most teams. (The Jazz announced earlier this month that they will keep their red rocks-inspired City edition uniforms for next year after they became the franchise’s fastest-selling jerseys ever.)
If you’re wondering (you’re not, but I already looked it up), Washington was 4-8 in its City edition uniforms during the regular season, including a loss to the Raptors on March 2. The Wizards were 4-2 in their stars and stripes uniforms before last year’s playoffs. Toronto will wear its black statement uniforms for road games this series.
Wizards in City Edition Uniforms
Jan. 30 vs. Thunder: W, 102-96
Feb. 6 at Sixers: L, 115-102
Feb. 8 vs. Celtics: L, 110-104 (OT)
Feb. 22 at Cavaliers: W, 110-103
Feb. 28 vs. Warriors: L, 109-101
March 2 vs. Raptors: L, 102-95
March 14 at Celtics: W, 125-124 (2OT)
March 21 at Spurs: L, 98-90
March 27 vs. Spurs: W, 116-106
April 1 at Bulls: L, 113-94
April 5 at Cavaliers: L, 119-115
April 6 vs. Hawks, L: 103-97
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