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Best Players in Washington Wizards History

Mon 29 November 2021 | 19:00

The Washington Wizards are a Washington DC based professional basketball team. The Washington Wizards are a member of the National Basketball Association (NBA). In this article, we want to know about The Best Washington Wizards players of All Time.

The Chicago Packers, based in Chicago, Illinois, began to play in 1961 and were renamed the Chicago Zephyrs the following season. In 1963, they moved to Baltimore, Maryland, and changed their name to the Baltimore Bullets, after a previous club with the same name.

To commemorate their transfer to the Washington metropolitan area, the team changed its name to the Capital Bullets in 1973, and then to the Washington Bullets the following season. They changed their name to the Wizards in 1997.

The Wizards have made four appearances in the NBA Finals, winning in 1978. They've made 28 postseason appearances and won four conference championships (1971, 1975, 1978, and 1979) as well as eight-division crowns (1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1979, 2017).

Their finest season was in 1975 when they went 60–22. Wes Unseld is the only player in team history to win both the MVP and Finals MVP awards (1969) and (1978). The Rookie of the Year honor has gone to four players: Walt Bellamy, Terry Dischinger, Earl Monroe, and Wes Unseld.

Best Players in Washington Wizards History

Well, now is the time to look at the history of the club Before we go into our list of the

best players in Washington Wizards history

.

A short history about Washington Wizards Club

The Washington Wizards, a team with several names, have had a frantic existence. Since its inception as the NBA's first true expansion team in 1961, the team has gone by various names, including the Chicago Packers, Chicago Zephyrs, Baltimore Bullets, Capital Bullets, Washington Bullets, and its current moniker, the Washington Wizards, which was adopted in 1997 by owner Abe Pollin in an effort to distance the team from the connotation of gun violence.

The Bullets won their only championship in 1977-78, following a 44-38 regular season with a run through the playoffs that concluded in a seven-game NBA Finals triumph over the Seattle SuperSonics.

The Bullets were in Baltimore the first time they reached the Finals, in 1971, when they went 42-40 in another upset-filled playoff run. The Milwaukee Bucks swept them in four games to end the season.

In 1979, Washington made it back to the Finals but fell to Seattle in a five-game rematch. The franchise has been led by legends such as Walt Bellamy, Earl Monroe, Wes Unseld, and Elvin Hayes over the years. Unseld joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only player in NBA history to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season in 1968-69.

In 55 seasons, the franchise has made 27 playoff appearances, with 15 of those coming since the 1977-78 championship season. Gene Shue coached the Bullets for two seasons, taking over 26 games into the 1966-67 season and lasting through the 1972-73 season.

He returned in 1980-81 and stayed until late in the 1985-86 season when he was fired. During those two seasons, he went 522-505 with a 19-36 postseason record. Now it's time to get acquainted with the Top 11 Players of the Washington Wizards and to know the Washington Wizards' all-time best players.

Top 11 Players of Washington Wizards History

This list includes the

Top 11 Players of the Washington Wizards

, such as Gilbert Arenas and Michael Jordan. The first name in the list of Best Players in Washington Wizards History is Wes Unseld.

Wes Unseld

  • Born

    : March 14, 1946

  • Birthplace

    : Louisville, Kentucky

  • Died

    : June 2, 2020 (aged 74)

  • Death place

    : Catonsville, Maryland

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height

    : 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)

  • Listed weight

    : 245 lb (111 kg)

  • Position

    : Center

Westley Sissel Unseld was a professional basketball player, coach, and executive in the United States. He was a member of the Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets for the entirety of his NBA career. He is one of the

Washington Wizards' all-time best players

. Wes Unseld is without a doubt the best player in Wizards history.

While his overall numbers are not as stunning as Elvin Hayes' and his scoring figures pale in comparison to Walt Bellamy, Gus Johnson, Earl Monroe, and many others, Wes Unseld is without a doubt the best player in the franchise history.

Unseld was the only player to play with the Bullets his entire career, having been picked No. 2 overall in 1968. It was the Bullets' second consecutive No. 2 overall pick; the year before, they selected Earl Monroe with the second overall pick.

Unseld, like Monroe, was named Rookie of the Year in his rookie season. Unseld, like Monroe and no other player in NBA history except Wilt Chamberlain, earned the NBA MVP in his rookie season.

Unseld, to put it bluntly, was a monster. Only three times in his NBA career did the 6'7" center's scoring average exceed his rebounding average, and those were his final three seasons. Unseld was a force to be reckoned with, despite being only 6'7" and averaging 14 rebounds per game throughout his career. The next player on the list is Elvin Hayes.

Elvin Hayes

  • Born

    : November 17, 1945 (age 75)

  • Birthplace

    : Rayville, Louisiana

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height:

    6 ft 9 in (206 cm)

  • Listed weight

    : 235 lb (107 kg)

  • Position

    : Power forward / Center

Hayes holds the most franchise records of any player in franchise history, and it's simple to see why. The Hall of Famer is No. 10 all-time in points with almost 27,000, and he has a tremendous back-to-the-basket game.

Hayes also missed a total of seven games throughout his nine seasons with the Bullets. Hayes was practically invincible in his 16 NBA seasons, ranking third in minutes played. Hayes is easily one of the best NBA players of all time, having played a key role on the 1978 championship squad.

For all intents and purposes, Hayes was and continues to be the model for any GM's ideal NBA forward-center. The next player in the list of

Best Players in Washington Wizards History

is Gilbert Arenas.

Gilbert Arenas

  • Born

    : January 6, 1982 (age 39)

  • Birthplace

    : Tampa, Florida

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height

    : 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)

  • Listed weight

    : 215 lb (98 kg)

  • Position

    : Point guard

Arenas are solely responsible for the Washington Wizards' only true post-millennium era of playoff competitiveness. Arenas was a sight to behold night in and night out, an outstanding scorer with a flair for taking, and frequently hitting, buzzer-beater threes. 

Arenas was a true star from 2005 to 2007, averaging 25.5, 29.3, and 28.4 points per game. He was voted All-NBA all three seasons. His bold demeanor and offensive prowess have elevated him to the ranks of NBA superstar guards like Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade.

Nonetheless, this spectacular show was short-lived. Arenas became embroiled in a variety of off-the-court situations that harmed his career and tarnished his image among Wizards fans, with whom he had once been so intimately associated. But he was still fantastic. The next player in the list of Best Players in Washington Wizards History in our opinion is Phil Chenier.

Phil Chenier

  • Born

    : October 30, 1950 (age 70)

  • Birthplace

    : Berkeley, California

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height

    : 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)

  • Listed weight:

    180 lb (82 kg)

  • Position

    : Shooting guard

For a time, the three-time NBA All-Star and one-time All-NBA pick were one of the league's best point guards. Chenier was a workhorse on the offensive end for Washington, averaging 19.7 points per game or more in five consecutive seasons.

Over the course of his career, he averaged 1.6 steals, 3.0 assists, and 3.6 rebounds, demonstrating his willingness to contribute in all areas of the game. He would have played in the 1978 NBA Finals if not for a back injury that kept him out. Also, one of

The Best Washington Wizards players of All Time

is Antawn Jamison. Join us to know him better.

Antawn Jamison

  • Born

    : June 12, 1976 (age 45)

  • Birthplace

    : Shreveport, Louisiana

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height

    : 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)

  • Listed weight

    : 235 lb (107 kg)

  • Position

    : Power forward / Small forward

Jamison played for the Washington Redskins for six seasons. Jamison was always a sure bet to surpass 70 games played in a given year, with the exception of the 41 games he played for the organization before being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2009-10 season. He was the most durable Wizard of the mid-2000s, as well as an excellent scoring complement to Gilbert Arenas, with game totals of 82, 81, 79, 70, and 68 in five full seasons.

The Golden State Warriors' former No. 4 overall choice had a positive influence on the scoreboard and on the boards. As a Wizard, he averaged 20.7 points per game and had three of his greatest rebounding seasons in the league.

The 2007-08 season was his most productive and only season in which he averaged a double-double, with 21.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. From his arrival in 2005 until the start of the 2009-10 season, the former captain was both the glue and the skill that kept the Wizards competitive. The next player in the list of

Best Players in Washington Wizards History

is Chris Webber.

Chris Webber

  • Born

    : March 1, 1973 (age 48)

  • Birthplace

    : Detroit, Michigan

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height

    : 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)

  • Listed weight

    : 245 lb (111 kg)

  • Position

    : Power forward

In the 1994 offseason, Washington (then known as the Bullets) reunited two former "Fab Five" members and created what appeared to be a playoff-caliber group when they acquired Chris Webber from Golden State. Webber's athleticism at the 4 was compared to Shaquille O'Neal's at the 5 by then-Bullets general manager John Nash, according to this 1994 article by Frank Lawlor.

Until he moved to Sacramento, when he played for the Kings from 1998 to 2004, Webber did not put up Shaq-like numbers. C-Webb never played more than 72 games in a season during his four years in Washington. His time in Washington was fruitful, but he only managed to get the Bullets to the playoffs once.

Overall, Webber may be the former Wizard who leaves the sourest taste in the mouths of fans on this list. Despite strong seasons like 1996-97, when he averaged 20.1 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game, Webber only returned to Washington for one more season (the next one, 2008-09).

They would have hoped for a little more output from Webber after giving up three first-round selections and a talented forward in Tom Gugliotta. The next player in the list of Best Players in Washington Wizards History in our opinion is Bernard King.

Bernard King

  • Born

    : December 4, 1956 (age 64)

  • Birthplace

    : Brooklyn, New York

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height

    : 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)

  • Listed weight:

    205 lb (93 kg)

  • Position

    : Small forward

King arrived in Washington for the tenth NBA season, but the numbers didn't show it. Although King's 20.4 scoring average in his first season in Washington was a drop from his previous seasons with the Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks, he and colleague Moses Malone led the Bullets to the playoffs in 1987-88.

It was King's only playoff participation with the Bullets, but his scoring averages in Washington for the next three seasons definitely established him as the team's standout. With 19,655 points in his career, King finished third in the NBA in scoring in 1990-91, his final season in Washington, and his second-to-last in the league. The Brooklyn native was a hard-charging finisher who made a good living on the charity stripe. The next player on the list is Larry Hughes.

Larry Hughes

  • Born

    : January 23, 1979 (age 42)

  • Birthplace

    : St. Louis, Missouri

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height

    : 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)

  • Listed weight:

    185 lb (84 kg)

  • Position

    : Shooting guard

Larry Hughes only stayed in Washington for three seasons, but in that time, he had a significant impact on the team. Hughes, who had long been noted for his defensive brilliance and ability to produce immediate transition offense, stepped up his game in a successful 2004-05 season.

Hughes averaged 22.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.9 steals per game in helping the Wizards reach the playoffs. Those were all career highs for me (if his 22.7 scoring average in 32 games during the 1999-00 season is thrown out).

During the Gilbert Arenas era, Hughes was always dependable. Despite the fact that Arenas always took the final shot, Hughes came up with the clutch plays that kept games close. The next player in the list of Best Players in Washington Wizards History is Caron Butler.

Caron Butler

  • Born

    : March 13, 1980 (age 41)

  • Birthplace

    : Racine, Wisconsin

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height

    : 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)

  • Listed weight

    : 228 lb (103 kg)

  • Position

    : Small forward

Butler, like Richard Hamilton, was a star at the University of Connecticut, and he spent the majority of his still-active career in Washington. Butler was traded to Dallas as part of a seven-player transaction that included former Wake Forest standout Josh Howard for the Wizards after four and a half seasons in Washington.

Butler was a part of the Dallas Mavericks NBA championship team (albeit he missed the second half of the regular season and the playoffs due to injury), but his best days were spent with the Wizards.

Butler's scoring averages of 17.6, 19.1, 20.3, 20.8 in the years before he was traded were impressive, despite his struggles to get along with Gilbert Arenas. Combine those numbers with his 495 thefts over four seasons. The next player in the list of the Best players in Washington Wizards History in our opinion is Michael Jordan.

Michael Jordan

  • Born

    : February 17, 1963 (age 58

  • Birthplace

    : Brooklyn, New York

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height

    : 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)

  • Listed weight:

    216 lb (98 kg)

  • Position

    : Shooting guard

The greatest player in NBA history was gracious enough to finish his career in Washington, where he put in two productive years before hanging up his uniform for the final time. Jordan managed personnel decisions for the Wizards in addition to his 22.9 and 20.0 scoring averages.

He got rid of big contracts like Rod Strickland and Juwan Howard (both of whom are on the list), which were hard to criticize at the time. Jordan has had to live with the choice for years, but in hindsight, Tyson Chandler, Joe Johnson, and even Shane Battier would have been better picked. Gilbert Arenas was also present. The next player in the list of Best Players in Washington Wizards History is Brendan Haywood.

Brendan Haywood

  • Born

    : November 27, 1979 (age 41)

  • Birthplace

    : New York City

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height

    : 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)

  • Listed weight

    : 263 lb (119 kg)

  • Position

    : Center

Haywood spent the majority of his career in Washington, where he was a solid rim protector and defensive player. His scoring touch came late in his career, and he averaged double figures for the first time in his career in 2007-08.

Finally, after more than a decade with the Wizards, he ranks among the franchise's all-time leaders in games played. For all those years, he was, if nothing else, the best center on the squad. Despite the fact that he was up against Etan Thomas, Kwame Brown, and other weak prospects, he never gave up any ground to his backups.

Walt Bellamy

  • Born

    : July 24, 1939

  • Birthplace

    : New Bern, North Carolina

  • Died

    : November 2, 2013 (aged 74)

  • Death place

    : College Park, Georgia

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height

    : 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)

  • Listed weight

    : 225 lb (102 kg)

  • Position

    : Center

Walt Bellamy may be the most dominant player in franchise history despite playing only four seasons with the Packers, Zephyrs, and Bullets. He was the franchise's first pick in 1961, and he made an immediate impression.

He produced one of the most spectacular rookie seasons in NBA history, averaging 31.6 points and 19.0 rebounds per game. Bellamy won Rookie of the Year and would never duplicate that output again in his career.

He is still the franchise leader in points and rebounds per game, with 27.6 and 16.6, respectively. His four seasons with the team were most likely the best four individual seasons in franchise history.

Despite his domination, Bellamy does not meet the requirements as well as Elvin Hayes, Gus Johnson, or Wes Unseld. He was not a long-term member of the team, and he did not lead Washington to a winning record in any of his four seasons. He was, however, quite the show.

Gus Johnson

  • Born

    : December 13, 1938

  • Birthplace

    : Akron, Ohio

  • Died

    : April 29, 1987 (aged 48)

  • Death place

    : Akron, Ohio

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height

    : 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)

  • Listed weight

    : 230 lb (104 kg)

  • Position

    : Power forward / Small forward

His 19,723 minutes of playing time and 7,243 rebounds rank third in team history. He was an All-Star six times throughout his nine-year career. Johnson was never a member of a championship squad despite helping the franchise reach the playoffs six times in his nine seasons.

In 1971, his team reached the NBA Finals but was swept by the Milwaukee Bucks. Johnson may have challenged Wes Unseld or Elvin Hayes for the top two slots if he had been a member of a championship squad. His inability to win a championship was his only shortcoming. During his stint with the Bullets, Johnson averaged 17.4 points and 12.9 rebounds per game.

Earl Monroe

  • Born

    : November 21, 1944 (age 77)

  • Birthplace

    : Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height:

    6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)

  • Listed weight

    : 185 lb (84 kg)

  • Position

    : Shooting guard / Point guard

Earl "The Pearl" Monroe is an NBA Hall of Famer and one of the all-time great Bullets. Monroe gained his moniker for his flashy style of play, which helped him swiftly become one of the NBA's best.

Monroe was named Rookie of the Year after averaging an incredible 24.3 points per game as a rookie. Monroe played for the Bullets for a little more than four seasons before requesting a trade and being traded to the New York Knicks. The four-time NBA All-Star went on to win an NBA Championship with the New York Knicks.

Greg Ballard

  • Born

    : January 29, 1955

  • Birthplace

    : Los Angeles, California

  • Died

    : November 9, 2016 (aged 61)

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height

    : 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)

  • Listed weight

    : 215 lb (98 kg)

  • Position

    : Power forward

Ballard, a tough all-around forward who played for the Bullets from 1977 to 1985, shares his name with the current mayor of Indianapolis. Despite not becoming a mayor, Ballard may have tried his hand at politics given his track record. Ballard was a model of dependability for the Bullets, having never played fewer than 76 games in a season.

With 13.5 points per game as a Bullet, including back-to-back seasons of 18 points or more, and an NBA championship ring, the former No. 4 overall choice was a lock for the top 10. the last player on the list is John Wall.

John Wall

  • Born

    : September 6, 1990 (age 31)

  • Birthplace

    : Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Nationality

    : American

  • Listed height

    : 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)

  • Listed weight

    : 210 lb (95 kg)

  • Position

    : Point guard

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft was John Wall. Since making his Wizards debut, the North Carolina native has established himself as the franchise's top point guard. In 573 games with the Wizards, Wall has averaged 19.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 9.2 assists.

He's a five-time All-Star and the all-time leader in assists, assists per game, and steals for the Wizards. Wall is also the organization's fourth-leading scorer. When he returns for the 2020-21 season, he will continue to rise up the ranks.

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