Ranking the Worst Washington Wizards Uniforms Ever
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Before I dive into this ranking, a few obvious details should first be addressed.
The Wizards current red, white and blue uniforms finished at No. 6 in a recent ESPN ranking, as made evident by SB Nation’s Jeff Newman. This jersey was introduced at the end of the 2010-11 season, and is handsome enough to not belong on this list.
The May 2011 threads ushered in a new era of optimism, both for the fans and the franchise, according to The Washington Post’s Michael Lee.
For the sake of believing this year’s healthy and matured Wizards roster will return to the playoffs, the current uniforms remain off this list. They could bring the Wizard’s nickname its most successful era, which is not too difficult a task considering the nickname was inaugurated in the 1997-98 season.
Staying with this criteria, jerseys that brought the franchise good fortune in the win column will get a bit of a lift in the rankings, while those that did not do as well will fall.
Additionally, because the Gilbert Arenas era was full of experimentation both on and off the court, expect to see Agent Zero in many of the pictures to come, particularly as things start to get less and less attractive.
Without further ado, here are the worst jerseys in the history of the Washington franchise
9.) Original Orange Bullets
Its hard to put any tributes to the Bullets in a negative category, but ultimately, Washington has not worn a ton of jerseys and a few of their throwbacks are not so beautiful.
The franchise’s first jerseys, however, were quite nice. Consider this slot on the rankings list the same as No. 2 on a list of the best jerseys in Washington's history.
This orange getup is by no means ugly, and Gilbert Arenas looks pretty cool in these orange threads.
The Wiz have not rocked these Gettysburg College look-a-likes (Gettysburg is also the Bullets) very often, but they were the primary look for the franchise during its tenure in the Charm City from 1967-1973.
Wes Unseld, the No. 2 overall pick of the 1968 NBA Draft, turned in quality seasons for the Baltimore Bullets wearing these orange and blues, including leading the team to a 57-25 mark in 1968, his rookie year.
8.) Inaugural Washington Bullets
Unseld remained on the team for another great jersey era, as the move from Baltimore to Landover did not incorporate a complete destruction of the great Bullets jersey.
While there was still a major overhaul, the red, white and blue rig that would be the basis of the franchise for the next 25 years made for some lovely looking teams.
With short shorts and a roster full of afro-heavy players, the Wizards had ideal uniforms and hairstyles for the 1970s.
7.) 1989 to the end of the Bullets era
The Bullets eliminated their horizontal lines to some effectiveness, as the blanker look creates a certain level of elegance.
Nevertheless, the Juwan Howard and Chris Webber-led teams of the early to late 1990s could have used a little more flash. While the rest of the NBA was using bright teal colors or other pizazz-filled designs to increase jersey sales, the Wizards went the opposite direction.
It is a relief that the two former Michigan Fab Five forwards did not have to spend the majority of their Washington career wearing teal or any equally strange color of blue that often emerged during this time period. Once the team was no longer the Bullets, the off-blue also arrived.
The two stars still looked stylish with the cleanest look in the franchise's history, via NBA.com.
6.) Blue and Orange Solid Stripe
I’m not sure how often the Wizards rocked this Baltimore Bullets look in games, but it is certainly a different style. The orange stripe is a little heavy, but the shorts are quite appealing.
It appears Luol Deng is not wearing a typical Bulls uniform either, though the number of fans in the stands led me to believe this was still a regular-season game.
In this case, while these Baltimore Bullets look a little over-the-top on the court, it would certainly be a very cool jersey to own and wear off the court.
But what jersey isn’t cool to wear off the court? I know one on this list that isn’t, and you probably know what I'm referring to, but that will come later.
5.) Busy 1980s Look
Preceding the simplistic, somewhat plain jerseys of the Howard and Webber era were an over-the-top set of uniforms first worn in the mid-1980s. Washington went overboard adding extra horizontal lines to the beautiful jersey that Unseld made look so good on the court.
Even if Moses Malone was a cool character, he does not look cool in these threads. While the lower half is nice and the blue runs together well from lower jersey to shorts, it was more change for the sake of change rather than a well-crafted attempt to improve jerseys that needed no improving.
While it is hard for a jersey to remain the same over several decades, as teams like the Knicks and Celtics have been able to do for the most part, Washington would have been better off keeping their old Bullets gear around throughout the 1980s.
4.) Long-Tenured Off-Blues
When then-owner Abe Pollin made the wise decision to terminate the Bullets nickname in favor of the Wizards, he did so at the expense of tremendous jerseys.
This is the real reason fans miss the Bullets nickname. The Wizards era began with the previously mentioned teal-esque color that was more characteristic of some of the most unpleasant jerseys of the 1990s than the legendary outfits worn in Washington’s past.
The Wizards wore these from 1997-2011. Due to some less-than-stellar records outside of a few strong seasons behind Antawn Jamison, Gilbert Arenas and Larry Hughes, Washington found many opportunities to mix in their throwbacks throughout this period.
It is this period, and the need to spice things up with throwbacks, where two of the absolute worst jerseys in Washington, and in some cases the entire NBA, came to being.
3.) Jordan’s Attempt at the Bullets
These jerseys were not what I was referring to when I mentioned the worst jerseys in the NBA, but I nonetheless find Michael Jordan’s 2003 Bullets look very unsettling.
As legendary as MJ was and still is, he is wearing these Bullets jerseys all wrong.
When looking at the greatness of the Bullets jerseys, the keys to emphasizing their true beauty were a.) the short shorts and b.) the afro hairstyle.
Jordan has neither of those, as his trademark long shorts just look silly.
For all the great things he did in his career, trying to bring back the Bullets during his comeback in Washington should be kept off his illustrious resume.
2.) Chicago Zephyrs
Now to the top two, both of which have a chance at worst of all time in the NBA. Part of a 45-year anniversary celebration in Washington, the Wizards made clear their desires to wear Zephyrs jerseys on four separate occasions.
For those who do not know (and hopefully that is everyone), the franchise spent one year as the Chicago Zephyrs in the 1962-63 season, then moved to Baltimore the following year.
Either way, the strange color used to fill in the Zephyr nickname and the overall blandness of this jersey make it one of the least appealing in my eyes.
The only real advantage to owning this would be to prove your superior knowledge of NBA history, but that is only cool in so many circles, if you know what I mean.
1.) The Gold-and-Blacks
The more I look for photo evidence that the Wizards actually wore these abominations, the more I start to think Gilbert Arenas was behind the jerseys the whole time.
Washington wore them the most when the former Arizona star was at the top of his game, but that does not mean the jerseys were well received.
The gold-and-blacks earned the top spot in Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Sean Hojnacki’s Dec 12, 2012 ranking of every NBA team’s worst jersey.
An additional Bleacher Report Featured Columnist, Brendan Bowers, had these golden regurgitations at No. 5 in the worst jerseys of all time.
Both placements are well deserved, and it was a no-brainer from the start that these jerseys would take the top spot in this ranking.
As for the one NBA jersey that would not be cool to wear off the court, this was it.
No offense to those Wizards fans who have an Arenas in this color, but its time to look into a modern-day John Wall uniform purchase.
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