John Wall can hardly contain his excitement.
For a while, "the Washington Wizards will be over .500" ranked right up there with "it'll be a cold day in Hell" and "pigs will fly" as the best way to indicate the profound unlikelihood of a future event.
But after defeating the Orlando Magic 98-80 on Dec. 2, the Wizards have officially done enough to retire that expression.
Per David Aldridge of NBA TV, Washington's interminable stay below the break-even mark is over:
To be precise, the Wizards have returned to .500 for the first time since Nov. 3, 2009. To get an idea of how long ago that was, consider Washington fell to 2-2 on that date by losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
One LeBron James led the Cavs with 27 points. And if that weren't enough of a blast from the past, Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler tied for the Wizards' team high with 22 points apiece. Digest that for a second: Arenas was still playing decent basketball the last time Washington had a respectable record.
If that doesn't indicate how long the drought has been, I'm not sure what does.
According to the Associated Press (via ESPN), Wizards center Marcin Gortat described the good vibes in the locker room after the game: "These guys lost a lot of games last year. Everybody's excited we're finally winning."
Things could actually get even better for the Wizards, too. With games against the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics on the schedule over the next few weeks, it's possible mediocrity could be sustainable.
Maybe that sounds like a modest goal. But when a franchise hasn't been decent since Miley Cyrus was on the Disney Channel, it's probably best to temper expectations.