Washington Wizards fans will get their wish as the team will revert to its old nickname. The catch is the name change is for one night only.
According to Clinton Yates of the Washington Post, the franchise will use the Washington Bullets moniker Jan. 28 for a home game against the Denver Nuggets. As part of the celebration, the team will wear its "Baltimore Pride" uniforms. Additionally, former Washington Bullets Bernard King, Earl Monroe, Bob Dandridge and Terry Dischinger will be in attendance:
The Bullets nickname goes all the way back to the 1963-64 season, when the team played in Baltimore. Upon moving closer to Washington, D.C., in 1973, ownership changed the team name to the Capital Bullets. It stuck for one season (1973-74) before being switched to the Washington Bullets.
In 1995, then team owner Abe Pollin decided to get rid of the Bullets name.
"I've thought about it for 31 years," Pollin said, per George Vecsey of the New York Times. "Bullets connote killing, violence, death. Our slogan used to be, 'Faster than a speeding bullet.' That is no longer appropriate."
Wes Unseld, the franchise leader in games played, offered his support for the move:
We all take pride in the Bullets. But times have changed. Circumstances have changed. All the old guys who wore the uniform have to realize that. Maybe we can have an impact by changing the name. But it's not just a name change. We're going into the schools to reach conflict resolution. Juwan Howard and I have made public-service announcements about violence. This isn't just about a nickname and a logo.
Given the fact gun control remains a divisive issue in the United States, the rebirth of the Bullets is unlikely to be anything more than a nostalgic throwback to the franchise's roots.
Should the promotion prove to be a success, the Wizards could use it again for select games down the road.