The Washington Wizards announced they will be retiring the No. 45 jersey of former Bullets guard and longtime team color commentator Phil Chenier in a March 23 ceremony.
"I am so proud to have the honor and blessing of my #45 hanging with the greats of this franchise," Chenier said in a statement Thursday. "It's a statement to my teammates, coaches and all those who have sacrificed, supported and guided me over the many years that says 'job well done.'
"I also share it with the fans who have approached me with kind words and fond memories from both my playing days and my broadcasting career. My whole family is so grateful to Ted Leonsis, the MSE ownership group and the entire organization (from staff to players) who have been so kind, thoughtful and reverent towards me. I would also like to thank the Pollins, who brought me in to this organization 46 years ago, and the many people involved with the team during my early days. I'm so appreciative of each and every experience I've had here and can't wait to share this honor with my DC Family in March."
Chenier, 66, played nine seasons with the Bullets from 1971-79. He made three All-Star teams and was part of their 1978 championship roster. After his playing career ended, Chenier joined the organization as a broadcaster and has been working as a color commentator since 1987.
"As both a player and a broadcaster, Phil has been a pillar of our Bullets and Wizards family," Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said. "If you're a fan, Phil has played a role in your connection to this team and this organization. We are thrilled to retire his jersey this season and to express our gratitude for his irreplaceable contributions to our DC family."
Chenier is the fifth player in franchise history to have his number retired, joining Wes Unseld (No. 41), Elvin Hayes (No. 11), Gus Johnson (No. 25) and Earl Monroe (No. 10).