The 2010-2011 NBA season renewed hope in a city devastated by the actions of former star Gilbert Arenas, later deemed Gun Gate.
No. 1 pick John Wall gave new excitement to the fans, and the blockbuster trade of Arenas to the Orlando Magic closed the book on the Gun Gate era, allowing Wall to fully embrace the role of savior to the franchise.
Fellow rookie Jordan Crawford rose to prominence among Wizards fans with his don't-back-down attitude and playmaking abilities in the second half of the season when Wall and Nick Young were out or slowed by injuries. These two players made the Wizards the first team in NBA history to have two rookies get triple-doubles in the same season. While they have proven to be key pieces to the rebuilding process, it all started at the top with ownership of the team being sold by the Pollin family.
New owner Ted Leonsis added to the positive environment change with his ideals of building up young talent through the draft and bringing in players who exuded hard work and a commitment to both ends of the court. GM Ernie Grunfeld stayed the course during the 2011 NBA Draft, adding Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton and Shelvin Mack to the already young nucleus on the roster.
These three rookies exemplified the ideals that Leonsis bestowed upon the team and added versatility and defensive toughness to a roster that had been lacking those aspects for quite some time. As the lockout rages on in full force, now is the perfect time to look ahead to the future and see how these players' roles will be defined.