Being a fan of a habitually losing franchise is tough. It gets to the point where you want to jump off the near empty bandwagon and take your fan talents to a team that actually wins. A team that not only wins but actually operates as if they care about winning. Being a fan of the Washington Wizards happens to be more than tough, it’s being a glutton for disappointment.
I have been a fan of the Bullets/Wizards since as far as I can remember. I’m not old enough to remember and celebrate the glory days of Wes Unseld, Bobby Dandridge, and Elvin Hayes. I do recall watching a not quite himself Bernard King, Manute Bol, Ledell Eackles, Harvey Grant, and Jeff Malone. The thing about this franchise is I have never expected them to compete for a championship but at least back in the late 80’s they did compete.
More than the players on the floor, I have been most disappointed with the front office and ownership. I have always believed that late owner Abe Pollin allowed his loyalty to Unseld to cloud his better business judgment. Unseld went from Vice President of Basketball Operations to Head Coach to General Manager and was subpar at all three. Exceptional on court talent normally doesn’t translate to the bench as great coaching. Pollin failed to realize that coaching and the running of a NBA team requires someone who is as talented in his area of expertise as Unseld was on the court.
The lack of development, whiff on high draft picks, and acquisitions of players past their prime has made the Wizards a laughing stock in the NBA. Like a true fan, I continue to cheer even though I can guess the outcome. Like a fan of a habitually losing fan I get excited about the little things like beating the Miami Heat in the first of the season when it doesn’t really matter. Being a fan of the Wizards is tough. Being a fan of the Wizards is downright depressing.