The 5 Greatest Washington Wizards to Ever Play in the NBA All-Star Game
5 Greatest Washington Wizards All-Stars
This coming weekend, one of the most notable events on the NBA calendar will take place. On Sunday night, the game's best and brightest will go head-to-head in the 2014 NBA All-Star Game.
For the Washington Wizards, they’ll have two players representing them at this year’s festivities. Bradley Beal will be participating in the Three-Point Shootout and John Wall will compete in the Slam Dunk Contest. Wall will also be a reserve for the All-Star Game, the first selection of his career.
As Washington sends two players to New Orleans, it’s got me wondering one very important question — who are the greatest Washington Wizards to ever play in the NBA All-Star Game? They’ve had 24 players named to the All Star squad, and 14 of them went more than once. Of those 24, who are the top five?
Before we dive into this countdown, let’s lay out some parameters. To start, they had to have gone to the All-Star Game while they were a member of the team in order to be on this list. That means if they didn’t go to the All-Star Game wearing Washington colors then they don’t count. Also, these players are ranked with respect to their overall time with Washington. While they may have had illustrious careers elsewhere, this all depends on how they played in Washington.
On the following five slides you’ll find the five greatest Washington Wizards to ever represent D.C. in the NBA All-Star Game. For all you non-diehard Wizards fans, “Bullets” is the same team. Washington changed their name to the Wizards in 1997.
5. Gilbert Arenas
Gilbert Arenas spent seven good seasons with the Wizards and was selected to three All-Star squads between 2005 and 2007. Over those three seasons, Arenas averaged at least 25 points per game. He led the Wizards to their first playoff appearance since 1997 in 2005 and carried them all the way to the second round. In 2006 and 2008 he led Washington back, but both efforts fell short in the first round.
4. Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan made his second comeback with the Wizards and played in Washington between 2001 and 2003. While he wasn’t in D.C. very long, it’s the fact that he still played at such a high level that lands him on this list. Even well into his late-30s and early-40s, Jordan was still balling with the best. Jordan was a starter on the All-Star squad in 2002 and 2003, his final (officially) two years in the NBA.
3. Gus Johnson
Gus Johnson spent his entire nine-year tenure in the NBA with the Bullets. Over those nine seasons, Johnson was tabbed to five All-Star Games. For his career, he averaged 17.5 points per game and 12.9 rebounds per game. His number “25” has been retired by the Wizards, and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
2. Elvin Hayes
Elvin Hayes played nine seasons in Washington and they were nine seasons well spent. He was a member of the 1978 championship squad and averaged a double-double in points and rebounds in all but one season in D.C. Hayes went to 12 All-Star Games in his career, and eight of them were with the Bullets.
1. Wes Unseld
Wes Unseld spent his entire career with the Bullets, and they were without a doubt the glory years of the franchise. Unseld made five All-Star squads and averaged a double-double in points (10.8) and rebounds (14.0) throughout his career. On top of that, he also led the team to an NBA championship in 1978. That same series, he was crowned NBA Finals MVP. In 1988, he was voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.