Curse O' Les Boulez Revisited

Looking back into the history of draft selections for the Bullets/Wizards organization suggests that it takes a combination of skill and luck to draft quality NBA players. The Bullets/Wizards had their share of skill/luck during the 1960s, drafting Walt Bellamy #1 in 1961, Earl Monroe #2 in the 1967 draft and Wes Unseld #2 in the 1968 draft. Smart draft picks plus smart trades built a Wes Unseld/Elvin Hayes led-championship team in the 1977/78 season. But ever since, the Bullets/Wizards organization has been cursed with a run of bad luck, inept management or a combination of both.

Our run of bad luck and/or inept management-- is laughable if I weren't crying. Bad luck is defined as an unfortunate state resulting from unfavorable outcomes or an unpredictable outcome that is misfortunate. We've had our share of bad luck over the past three decades. Almost every draft selection the Bullets/Wizards made during the past 30 years has turned to crap rather than gold. King Midas was not a Wizards fan.

Other than the Jeff Malone draft selection (#10) in 1983 (he became a two-time all-star), we've had an extraordinary run of bad luck and/or inept management of the NBA draft. Here are our first round picks in the NBA draft from 1984 to 2012 (read them and weep):

1984: Melvin Turpin # 6

1985: Kenny Green # 12

1986: John Williams #12

1987: Muggsy Bogues #12

1988: Harvey Grant #12

1989: Tom Hammonds #12

1990: no first rounder

1991: LaBradford Smith #19

1992: Tom Gugliatta #6

1993 :Calbert Cheaney #6

1994: Juwan Howard #5

1995: Rasheed Wallace #4

1996: no first rounder

1997: no first rounder

1998: no first rounder

1999: Richard Hamilton # 7

2000: no first rounder

2001: Kwame Brown #1

2002: Jarred Jeffries #11

2003: Jarvis Hayes #10

2004: Devin Harris #5

2005: no first rounder

2006: Oleksiy Pecherov #18

2007: Nick Young #16

2008: Javale McGee #18

2009: No first rounder

2010: John Wall #1

2011: Jan Vesely #6

2012: Bradley Beal #3

It is not surprising to have raised eyebrows reading the above list. This is a list of very average (and sometimes, underperforming) NBA players. In the cases where we actually drafted a quality NBA player, we found a way to screw it up. For example, Rasheed Wallace and Richard Hamilton were traded away only to become NBA all-stars on other teams. We also decided to keep Juwan Howard and signed him to a contract worth over $100 million (a humongous contract in those days for an underperforming big man).

It gets worse; the 2009 pick (which could have been Rick Rubio) was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, along with Darius Songalia, Etan Thomas and Oleksiy Pecherov, in exchange for Randy Foye and Mike Miller. Kwame Brown was the number one pick in the 2001 draft- will we ever forget? To add insult to injury, we then selected Jarred Jeffries at #11 in 2002; Jarvis Hayes at #10 in 2003; Devin Harris (traded) at #5 in 2004; Oleksiy Pecherov at #18 in 2006. The Wizard's management was on a roll.

There is no need to go into the gory details of the selections of Nick Young #16 in 2007 and Javale McGee #18 in 2008; we all know their story. The jury is still out on our last three first round draft selections-John Wall #1 in 2010, Jan Vesely #6 in 2011 and Bradley Beal #3 in 2012. However, it is becoming increasingly obvious, at least to me that these players are likely to be as cursed as the players that came before them. John Wall as the overall #1 pick in 2010 has underwhelmed the NBA; Vesely has been a draft disaster and Bradley Beal has disappointed us with his poor shooting and lack of aggressiveness (although at 19, it's too early to declare him a bust).

I don't believe in ghosts and goblins and I don't believe in curses and witch doctors. But after 30+ years of being a Wizards fan, observing the team's dreadful selection and handling of draft choices-maybe, just maybe-- there is a higher power at work here. Is it possible that Ernie Grunfeld is not to blame for the Wizard's woes? Is it possible that the Wizards are doomed to NBA hell for all eternity due to the "Curse O' Les Boulez?" As we enter the New Year, we may need more than a new general manager; we may need divine intervention.

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.

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