clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Right at the intersection of the past and the future

With the off-season now upon us, the big debate is going to be over whether or not the Wizards need to rebuild.  To be completely honest, I still haven't really thought about it all too much yet, with the season still too fresh on my mind to really stop and think about it at this point.  Even though I haven't gotten to that point yet, there's one important factor in the decision that needs to be discussed because it's unique to our situation. 

To understand the dilemma, we have to understand the team's history over the last 20 years, namely our lack playoff appearances.  In a league where 16 of the 30 teams make the playoffs every year (that a 53% chance you'll make the playofs), the Wizards have only made it to the playoffs 5 times in over the last two decades (25%).  When you're so un-accustomed to success, it can change the way you determine what is and isn't successful.  For teams like the Celtics and Lakers, a first round sweep would be a complete failure because of the standard that they've established over their history.  For Washington, a team that got swept in the first round, like the '97 Bullets, is one of the most fondly remembered teams in our history.

The big question Ernie faces in the off-season is whether or not he thinks that the Wizards' ceiling is one and done.  As hard as it will be to come to that decision by itself, what makes it even more complicated is that if he comes to the decision that they are just a nice one-and-done team, he then has to decide if that's good enough for a city where playoff basketball is still a rare commodity.