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This Week In Bullets/Wizards Franchise History

The dog days of late summer in Washington, DC can be slow going news-wise for the local NBA franchise.

The good news for Washingtonians is that these current days of late August have been less than doggish with temperatures lower and humidity less than what the denizens of the District built upon a swamp are normally used to.

Since not much is going on, and the Pradamaster and JakeTheSnake are in the midst of making the transition back to their respective institutes of higher education, I've decided to jump into the way-back machine to see what was going down with the Bullets/Wizards franchise around a decade ago.

August 22, 1997: Team fan blow-hard, Robin Ficker, opted not to renew his season tickets as the team was set to move to a new downtown DC arena. Ficker, known for sitting directly behind the opposing bench and heckling visiting players, was a novelty act for quite sometime. However, his obnoxious diatribes quickly wore thin on those who frequented the Capital Centre/USAir Arena.

When told that his VIP seats would be moved to behind the basket to accommodate physically disabled fans, Ficker saw the writing on the wall in that his "services" were no longer wanted. Ficker gained national celebrity when he was hired by Charles Barkley to heckle the Chicago Bulls in Phoenix during the 1993 NBA Finals. However, he faded into relative obscurity in the minds of Wizards fans and has experienced multiple "off-court" issues since, about which you can read in Ficker's Wikipedia profile.

Michael Jordan encounters a potential crazy man!! (via bruceblitzconfession)

It's also worth mentioning that Ficker's daughter, Desiree, an accomplished tri-athlete, is not a bad looker.

August 24, 1999:
The Washington Wizards held an official press conference to announce that GM Wes Unseld had signed the 34-year old Mitch Richmond to a four-year, $40 million deal, making him the highest paid shooting guard in the NBA.

This waste of money added injury, literally and figuratively, to the insult of trading an up-and-coming Chris Webber for Richmond and Otis Thorpe in May of 1998. Richmond would appear in 111 games for the Wizards over the next two seasons, missing several games in 2000-01 due to a sprained knee ligament. After that season, the Wizards bought out the final two years of his contract for $10 million.

On second thought....maybe it's not always good to remember history. Sometimes I get the feeling that Wizards/Bullets fans are doomed to repeat it regardless. Sorry to be Debbie Downer....Happy Monday!

Mitch Richmond's jumpshot (via PoletBally)