ESPN The Magazine has published their annual rankings of every franchise in all four major pro sports, where teams are ranked on a combination of coaching, management, players, fan experience, bang for the buck, affordability, stadium experience and their track to a title.
This year, the Wizards moved up from 73rd to 63rd out of 122 teams, thanks to improvements in seven of the eight categories. The only category where the team dropped was coaching, where the Wizards fell from 98th to 105th. Clearly, Randy Wittman's playoff performance this spring wasn't enough to change the minds of the fans surveyed, unless the survey was done before the Wizards started their playoff run in April.
As for how they rank among their peers, the Wizards finished 15th out of the 30 NBA teams, ahead of teams like the Bucks, Bulls, and Blazers, but behind teams like the Clippers, Rockets, and Spurs, all teams that have snagged Wizard free agent targets over the past two seasons.
On the Washington D.C. landscape, the Wizards ranked third among the teams in D.C., falling just behind the Capitals (55th) and the Nationals (41st). So while we've tried to make the Wizards are the most functional franchise in town at the moment, it's clear not everyone sees things that way.
Still, it's good to see the Wizards continue to move on an upward track, especially we've been reminded over the past week of just how bad things were just five years ago.