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What is the Wizards’ best jersey in franchise history?

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Retro jerseys? Current jerseys’ crazy concepts? I can’t decide for the Wizards fanbase though I can for myself, so let’s take a quick look at some from franchise history.

Unseld battles for position
The current Wizards’ jerseys are heavily derived from those of the 1970s Bullets when Wes Unseld was the face of the franchise.
Photo by NBA Photo Library/ NBAE/ Getty Images

This week, SB Nation is running a theme about the “best jerseys.” To that end, we’ll join in on the fun writing about some of the jerseys the Washington Wizards have worn throughout the years.

To me personally, I’m willing to just judge a jersey based on the look alone and nothing more. That said, I totally understand if you do associate a great jersey with winning. Here are my personal picks.

Best looking jersey: The current John Wall Era jerseys

Washington Wizards v Indiana Pacers
John Wall wears the Wizards’ current red jersey in a game against the Indiana Pacers.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Wizards’ current home, or Association white and road, or Icon jerseys are modern-looking, with a retro twist. The current jerseys have stripes on the front like they did for much of the 1970s when they were the Bullets. Besides a stripe across the back from 2011-13, the jerseys have had a rather clean look to them.

There are many fans who take issue to the Wizards having their current name. The previous generation of blue and bronze or gold jerseys always had the name “Wizards” prominently on the front. Today, the only Wizards jersey (including their various alternates) with that on the front is the white uniform.

Los Angeles Clippers v Washington Wizards
John Wall is donning the Wizards’ current white jersey, the only one with the “Wizards” word mark on it.
Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

The decision to change the team colors and wordmarks to a retro, yet modern look was faster than normal according to Michael Lee, who wrote for The Washington Post in 2011. In fact, owner Ted Leonsis wanted to make changes rather quickly to the red, white and blue like the Washington Capitals NHL team did in 2007.

Adidas, the NBA’s apparel provider at the time designed the logo, worked with the league and Greg Bibb, who was then the Wizards’ executive vice president of business operations. In Lee’s column, Bibb said that there were many “revisions and evolutions” of the team’s new look before they made their debut in a lockout-shortened 2011-12 NBA season.

Best “winning” jersey: 1970s Bullets uniforms

1978 NBA Finals Game 6: Seattle Supersonics v Washington Bullets
Bob Dandridge takes a jumpshot during the 1978 NBA Finals when the now-Wizards won their only championship.
Photo by NBA Photo Library/NBAE via Getty Images

The Wizards were among the NBA’s most consistent teams in the 1970s when they were the Bullets and played at the Capital Centre in Landover, Md. They won the 1978 Finals against the Seattle SuperSonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder) and played them again in the Finals a year later.

The stripes were bigger on the jersey back then and the shorts were shorter too. But these uniforms, even in the 1970s, were unique at that time!

Best alternate jersey: Wizards’ Stars and Stripes jersey in 2016-17

Boston Celtics v Washington Wizards - Game Six
John Wall and Marcin Gortat rock their special alternate jerseys in 2017.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Wizards’ white “Stars and Stripes” alternates were an unexpected slam dunk among fans in the 2016-17 NBA season when they won the Southeast Division title. The jerseys were originally intended to be a “one-off” for military-themed home games, but the players and fans really loved them. So Washington decided to wear ONLY those jerseys during home playoff games.

These jerseys were patriotic and had a noticeably more simple look than their home jerseys, which I ultimately like more. But nevertheless, they were a hit! The only issue was that fans couldn’t buy many of them because Adidas didn’t anticipate the demand. And furthermore, Adidas’ NBA apparel contract was coming to an end with Nike coming in the following season.

The Wizards wore a modified version of the uniform this season, but I like the original better, simply because they were so popular, yet so rare!

Weirdest jersey: The Wizards bronze/gold alternates of 2006-08

Gilbert Arenas wears the Wizards’ gold alternates in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
NBAE via Getty Images

The Wizards’ colors were teal blue and bronze/gold from 1996-2010. But for a couple years from 2006-08, they wore an alternate jersey that featured bronze or gold jerseys and black shorts. They were perhaps the most eccentric. I am not a fan of the look.

That said, the Wizards wore those alternates on Dec. 17, 2006 against the Los Angeles Lakers when Gilbert Arenas dropped 60 points.


What are your favorite jerseys in Washington Wizards history? I certainly have left out many, including the plain red Bullets jerseys of the 1990s, the Baltimore Bullets’ orange uniforms and more. But let us know in the comments below.