Although the Washington Wizards hold just one championship in their 62-year history, they’ve seen some tremendous talent. Whether it’s the 1978 championship team, the ‘04-’06 Gilbert-led unit, or the ‘17 Eastern Conference semifinals squad, the talent is undeniable.
The task at hand today is to see which four players stand above the rest and make my Wizards Mount Rushmore.
This list is subjective. Not everyone’s four players will be the same, which makes this fun. Feel free to discuss and debate over your own top-4 players in the comments below.
In no particular order, here’s my Washington Wizards/Bullets Mount Rushmore:
Mount Rushmore Head No. 1: Wes Unseld
There’s no disputing this pick. No matter what era of Wizards/Bullets basketball you grew up watching, one thing holds: Wes Unseld is the GOAT.
Unseld spent his entire 13-year NBA career in Baltimore/Washington as a member of the Bullets. With a career average of 11 points & 14 rebounds, Unseld dominated the paint. He solidified himself as one of the greatest rebounders in NBA history, coming in at 13th all-time.
As for Wizards records, nobody comes close. For reference on his dominance, the next closest Wizard to Unseld’s 13,769 rebounds is Elvin Hayes with 9,305.
Above all the stats and accolades, Unseld was the driving force in bringing home the only NBA Title in Wizards/Bullets franchise history. Unseld averaged 11.7 points and 9.0 rebounds on his way to winning Finals MVP.
To me, Wes Unseld. is the greatest player in franchise history, making him a no-brainer for my Mount Rushmore.
Mount Rushmore Head No. 2: Elvin Hayes
“The Big E” was an unbelievable scorer during his time with the Bullets. He ranks 1st on Washington’s all-time scoring list with 15,551 points. Hayes was key in bringing home Washington’s only NBA championship alongside Unseld in 1978.
Hayes ranks second behind Unseld in rebounds with 9,305 and third in steals with 736. Most impressive of all, he ranks second in career games played in Washington history with 731. Hayes missed just nine games in his 16-year career, a remarkable feat.
An NBA champion and record holder in many statistical categories, Hayes gave it his all for the Bullets as a feared scorer, which is why he’s on my Mount Rushmore of Washington basketball greats.
Mount Rushmore Head No. 3: John Wall
It’s remarkable that despite all his injuries, Wall is still one of the greatest Wizards ever. The number one pick in 2010, Wall entered with lofty expectations. The team won just 23 games in his rookie year, with Wall missing 13 games.
Things began to turn around when Wall developed into one of the NBA’s leading assisters. John averaged 9.2 assists per game during his nine seasons with the Wiz, by far the best mark in team history. His 5,281 career assists in D.C. ranks almost 1,500 above the next player. Wall also leads the Wizards in all-time steals, ranks fourth in points, and third in free throws made.
A 5x All-Star and 1x All-NBA selection, Wall led Washington to four playoff appearances, advancing to the second round in three of those four years. His deepest run came in 2017, when the Wizards were just one game away from advancing to the conference finals, before falling to Boston in game 7.
Despite injuries and his shaky exit, John Wall remains the greatest passer this team has ever seen. He brought the Wizards back to life during the 2010’s and lived up to the hype. He’s more than qualified to be on my Wizards Mount Rushmore.
Who is the fourth player on the Wizards’ Mount Rushmore?
Okay. Before I unveil my fourth player, I want to preface this. I feel like we can all agree, for the most part, on the first three. Those guys are franchise cornerstones. The fourth player is where this gets interesting. The era you grew up in will determine your selection here. As a younger Wizards fan, my pick will also reflect that.
Mount Rushmore Head No. 4: Bradley Beal
I understand that picking Beal is a bit controversial, and that’s fair to think. But the numbers don’t lie. Beal is at the top of every statistical category in Wizards history.
- Points: 2nd (Just 185 behind 1st — and you never know if he returns!)
- Assists: 3rd
- Steals: 2nd
- Games: 3rd
- Minutes: 3rd
- 3-pointers made: 1st (More than 600 above 2nd)
- Free throws made: 2nd
I understand that you may not like his contract or some of his off-court comments, but you can’t argue with facts. And the truth of the matter is that he’s one of the greatest scorers in franchise history.
Brad’s been a part of five playoff runs, four coming alongside Wall. That backcourt created troubles for every defense they faced.
Beal, a 3x All-Star and 1x All-NBA selection, averaged 30 points per game in back-to-back seasons, the only Wizard to ever do so. He has five career 50-point games, with his career-high of 60 coming against the Sixers in 2021.
There will undoubtedly be pushback for this selection, which is reasonable. For that, I have to be impartial in saying that much of Beal’s success has come in losing seasons. However, from 2018-2020, Brad was asked to lead a team headlined by Isaac Bonga and Ish Smith. It wasn’t until the Wiz got Westbrook in 2020-21 that Beal had a new running mate.
Despite this, Beal put up terrific numbers, which was all he could do. It’s close, but Beal edges out everyone else, in my opinion, for the fourth and final spot on my Wizards/Bullets Mount Rushmore.
I’m curious to hear everyone’s thoughts on not only my list. But feel free to make your own list as well. Drop your Wizards/Bullets Mount Rushmore below. Hopefully, this creates some fun dialogue about our franchise’s greatest players during the “Dog Days of Summer.”