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Wizards Retire the Gold

(2006 photo by John McDonnell)

I remember standing behind that big curtain in the fall of '06 like it was yesterday. The Wizards were getting ready to walk into the Verizon Center for their gold uniform fashion show, and all was nervous energy and bounce and laughter. There were Wiz wives around, and front-office personnel. PR man Zack Bolno still worked in D.C., not Ashburn. I wandered around, asking players what they thought.

"I think the black and gold symbolizes a lot," Caron Butler told me then. "It takes you back to ancient times, you know what I'm saying, like the knights."

"I like anything that's not turquoise or blue or whatever color that is," Gilbert Arenas told Ivan Carter around the same time. "I want to go back to the red, white and blue colors. We're Washington, D.C. The flag. America's colors. That's what we should be."

"It feels fine, but just the two-tone's getting to me," Jarvis Hayes said. "If it was all black or all gold, I'd be fine."

"You know what's funny, when I played the shorts were tight, up to here, and the socks were high," Ernie Grunfeld. "Now, the shorts are baggy and long and the socks are in your shoes. Things change."

Indeed they do. Jarvis Hayes is gone. So is Ivan Carter. The knights theme has been taken up by both the Washington Kastles and the D.C. Armor. The Caps got rid of turquoise or blue or whatever that color is. And the Wiz just announced that they're retiring the gold. Monday's game, which will also feature an appearance by Clinton Portis, is the end of gold, featuring 30 percent off gold jerseys and free tickets for anyone with "gold" as part of their last name. Expect a heavy Jewish contingent, I guess. Is Russ Feingold in town?

The only problem I really had with the gold uniforms was that they were uglier than a Vermont hockey fan drunk on Magic Hat and misery. Also, each season of their use was marked by crippling injuries. Alternate fail. I'm no marketing expert, but things did seem to go in a positive direction for the Caps when they finally went back to red white and blue, if I'm remembering correctly. There's just too many bad memories associated with turquoise or blue or bronze or gold or whatever. Time to wipe the slate clean.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 10, 2009; 10:25 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Can we please go back to being the Bullets too?

Posted by: RobotDC | April 10, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"The only problem I really had with the gold uniforms was that they were uglier than a Vermont hockey fan drunk on Magic Hat and misery."

You, sir, are a master wordsmith.

Posted by: harrisongoodman | April 10, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Oh there aren't bad memories with the red, white and blue of Les Boulez.

But yes, I agree....the Wiz need to go retro.

Posted by: truthaboutit | April 10, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Bullets Fever, happens to me every year!

Posted by: bbride1 | April 10, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Red white and blue is a great idea, but just won't work with `Wizards.' Abe made a mistake in going to this name, though I agree `Bullets' is no good either. Time for a new name to reflect a new winning attitude. I propose `Washington Justice.' The name would by unique to this town of laws and lawyers and would work fine with red, white and blue. Plus the Verizon Center would get a new nickname: ``The Supreme Court.''
Justice for All!

Posted by: caryoreilly | April 10, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

haha Steins used "fail." All the cool kids are saying it!

Posted by: MarylanDChris | April 10, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I think they should just slap Wizards on the front of the throwback Chicago Zephyrs uni's. Those are legit.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 10, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Mmmmm...Magic Hat. Wish we could get some out in San Diego.

Yeah, too bad the name is the Wizards now, b/c the blue unis have to go. This organization seems to do whatever else Gil wants, maybe he should push harder for a uni change!

Posted by: tigerquoll | April 10, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I agree with going back to the old Bullets Red white and blue look. But to be honest, I liked the gold over the turquoise in the end, the stars and stuff at least are a bit more DC.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 10, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

someone needs to do some photo shopping of the wizard in red white and blue.

Posted by: MondoTE11 | April 10, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

If we're opening the naming up again, I'm all for "Washington Monuments." Sounds tall and rock solid, albeit with very little motion on both sides of the ball.

Posted by: Section315 | April 10, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

good, those were hideous.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 10, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Red, white and blue with stars and strips can work with the name Wizards. You just need to get creative with the logo. I grew up hating the Baltimore Bullets orange unis and the Capitol/Washington Bullets r,w&b unis too.

Posted by: Grendel13 | April 10, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

the old "Bullets", back in the days of Gus Johnson, Earl Monroe, Kevin Loughery and Jack Marin, wore orange on the road and white at and orange would fit...

Posted by: outrbnksm | April 10, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

They should just go by BC Washington, as in "Basketball Club," and just go by the nickname Bullets. Go back to the Red, White, and Blue Hoops, with stars down the side. The Wizards/Bullets have had the worst jerseys in the NBA for the past 20 years. Time for some change.

Posted by: RedskinAddict | April 10, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Who came up with the turquoise anyhow? Those uni's are hideous. Hell I thought the gold were an actual upgrade. Shoot whomever came up with those ideas and start from scratch.

Posted by: unkonchus | April 10, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

uniform colors are the LEAST of this trainwreck franchise's problems...

Posted by: unc1dmo | April 10, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Two tone uniforms like Gold Shirt/Black Shorts look cheap and cut the players in half. It looks like an intramural squad who bought jerseys but could not afford shorts so bring your own black shorts. Stick to one main color.

Posted by: jercha | April 10, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Good, they were awful.

I agree that we should go back to being the bullets. The Wizards name is just a notch above the Thunder which is not saying much. I love the retro orange bullet jerseys.

Posted by: Fontana1 | April 10, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards and Mystics need to go to red, white and blue. It only makes sense. I complained about this on the Wizards website. It only takes a few minutes. I suggest people hit this up.

Posted by: MrWillie | April 10, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

How about Sea Dogs!

Posted by: BBride | April 10, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

That awful turquoise color was chosen to synergize with the MCI colors - they had the arena with the Caps and Wiz and tried to match it all up. UGLY and UNRESPECTED.

Too bad about the gold ~ made for a unique alternate, but they should totally go Red White & Blue ... with a long-bearded wizard in there somewhere.

Posted by: TheSpaldingMachine | April 13, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

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