Wizards Fans in Vegas
I was watching a Summer League game in Las Vegas's Thomas & Mack Center last week, a game between two teams whose names I don't recall and whose players have slipped my mind. I was sitting next to Clippers Coach and GM Mike Dunleavy, asking him a few questions, when a Wizards fan I've met once or twice came by. He was wearing an old-school Bullets t-shirt with a montage of photos from the glory days splattered across the front. He proceeded to stand directly in front of Mike Dunleavy and to ask me a few questions about the Wizards.
It was really one of the better moments of my career. I mean, just plumb in front of Dunleavy, with a giant photo of Wes Unseld on his shirt, asking me questions about the Wiz. Finally, Dunleavy asked this Bullets/Wizards fan whether he might move, so that he could, you know, see the basketball game.
If there was one moment that encapsulated Wizards fandom in Las Vegas, that was it. In general, the Wizards fans who made the trip were young, white, male, fond of irony, fond of the Bullets, and fond of standing tall in their strange little identity as devoted D.C. basketball fans representing the District in Las Vegas. There were the guys with GW shirts who stood and yelled "An Assist!" when Nick Young finally got his first assist after 69 points. There was the young kid behind the basket who kept saying "Yeah Nick Young!" and pumping his fist when the guard was going off against the Cavs. There was the season-ticket holder, replicating his Verizon Center seat location in Cox Pavilion, wearing his Obama Undrcrwn shirt.
The Wiz fans weren't one of the largest, or loudest, or craziest fan bases at the Summer League. But I'd bet almost anything that, per-capita, they read the most sports blogs, which is something. They definitely made it feel a little bit like home, and, in their own way, they did D.C. proud.
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