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Leonsis on changing the Wizards' name and colors

(AP file photo)

The question I've been asked most often over the past few months is whether I think Ted Leonsis will change the Wizards' name and color scheme after he assumes control of the franchise. His comments on that question have been pretty scarce, but Friday he was asked point blank about the issue during a luncheon at the National Press Club.

"As evidenced by merchandise sales, Washingtonians have never embraced the changed name of their basketball team," went the question, submitted by defense reporter Pat Host. "Is there any consideration to returning the team to the original name of Bullets, and its colors?"

There was mild applause to the question. And Leonsis obviously knew this was coming.

"I get lots of e-mails, and I see all the comments and quotes," he said. "I don't want to be someone who does [things] to make people like me or think I'm listening to them. And there's so much work to do, to figure it out. And that would be a part of everything.

"But it's not the first decision that we have to make. I probably will like red colors more than the teal blue that they have, but there's a lot that goes into it. And I intend to listen to people, but I also think Mr. Pollin made a personal decision, and I want to understand it, and I want to pay the appropriate respect that a decision like that would deserve."

Leonsis did say that even if he wanted to it would be impossible to make any change for next season. Bear in mind that Abe Pollin decided to change the Bullets name and colors a full two years before the first time they were used in a real game. So my reading was give it time, but at the very least, a color change is likely on the way.

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 21, 2010; 3:14 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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YEEEES! Bring back the all red unis with the blue writing Teddy!! And change the name to the Statesmen or Generals!!!

Posted by: imfromdc88 | May 21, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

OK here is my solution....

Rename the Wizards the Washington Justice
Rename the Mystics the Washington Power

Red, White and Blue jerseys, make them both look similar to the old Bullets Jerseys with stars and stripes, even incorporate the "reaching hands logo"

I would incorporate the whole "Supreme Court" theme. Court is now in session! All Rise! the marketing potential would be endless.

This would solve having the lame nickname Wizards and PC incorrect Bullets. Problem solved!

Also bring back the Mascot Hoops, dress him up like a judge and give him a giant gavel.

Posted by: MrWillie | May 21, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I have also long thought of the Washington Justice (and playing on the supreme court). That's funny. The other name, which could be used for the mystics as well, is the Washington Monuments.

Posted by: megatron57 | May 21, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

It is worth mentioning that the Bullets were last or close to it in merch sales prior to the name change.

Red, white and blue is a lock. Going back to Bullets -- unlikely. He'll say he respects Abe Pollin's decision. About the only way he goes back is with Mrs. Pollin's blessing I assume.

Posted by: doubleuefwhy | May 21, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

You mean teal & vomit don't make for good uniform colors?

Posted by: Scoonie97 | May 21, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Red. Red. Red.


keep the theme going.

Posted by: DreamOutLoud | May 21, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Washington Monuments is trademarked by the US Park service we can't use that nickname

Posted by: MrWillie | May 21, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

By all means, Ted. Don't listen to the fans. They "only" pay the freight. Every vestige of the Abe Pollin curse has got to be wiped clean. If you follow in that idiot's footsteps, the results will be the same. Wake up!

Posted by: lp_lodestar | May 21, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

introducing The Washington Generals

Posted by: imfromdc88 | May 21, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I love that logic. Old fart Pollin made a stupid decision. I have to respect Pollin's legacy. So therefore I have to respect the stupid decision. Great, Ted.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 21, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"introducing The Washington Generals
Posted by: imfromdc88 | May 21, 2010 4:02 PM"

Wait, they're not already the Washington Generals? Then who have we been watching lo these many years?

Posted by: EdTheRed | May 21, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Only nerds care about uniform colors.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 21, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"Only nerds care about uniform colors.
Posted by: Barno1 | May 21, 2010 4:12 PM"

only nerds like Wizards

Posted by: imfromdc88 | May 21, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh please, the Justice?

Why has nobody suggested the Washington Founders? I think it works pretty nicely.

I like monuments ok - and i bet the park service will let them use it.

But please, no singular name. No "Justice", "Power", "Strength", or anything of that nature.

Posted by: tn13 | May 21, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Stick with the Wizards. All these other names sound like they came out of some dusty history book. The Statesmen...Generals...Monuments. Geez. I can only imagine the stupid looking crappy logos we'd end up with. About 10 miles from cool. Just for a minute, let's pretend we aren't a bunch of middle-aged white men. :)

Posted by: 3rdGenRFan | May 21, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

My only thing about the Bullets name is that the Bullets never played in Washington. They were the Baltimore Bullets, and then when the moved to Landover, they took "Washington". When the MCI Center opened and they moved to D.C., it made sense to abandon a name that alliterated with "Baltimore" for one that did with "Washington".

Posted by: patrickneil | May 21, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The alliterative effect of "Baltimore Bullets" and "Washington Wizards" are both kind of cool, although neither name itself is particularly good. Going back to Bullets is pointless, as it's almost like desecrating Pollin's grave, after he made the personal decision to change the name. I'm sure there are better names to be had, but bringing in yet a THIRD name for the team would be bizarre. Probably best to keep Wizards, but to roll out cool new uni's, a new logo, and red-white-and-blue color scheme.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | May 21, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I think we should look to the past, remember the nature of the town and stay present and combine Bullets and Wizards and be the ................WASHINGTON BUZZARDS!!

Posted by: fatbear781 | May 21, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

How hard is it to just tell us you're going to change these HORRIFIC uniforms & color scheme? For the love of god just tell us we're going in a new direction with the new regime & the highly anticipated #1 pick coming to town.

Posted by: jeffbo_80 | May 21, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Surely there was someone else donning those colrs depicted above , other than the one youy chose. Give me a break. Like above no singular names please.

Posted by: bossclifnpooh2 | May 21, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Change the name to Washington Justice. I've always liked that name, as it makes a ton of sense. "Holding court" "laying down the law" "justice is served." The big three - assuming John Wall, Arenas or whomever we trade him for, and a future free agent pick-up (Durant in 2011) can be nicknamed the "judge, jury, and executioner." I think we should have black uniforms however, at the very least as alternate uniforms.

Posted by: rone1 | May 21, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Can not change to the Washington Generals because it is trademarked by the Harlem Globetrotters. That is the team they have been beating up on for decades. I for one would welcome a change back to the Bullets and the Red, White and Blue. The Wizards experiment has been a total failure and all these other names are just stupid.

Posted by: dadiddenjr | May 21, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Keep the name (for Mr. Polin sake) but go back to the RED WHITE AND BLUE Jerseys!!!

Posted by: Bigmon411 | May 21, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Washington Bullets
Washington Senators
Washington Wizards either or

If Wiz is kept i would like to see it maybe updated with color and Wiz logo

But Bullets should be the team name Wizards just a corny name that a dleague team and mls team have . I would like are name to be original

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | May 21, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Justice...playing on the Supreme Court...stands full of foam rubber gavels...This rocks! I was for this when they changed the name before but it wasn't even one of the choices.
If not that, then find something to do with DC but not the federal guvmint which everyone hates. There must be something in DC's history similar to the Raven for Baltimore.

Posted by: didnik | May 21, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I like WASHINGTON JUSTICE. I also think WASHINGTON GUARD could be kind of cool. And the Red White and Blue is long overdue.

Posted by: WestCoastBullet | May 21, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Go back to the Bullets, with the Red, white & Blue uniforms.

Posted by: dashriprock | May 21, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I always thought that they should have gone from the Bullets to the Ballots. All that would need to be done was change a few vowels, and they could have kept the red white and blue colors and the raised arms logo. They should still probably do this.

Posted by: agent026 | May 21, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Wizards was always a horrible terrible crappy name. But let me tell you how I really feel.

Probably can't/won't change the name, but make it red jerseys...we'll paint the whole town red with Caps, Nats, and REDskins (burgundy is close enough).

Posted by: Section104 | May 21, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I just want Gryffindor colors! I'm tired of the Merlin theme. I think Gryffindor colors are very similar to Burgundy & Gold. I think it's Scarlet and Gold. So we could still have Red Outs.

Posted by: pecdec8705 | May 21, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

If the name isn't changed and I don't think it will be then the old color scheme doesn't work. Does red, white, and blue invoke thoughts of wizardry, hardly. Second, I don't like the thought of three teams in town with the same brand (Nationals, Capitals, Wizards). Show some imagination and go with a different color scheme.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 21, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Noooooooo! Comon red? I love the blue. change the name back to bullets though, wizards? im use to it by now but bullets sounds better even charles barkley said we should change it back. I know abe probally didnt want it but comon its not the bullets fault ppl are dying. its the dumb person who fired it, if our team was named the dumb person team then yes change it

Posted by: liltruco2010 | May 21, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

if bullets doesn't work here are some good suggestions

Washington Stolen Wallets
Washington John Walls
Washington Washing Machine
Washington Gizzards
WashingtonSniper(just kidding thats stupid)
Washington Pollen
or better yet the Washington Winners

Posted by: liltruco2010 | May 22, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

another vote for the Washington Justice right here!

Posted by: hockeypunk | May 24, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

On uniforms...

Uniform 1, a dark blue with red and white trim,
Uniform 2, white with red trim and a homage to the DC flag in the trim (2 red stripes with 3 red stars) on the sholders and pants horizontal.
Uniform 3, Red, white trim and blue stars down the side under the arms.

Also how-about something that looks like the american flag pants worn in Napoleon Dynamite. (joke)

Posted by: alex35332 | May 24, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

How about the SeaDogs? (he ducks)

Posted by: tadas | May 24, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of a complete team make-over. DC sports fans will never forget Abe Polin but this is a new era and Ted needs to make the team his own. I also want to suggest another name change...instead of Nationals Ballpark how about "The National Ballpark". Thoughts?

Posted by: audelt0426 | May 24, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

YEEEES! Bring back the all red unis with the blue writing Teddy!! And change the name to the Statesmen or Generals!!!

Posted by: imfromdc88 | May 21, 2010 3:30 PM

The Washington Generals?

As in "always losing"?


Posted by: bs2004 | May 24, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Washington Traffic?
Washington Lobbyists?
Washington Bureaucrats?

Posted by: Rhino40 | May 24, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Considering the current folks in Washington, I think the team should be the Washington Comrades. Or maybe the Washington Politburo. Washington Collective? Washington CCCP? Or really simple: The Washington Reds.

Posted by: ThisIsJohnGaltSpeaking | May 24, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

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