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Posted at 12:21 PM ET, 01/ 6/2011

Wizards to unveil new championship trophy case

By Dan Steinberg


I heard earlier in the week that the Wizards were in the process of getting the franchise's 1978 championship trophy refurbished at Tiffany's, and Thursday the press release confirmation arrived. The above display, near section 100 on the main course, features new graphics, and the refurbished trophy

"The new home of the completely refurbished 1978 NBA Championship trophy is representative of our commitment as an organization to pay homage to the accomplishments of those who accomplished great things while wearing the Bullets/Wizards jersey," Greg Bibb, the team's executive VP, said in the release.

Now, a few people immediately went negative on this news, using it either to joke about the 32 years since that trophy was won, or to chide the team for attempting to distract attention from the present by talking about the past. I'd say this is the wrong approach. I heard from tons of Caps/Redskins fans who loved all the very public ways the Steelers honored their past at Heinz Field -- not with exclusive club-level displays, but with very public and accessible stagings. It doesn't make up for current failures, but I don't see how this is anything but awesome.

By Dan Steinberg  | January 6, 2011; 12:21 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Comments

I can see how you can be "NBA Champions" or make a claim that you're "World Champions" but "NBA World Champions" makes no sense.

Posted by: LionelMandrake | January 6, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

♫ Bullets Fever! Happens to me every year

Bullets Fever! And this year’s the one

Bullets Fever! Got the Doctor and the Iceman

Bullets Fever! Seattle was stunned

You’ve gotta be a fan from old DC

To know what the Bullets mean to meeeee ♫

Oh the late 70's...

Posted by: s22312 | January 6, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I think "NBA World Champions" is the official designation for the NBA championship, or at least it was when the Bullets won it.

The case does look pretty damn swanky, and hopefully is just one more foot in the door for returning the old team moniker at some point.

Posted by: Goat_74 | January 6, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Nothing wrong with any team acknowleding past championships, but its hard to make fun of the Steelers honoring past stuff when, you know, they actually have recent stuff to celebrate as well. The Washington pro basketball team has been a trainwreck for too damn long.

Posted by: Brian53 | January 6, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Definitely a great thing to do and glad to see more teams making this displays open to more people. At Citi-Field in NY, there's the Mets Hall of Fame on the main concourse, accessible to all fans and people can easily take photos of themselves with the World Series trophies and other well-known memorabilia.

Posted by: jbakerman | January 6, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Pretty lonely in that trophy case...

Posted by: DaveLopan | January 6, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Awesome? Really? I mean, it's nice and all. They did win this trophy way back when, but I'd hardly describe this display as "awesome". I mean, if anything it just reminds fans how dreadfully awful this franchise has been for over 30 years. Kind of the same deal when Snyder has the gall to bring out the 3 Super Bowl trophies. Also - Steelers are in a completely different universe than the Wizards. Successful then and now.

Posted by: dbunkr | January 6, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Lots of NBA Franchises don't have any trophies. At least the Bullets/Wizards have been to 4 NBA Championships Series.

Posted by: frediemac1 | January 6, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

50 years from now we'll be saying, hey, it's only been 83 years since the Bullets/Wizards/Bullets won a championship. Shine up that old trophy! What a joke.

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | January 6, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

50 years from now we'll be saying, hey, it's only been 83 years since the Bullets/Wizards/Bullets won a championship. Shine up that old trophy! What a joke.

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | January 6, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

50 years from now we'll be saying, hey, it's only been 83 years since the Bullets/Wizards/Bullets won a championship. Shine up that old trophy! What a joke.

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | January 6, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm so excited I had to say it three times.

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | January 6, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

That is HOT!! I love this. Now let's ditch the Wizards name and get back to being what we are, the Washington Bullets!

Posted by: kevenjones | January 6, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad that we have one - so many teams/cities don't have any....

Posted by: charley42 | January 6, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

That trophy is so old. Who did they get to do the refurbishment? Indiana Jones?

Notice they are calling it a "Trophy" case - not a "Trophies" case.

Posted by: noslok | January 7, 2011 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Awesome? Really? I mean, it's nice and all. They did win this trophy way back when, but I'd hardly describe this display as "awesome". I mean, if anything it just reminds fans how dreadfully awful this franchise has been for over 30 years. Kind of the same deal when Snyder has the gall to bring out the 3 Super Bowl trophies. Also - Steelers are in a completely different universe than the Wizards. Successful then and now.

Posted by: dbunkr | January 6, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Same reaction on the Wizards' case. It's nice, I guess. More impressive in person? It looks like something where you'd see a few 50 year-old pennants or t-shirts on display in a small town museum on its history, not a championship trophy.

The Skins' display seems a bit more impressive. There's no middle school project backdrop providing context, unless you count Danny himself. There's something about /three/ that sort of speaks for itself.

Posted by: WorstSeat | January 7, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Goat is correct. "NBA World Champions" refers to the name that was then used for the NBA Finals: "NBA World Championship Series." It does sound stupid to say "NBA World Champions" because any time you qualify "World Champions" you're recognizing that some other team may have a legitimate claim to the "World Champions" title. Maybe that's one reason why the NBA changed the terminology (I believe in the mid-1980s, when they changed it to "NBA Finals"). BTW, Gary Bettman could take a lesson from the NBA: The correct term is FINALS, plural, not "Stanley Cup Final" as he wants us to say.

It is rather amusing the way Americans think it's appropriate to name our sports champions "world champions" as if nobody else played the game. I suppose in the case of gridiron football it's reasonably accurate given that the only other significant pro league is the CFL (and it doesn't come close to the NFL), and the NHL has never called its champions "world champions," but as to baseball and basketball it's a misnomer.

On Tuesday night I was at the arena for the Capitals v. Lightning and I noted that three of the Bullets' banners have been removed, the ones commemorating division titles. I wonder what the reason for that was. (I suppose I'll see tomorrow night whether they've been put back up.) It does amuse me greatly that there are no "Wizards" banners in the arena....all the more reason why I continue to call the team the Bullets. I was a very little kid in the 1970s and so do not remember the Bullets being good. They were mediocre for as long as I can remember, and the renamed Wizards have never done anything to change that impression!

Posted by: 1995hoo | January 7, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Got my answer on the Bullets' banners at last night's Caps game: They took three of them down to correct the team name from "Washington Bullets" to "Baltimore Bullets." Seems like they did the right thing there.

Posted by: 1995hoo | January 9, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

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