WASHINGTON — It’s been 20 years since the Bullets officially changed their name to the Wizards.
The more time passes, the more nostalgic longtime fans have become about the former name, especially in recent years, as the organization switched the Wizards’ color scheme back to red, white and blue, and has even on occasion rolled out throwback jerseys.
One former player, Rex Chapman, was asked Thursday to reflect on his time with the Bullets (1992-1995).
“I look back on my time with the Bullets, not Wizards, with fondness,” Chapman told Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan. “It was a lot of fun. We didn’t have very good teams, but we ended up with some really good players and played together when we were young — you know, Tom Gugliotta, Don MacLean, Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Scott Skiles.”
“None of us were very old at the time, that’s all, and we kind of get beat up by the Bulls in that era,” he said. “And other teams as well. But a lot of fun. I love D.C.”
“Charlotte’s the Hornets again,” Dukes said. “I feel like the Wizards should be the Bullets again.”
“I’m with you,” Chapman said. “I thought it was a rush when they did it, kind of got swept up. I remember when it happened, and some of the current events that were going on in D.C. with gangs, and violence and stuff. So it was sensitive at the time when they did it, but I still wish they hadn’t.”
Chapman also gave his thoughts on John Wall — a fellow Kentucky alum — and his maturation as player. Wall has grown enough on the court, Chapman says, that he’s now capable of putting the franchise on his back, but he’ll need some help to take that next step.
“John has matured so much as a person, but he’s also hit his physical prime,” Chapman said. “He’s there. I think he’s always had the mental game to be able to play, but he can put a franchise on his back now.”
“Washington needs to get him some help,” he added. “And I love Bradley Beal — I think Bradley Beal’s terrific — but they have to get another ball-handler in there, and decision-maker, play-maker who can help take some of the ball-handling and decision-making load off of John. I love Ernie. I love what they’ve done with the team. Fantastic year. I hope they can go out and add a significant piece this summer to help my guy John.”