Monday, January 24, 2005

Family Fun Night With The Wiz...

I am going to the Washington Wizards Family Fun Night (as my buddy's son) this Saturday night, and I'm conflicted. The Wizards are playing well, and I don't know that I am happy about it.

I grew up in the D.C. area following some comically bad Wizards teams in the 1980s, when they were known as the Washington Bullets. They changed their name in the mid 90s because it was too associated with the city's violent reputation. It is probably the first time a team changed its name because it was too relevant.

The Bullets teams of the late 1980s were basically an inept, entertaining freak show. One team featured 7 foot 7 center Maute Bol (who died sadly after a post basketball career that involved supporting the oppressed Southern Dinkas in Sudan and a brief, misguided minor league hockey career), who was incredibly soft for a big guy and had this bad habit of shooting three pointers even though he was remarkably inaccurate. The guard on that team was Mugsy Bogues who, at 5 foot 3, might have been the shortest starting guard in NBA history. The team had some scorers, including Jeff Malone (remarkably effective, yet boring player) and Bernard King (who managed to be a top scorer despite having no cartlidge in his knees). My favorite on the squad was the back up center, Doug Roth, who was legally blind in one eye. I laughed and cried inside every time his was dunked on from his blind side.

Now they are good, the Wizards are all corporate, and they have an annoying mascot (the inappropriate, boorish "Wiz"). I miss the old days. At Family Fun Night, I will be watching a wholesome, good Wizards team, and it'll not seem right.


Blogger JM said...

Totally unrelated to the actual point of your post, but Manute Bol is still alive. :)

10:21 PM  
Blogger Joseph K said...

Welcome JM. You are right. I confused him with Yinka Dare, who died suddenly of a heart condition last year.

A Manute Bol fun fact: His dad was 5'10". His mother was 5'7". Some how he ended up 7'7", and his sister was 6'10".

How do you know so much about Manute Bol?

11:50 PM  

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