Since The Madness: The Transition of the Washington Wizards
Future basketball historians may heavily sway their chronicles toward the 2009-10 Washington Wizards season. The infamy surrounding the heavily dramatized whirlwind that was Gilbert Arenas, locker room guns and court cases, and the losing that magnified it (or that it magnified) will go down in D.C. lore just as much as team media guides will gloss over the affair.
Meanwhile, Arenas continues to be in the contradictory mode of ‘they wanted me out, but I gave them plenty of reasons’ on Twitter. He is very ‘woe is me’, while claiming a lesson has been learned. If only Arenas knew how to not keep himself from proving maturity when it counts.
The abrupt end of one long-running and significant ownership era resulting from the passing of Abe Pollin will only add to the natural sensationalizing of ’09-10. But old flames — the one time poster boy and the patriarch of D.C. pro basketball — passed by new sprouts on their way out.
The 2010-11 season, on one hand, as another lottery year for the franchise, might be as forgettable as the rest. But a change in ownership is a very important event. Just think about how crucial ownership is to your opinion of the Washington Redskins.
The christening of a ‘face of the franchise’ No. 1 overall draft pick in John Wall isn’t lost either, at least in terms of the unknown future that current comfort in Wall’s rookie scale salary provides. Still… all of this at the same time? Very rare are the instances when a team makes such a drastic and quick change in leadership, which is why ’10-11 is equally as sensational as ’09-10.
Part of Ted Leonsis’ inaugural 2010 ownership pizazz was hosting a ‘Midnight Madness’ for fans of his team on the piggy of the annual rites of Media Day. Whether the Wizards will hold another Midnight Madness should the NBA ever return from lockout is up to question, I wouldn’t put it past them.
Nonetheless, this transition represented by last September’s kick-off anew, while the old leading player literally passed by the new one en route to a full separation in December 2010, should be commemorated, even celebrated, in some form. Thus, the video below features a photo montage of both the Media Day and Midnight Madness events, and the music of local DMV band The Five One. Enjoy.