Category Archives: Wizards/NBA

Washington, D.C.’s NBA team, previously known as the Bullets

Cut the cord? Not until the 2030s, Capitals, Wizards fans; MASN scores a victory against Nats, fans

Ted Leonsis, majority owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment (the Washington Capitals, Wizards, Mystics and Verizon Center) will apparently sign a deal with Comcast that keeps his teams on CSN-Mid Atlantic through 2032, according to Sports Business Journal.

As part of the deal, Leonsis gets a third of the network. He had created “Monumental Network” that broadcast video content related to his teams and seemingly to get CSN concerned he’d start his own RSN. It looks like it worked.

I speculated that Leonsis could be the big winner in the Nationals-MASN/Angelos/Orioles dispute since having winter sports programming would seemingly be desirable for either MASN or CSN. John Ourand, the SBJ article’s author and avowed Baltimore Orioles fanboy, says that MASN was never that interested.

As for MASN and Angelos, they won in court last week (The Post) as their battle against the Nats and Washingtonians continues. MASN/Angelos still haven’t increased their payment to the Nats over broadcast rights that were due in 2012. The Orioles would get the same. We can only hope when new values are set, they come in even higher because all that this does is make MLB have to restart the process which could push the values higher. It’s an odd tactic for them and probably based only in spite rather than sensible business practices because why wouldn’t you want to have two more major teams with roughly 170 available games, most of which are not during baseball season? I guess that’s the Oriole Way at work – bad people making bad decisions.

I’m pleased that Leonsis, who may to try to use Baltimore as leverage against DC for upgrades/new arena in the 2020s, didn’t get in bed with Angelos, but disappointed that this likely means I’ll need to stick with cable if I want to watch the Caps and Wiz.

More on the Nats tomorrow…

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UniWatch: DC is 14th best dressed sports city

Once again, Paul Lukas of UniWatch has ranked the uniforms of the big 4 sports leagues and is now organizing it by city. In the past, I’ve tabulated those rankings myself, so I’m glad he spared me the work.

Lukas broke the rankings into two tiers — 3 or more team cities and 2 team cities. He also considered the venues of the teams as part of the overall aesthetic.

D.C. (Nationals, Capitals, Redskins, Wizards) came in 14th (again) out of 20 3 or more cities. Here’s the UniWatch list:

Boston
Pittsburgh
Chicago
Philadelphia
San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose
New York/New Jersey
Toronto
Detroit
Dallas
St. Louis
Los Angeles/Anaheim
Miami
Twin Cities
DC
Phoenix
Cleveland
Houston
Denver
Tampa/St. Petersburg
Atlanta

Wait – no way are we worse than Miami, the Twin Cities, St. Louis (who won’t be on the three team list after the Rams move back to L.A. or perhaps London if that fails), Dallas or Toronto. So, at worst we’re #9. No bonus points for everybody wearing a shade of red at least some of the time either?

That isn’t to say that our teams could use some improvement. The Nats need to drop the front numbers and reinstate the interlocking DC and navy road cap. “Capitals” needs to be capitalized and some more red on the road whites is in order. The Wizards stand out despite the limited palette of a basketball jersey, but how about some block numbers? The Redskins, well that’s a whole thread of it’s own, but I’ll suggest they return to burgundy pants with the white jerseys. The ketchup and mustard look has grown on me though.

UPDATED: On DC Sports Bog (The Post), Clinton Yates defended DC’s uniforms.

While Lukas is SO VERY WRONG on D.C.’s ranking, he did get something right that too many area MSM’s don’t:

I also considered lumping Baltimore and DC into one metro area. But after consulting with several fans from both cities, I decided to treat them as separate entities. This meant that DC made the primary list of 20 big-market cities and Baltimore was relegated to the list of two-team cities.

As for other cities…Chicago would be my #1. Too many NFL teams messed up their uniforms and hold their city back. I’m looking at you Eagles and Broncos. Oh and when the Rams head back to L.A., they should add some gold jerseys.

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R.I.P. Earl Lloyd

Earl Lloyd, an Alexandria native, integrated the NBA in 1950 with the Washington Capitols. I blogged about this on 60th anniversary. He didn’t last long before entering the Army while the Capitols folded in early 1951. Lloyd would play for the Syracuse Nationals, winning the 1955 NBA title. His final two years were with the Detroit Pistons where he would also become head coach, the second African-American to hold the top job after Bill Russell.

More on Earl Lloyd:

Wizards Magazine Extra: Remembering Earl LloydMonumental Network

Earl Lloyd, first black player in NBA, dead at 86NBA.com

Earl Lloyd, first African American player in the NBA, dies at 86The Post

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washington-coliseum

Wizards should investigate Washington Coliseum for their new practice facility

Welp: REI is moving there (Urban Turf) which seems like a pretty good use of the space, particularly for the spelunking crowd.

The Washington Wizards seek a new practice facility. They have been using Verizon Center auxiliary courts since the arena opened, but team owner Ted Leonsis wants a separate building. The model for this is his Capitals, who moved to what is now called Kettler Capitals Iceplex, a two-rink facility built on top of an Arlington County parking garage adjacent to Ballston Common Mall. The project was financed by the county and the Capitals rent and operate it. The modern amenities, convenient location to the core of the Caps fanbase and new rinks have been a positive for the team and the community. It’s not surprising that he wants to see if that can be reproduced for his basketball team.

The other morning as I was getting off the Red Line at NoMa, which should be called Swampoodle, (Ghosts of DC) station I looked over at the old Washington Coliseum and had a thought — could that be re-purposed into a new Wizards practice facility? Opened in 1941 as Uline Arena, Miguel Uline built it for his Washington Lions hockey team. The Lions uniforms inspired the Caps’ winter classic kit.

In the late 1940s it was the home of D.C.’s original basketball team, the Capitols, led by head coach and D.C. native Red Auerbach and the NBA’s first African-American player, Earl Lloyd. Oh and it also hosted the Beatles in their first public American concert in 1964. The ABA’s Caps played there for one season too and the album Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits’ cover photo was shot there. It’s been in developmental limbo for many years and currently acts as a parking garage.

The Coliseum has more practical advantages beyond history of course. Located a block from Metro (and only three stops from Gallery Place-Chinatown station which Verizon Center is on top of) is located in an upcoming neighborhood, visibility (thousands of commuters pass it daily) and is an existing footprint. A Clinton Yates column expressed concerns about permanent neighborhood disruption when Shaw was proposed (The Post) as a site.

Turning the Coliseum into a 21st century practice facility isn’t a silver bullet by any means. The building is owned by Douglas Realty would undoubtedly need significant renovations whether it is sold or leased. There would almost certainly need to be a parking garage, weight rooms, plumbing and probably food service built there as well. It’s not my money to spend and I suspect Leonsis would rather the District finance it rather than him. Whether it is economically feasible, desirable or even available, it is worth looking into, because this could be a real opportunity for the franchise as well as the District.

LEARN MORE

Ghosts of Hockey, Basketball and Rock 'n' Roll – Ghosts of DC.

Before Ovechkin: The Washington Lions and Uline Arena – Ghosts of DC.

A Brief History of the Washington Coliseum/Uline Arena – Beatlemania – Curbed DC.

Photos of The Beatles first appearance in America at Uline Arena (Washington Coliseum) on Feb 11, 1964 two days after their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

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