It’s been a couple of years. But we’re back. It’s back. I know you’ve been missing it. And so, the series has returned. Flashback Friday is here, and we’re diving right back in like the old days (2021). A simpler time. You might be asking why the Washington Bullets, who didn’t make the NBA Finals in 1979, are relevant.
Well, you’re going to find out. It’s been a tough existence for Washington basketball. No success has come their way since the name change. As a matter of fact, they haven’t even made it to the conference finals in… (checks stats), 44 years.
Let’s look back at that season, and some of the names on the Bullets at the time.
It’s Been a Minute
The Washington Wizards have never made it to the conference finals. No, really. It’s a fact, and it cannot be disputed. The 1978-79 Washington Bullets got there, and the franchise has not been able to get back there since, and it’s really pretty brutal. With players like Bob Dandridge, Wes Unseld, and Elvin Hayes, the team was pretty solid.
They finished the regular season with a 54-28 record, which marked a 10-game improvement over the prior campaign. Crazily enough, their 44-38 campaign was enough to not only get them to the postseason in 1977-78, but they managed to win the entire thing. The one title in program history, and it came in seven games against the Seattle SuperSonics.
The core players remained the same for the following year, and another notable name was Mitch Kupchak. He’s more known now for his run as a decision-maker for the Los Angeles Lakers, and then later the Charlotte Hornets. His career as a player didn’t last too long, but he was a huge scorer for the teams in Washington in the back half of the 1970s.
Thinking about the teams with Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, and Caron Butler as a trio, failing to win a single playoff series is pretty sad. The John Wall-Bradley Beal-Otto Porter era saw a couple of trips to the second round, but they could never get beyond it. Their game 7 loss to the Celtics, in which Kelly Olynyk took over in game 7 is the stain on what could have been a historic campaign.
Will The Washington Bullets Ever Get Back to the ECF?
Washington has the longest current streak in the league of not making it to a conference finals. The Charlotte Hornets basketball franchise has existed for 33 years and made it to the second-round four times. They haven’t even done that in more than 20 years, and have failed to reach a single third round. At least Washington has the ’70s, right?
The Wizards are not in a great state right now and appear to be mired in mediocrity. The earlier years of the team, which featured several hall-of-famers, seem to be in the past. With Kristaps Porzingis and Bradley Beal often dealing with injuries, it has proven to be tough for the team to maintain any consistency.
Their best path forward would be to try and make a few trades and build towards the future.
Thanks For Reading
If you missed the Flashback Friday series, have no fear. We’re back, baby. Why stay in the present, when there’s a chance to dive back into history and reminisce?
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