Making a list, checking it twice


The guy on the left holds the real power in D.C.


by Micah Hart

There’s a new sheriff in town in Washington. No, I’m not talking about John Wall, I’m talking about new Wizards owner Ted Leonsis. The team’s new head honcho, who also owns the NHL’s Washington Capitals, has definitive plans to turn the Wizards into a hot property, much like he did with the Caps (with a big assist from Alexander Ovechkin).

How definitive? He’s glad you asked. On his blog, Leonsis lists 101 changes he’s making to improve the franchise, even giving a status check on the progress for every single item on the list. It’s worth reading on your own, but a few highlights that I enjoyed:

2. Re-connect with Gilbert Arenas
Comment: Impressive that he’d put this at #2 on the list, but I imagine for any Wizards fan out there this is pretty close to the biggest issue facing the team. Warmer hot dog buns are nice, but the team is still the most important thing to fans. Leonsis knows this, and I give him credit for acknowledging it here.

12. A new public address announcer
Comment: Sorry, old public address announcer – time to update that resume.

27. More local celebrities at games
Comment: I know how much fun this task can be from my time working with the Hawks. DC has it’s share of celebs, but most are politicians no? “Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s the chairman of the Appropriations committee, Daniel Inouye!” GET FIRED UP!

31. Change Wizards’ name to Bullets
Comment: No idea if that will happen, but there are certainly rumors of a name change one way or another.

37. Fresher popcorn
Comment: In the progress area, it says “Asked Aramark to make sure the popcorn is fresher.” Good, glad that’s taken care of.

79. Food and beverage directory to be available online
Comment: You know what? That’s just a terrific idea. I don’t know offhand how many teams provide this, but I for one have walked many a lap around an arena looking for Coke Icees.

Well done, Ted. 101 down, and more to come it sounds like. What do you think – has he missed anything?


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  1. LogicMan says:

    New Wizards owner Ted Leonsis joins several other owners in the NBA who have no clue about basketball. (See Memphis, Minnesota, etc) There should be some other test other than ‘I have great gobs of cash and no ethics’ in order to buy a franchise. Give me an owner like Mark Cuban or Jerry Buss, somebody that actually cares about the game itself.

    The reason the team was renamed to the Wizards is because Washington DC has the highest gun death rate in America and the ‘Bullets’ is just a bad name to saddle a team with. If Ted had any kind of clue he would know why the name was changed in the first place.

  2. JerktheErk says:

    I didn’t read through the whole list of 101, but I did browse through it. Seems as though Leonsis is planning on doing some things right and wants to cater to the fans. However, LogicMan points out the glaring problem I have with this list. I lived in DC for quite some time, albeit not a rough area, and I was genuinely pleased when the team name was changed to the Wizards. There is no need to bring back the past and reissue the Washington Bullets name. It’s a ridiculous notion, and I hope it doesn’t actually occur. It actually seemed like a joke when I initially read it.

  3. The Best says:

    Washingtonians would totaly disagree with you LogicMan. The wizards(Bullets if you are a true D.C. area person) have finally moved from the 70’s/80’s into the 21st century. The Bullets will be amongst the elite in a few years!

  4. Bullets Fan says:

    “The wizards(Bullets if you are a true D.C. area person) have finally moved from the 70′s/80′s into the 21st century. The Bullets will be amongst the elite in a few years!”

    Agree 100%….the reason Abe changed the name to Wizards was because a close friend of his was killed so he did not want to associate the team HE owns with Bullets….notice I said HE owns….Ted is now the owner and is under no obligation to please anyone but himself and his fans and the majority wants the team to be renamed Bullets… has a tradition so it’s time to go back to that…you don’t see the Lakers owner changing their name because their are no Lakes in L.A….c’mon son get with the program the name should have never changed this franchise is one of the oldest in the NBA and has a lot of history and we should have always been the Bullets no disrespect to Abe R.I.P but why he aint change the name back in the 80’s when D.C. was teh murdercap it took your boy to get murdered for you to change the name…any way..Ted did one thing that will bring tradition back he reached out to all the former greats to get them involved with the organization something that has never bee done….you talk about give me Cuban and Jerry Buss…dude you compared 2 owners that are completely different but both are after the same how you gonna say Ted aint trying to steer us in the same direction he only had the team for like 6 months and has already done more than the previous owners have done in 40 years…man please you probaly aren’t even from D.C…just relocated because of a Job or your wife.

  5. Bullets Fan says:

    Oh yeah Jerktheerk you have no say in the name changing back you probably are either not a fan of the team or became one when you got here….the REAL!..D.C. folks have been here for the long haul thru Marion Berry, Rayful Edmond, crack babies…you gonna say you were glad to have the name change …go back to Dupont circle and drink yoru $9 lattes…if you ever come to southeast holla at me and I will show you teh REAL! D.C.