The Story Behind Every NBA Team’s Name

The Washington Wizards have been renamed on multiple occasions throughout their history. They started off as the Chicago Packers in 1961, renamed to Zephyrs in 1962 before before moving to Baltimore and adopting the Bullets name in 1963.  A decade later, in 1973, the team moved to the nation’s capital and became known as Capital Bullets and then just Bullets in 1974. In 1997, team owner Abe Pollin changed the name to Wizards to distance the team from all the gun violence that took place in the city during the 1990s. The decision is also said to have been influenced by the 1995 assassination of Pollin’s friend, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The NAACP didn’t take too kindly to the name change because wizard is also a rank in the Klu Klux Klan.