Washington Wizards: 15 greatest scorers of all-time

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images /
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Phil Chenier, Washington Bullets
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images /

Nowadays, most Wizards fans probably know Phil Chenier as the longtime television color analyst for the team. But in the 1970s, this dude could cook with the best of them.

The team, then known as the Baltimore Bullets, drafted Chenier as part of the 1971 Hardship Draft — which was basically a supplemental draft for players that wanted to enter the league before they graduated — and the Cal standout established himself as a dependable scoring threat.

Chenier spent his rookie season primarily as Earl “The Pearl” Monroe’s understudy, but once the Bullets traded Monroe to the New York Knicks, Chenier became one of the primary scoring options for some pretty good Bullets teams.

With Wes Unseld around to anchor Baltimore/Washington’s perennial top-10 defense, Chenier — along with big man Elvin Hayes — ensured that those teams scored enough to win games.

Possessing a smooth shooting stroke and the craftiness to finish inside, Chenier averaged 18.9 points per game on 44.7 percent shooting through his first seven seasons with the team. This included three seasons where he averaged at least 20 per night.

Unfortunately, Chenier saw his promising NBA career come to a halt thanks to a back injury that cost him all but 36 games in 1977-78. Chenier averaged 14.1 points that season, but that would be the last time he finished a campaign with double-digit scoring figures.

He returned to the court the February of the following season, but he only scored in double figures in four of the 27 games he played. Chenier would later play for the Indiana Pacers and the Golden State Warriors before retiring, but by then, it was clear that he wasn’t the same player.