Washington Wizards: this team is in desperate need of a superstar

Michael Jordan of the Washington Wizards takes it all in during the final game of his legendary career (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Michael Jordan of the Washington Wizards takes it all in during the final game of his legendary career (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

While there has been a fair share of great players to suit up for the Washington Wizards, they have only ever had two or three superstar players in franchise history. One of them barely counts for this list.

Many fans will remember Michael Jordan’s tenure with the Wizards as it was probably the worst stretch of his career and famously disappointing. However, he still posted great box score numbers and produced wins even with injuries here and there.

What those same fans likely won’t remember is any other superstar in a Wizards uniform. This is largely due to the fact that unless you were around in the 70’s and can remember the Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld era, there hasn’t been another one.

Even with great young players like John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Gilbert Arenas shooting for the stars, they haven’t had another player grow into superstar talent. This is clearly a problem in more areas than just the win to loss ratio.

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The lack of superstars has held the Washington Wizards back in every possible area.

Before getting into how this has impacted the franchise, let’s first define a superstar player. While this criteria changes from person-to-person, I’ll be going with my own definition of the term. Admittedly, it is a bit stingy compared to many other definitions.

The way I see it, for a player to be a superstar, they have to be able to be the clear-cut best player on a championship caliber team while also being a perennial All-NBA guy. While there are plenty of guys that teeter on the edge of this, only eight players make the cut for me. Those players, of course, being Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Nikola Jokic, LeBron James, Luka Doncic, Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid, and Jayson Tatum.

Now, that the term superstar has been defined, we can acknowledge that nearly every team in the NBA has had one at some point since Wes Unseld was in the league. The only exception being the Wizards (ignoring 2001-’03) and Hornets, both ironically Michael Jordan teams.

This has clearly been an issue in the win loss ratio as the Wizards have not been true title contenders since the 70s. However, this same problem has also been a thorn for the franchise in the revenue department as well.

Alongside the Hornets, the Wizards have one of the most disengaged fanbase in the NBA. This is not a knock on Wizards fans as it’s hard for anybody to cheer for a team that has struggled to get high level talent for nearly 50 years.

This is evident in the ticket sales as the Wizards have ranked near the bottom in almost every ticket statistic nearly every season in the last 20 years. The legendary Michael Jordan being the anomaly that breaks up that statistic.

In order for the franchise to truly turn a corner, they need a big-name player to suit up for them. John Wall and Gilbert Arenas were great, but the Wizards need a player more similar to Kawhi Leonard or Kevin Durant. This is what Wizards fans deserve.

If the Washington Wizards are able to find a superstar caliber player, through the draft which is an area the Wizards have been horrendous in recently, free agency, or even in a trade like this possible idea for Kevin Durant, they will see the benefit in numerous areas. This seems to be the answer for the franchise in every way, even if it’s easier said than done.

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