Every year, ESPN Senior Writer Zach Lowe releases his annual League Pass Rankings to put NBA teams in tiers in terms of fun and watchability. The criteria for the rankings are defined as:
"Zeitgeist: Do normal people care about this team?Highlight potential: Should you linger in case some passing savant or outrageous leaper uncorks something you might never see again?Strategy/style: Are they fun to watch? This is where coaching factors in.League Pass minutia: Announcers, uniforms, courts.Unintentional comedy: Blame Simmons."
Not only did the Washington Wizards come in 30th in the 30-team league this year, but Lowe also said, “This might be the largest-ever gap between Nos. 29 and 30.”
He may have a point. The Wizards will certainly not be the most exciting team to watch this season. They lack high-end talent and years of mediocrity have negatively impacted the atmosphere in the Capital One Arena and on the broadcast. The team definitely needs new jerseys and branding.
However, it’s still a blatant mistake not to even mention the name of the most exciting Wizards player in an article about excitement. Bilal Coulibaly is the most fun and watchable Wizards player in a long time, and he has a chance to single-handedly make this team exciting.
He attacks the ball viciously and hounds the player he is guarding defensively. His long arms bother attacking players and intercept cross-court passes. He makes athletic plays in transition and rim protection. He already projects to be one of the best athletes and defenders in his draft class. If that is not exciting, I don’t know what is.
Plus, the Wizards will likely play with pace, shoot a lot of threes, and have high-scoring games due to their defensive limitations. That will likely increase the chances of watchable games.
Maybe, Coulibaly and tempo are not enough to lift the Wizards from ranking last. A lot of the teams in the bottom tier have better young cores and more exciting prospects. Yet, Coulibaly and his breathtaking upside were worthy of a mention. Not that he needs it, but let’s hope the young Frenchman uses this as extra motivation.