Baylor University is a private Christian university in Waco, Texas. Chartered in 1845 by the last Congress of the Republic of Texas, it is one of the oldest continuously operating universities in Texas and one of the first educational institutions west of the Mississippi River in the United States. Located on the banks of the Brazos River next to I-35, between the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Austin, the university's 1,000-acre campus is the largest Baptist university campus in the world. Baylor University's athletic teams, known as the Bears, participate in 19 intercollegiate sports; the university is a member of the Big 12 Conference in the NCAA Division I. It is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. In 1841, 35 delegates to the Union Baptist Association meeting voted to adopt the suggestion of Rev. William Milton Tryon and R. E. B. Baylor to establish a Baptist university in Texas an independent republic. Baylor, a Texas district judge and onetime U. S. Congressman and soldier from Alabama, became the school's namesake.
Some at first wished to name the new university "San Jacinto" to recognize the victory which enabled the Texans to become an independent nation before the final vote of the Congress, the petitioners requested the university be named in honor of Judge R. E. B. Baylor. In the fall of 1844, the Texas Baptist Education Society petitioned the Congress of the Republic of Texas to charter a Baptist university. Republic President Anson Jones signed the Act of Congress on February 1, 1845 establishing Baylor University; the founders built the original university campus in Texas. Rev. James Huckins, the first Southern Baptist missionary to Texas, was Baylor's first full-time fundraiser, he is considered the third founding father of the university. Although these three men are credited as being the founders of the university, many others worked to see the first university established in Texas and thus they were awarded Baylor's Founders Medal; the noted Texas revolutionary war leader and hero Sam Houston gave the first $5,000 donation to start the university.
In 1854, Houston was baptized by the Rev. Rufus Columbus Burleson, future Baylor President, in the Brazos River. During the 1846 school year Baylor leaders would begin including chapel as part of the Baylor educational experience; the tradition has been a part of the life of students for over 160 years. In 1849, R. E. B. Baylor and Abner S. Lipscomb of the Texas Supreme Court began teaching classes in the "science of law," making Baylor the first in Texas and the second university west of the Mississippi to teach law. During this time Stephen Decatur Rowe would earn the first degree awarded by Baylor, he would be followed by the first female graduate, Mary Kavanaugh Gentry, in 1855. In 1851, Baylor's second president Rufus Columbus Burleson decided to separate the students by sex, making the Baylor Female College an independent and separate institution. Baylor University became an all-male institution. During this time, Baylor thrived as the only university west of the Mississippi offering instruction in law and medicine.
At the time a Baylor education cost around $8–$15 per term for tuition. And many of the early leaders of the Republic of Texas, such as Sam Houston, would send their children to Baylor to be educated; some of those early students were Temple Lea Houston, son of President Sam Houston, a famous western gun-fighter and attorney. For the first half of the American Civil War, the Baylor president was George Washington Baines, maternal great-grandfather of the future U. S. President, Lyndon B. Johnson, he worked vigorously to sustain the university during the Civil War, when male students left their studies to enlist in the Confederate Army. Following the war, the city of Independence declined caused by the rise of neighboring cities being serviced by the Santa Fe Railroad; because Independence lacked a railroad line, university fathers began searching for a location to build a new campus. Beginning in 1885, Baylor University moved to a growing town on the railroad line, it merged with a local college called Waco University.
At the time, Rufus Burleson, Baylor's second president, was serving as the local college's president. That same year, the Baylor Female College was moved to a new location, Texas, it became known as the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. A Baylor College Park still exists in Independence in memory of the college's history there. Around 1887, Baylor University became coeducational again. In 1900, three physicians founded the University of Dallas Medical Department in Dallas, although a university by that name did not exist. In 1903, Baylor University acquired the medical school, which became known as the Baylor College of Medicine, while remaining in Dallas. In 1943, Dallas civic leaders offered to build larger facilities for the university in a new medical center if the College of Medicine would surrender its denominational alliances with the Baptist state convention; the Baylor administration refused the offer and, with funding from the M. D. Anderson Foundation and others, moved the College of Medicine to Houston.
In 1969, the Baylor College of Medicine became technically independent from Baylor University. The two institutions still maintain strong links and Baylor still elects around 25 percent of the medical school's regents, they share academic links and combine in research efforts. During World War II, Baylor was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission; the university first admitted black
Jeff Lemans McInnis is an American retired professional basketball player. He played in the National Basketball Association, in Greece and in the Continental Basketball Association, he played for the New Jersey Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards and Denver Nuggets. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a 1996 second round draft pick of the Nuggets, he stands 6 ft 4 in. At the Staples Center prior to a Los Angeles Clippers December 1, 2000 game against the visiting Toronto Raptors, Charles Oakley and McInnis were involved in a fistfight. Oakley was suspended for three games and fined US$15,000. McInnis was not disciplined; the fight was believed to be over a woman. McInnis signed as a free agent with the New Jersey Nets prior to the 2005-06 season to back up Jason Kidd, he received limited playing minutes, on January 15, he tore cartilage in his left knee, causing him to miss significant time. While he was ready to return to action for the 2006 playoffs, the Nets decided to keep him inactive.
The Nets tried to work out a buyout of McInnis' contract or a trade prior to the 2006-07 season, but were unsuccessful, at the start of 2007 McInnis remained in limbo, on the Nets roster but exiled from the team. On January 3, 2007, the Nets traded McInnis to the Charlotte Bobcats for Bernard Robinson and cash considerations. McInnis played 38 games for Charlotte, averaged 4.3 points per game and 3.3 assists. His first game as a Bobcat, on January 12, ended after only eight seconds when the Philadelphia 76ers discovered McInnis was not on the official roster turned in before the game; the Bobcats were called for a team technical foul, McInnis was ejected. A Bobcats employee turned in the wrong roster. McInnis was waived by the Bobcats on February 29, 2008. McInnis's agent, Steve Kauffman, told The Charlotte Observer that McInnis left with no hard feelings. "In the end somebody had to make a decision and Sam and Rod were fair with Jeff," Kauffman said
The center known as the five, or the big man, is one of the five positions in a regular basketball game. The center is the tallest player on the team, has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. In the NBA, the center is 6 feet 10 inches or taller and weighs 240 pounds or more, they traditionally have played close to the basket in the low post. A center with the ability to shoot outside from three-point range is known as stretch five; the center is considered a necessary component for a successful team in professional leagues such as the NBA. Great centers have been the foundation for most of the dynasties in both the NBA and NCAA; the 6'10" George Mikan pioneered the Center position, shattering the held perception that tall players could not develop the agility and coordination to play basketball well, ushering in the role of the dominant big man. He led DePaul University to the NIT title after turning professional, won seven National Basketball League, Basketball Association of America and NBA Championships in his ten-year career, nine of them with the Minneapolis Lakers.
Using his height to dominate opposing players, Mikan invented the shot block. In the 1960s, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain further transformed basketball by combining height with a greater level of athleticism than previous centers. Following the retirement of George Mikan, the rivalry of the two big men came to dominate the NBA. Between the two of them and Russell won nine of the eleven MVP awards in the eleven-year period between 1958 and 1969. Many of the records set by these two players have endured today. Most notably and Russell hold the top eighteen season averages for rebounds. Bill Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA Championships, he joined the Boston Celtics and helped make them one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, winning eleven championships over his thirteen-year career as well as five MVP awards. Russell revolutionized defensive strategy with his shot-blocking and physical man-to-man defense. While he was never the focal point of the Celtics offense, much of the team's scoring came when Russell grabbed defensive rebounds and initiated fast breaks with precision outlet passes to point guard Bob Cousy.
As the NBA's first African-American superstar, Russell struggled throughout his career with the racism he encountered from fans in Boston after the 1966–67 season, when he became the first African-American in any major sport to be named player-coach. His principal rival, Wilt Chamberlain, listed at 7'1", 275 pounds, lacked Russell's supporting cast. Chamberlain played college ball for the Kansas Jayhawks, leading them to the 1957 title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Although the Jayhawks lost by one point in triple overtime, Chamberlain was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. A member of the Harlem Globetrotters before joining the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA in 1959, Chamberlain won two Championships, in 1967 with the Philadelphia 76ers and 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers, although his teams were defeated by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals, he won seven scoring titles, eleven rebounding titles, four regular season Most Valuable Player awards, including the distinction, in 1960, of being the first rookie to receive the award.
Stronger than any player of his era, he was capable of scoring and rebounding at will. Although he was the target of constant double- and triple-teaming, as well as fouling tactics designed to take advantage of his poor free-throw shooting, he set a number of records that have never been broken. Most notably, Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average more than 50 points in a season and score 100 points in a single game, he holds the NBA's all-time records for rebounding average, rebounds in a single game, career rebounds. A lesser-known center of the era was Nate Thurmond, who played the forward position opposite Wilt Chamberlain for the San Francisco Warriors but moved to center after Chamberlain was traded to the new Philadelphia franchise. Although he never won a Championship, Thurmond was known as the best screen setter in the league, his averages of 21.3 and 22.0 rebounds per game in 1966–67 and 1967–68, are exceeded only by Chamberlain and Russell. In contrast to the Celtics dynasty of the 1960s, the 1970s were a decade of parity in the NBA, with eight different champions and no back-to-back winners.
At the college level, the UCLA Bruins, under Coach John Wooden, built the greatest dynasty in NCAA basketball history, winning seven consecutive titles between 1967 and 1973. UCLA had won two consecutive titles in 1964 and 1965 with teams that pressed and emphasized guard play. After not winning in 1966, Wooden's teams changed their style, he led UCLA to three championships-in 1967, 68' and 69'-while winning the first Naismith College Player of the Year Award. During his college career, the NCAA enacted a ban on dunking because of Alcindor's dominant use of the shot, his entrance into the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 was timely, as Bill Russell had just retired and Wilt Chamberlain was 33 years old and plagued by injuries. After leading the Bucks to the 1971 NBA championship, te
The Memphis Grizzlies are an American professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee. The Grizzlies compete in the National Basketball Association as a member team of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the Grizzlies play their home games at FedExForum. The team is owned by Robert Pera; the Grizzlies are the only team in the major professional North American sports leagues based in the city of Memphis. The team was established as the Vancouver Grizzlies, an expansion team that joined the NBA for the 1995–96 season. After the 2000–01 season concluded, the Grizzlies moved to Memphis; the Vancouver Grizzlies were a Canadian professional basketball team based in Vancouver, British Columbia. They were part of the Midwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association; the team was established in 1995, along with the Toronto Raptors, as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada. Following the 2000–01 season, the team relocated to Memphis, United States, were renamed as the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies played their home games at General Motors Place for the entirety of their six seasons in Vancouver. The Vancouver Grizzlies applied to the NBA to relocate to Memphis on March 26, 2001, granted on July 3; as a result, the Grizzlies became the first major professional sports team from the "big four" major leagues to permanently play its home games in Memphis, as well as leaving the Toronto Raptors to be the only Canadian basketball team in the NBA. Memphis became the easternmost city in the Western Conference. In their first three seasons in Memphis, the Grizzlies played their home games at the Pyramid Arena. In the 2001 NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks chose Pau Gasol as the third overall pick, traded to the Grizzlies. Forward Shane Battier was selected with the sixth pick in the same draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies, they acquired Jason Williams from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Mike Bibby that same year. After the Grizzlies' first season in Memphis, Gasol won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
However, despite the strong draft class, general manager Billy Knight was let go. After Knight's departure and the season, the team hired former Los Angeles Laker and Hall of Famer Jerry West as general manager in 2002, who received the 2003–04 NBA Executive of the Year Award. After West's arrival the team was changed a great deal from Knight's team, with the removal of Sidney Lowe as head coach after 0–8 start to the season and a great deal of player movement, with players such as Mike Miller and James Posey becoming vital to the team's success. During the 2002–03 season, Hubie Brown was hired to coach the Grizzlies. Brown won the NBA Coach of the Year Award during the next season when the Grizzlies made the NBA playoffs for the first time in team history in 2004 as the sixth seed in the Western Conference in a drastic change from being perennially one of the worst teams in the NBA, they won a record 50 games under Gasol and Williams. In the playoffs they faced the San Antonio Spurs. Brown stepped down as head coach during the 2004–05 season.
At the time of his resignation, the Grizzlies had a losing record but West hired TNT analyst and former coach Mike Fratello to replace Brown. The Grizzlies' record improved and the team advanced to the postseason for the second consecutive season. However, the Grizzlies were swept out in the first round again, this time by the Phoenix Suns. After the season, which ended with anger between Fratello and many of the players, namely Bonzi Wells and Jason Williams, the team had an active 2005 off-season in which they revamped the team and added veterans. While the Grizzlies lost Wells, Stromile Swift, James Posey, they acquired Damon Stoudamire, Bobby Jackson, Hakim Warrick, Eddie Jones, they made the playoffs for the third consecutive year as well. With their record they had the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs and would face the Dallas Mavericks, who swept the Grizzlies in four games. Following the 2006 NBA draft, Jerry West traded Shane Battier to the Houston Rockets for their first round pick Rudy Gay and Stromile Swift.
Before the 2006–07 season, they suffered a blow when Gasol broke his left foot while playing for Spain in the World Championships. The Grizzlies started the season 5–17 without Gasol, went 1–7 while he was limited to about 25 minutes per game. At that point, Fratello was replaced by Tony Barone, Sr. as interim coach. Barone was the team's player personnel director and had never coached an NBA game though he had coached at the collegiate level for both Creighton and Texas A&M being named coach of the year in their conferences three times during his tenure; the Grizzlies finished the 2006–07 season with a league-worst 22–60 record, Jerry West announced his resignation from his position as the team's general manager shortly after the end of the regular season. The team hired Marc Iavaroni, with the Phoenix Suns as an assistant coach, to be the team's new head coach. Despite the last-place finish, the Grizzlies, who held the best chance of landing the first pick, ended up with the fourth pick in the 2007 NBA draft, with which the Grizzlies selected Mike Conley, Jr.
On June 18, 2007, the Grizzlies named former Boston Celtics general manager Chris Wallace as the team's general manager and vice president of basketball operations, replacing the retired West. A few days they hired former Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic head coach Johnny Davis, longtime NBA assistant coach Gordon Chiesa, the head coach of the 2007 NBA Development League champion Dakota Wizards, David Joerger, as the team's new assistant coaches. Gene Bartow was named the Grizzlies' president of basketb
Isaiah Charles Austin is an American professional basketball player for Nanjing Monkey King of the Chinese Basketball Association. He played two years of college basketball for Baylor University, he had been considered a first-round prospect in the 2014 NBA draft until he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. In 2016, he was cleared to continue playing basketball after a two-year stint away from the game due to Marfan syndrome. Austin attended Grace Preparatory Academy in Texas; as a senior in 2011–12, he averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks per game, earning back-to-back Fort Worth Star-Telegram Super Team Player of the Year honors. Austin participated in the 2012 McDonald's All-American Game, 2012 Adidas Nations and the 2012 Jordan Brand Classic, he was named to the ESPNHS All-American Elite second team and was the nation's no. 3 recruit according to ESPN. As a freshman at Baylor in 2012–13, Austin earned third-team All-Big 12 and Big 12 All-Rookie Team honors. On April 4, 2013, he recorded 15 points, nine rebounds, five blocks, four assists and two steals in the NIT championship game in which Baylor defeated Iowa 74–54.
In 35 games, he averaged 13.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.7 blocks in 29.9 minutes per game. In April 2013, Austin declared for the 2013 NBA draft, but returned to Baylor due to a shoulder injury; as a sophomore in 2013–14, Austin earned Big 12 All-Defensive Team honors. In 38 games, he averaged 11.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 3.1 blocks in 28.0 minutes per game. On April 22, 2014, Austin declared for the 2014 NBA draft, forgoing his final two years of college eligibility. On June 22, 2014, Austin learned that he had been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the body's connective tissue. In an emotional interview with ESPN's Holly Rowe, Austin said that he could no longer play basketball at a competitive level since the arteries in his heart were abnormally large, there was too much risk of his aorta rupturing if he continued to play. In response, NBA commissioner Adam Silver invited Austin to attend the draft as his guest. Shortly after Austin's diagnosis was made public, his agent revealed that Austin had taken out an insurance policy against career-ending disability through a special NCAA program, worth at least $1 million.
The policy would not have paid out if Austin's career ended due to his eyesight or his shoulder, but was expected to pay out due to his Marfan diagnosis. On June 26, 2014, between the 15th and 16th picks of the 2014 NBA draft, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made Austin a ceremonial pick, which fulfilled his dream of getting drafted; the crowd gave him a standing ovation. He was offered a job in the NBA by Adam Silver, with the stipulation that he finishes his degree at Baylor University. On November 30, 2016, Austin was medically cleared to play basketball and began considering offers from overseas. On January 7, 2017, he signed his first professional contract with Serbian club FMP, he made his debut for FMP on January 15, 2017, recording nine points and four rebounds in a 92–85 win over Mornar Bar. In 12 KLS games, he averaged 3.9 rebounds per game. He averaged 9.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in nine Adriatic League games. In July 2017, Austin joined Guangzhi Weizhuang of the Chinese NBL.
In 16 games for Guangxi, he averaged 34.6 points, 13.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 4.3 blocks per game. On November 11, 2017, Austin signed with the Yulon Luxgen Dinos of the Super Basketball League, he appeared in three games for Yulon before leaving the team in mid-December. On January 20, 2018, Austin signed with Champville of the Lebanese Basketball League, he appeared in four games for Champville before leaving the team in February. In June 2018, Austin re-joined Guangxi Rhino of the Chinese NBL. On October 16, 2018, Austin signed with Nanjing Monkey King of the Chinese Basketball Association. In September 2017, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas began the process of including Austin in their men's national basketball team, to be considered as a naturalized player in the future, he suited up as an import for Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas, the national team competing as a club, at the 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup. They finished the tournament in fifth place, with Austin recording 37 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and six blocks in their final game of the tournament.
Austin is blind in his right eye from a spontaneous retinal detachment that occurred during middle school. He had kept the visual loss a secret, known only to his teammates and close friends until January 17, 2014. On December 16, 2014, Austin was put into 2K Sports' NBA 2K15 as a free agent. Austin is the nephew of nine-year NBA veteran Isaac Austin. Isaiah Austin at baylorbears.com Isaiah Austin at draftexpress.com Isaiah Austin at espn.com Isaiah Austin on Facebook Isaiah Austin on Twitter
The Philadelphia 76ers are an American professional basketball team based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The 76ers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division and play at Wells Fargo Center. Founded in 1946 and known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA, one of only eight to survive the league's first decade; the 76ers have had a rich history, with many of the greatest players in NBA history having played for the organization, including Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson. They have won three NBA championships, with their first coming as the Syracuse Nationals in 1955; the second title came in 1967, a team, led by Chamberlain. The third title came in 1983, won by a team led by Malone; the 76ers have only been back to the NBA Finals once since then: in 2001, where they were led by Iverson and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
In 1946, Italian immigrant Daniel Biasone sent a $5,000 check to the National Basketball League offices in Chicago, the Syracuse Nationals became the Midwest-based league's easternmost team, based in the Upstate New York city of Syracuse. The Syracuse Nationals began play in the NBL in the same year professional basketball was gaining some legitimacy with the rival Basketball Association of America, based in large cities like New York and Philadelphia. While in the NBL with teams consisting of small Midwestern towns, the Nationals put together a 21–23 record, finishing in fourth place. In the playoffs, the Nationals would be beaten by the fellow upstate neighbor Rochester Royals in four games. In their second season, 1947–48, the Nationals would struggle, finishing in fifth place with a 24–36 record. Despite their struggles, the Nationals would make the playoffs, getting swept by the Anderson Duffey Packers in 3 straight games. Several teams began to leave the NBL for the BAA; the Nationals "recipe for success" began by recruiting Leo Ferris.
Staying in the NBL, Ferris signed Al Cervi to be player coach and outbid the New York Knicks for the services of Dolph Schayes who made his professional debut, leading the Nationals to a winning record for the first time with a record of 41–22. In the playoffs the Nationals would make quick work of the Hammond Calumet Buccaneers, winning the series in 2 straight games. However, in the semifinals the Nationals would fall to the Anderson Duffey Packers for the second straight season in four games. In 1949, the Nationals were one of seven NBL teams that were absorbed by the Basketball Association of America to form the NBA; the Nationals were an instant success in the NBA, winning the Eastern Division in the 1949–50 season, with a league best record of 51–13. In the playoffs the Nationals continued to play solid basketball, beating the Philadelphia Warriors in 2 straight. Moving on to the Eastern Finals, the Nationals battled the New York Knickerbockers, beating their big city rivals in a 3-game series.
In the NBA Finals, the Nationals faced. In Game 1 of the Finals the Nationals lost just their second home game of the season 68–66; the Nationals did not recover. Despite several teams leaving the NBA for the National Professional Basketball League before the 1950–51 season, the Nationals decided to stay put. In their second NBA season, 1950–51, the Nationals played mediocre basketball all season, finishing in fourth place with a record of 32–34. However, in the playoffs the Nationals played their best basketball of the season as they stunned the first place Warriors in two straight, taking Game 1 on the road in overtime 91–89. In the Eastern Finals the Nationals were beaten by the New York Knickerbockers in a hard-fought 5-game series, losing the finale by just 2 points. Cervi, playing less and coaching more, emphasized a patient offense and a scrappy defense, which led the league in the 1951–52 season by yielding a stingy 79.5 points per game as the Nationals won the Eastern Division with a solid 40–26 record.
In the playoffs the Nationals knocked off the Warriors again in a 3-game series. However, in the Eastern Finals the Nationals fell to the Knickerbockers again, dropping the series in four games; the Nationals would finish in second place in a hard-fought 3-way battle for first place in the Eastern Division for the 1952–53 season, with a record of 47–24. In the playoffs the Nationals would face the Boston Celtics dropping Game 1 at home 87–81. Needing a win in Boston to keep their hopes alive, the Nationals would take the Celtics deep into overtime before losing in quadruple OT 111–105, in what remains the longest playoff game in NBA history; the Nationals acquired Alex Groza, Ralph Beard as the Indianapolis Olympians folded leaving the NBA with just 9 teams for the 1953–54 season. Once again the Nationals would battle for the Division title falling two games short with a 42–30 record. In the playoffs the Nationals would win all four games of a round robin tournament involving the three playoff teams from the East.
In the Eastern Finals the Nationals would stay hot beating the Celtics in 2 straight games. However, in the NBA Finals the Nationals would lose to the Lakers in a hard-fought 7-game series where the 2 teams alternated wins throughout. With the NBA struggling financially and down to just 8 teams Nationals owner during the 1954–55 season, Biasone suggested the league limit the amount of time taken for a shot thus speeding up a game that ended with long periods of teams just holding the ball and playing keep away. Biasone and Nationals' general manager
The Washington Wizards are an American professional basketball team based in Washington, D. C; the Wizards compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The team plays its home games at the Capital One Arena, in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, D. C; the franchise was established in 1961 as the Chicago Packers based in Chicago and were renamed to Chicago Zephyrs the following season. In 1963, they relocated to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Bullets, taking the name from a previous team of the same name. In 1973, the team changed its name to the Capital Bullets to reflect their move to the Washington metropolitan area, to Washington Bullets in the following season. In 1997, they rebranded themselves as the Wizards; the Wizards have appeared in four NBA Finals, won in 1978. They have had a total of 28 playoff appearances, won four conference titles, seven division titles, their best season came in 1975 with a record of 60–22.
Wes Unseld is the only player in franchise history to become the MVP, win the Finals MVP award. Four players have won the Rookie of the Year award; the team now known as the Wizards began playing as the Chicago Packers in 1961, as the first modern expansion team in NBA history, an expansion prompted by Abe Saperstein's American Basketball League. Rookie Walt Bellamy was the team's star, averaging 31.6 points per game, 19.0 rebounds per game, leading the NBA in field goal percentage. During the All-Star game, Bellamy represented the team while scoring 23 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Bellamy was named the league Rookie of the Year, but the team finished with the NBA's worst record at 18-62; the team's original nickname was a nod to Chicago's meatpacking industry. However, it was unpopular since it was the same nickname used by the NFL's Green Bay Packers, bitter rivals of the Chicago Bears. After only one year, the organization changed its name to the Chicago Zephyrs and played its home games at the Chicago Coliseum.
Their only season as the Zephyrs boasted former Purdue star Terry Dischinger, who went on to win Rookie of the Year honors. In 1963 the franchise moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Bullets, taking their name from a 1940s–'50s Baltimore Bullets BAA/NBA franchise and playing home games at the Baltimore Civic Center. In their first year in Baltimore, the Bullets finished fourth in a five–team Western Division. Prior to the 1964–65 NBA season the Bullets pulled off a blockbuster trade, sending Dischinger, Rod Thorn and Don Kojis to the Detroit Pistons for Bailey Howell, Don Ohl, Bob Ferry and Wali Jones; the trade worked out well. He helped. In the 1965 NBA Playoffs, the Bullets stunned the St. Louis Hawks 3–1, advanced to the Western Conference finals. In the finals, Baltimore managed to split the first four games with the Los Angeles Lakers before losing the series 4–2. In the late 1960s, the Bullets drafted two future Hall of Fame members: Earl Monroe, in the 1967 draft, number two overall, Wes Unseld, in the 1968 draft number two overall.
The team improved from 36 wins the previous season to 57 in the 1968–69 season, Unseld received both the rookie of the year and MVP awards. The Bullets reached the playoffs with high expectations to go far, but they were eliminated by the New York Knicks in the first round; the next season the two teams met again in the first round, although this one went to seven games, the Knicks emerged victorious again. In the 1970–71 season, the 42–40 Bullets again met the 1970–71 Knicks, this time though in the Eastern Conference finals. With the Knicks team captain Willis Reed injured in the finals, the injury-free Bullets took advantage of his absence, in game seven, at New York's Madison Square Garden, the Bullets' Gus Johnson made a critical basket late in the game to lift the Bullets over the Knicks 93–91 and advance to their first NBA Finals, they were swept in four games by the powerful Milwaukee Bucks led by future Hall of Fame members Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson. After the trades of Earl Monroe and Gus Johnson, the Bullets remained a playoff contender throughout the 1970s.
Following a less than spectacular 1971–72 season, Baltimore acquired Elvin Hayes from the Houston Rockets and drafted Kevin Porter in the third round, out of St. Francis in Pennsylvania. After a slow start in 1972–73, Baltimore made their charge in December, posting a 10–4 record on the way to capturing the Central Division title for the third straight year; the Bullets again faced the Knicks in the 1973 NBA Playoffs, losing for the fourth time in five series against New York. In February 1973, the team announced its pending move 30 miles southwest to the Capital Centre in Landover, a Washington, D. C. suburb, became the Capital Bullets. After that 1973–74 season, they changed their name to the Washington Bullets. During November 1973, while waiting for the completion of their new arena in Landover, the Bullets played their home games at Cole Field House on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park; the Capital Centre opened on December 2, 1973, with the Bullets defeating the SuperSonic