Style Corner: The Wizards’ Stars & Stripes
The Washington Wizards are experiencing a bit of Bullets deja vu.
by Sandy Dover / @SandmanSeven
In the past season, I was greatly disappointed by what was really minor. The Washington Wizards…decided…to use V-neck collars. I was terribly offended by this, because I felt the uniforms were already pretty great. Did I think that they were any better than the old Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets unis? No, but they were distinctive and the scoopneck collar properly accentuated the curvature of the Wizards’ font features…but that’s in the past now. The new look? I love it.
There’s a lot of things to love (and even the mundane nature of the V-neck is amenable here). To touch on the highlights, moving back to the great multi-striped heritage of the old festive Bullets uniforms? It strikes a nerve and gives the Wizards some visual excitement, just from the literal pop of the mix of the colors. And those colors…going back to red, white, and blue brings some treasured memories and an innocent brand of patriotism that just seems right for a team representing the center of our nation’s government; what I like most about the colors is that the blue isn’t a traditional royal, but rather a sort of true navy blue, and the red is bright, but has a high tint on it that makes it stand out from being a true red or a scarlet or crimson sort. Also, the matte silver is a nice touch (I still wish the dazzle mesh wasn’t widely scrapped by the NBA and adidas, though).
As for the rest of the changes? I’ll let the Wizards inform you of what your eyes may see, per press release on Tuesday, May 10:
“The updating of the Wizards uniforms and the introduction of several new marks has been a priority we have focused on with our partners at adidas and the NBA league office for the better part of the past year, and we are thrilled to showcase these efforts today,” said Wizards Executive Vice President of Business Operations Greg Bibb. “We are grateful to adidas and the league for their guidance and support on this project. Our new look pays homage to the past while pointing to an exciting future. Today marks another significant step forward for our team, our players, our staff and our fans.”
With the color shift, the team introduced two new secondary logos. One of the new marks is a lowercase “dc,” with the upright tip of the “d” opening as a hand–a direct link to the “l’s” in the former all lowercase Washington Bullets logo. The connection to the past mark is deepened by the hand reaching for a ball, which was a key element of the past script logo of the Bullets.
The other secondary logo is a basketball with the image of the Washington Monument integrated into its channels and a topped with a star, combining the game of basketball with a pair of iconic symbols of Washington, DC, and the United States of America.
“Our players love the new red, white and blue look and they’re looking forward to wearing the new uniforms to represent our city, our fans and our franchise,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “It’s appropriate that the Wizards, Mystics and Capitals now share their colors and the goal of bringing a championship to Washington, DC.”
In addition to the two new secondary marks, the team also unveiled a modified primary logo. The refreshed “Wizards and moon” mark is highlighted by the new red, white and blue color scheme as well as a modified font and tweaks to the structure of the logo.
With a tip of the hat to a past uniform styling of the team, the Wizards’ new uniforms have also been redesigned in an effort to capture the spirit of the organization’s former “stars and bars” look. WIZARDS is displayed on the front of the home white jersey, while WASHINGTON appears as a wordmark on the red road jersey. Both wordmarks are framed by bars of red, white and navy. A ball dots the “I’s” in each wordmark and the Washington Monument is formed in the upright of the “d” and “h” respectively on the home and away jerseys. The new secondary logo that features the Washington Monument adorned with a star inside of a basketball appears on the center back neck of the jerseys, while the new “dc” logo is present on the shorts. A single iconic star will also be worn proudly on each side of the shorts, giving the overall uniforms a bold and dramatic impression of the spirit of the city the team represents.
All in all, though the Wizards have yet to really make a true indentation in wins and are the sort of team right now that is hard to gauge when it comes to their win total for 2012, this new look borrowing from the past years certainly wins me over as an observer. With all of the details highlighted, I will say that the only negative aspects with the change is really just the recoloring of the primary Wizards logo, which re-identifies the white-haired Wizard of the insignia as a sort of blue alien and is generally unnecessary (actually, I would’ve like the Wizards to take a page out of the MLB’s Washington Nationals‘ book and use a bolder, more iconic logo; and maybe hint toward the magical portion of the name with a basketball posing as a crystal ball [positive omen for the future?] or maybe throw Magellan’s hat in there somewhere), but I’m really nitpicking (even though the Wizard does indeed look lame).
As for those wishing for a change to the old Bullets name…as I’ve told a couple of good people via Twitter, the former Agent Zero ruined the prospect for a return to that moniker. Packing heat hasn’t exactly been a great theme for the city of Washington (known for high crime) or the team itself for years (the aforementioned Agent).
Best advice? Appreciate the greatness of the Wizards’ new identity, and maybe, just maybe, the Wizards will win on the court for the forthcoming season and not just on the runway and stage.
A special thanks to the good people at Monumental Sports & Entertainment and the Washington Wizards for contributing to this column.
Images courtesy of the Washington Wizards and sportslogos.net.
Sandy Dover is a novelist/writer, artist, and fitness enthusiast whose work has been featured and published by US News, Yahoo!, Robert Atwan’s “America Now,“ and now in Buckets and Playmaker magazines. You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline and at Facebook and Twitter as well.