Life as a present day Wizards fan can be quite tumultuous at the very least. Unless it’s already driven you to relentless drug abuse or chronic brain dementia, you probably often find yourself reflecting back on past accolades or historic franchise success as a measure to numb the rigorous pains of habitual losing.
Well, that’s why this season we chose to implement a segment specifically aimed to defog our minds from the current realm of agony and remember how, um, better things used to be. The result of these posts could go either way, though: it’ll either serve the objective of reinstating sanity, or it'll force you to bury your head under a stack of throw pillows.
So let me cut the ad-libbing and get to it.
The Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets of the 1970’s up until the late 80’s were a fixture in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. For years (17 out of 19 to be exact), the Bullets maintained sufficient roster talent that was a universe different from the garbage we're forced to endure today (yes, I'm taking shots). Names like Wes Unseld, Earl the Pearl, Bernard King, Moses and Jeff Malone all secured the relevance of the Bullets for nearly two decades.
But when broadly observing the state of the Bullets in the late 80s, one could claim that the 1987-88 season was somewhat bittersweet. Although the Bullets managed to maintain their playoff presence despite finishing six games under .500, the 87-88 season marked the end of a glamorous era and the beginning of a more forgettable one.
But what makes that season memorable for Bullets fans was the presence of one of the most interesting duos anyone had ever seen on an NBA roster; the basketball version of “Twins” if you will.
I’m referring to Muggsy Bogues and the late Manute Bol.
Although they played only one season together, the humorous display of lopsided height differential between the two made for an interesting season-long story line. Roughly 28 inches apart, the two averaged about 15-20 minutes per game, a handful of points, and a good number of photo shoots.
While it was the three-headed monster of Bernard King and the Malone brothers that steered the Bullets to the playoffs that year, it was Bol and Bogues who had the cameras snapping. They landed on three magazine covers throughout the season, including the famous photograph of Muggsy standing next to Manute at hip-level.
For most fans, the Bullets Twins don’t imply much of a success story, but more so a joyful side story. They were somewhat a compliment to the actual roster talent, much unlike the companionship of a JaVale McGee and Nick Young, although I’m sure the observance of Manute Bol’s facial expression after a spoonful of cinnamon would have made for a much better YouTube clip.
Not a great deal has been written about the brief tenure of these two, so I’ll leave you with a short video produced by the NBA, highlighting their lone season together.
Meanwhile, I’ll be double-facepalming under my stack of pillows. Enjoy!