By Frank Hanrahan
This was supposed to be opening night of the NBA season for the Washington Wizardsas they would have hosted New Jersey at Verizon Center. This wouldn't have been just any ordinary opening night,though, as there would have been a buzz about the team because of thereturn ofthe red, white and blue uniforms back to the nation's capital.
Last May, the team unveiled the old Bullets homage uniforms, but fans had yet to see them worn by the players on the court. They would have seen it for the first time tonight.
More importantly, the nightmare that was the 23-59 record of a season agowould be a thing of the past and the Wizards' outlook certainly brighter than in previous years, withsecond-yearpro John Wall trying to lead the team back to respectability.
Who knows, maybe Wall would have had a new dance to run out to during introductions. Last year, of course, he made national headlines with this extended "Dougie" dance at the home opener.
Wizards fans would geta first glimpse of a newly committed Andray Blatche who, now entering his sixth season, says he is ready to establish himself as an all-star forward.
How about JaVale McGee? The starting center has made news off the court with his free-wheeling style. We will have to wait to see whether he can hone his craft on the court and be a legitimate center in the NBA.
Will the never gun-shy guard Jordan Crawford, who said he wants to be better than Michael Jordan, get the nod at shooting guard -- or will it be Nick Young? Will Nick Young even be back since he is a restricted free agent?
We would also get our first regular season look at first-round draft picks Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton, and get a feel for whether these guys were ready to contribute to the Wizards right away, or if they needed some grooming.
We would get to watch Flip Saunders start his third season on the job as head coach. We would start to see if we should believe Ernie Grunfeld when he tells usthat the core group of players he has can eventually turn it around and become a winning ball club.
Thanks to the NBA lockout, we will unfortunately have to waitfor another openingnight, the date of which isstill to be determined.