The 2016-17 Washington Wizards have accomplished so many things the franchise hadn't done in decades that it's legitimately hard to keep track, that it's almost inevitable an attempt at listing them will feature some sort of exclusion or oversight.
Simply put, it's a long list. Here are at least most of the things that this year's Wizards have accomplished, that no Wizards or Bullets team before them had done in decades:
- won their division for the first time since 1978-79, breaking the longest division title drought in all of U.S. pro sports at 38 years
- won 47 games, marking the team's best record since 1978-79 when they won 54 and reached the NBA Finals
- clinched home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 1978-79
- won 30 games at home for the first time since 1988-89
- won 17 straight games at home for the first time since 1974-75
- scored 100 points or more in 23 straight games for the first time since 1988-89
- most three-pointers in franchise history (720)
- John Wall's 50 double-doubles are most in franchise history since Moses Malone had 50 in 1987-88
- Wall's 815 assists are the most in franchise history for a single season
- Bradley Beal's 215 three-pointers made are the most in franchise history
- Wall's 4,594 career assists are the most in franchise history. Earlier this season, he edged Wes Unseld's 3,822 (1969 to 1981)
- Wall's 870 career steals are the most in franchise history. He beat Greg Ballard's previous mark of 762 (1978 to 1985)
The 47 wins and 720 threes marks, plus Wall's 50th double-double were all set on Tuesday night against the Hornets, as the Wizards once again made history like they have so many times this season. Throughout the night, there were some clear reminders of that at the Verizon Center.
Before the game, head coach Scott Brooks remarked how the team wants to win 50 games, specifically noting the 38 years since they last did. In the locker room pregame each player had a 2016-17 Southeast Division championship hat in their stall. After the game, as he spoke to reporters, power forward Markieff Morris was wearing his and explained the sense of pride he currently feels being a part of a team that is taking their franchise to heights they haven't been in decades.
"It's the first time I've won a division. I saw [the hat] in my locker. I'm going to go home and give it to my mom," Morris said.
"It's amazing, man. Especially when you have the group of guys that we have. Everybody is really close. The coaches, the training staff, guys just work all-around here. It's a great group of people. It's unbelievable that it's been that long [since they had 47 wins], but we're happy to be here now. We're going to try to get to 50 wins and do something in the playoffs."
Bradley Beal has been in Washington much longer than Morris, who was traded to the Wizards in February of 2016. Beal was drafted in 2012 and has since seen the organization rise from the NBA's basement to where it is now.
"It's great. This is my first time in my career being part of a historical team, a team that has the opportunity to get 50 wins. That's definitely a goal of ours. That would be great for the city and the organization. It's an awesome thing. We're breaking tons of records this year. John broke the assists record. I broke the 3-point record. It's been fantastic. It's been a great run. It's kind of crazy. It's my fifth season and it's kind of flew by. It's just life. That's hoops. We've been having a good year. We want it to continue and it hasn't ended yet… we've still got a lot of unfinished work to do," he said.
Wall can speak to that rise even more. The first overall pick in 2010, Wall has been the driving force behind their ascension. He was the first piece and the first step in all of it.
"[Shoot], I've been on the worst [teams]. I've been here from the beginning when it was the worst and we won 19 games. The way this organization has evolved where a lot of guys have worked out and got better at their craft, having a new coaching staff and guys just buying into it, it's a big accomplishment for us but we still want to hit 50. We want to finish strong and prepare ourselves for the playoffs.
"We feel like we have a special team if we stay healthy. Just play at a high level every game and we have something special we can do here. You never know what can happen in a [playoff] series. But it's great. Everything we have accomplished this year, it shows that this team stuck together. When we were going through our downfall, nobody pointed anybody out. We just stuck together as a group and said let's get out of this hole. It's great to be on a winning team."
Wall, Beal and others have ushered in a new era for the Wizards. Clearly, they want to keep going and mark even more exclusive territory.