CSN is running a bracket to determine the best player in Wizards/Bullets franchise history. There are 16 players in a four-round tournament. The first round will be voted on by fans, while the rest will be determined by our analysts. The winner will be revealed during an hour-long special called 'Best of the Best' on Friday, July 14 at 7:00 p.m. on CSN.
Here is today's matchup...
No. 4 WALT BELLAMY vs. No. 13 CHRIS WEBBER
Years with franchise: 5
Stats: 27.6 ppg, 16.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, 51.6 FG%
Accolades: Hall of Famer, 4-time All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Summary: The only player in this bracket who dates back to the franchise's first iteration when they played in Chicago, Bellamy was in fact the first draft pick ever made by the franchise. He was selected first overall in 1961 out of Indiana University and went on to enjoy a Hall of Fame career of 14 NBA seasons, the first five with the Wizards/Bullets franchise.
Bellamy made four All-Star teams, including his rookie year when they were known as the Chicago Packers and his second season when they were the Chicago Zephyrs. He then made two more All-Star teams once they moved and became the Baltimore Bullets. A 6-foot-11 center, Bellamy was a prolific scorer and rebounder. He averaged a ridiculous 31.6 points and 19 rebounds as a rookie. It remains one of the best individual seasons in NBA history.
Years with franchise: 4
Stats: 20.9 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.6 spg, 1.7 bpg, 50.1 FG%
Summary: Webber was selected first overall by the Magic in the 1993 draft and immediately traded to the Warriors. He played just one season for Golden State before being dealt again, this time to Washington for Tom Gugliotta and three first round picks, one of which turned out to be Vince Carter. Webber would play just four seasons for Washington, but he left an indelible mark as one of the best players in franchise history.
Webber was a sensation in college at the University of Michigan and came into his own as a star with the Bullets. He could do it all: score, rebound, pass and rack up steals and blocks. He formed a dynamic duo with Juwan Howard, his former college teammate, and the two led the Bullets to the playoffs in 1997, the only time the franchise made it from 1988 to 2005. Webber had a long and illustrious career, but played most of his years elsewhere. The Wizards traded him in May of 1998 for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe. Part of it was because of off-the-court concerns involving Webber, but the trade has since been cemented as one of the worst front office moves in franchise history. Richmond soon declined, while Webber remained one of the NBA's best players the better part of a decade.