At some point on Monday, once the biggest snowstorm the Washington area has seen in three years subsides, the Wizards will take off from Dulles airport and fly roughly 3,700 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to England. They were supposed to leave Sunday evening following their double-overtime loss to the Raptors, but Mother Nature had other plans.
The delay should disrupt what was already set to be a busy and unusual week, as the Wizards are going overseas to play the New York Knicks on Thursday at The Q2 in London. The plan was to arrive in England around 7 a.m. Monday morning and have three days to get adjusted to the time change of five hours, plus some jet lag. Now, they will have less time to get acclimated.
Once there, the Wizards will have a busy schedule of practices and events. They have team dinners and charity appearances as they, along with the Knicks, will represent the National Basketball Association on the global stage.
The Wizards are taking a large group that goes well beyond the players, coaches and team staffers. Some players are bringing their families. Members of the WNBA's Mystics are going and so is the Wizards' dance team.
It is set to be a special week for the entire Wizards organization.
"We want them to enjoy it. We're not going to be there just to focus on basketball," head coach Scott Brooks. "We have a chance to be together in London. That's a great trip. It's a players' and coaches' dream. We get to go to a cool city and represent the league and represent our organization."
Brooks understands the privilege of going overseas for an NBA showcase. He was a player on the 1992-93 Houston Rockets who began their regular season with two games against the Seattle Supersonics in Yokohama, Japan. Though his Rockets lost both of those games, he has fond memories of the trip.
Brooks has been to London several times before and plans to visit Hyde Park at Kensington Palace where the team will have dinner one evening. Trevor Ariza is a big soccer fan and plans to go to Premier League game with his teammates.
Tomas Satoransky and Ian Mahninmi, the team's two European players, will see their extended families during the trip. They both plan to have dozens of friends and family members at the game.
For many Wizards players, a major appeal of London is the shopping. Fashion is taken seriously in the NBA and Mahinmi, who grew up nearby France, apparently knows the best spots.
"Ian said he had a couple of places he wanted to take me," center Thomas Bryant said. "I'm gonna get some exclusive drip, get some clothes over there."
Brooks may not be as fashion forward as his players, but he said he also may do some shopping.
"I need some new drip. I'm gonna hang with Thomas," he joked.
Basketball has taken Bryant all over the world, to Uruguay and Dubai. But he has not been to London and never takes these opportunities for granted.
"It's not every day that somebody gets to do this," Bryant said.
"Who gets to do that each and every day? I cherish that moment right there because I grew up in the inner city with not a lot of time traveling and everything. So, I'm just trying to take that time out there in London, I get to cherish it. I will take a lot of pictures, sightsee and just enjoy."
MORE WIZARDS NEWS: