WASHINGTON (AP) - During a recent discussion of his long-term expectations for the Washington Wizards, owner Ted Leonsis said: "Fifty wins is kind of a demarcation of a team that is a legitimate contender."
The Wizards have won 19, 26, 23, 20 and 29 over the last five seasons. They last reached 40 in 2007-08, when they went 43-39 on the way to their last playoff appearance. They last reached 50 in 1978-79, when the team then known as the Bullets were 54-28 and lost in the NBA finals.
In their quest to return to such a lofty status, the Wizards are hitching their hopes to John Wall, the 2010 No. 1 overall draft pick who has yet to channel his immense talent into consistent NBA success.