Bullets jerseys, name well-worn

November 28, 1992|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Staff Writer

When the NBA franchise shifted from Chicago to Baltimore i the 1962-63 season, it was decided that the team's nickname, Zephyrs, no longer was appropriate in its new surroundings.

"We wanted to rename them the Bullets in honor of the first pro team we had here that won a league title in 1948," said Paul Hoffman, a member of that championship team who at the time of the move was acting as general manager.

"The trouble was that the name 'Bullets' was the property of Michael Fox, the auctioneer, who used it when Baltimore was a member of the Eastern League in the '50s.

"I went to Fox and asked him how much it would take to buy the name 'Bullets' back," Hoffman continued. "He told me, 'Give me four season tickets for the next two years and you've got yourself a deal.' And that's how the Bullets were reborn."

The original red, white and blue uniforms the current Bullets wore at the Arena last night against the Minnesota Timberwolves were replicas of the ones the Zephyrs used their final year in Chicago.

"They had Zephyrs, with a big 'Z' that resembled a deer's antlers across the front of the uniform," Hoffman said.

"We couldn't afford new uniforms, so we just had a sporting goods man rip off the old name and sew on 'Bullets' in its place," he added. "Saved us a lot of money."

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