Choices for new nickname draw cold reception Bullets players and fans are puzzled by short list

February 03, 1996|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,SUN STAFF

LANDOVER -- As the five possible new nicknames for the Washington Bullets were run by Brent Price, the guard looked puzzled.

"That's the list?" Price said. "I don't know if I have a comment. Let me think about it, I guess I'll have to get used to it."

Most of the Bullets players and many fans expressed those same feelings yesterday after considering the five possible names: Sea Dogs, Stallions, Express, Wizards and Dragons.

"Who picked those names?" said Bruce Glassman, sitting in the front row at USAir Arena for last night's game against the Portland Trail Blazers. "I guess I'll go with the Sea Dogs, because all the other names are ridiculously boring."

The Bullets are changing their nickname because of its connotation with street violence.

The five finalists weren't necessarily the most popular choices, said Bullets public relations director Matt Williams. But other selections such as Cobras, Fury and Monuments could not be used because of trademark problems. Fans will make the final choice by telephone, with the results to be announced Feb. 22.

When names were flashed on the scoreboard at halftime last night, the fans booed.

Guard Calbert Cheaney wasn't thrilled with any of the choices. "I guess if I had to pick one, I would say the Wizards," he said.

Said center Jim McIlvaine: "I like the Sea Dogs because that's the one that everyone likes least. Plus, it's a name that's different. I'd hate to have a name that's been used by every high school around the country, like the Wildcats."

NOTES: Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken watched last night's game from courtside. . . . Chris Webber was released from the hospital in New York after his shoulder surgery Thursday. . . . Bob McCann played the final day of his second 10-day contract last night. With Webber out for the season, it's likely that McCann will be signed for the rest of the year.

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