SBD/2/Franchises

BULLETS DOWN TO THE FAB FIVE FOR NEW FRANCHISE NAME

     The Bullets announced the five potential new names for the
NBA franchise:  the Dragons, Express, Sea Dogs, Stallions and
Wizards.  Those names were selected from over 500,000 entries in
the Boston Market-sponsored "Rename the Bullets" Contest.  Voting
will begin tonight through a 900-number to determine the new name
of the team.  Calls will cost $1.00 with proceeds going to the
Bullets/WRC-TV Anti-Violence Campaign.  Voting will run through
February 20, with the new name announced two days later.  The
team will adopt the new name upon entering the new downtown MCI
Center at the start of the '97-98 season (Bullets).  The Bullets
will send the new name to the league office, which will develop a
new logo.  The finalists "were not necessarily the most popular
choices," according to team President Susan O'Malley.  Some of
the more popular ones, such as Monuments or Fury, "did not pass
trademark laws" (Frank Hughes, WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/2).  Bullets
forward Juwan Howard, who served on the name selection committee:
 "How can you have a mascot with the name 'Bullets'?  I mean,
what do you have, a bullet from a gun?"  The CHICAGO TRIBUNE's
Linnet Myers calls the Sea Dogs name "somewhat mysterious" as
Washington is "on a river, not a sea" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/2).
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