The Washington Wizards announced today that the franchise will raise #45 to the rafters of Capital One Arena this season in honor of Phil Chenier. Chenier played nine seasons with the Washington Bullets (including the 1977-78 Championship season) and spent 33 seasons as the team’s television color analyst. “I am so proud to have the honor and blessing of my #45 hanging with the greats of this franchise,” said Chenier. “It’s a statement to my teammates, coaches and all those who have sacrificed, supported and guided me over the many years that says ‘job well done.’ I also share it with the fans who have approached me with kind words and fond memories from both my playing days and my broadcasting career. My whole family is so grateful to Ted Leonsis, the MSE ownership group and the entire organization (from staff to players) who have been so kind, thoughtful and reverent towards me. I would also like to thank the Pollins, who brought me in to this organization 46 years ago, and the many people involved with the team during my early days. I’m so appreciative of each and every experience I’ve had here and can’t wait to share this honor with my DC Family in March.”
Chenier will be the fifth player in franchise history to have his number retired, joining Earl Monroe (No. 10), Elvin Hayes (No. 11), Gus Johnson (No. 25), and Wes Unseld (No. 41). Of note, Chenier played with all four of those Bullets legends, making it even more appropriate that he will join them up in the rafters. “It was really kind of a numbing kind of effect,” Chenier said of the way Beal revealed the news to him. “I think I did ask him [Beal] at one point, ‘Are you serious?’” “I almost started crying because I can only imagine how he feels, and how much hard work he put into the game,” Beal said about the experience. “A lot of people don’t understand how much he meant to us as a team.”
Jury selection is set to begin Wednesday in Phoenix in the aggravated assault trial of NBA players and identical twins Marcus and Markieff Morris. The Morris twins are among five men charged in a physical altercation outside of a high school basketball game in January 2015, while the twins were playing for the Phoenix Suns. Marcus Morris is currently a forward for the Boston Celtics. Markieff Morris is a forward for the Washington Wizards.