(WJLA) - On Friday, it was easy to spot something we are not used to seeing much of on the streets of D.C.
The first Wizards home playoff game in nearly a decade is certainly good for business, as vendors and sporting goods stores around the arena are experiencing brisk sales of everything and anything with “Wizards” on it.
In a sports town that has been dominated by the Redskins, Nationals, and even the Capitals, it finally seems acceptable to chat up the city’s pro basketball team:
Home playoff games mean more big crowds for restaurants, businesses, and everybody trying to make a dollar here in Chinatown – like the brass connection band that has played outside the arena before and after most home games for almost a decade:
"It's a great thing. Plus, you make a little extra money," said Bill Banks.
The party started early, as Wizards fans decided to enjoy a few moments of excitement over their team:
"I am going with my wife and a friend from out of town; we are excited to be in the playoffs, it will be our first playoff game," said fan Josh Novikoff.
The last time the Wizards had a legitimate shot at a championship, Jimmy Carter was in the White House. Long-suffering fans are now cautiously optimistic that history will repeat itself this year.
"When they had the championship and from Cap Center, all the way down here I have followed them and it's paying off finally, I think; I am very very pleased with them, I am very proud of them regardless of what they do," said Greg Brown.
The team is just halfway through Series Number One in this year’s NBA Playoffs, but with two wins under their belts against the Bulls in Chicago, coming home to close out the series in front of their fans has them finally ready to talk confidently:
"I'll make a prediction," said Simon Sarver. "We will lose to Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals, but we will make it to the Eastern Conference Finals -- for sure.