The Wizards Home Opener Is This Halloween Weekend. Coincidence?

There’s hope in October. And fear.

Bilal Coulibaly #0 of the Washington Wizards dribbles the ball during the second half of their NBA game against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena
The Wizards are currently rated the worst in the league. Scary, we know.
Getty Images

The Washington Wizards’ home opener is this Saturday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, and the Grizz are Ja-less, which is bad for the NBA and good for Washington. Tickets are still available at face value, which is a bad sign for the Wiz and maybe a good opportunity to see professional basketball at an affordable price? 

All joking aside: This year’s Wiz are going to look a lot different from the last decade. There’s no clear superstar for the first time since 2010, with Bradley Beal now a Sun (good!) and John Wall a distant memory. The team’s standout player from last season, Kristaps Porzingis, is also gone, now playing with an extremely competitive Celtics squad. But we’ve still got the stylish Kyle Kuzma, and scorned-by-Golden-State Jordan Poole may be due for a breakout year. The team is projected to be the worst in the league — but if Kuzma and Poole are healthy for 82 games, I say it’s a much safer bet to take the over for their 24.5-win total, even if they’re tanking by February.  

You know, maybe we should be focusing on all of the off-the-court promotions around the home opener rather than the worst-team-in-the-league denial. There’s a pregame block party right outside the stadium beginning at 5:30 p.m. with photobooths, a meet-and-greet with Wizards alums Michael Adams and Harvey Grant, and a performance from J.Addo. The first 100 fans at the block party get a Wizards pullover and a gift card good for the team store. Regardless of your block party attendance, everyone who attends the game will receive a Wizards 2023-24 T-shirt and schedule magnet. The team is doing whatever they can get to fans excited about what’s shaping up to be a very scary season. Happy return of NBA basketball! Happy Halloween! Here are some non-basketball related options!


Any Day Now Chinese Prime Rib Dinner 

This Tim Ma pop-up is a one-night-only chance to indulge at a prime rib steakhouse with Chinese influences. Tickets — at least a few of them — are available at press time, but moving fast. Based on demand, I’m guessing another pop-up will be announced soon. 

Slayyyter at 9:30 Club

If you need some leather or Spandex-related partying on Halloween weekend, a Friday night with the self-proclaimed STARFUCKER should do the trick. 

NBA Tip-Off: Over/Under Totals for All 30 Teams, And How to Bet Them
VSiN senior NBA analyst Jonathan Von Tobel breaks down the odds, from the top-ranked Celtics to the Washington Wizards

Friday, Saturday and Sunday

The Wiz at the National Theatre

This is a double pick. The touring version of The Wiz is one reason and the “fact” that the National is haunted is the other. 

Butler’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival

If you need that seasonal hayride, it’s time to pay a visit to Germantown. 


Virginia Brewery Running Series: Halloween 5K at DC Brau

This 5K begins and ends at DC Brau. In addition to exploring Brentwood and Woodridge on your 3.1-mile run, you’ll get a beer from D.C.’s oldest brewery (2009 isn’t old, but it’s the oldest operating brewery in the District).

The State: Breakin’ Hearts & Dippin’ Balls Tour at the Lincoln Theatre

Eight members of comedy troupe The State will be on stage on U Street. Michael Showalter, Robert Ben Garant and Todd Holoubek won’t be there, but Ken Marino will — and that means some balls will be dipped.

Boneyard Bootcamp at Congressional Cemetery

This free exercise class has the best tagline of anything else this month: “Stay ahead of the Grim Reaper!” Bonus: You get to sweat it out on the grounds where J. Edgar Hoover is buried.

Día de los Muertos at the American Indian Museum

Kickstart your Day of the Dead celebrations a week early at this all-day, family-friendly series of activities and activations. 


Sound Architects: A Producer Conversation With Timbaland at the Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center is doing a bunch of 50th anniversary of hip-hop-related programming, and this might be the best non-musical performance. Timbaland has shaped the last 30 years of pop and hip-hop radio. I’d like to know how, wouldn’t you?

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