3 February 1997. Utah Jazz 111, Washington Bullets 89 (record: 22-24)
Game leaders: Muresan (18 points), Muresan (9 rebounds), Strickland (7 assists)
The first reaction to this is, why do we put up with this underachievement? The Bullets go on a road trip, lose a close game to the defending Western Conference champions, then get blown out by two other contenders - the Lakers and the Jazz.
This game was almost as bad as the Lakers game. The team quickly became the laughing stock of the sports world, when ESPN showed a clip of the Jazz fastbreaking off a turnover and Karl Malone has to come in and score on a missed rebound. Meanwhile, our purported superstars never arrive on the scene to try to help with the defense or rebounding, in case the shot was actually missed.
That's what this Bullets team has seemingly come to - too little effort most of the time, never a full four quarters of effort. As we know by now, this was Jim Lynam's last game as coach of the Bullets. He was fired two days later, one game before the Bullets reached their All Star break. It was an unfortunately necessary event.