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Riding the Bullets Bench February

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Bullets Pull Trigger On Coach, Hope For Some Fresh Ammunition

I had a feeling this day was coming. I was ready to call for Lynam's firing, as soon as they finished this awful road trip. Then, general manager Wes Unseld broke the pattern and actually fired the coach in the middle of the season.

You knew something was up when you saw an article in the Washington Post quoting Unseld saying that the Bullets current ways were "unacceptable." Strong words, indeed. That was in the Wednesday edition of the Post, and we wouldn't have to wait another 12 hours to know the final result.

On Wednesday, February 5, 1997, Unseld flew into Denver, where the Bullets were playing later that night, and fired head coach Jim Lynam and assistant coach Buzz Braman. He informed the team of the decision, then flew back to Washington, DC to hold a news conference announcing the firing.

Why the suddenness? Well, IMO, it comes none too soon. I have been frustrated with the recent play with the team, and I believe much of it lies with the coach. Even if he wasn't fired, there were some definite problems with the way the team was playing, especially on the road trip. Even prior to the firing, Washington Post sports columnist Michael Wilbon was willing to lay blame for the problems not only with the coach, but with the players.

Yes, the players know that they let down coach Lynam, with the generally uninspired play. They didn't show that they learned the lesson yet (during the Denver game), but hopefully they'll realize just what being prepared for every game means.

Washington Post sports columnist Tony Kornheiser got it partially right after the firing (no, it was a fair move by Unseld). What these players need, more than anything, is a locker room leader. No one is accepting that mantle this year. And until someone does, they will continue to playing middling ball.

wtf 7 February 1997

<== Utah Steals The Lakers' Riff And Improvise A New Rout CWebb Finally Named To The All Star Team  ==>

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