The Washington Wizards haven’t had a lot of success to celebrate this year, but appeared to be well on their way to earning their third victory of the season on Monday night. Up by 23 points at one point in the second half, and ultimately led by a team-high 34 points from starting forward Kyle Kuzma, the team on paper appeared to have the recipe to cruise to an easy win.
Ultimately, though, you probably know from the headline above that’s… not how things played out. In a season that has seen them function as more of a traveling basketball prop comedy act than a professional team, the Wizards opted to do the funniest thing possible, and collapse in a way previously unimaginable.
The Raptors had chipped away at the lead by having Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam go right at Kuzma the whole second half, but with the Wizards up just 10 with a little over five minutes remaining, Kuzma unintentionally avoided being targeted… by walking back to the Wizards bench and arguing for head coach Wes Unseld Jr. to challenge a call while the Raptors were inbounding.
Toronto noticed they were playing 5-on-4, inbounded quickly, and Barnes scored to cut the deficit to eight.
The Wizards went on to miss their next 10 shots and allow what was, in totality, a 22-1 run to close the game. Kuzma wasn’t done making mistakes, either, as he essentially clinched the game for Toronto by stepping out of bounds while catching a pass as the Wizards tried to tie or take the lead down two points with 6.1 seconds left, leaving even our most esteemed basketball Twitter wordsmiths consulting a thesaurus:
With a chance to tie or take the lead, they inbounds to Kuzma, who steps out of bounds. “Abominable,” it says here.
— Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) November 14, 2023
As my friends over at Bullets Forever wrote in their game recap — “The worst part: the Wizards did not even seem interested in winning in those clutch minutes, as if they were thinking already on the lottery balls.”
It was, however, a big night for Jordan Poole, as there was finally a viral comedy of errors for Washington that wasn’t his fault.
Just 10 games in, the Wizards truly may have already captured the title of funniest sports team of all time. Their remaining 72 games may be must-watch for no other reason than to see how they can top this.