Washington Bullets General Manager Bob Ferry said yesterday he does not feel any additional pressure concerning his own job security in the wake of the team's disastrous start and Sunday night's firing of Coach Kevin Loughery.

"Pressure is something one puts on yourself," he said. "Losing is distasteful, but if you're in the business for any amount of time you're going to have to face it. You don't want it to happen -- you dread it -- but subconsciously you know you're going to have to deal with it at some point.

"I don't believe that losing is something immoral, though. If you're doing something that's immoral, then that's when you're really in trouble. But if you know that you're doing the best job you can do, then you can live with yourself."

In a wide-ranging interview yesterday, Ferry said "we never envisioned this" -- the Bullets' 8-19 record and three losing streaks of four or more games -- and defended several of his personnel decisions over the last two years.

"As long as I've been here I've never seen anything like what's happened so far -- never," said Ferry, whose good friend, Loughery, was fired by owner Abe Pollin and replaced by fellow former Bullets star Wes Unseld.

"All teams go through bad stretches, but something usually happens to straighten the team out, usually something from within the team. There were years that I was prepared to lose, for the team to fall, but it never happened. The way things have gone, you get the feeling sometimes that you're invincible -- whenever we had major problems, something good happened."

Ferry has long been a target for critics of the Bullets because of the team's mediocre record in recent years. From the 1979-80 season through the 1986-87 race, Washington logged a regular season record of 321-335, never winning more than 43 games in a season and only once advancing beyond the first round of the playoffs.

In the past few years, the team has made a number of moves in an effort to change its fortune, bringing in name players such as Gus Williams, Cliff Robinson, Dan Roundfield, Moses Malone and Bernard King. Though most of those players appeared to have their better days behind them, the deals did help the Bullets meet one of the yearly goals mandated by Pollin: a playoff team.

"One of the hardest teams to improve is the team that's playing .500 basketball," Ferry said. "There aren't many players available to help you when you're at that stage; you've already got quality guys but replacing them with better people becomes more difficult. It's not like when you're at the bottom. Then, all of a sudden more doors open up because there are so many more players better than what you already have."

Weak teams traditionally have bettered themselves through the college draft. Ironically, after years of middle first-round picks that reflected their middle-of-the-pack standing, this season the Bullets won't benefit if they stay mired in the nether regions.

That's because of a 1984 deal that brought guard Tom Sewell from the Philadelphia 76ers. Originally the trade cost the Bullets their first-round pick in the 1988 draft; they recouped a first-round pick from the 76ers in the trade in which they acquired Malone, but it is the lower of the two picks.

"When we agreed to that {taking the lower pick}, we never dreamed that we weren't going to succeed with what we had; we never thought about losing," Ferry said. "If you go to hindsight, though, almost everything changes.

"Ask me whether I'd rather have Cliff Robinson and Gus Williams than Melvin Turpin {whom the Bullets gave up in exchange} and I'd say yes. Or if I'd rather have Moses Malone and Terry Catledge, knowing how things turned out with Jeff Ruland -- yes again. The first year after we traded Rick Mahorn for Dan Roundfield, everyone said we got the better of the deal; Detroit was trying to give Mahorn away then."

Today with the Pistons, Mahorn is an integral part of a very good team. The same could be said for Denver guard Michael Adams and forward Jay Vincent, two players traded to the Nuggets by the Bullets just before this season.

In response, Ferry said that none of them "are playing any better than they did when they were with us. The difference is that they're in winning situations, with people who can cover up their liabilities."

The chief liabilities of this season's Bullets are the same as those of a year ago: poor perimeter shooting and even poorer rebounding. Early this season, Loughery also expressed disappointment about the present team's leadership. In the offseason, a number of trades were discussed, with the addition of players like Lafayette Lever, Ricky Pierce and Purvis Short mentioned.

Some potential trades fell through, Ferry said, because "one move that might have triggered another and then another didn't happen." Even so, he added, "we didn't turn down any trades that we thought would help our team."

Despite carrying the same overall weaknesses into the current year, Ferry said he thought the addition of King would make the Bullets stronger overall.

He indicated he has not given up hope for this season.

"We may get it together, function as close to a team as we can and then find out that we're not good enough," he said. "But if we do get it together, I think everyone will see that we're much better than the way we've played so far. When things were going bad I kept telling Kevin to expect a miracle . . . I really think that luck is a major part of this business. If you don't think so, then you're only fooling yourself."