1995–96 NBA season
|League||National Basketball Association|
|Duration||November 3, 1995 – April 21, 1996
April 25 – June 2, 1996 (Playoffs)
June 5 – 16, 1996 (Finals)
|Number of teams||29|
|TV partner(s)||NBC, TBS, TNT|
|Top draft pick||Joe Smith|
|Picked by||Golden State Warriors|
|Top seed||Chicago Bulls|
|Season MVP||Michael Jordan (Chicago)|
|Top scorer||Michael Jordan (Chicago)|
|Eastern champions||Chicago Bulls|
|Eastern runners-up||Orlando Magic|
|Western champions||Seattle SuperSonics|
|Western runners-up||Utah Jazz|
|Finals champions||Chicago Bulls|
|Finals MVP||Michael Jordan (Chicago)|
The 1995–96 NBA season was the 50th season of the National Basketball Association (NBA), although the league didn't celebrate this anniversary until the following season. The season ended with the Chicago Bulls defeating the Seattle SuperSonics 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals to win the franchise's 4th championship.
1995 NBA lockout
|Team||1994-95 coach||1995-96 coach|
|Boston Celtics||Chris Ford||M.L. Carr|
|Detroit Pistons||Don Chaney||Doug Collins|
|Golden State Warriors||Bob Lanier||Rick Adelman|
|Miami Heat||Alvin Gentry||Pat Riley|
|New York Knicks||Pat Riley||Don Nelson|
|Toronto Raptors||Expansion||Brendan Malone|
|Vancouver Grizzlies||Brian Winters|
|Team||Outgoing coach||Incoming coach|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||Bill Blair||Flip Saunders|
|New York Knicks||Don Nelson||Jeff Van Gundy|
|Phoenix Suns||Paul Westphal||Cotton Fitzsimmons|
- The Chicago Bulls finished the season with a combined regular season and postseason record of 87-13, the best in NBA history. Prior to the start of the NBA Playoffs, the Bulls shocked the basketball world by wearing black socks, claiming this as redemption to the city's most infamous sports moment, the Black Sox Scandal of 1919. The socks would become a Bulls playoff tradition, which other teams soon follow. However, this wasn't the first time a team or a particular player wore black socks; Orlando Magic forward Dennis Scott wore black socks while competing in the AT&T Three-Point Shootout at NBA All-Star Weekend.
- The NHL's Detroit Red Wings who won 62 games and dominated their own league that year, surpassed all team records except for the Seattle SuperSonics and the Chicago Bulls. They were 3rd overall, 4th in home wins, and tied 2nd in road wins.
- The Miami Heat hired Pat Riley as the team's new head coach and president of basketball operations. Riley's first moves were the acquisition of Alonzo Mourning from the Charlotte Hornets for Glen Rice, and the trade for Tim Hardaway from the Golden State Warriors for Kevin Willis. Hardaway and Mourning would turn the struggling Heat into contenders in the coming seasons.
- NBA debuts four future All-Stars Kevin Garnett, Michael Finley, Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse. Toronto Raptors point guard Damon Stoudamire won Rookie of the Year.
- Michael Jordan became the only player to win the NBA Finals MVP Award at least four times. He would also become the second player to earn the MVP treble since Willis Reed in 1970, having won All-Star, Regular Season and Finals MVP in the same season; an achievement he also accomplished in 1998, and later on by Shaquille O'Neal in 2000.
- Michael Jordan won his NBA record 8th scoring title.
- The Boston Celtics played their first game at the Fleet Center (now TD Garden).
- The NBA marks its return to Canada after almost 50 years as the Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies make their debuts as the NBA's 28th and 29th franchises. The Grizzlies began play at GM Place (now Rogers Arena) as a member of the Midwest Division while the Raptors set up shop at SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) as a member of the Central Division. In addition to that, both franchises emerge victorious in their debut games.
- The 1996 NBA All-Star Game was played at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, with the East defeating the West 129–118. Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls was named the game's MVP. Los Angeles Clippers guard Brent Barry won the Slam Dunk Contest.
- Referees were locked out to begin the season, but reached an agreement to return to work in December 1995.
- Magic Johnson comes out of retirement to play in 32 games for Los Angeles before retiring again at the end of the season.
- The Philadelphia 76ers play their final game at The Spectrum. At the time, it was named the CoreStates Spectrum; the CoreStates name was later added on their future home arena under construction at the time. The 76ers would return to the renamed Wachovia Spectrum for a farewell game in the 2008–09 season before its eventual demolition.
- Hakeem Olajuwon passes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leader in blocked shots in the last game of the season. John Stockton also became the all-time steals and assists leader, passing Maurice Cheeks and Magic Johnson, respectively. Robert Parish also passed Abdul-Jabbar for the most games played in the NBA.
- Portland Trail Blazers' longest sellout streak by any team in professional sports ends at 814, during which the team played its first season at higher-capacity Rose Garden.
- The Sacramento Kings first playoff appearance since the 1986 NBA Playoffs.
|x-New York Knicks||47||35||.573||13||26–15||21–20||16–8|
|New Jersey Nets||30||52||.366||30||20–21||10–31||8–17|
|y-San Antonio Spurs||59||23||.720||–||33–8||26–15||19–5|
|x-Los Angeles Lakers||53||29||.646||11.0||30–11||23–18||17–7|
|x-Portland Trail Blazers||44||38||.537||20.0||26–15||18–23||11–13|
|Golden State Warriors||36||46||.439||28.0||23–18||13–28||7–17|
|Los Angeles Clippers||29||53||.354||35.0||19–22||10–31||7–17|
|2||y-San Antonio Spurs||59||23||.720||5|
|4||x-Los Angeles Lakers||53||29||.646||11|
|6||x-Portland Trail Blazers||44||38||.537||20|
|9||Golden State Warriors||36||46||.439||28|
|11||Los Angeles Clippers||29||53||.354||35|
|5||x-New York Knicks||47||35||.573||25|
|12||New Jersey Nets||30||52||.366||42|
- z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs
- c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs
- y – Clinched division title
- x – Clinched playoff spot
Teams in bold advanced to the next round. The numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, and the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not necessarily belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record; teams enjoying the home advantage are shown in italics.
|First Round||Conference Semifinals||Conference Finals||NBA Finals|
|Points per game||Michael Jordan||Chicago Bulls||30.4|
|Rebounds per game||Dennis Rodman||Chicago Bulls||14.9|
|Assists per game||John Stockton||Utah Jazz||11.2|
|Steals per game||Gary Payton||Seattle SuperSonics||2.9|
|Blocks per game||Dikembe Mutombo||Denver Nuggets||4.5|
|FG%||Gheorghe Muresan||Washington Bullets||58.4|
|FT%||Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf||Denver Nuggets||93.0|
|3FG%||Tim Legler||Washington Bullets||52.2|
- Most Valuable Player: Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
- Rookie of the Year: Damon Stoudamire, Toronto Raptors
- Defensive Player of the Year: Gary Payton, Seattle SuperSonics
- Sixth Man of the Year: Toni Kukoč, Chicago Bulls
- Most Improved Player: Gheorghe Muresan, Washington Bullets
- Coach of the Year: Phil Jackson, Chicago Bulls
- All-NBA First Team:
- All-NBA Second Team:
- All-NBA Third Team:
- NBA All-Defensive First Team:
- NBA All-Defensive Second Team:
- All-NBA Rookie First Team:
- All-NBA Rookie Second Team:
Note: All information on this page were obtained on the History section on NBA.com
Player of the week
The following players were named NBA Player of the Week.
Player of the month
The following players were named NBA Player of the Month.
|November||Anfernee Hardaway (Orlando Magic)|
|December||Scottie Pippen (Chicago Bulls)|
|January||Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)|
|February||Charles Barkley (Phoenix Suns)|
|March||David Robinson (San Antonio Spurs)|
|April||Juwan Howard (Washington Wizards)|
Rookie of the month
The following players were named NBA Rookie of the Month.
|November||Damon Stoudamire (Toronto Raptors)|
|December||Joe Smith (Golden State Warriors)|
|January||Damon Stoudamire (Toronto Raptors)|
|February||Joe Smith (Golden State Warriors)|
|March||Jerry Stackhouse (Philadelphia 76ers)|
|April||Arvydas Sabonis (Portland Trail Blazers)|
Coach of the month
The following coaches were named NBA Coach of the Month.
|November||Garry St. Jean (Sacramento Kings)|
|December||Mike Fratello (Cleveland Cavaliers)|
|January||Phil Jackson (Chicago Bulls)|
|February||George Karl (Seattle SuperSonics)|
|March||Bob Hill (San Antonio Spurs)|
|April||Phil Jackson (Chicago Bulls)|
- Friend, Tom (June 15, 1995). "Stern Says Labor Deal Could Be Struck Soon". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved November 17, 2011.
- Brown, Clifton (June 13, 1995). "NBA Talks Resume as Lockout Looms". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved November 17, 2011.
- "NBA Lockout Chronology". CNN Sports Illustrated. Time Warner Company. January 6, 1999. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
- "10 Game-Changing Pro Sports Lockouts and Strikes – National Basketball Association (1995)". CNBC.com. CNBC LLC. Retrieved November 17, 2011.