1996–97 Los Angeles Lakers season

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1996–97 Los Angeles Lakers season
Kobe Bryant's rookie season
Byron Scott's final season
Shaquille O'Neal's first season with the Lakers
Derek Fisher's rookie season
Robert Horry's first season with the Lakers
Head coach Del Harris
Owner(s) Jerry Buss
Arena Great Western Forum
Results
Record 56–26 (.683)
Place Division: 2nd (Pacific)
Conference: 4th (Western)
Playoff finish Conference Semifinals
(Eliminated by Jazz 1–4)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
Television Fox Sports West, KCAL
Radio AM 570 KLAC
< 1995–96 1997–98 >

The 1996–97 NBA season was the Los Angeles Lakers' 49th season in the National Basketball Association, and 37th in the city of Los Angeles.[1] During the offseason, the Lakers signed free agent All-Star center Shaquille O'Neal to a seven-year, $120 million deal,[2] and acquired high school star Kobe Bryant from the Charlotte Hornets, who selected him with the 13th pick in the 1996 NBA draft.[3] Other offseason acquisitions included signing former Lakers guard Byron Scott, and free agents Jerome Kersey and Sean Rooks. In January, they traded Cedric Ceballos back to the Phoenix Suns for Robert Horry, who won championships with the Houston Rockets. O'Neal finished fourth in the league in scoring averaging 26.2 points per game, but only played just 51 games due to injury.

During the final month of the season in a game against the Dallas Mavericks on April 6, the Lakers held the Mavs to just two points in the third quarter in an 87–80 win. It was the fewest points in a quarter of a game in NBA history.[4] The Lakers finished second in the Pacific Division with a 56–26 record. O'Neal and Eddie Jones were both selected for the 1997 NBA All-Star Game. However, O'Neal did not play due to injury. Bryant was selected to the All-Rookie Second Team. He also won the Slam Dunk Contest during the All-Star Weekend in Cleveland.

In the first round of the postseason, the Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in four games. However, in the semifinals, they lost in five games to the Utah Jazz. Following the season, Scott retired and Kersey signed as a free agent with the Seattle SuperSonics.

Draft picks[edit]

Main article: 1996 NBA draft
Round Pick Player Position Nationality College
1 24 Derek Fisher Guard  United States Arkansas–Little Rock

Before he was chosen as the 13th overall draft pick by the Charlotte Hornets in 1996, the 17-year-old Bryant had made a lasting impression on then-Lakers general manager Jerry West, who immediately foresaw potential in Bryant's basketball ability during pre-draft workouts. He went on to state that Bryant's workouts against former Lakers players and then assistant coaches Michael Cooper and Larry Drew were the best he had ever seen. Immediately after the draft, Bryant expressed that he did not wish to play for the Hornets and wanted to play for the Lakers instead.[5] Fifteen days later, West traded his starting center, Vlade Divac to the Hornets for the young Kobe Bryant.

Roster[edit]

Los Angeles Lakers roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
PF 43 United States Blount, Corie 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 240 lb (109 kg) Cincinnati
SG 8 United States Bryant, Kobe 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 205 lb (93 kg) Lower Merion HS (PA)
PF 41 United States Campbell, Elden 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 215 lb (98 kg) Clemson
PG 2 United States Fisher, Derek 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Arkansas-Little Rock
SF 5 United States Horry, Robert 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Alabama
SG 6 United States Jones, Eddie 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Temple
SF 12 United States Kersey, Jerome 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 215 lb (98 kg) Longwood University
C 40 United States Knight, Travis 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 235 lb (107 kg) Connecticut
SG 24 United States McCloud, George 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 205 lb (93 kg) Florida State
C 34 United States O'Neal, Shaquille 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) 325 lb (147 kg) LSU
C 45 United States Rooks, Sean 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 250 lb (113 kg) Arizona
SG 4 United States Scott, Byron 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 195 lb (88 kg) Arizona State
PG 9 United States Van Exel, Nick 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 170 lb (77 kg) Cincinnati
Head coach

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

RosterTransactions

Regular season[edit]

Kobe's rookie season[edit]

During his first season, Bryant mostly came off the bench behind guards Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel. Initially, he played limited minutes, but as the season continued, he began to see some more playing time. He earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan-favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest.

Season standings[edit]

Pacific Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Seattle SuperSonics 57 25 .695 31–10 26–15 16–8
x-Los Angeles Lakers 56 26 .683 1 31–10 25–16 18–6
x-Portland Trail Blazers 49 33 .598 8 29–12 20–21 15–9
x-Phoenix Suns 40 42 .488 17 25–16 15–26 13–11
x-Los Angeles Clippers 36 46 .439 21 21–20 15–26 10–14
Sacramento Kings 34 48 .415 23 22–19 12–29 8–16
Golden State Warriors 30 52 .366 27 18–23 12–29 4–20
# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 c-Utah Jazz 64 18 .780
2 y-Seattle SuperSonics 57 25 .695 7
3 x-Houston Rockets 57 25 .695 7
4 x-Los Angeles Lakers 56 26 .683 8
5 x-Portland Trail Blazers 49 33 .598 15
6 x-Minnesota Timberwolves 40 42 .488 24
7 x-Phoenix Suns 40 42 .488 24
8 x-Los Angeles Clippers 36 46 .439 28
9 Sacramento Kings 34 48 .415 30
10 Golden State Warriors 30 52 .366 34
11 Dallas Mavericks 24 58 .293 40
12 Denver Nuggets 21 61 .256 43
13 San Antonio Spurs 20 62 .244 44
14 Vancouver Grizzlies 14 68 .171 50

Record vs. opponents[edit]

1996-97 NBA Records
Team ATL BOS CHA CHI CLE DAL DEN DET GSW HOU IND LAC LAL MIA MIL MIN NJN NYK ORL PHI PHO POR SAC SAS SEA TOR UTA VAN WAS
Atlanta 3–1 1–3 1–3 3–1 2–0 1–1 1–3 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–0 1–1 1–2 4–0 2–0 3–1 1–3 3–1 4–0 1–1 2–0 2–0 2–0 1–1 4–0 1–1 2–0 2–1
Boston 1–3 0–4 0–4 1–2 1–1 1–1 0–4 1–1 0–2 1–2 0–2 1–1 0–4 1–3 0–2 0–4 0–4 0–4 1–3 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 0–2 3–1 0–2 0–2 0–4
Charlotte 3–1 4–0 0–4 3–1 1–1 2–0 2–2 2–0 2–0 2–2 1–1 1–1 1–2 2–2 2–0 4–0 3–1 1–2 4–0 1–1 0–2 2–0 2–0 2–0 2–2 0–2 2–0 3–1
Chicago 3–1 4–0 4–0 3–1 2–0 2–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 4–0 2–0 1–1 2–2 4–0 2–0 3–1 2–2 3–0 4–0 2–0 2–0 2–0 2–0 2–0 3–1 1–1 2–0 2–1
Cleveland 1–3 2–1 1–3 1–3 2–0 1–1 2–2 1–1 0–2 3–1 2–0 1–1 0–4 2–2 2–0 4–0 1–3 2–2 3–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 0–2 0–2 3–1 1–1 2–0 1–3
Dallas 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 3–1 0–2 0–4 0–4 1–1 2–2 0–4 0–2 0–2 1–3 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–3 1–3 2–2 1–3 1–3 0–2 1–3 3–1 0–2
Denver 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 1–3 0–2 1–3 1–3 0–2 1–3 0–4 0–2 1–1 0–4 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 2–2 0–4 2–2 2–2 0–4 1–1 0–4 3–1 1–1
Detroit 3–1 4–0 2–2 1–3 2–2 2–0 2–0 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–0 1–1 0–4 3–1 2–0 4–0 1–2 2–2 2–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 3–1 1–1 2–0 4–0
Golden State 0–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 4–0 3–1 0–2 0–4 1–1 1–3 0–4 0–2 1–1 1–3 2–0 0–2 1–1 2–0 0–4 2–2 1–3 4–0 0–4 2–0 0–4 3–1 0–2
Houston 1–1 2–0 0–2 1–1 2–0 4–0 3–1 1–1 4–0 1–1 3–1 3–1 0–2 1–1 4–0 2–0 1–1 0–2 2–0 2–2 2–2 4–0 3–1 3–1 1–1 2–2 3–1 2–0
Indiana 1–3 2–1 2–2 0–4 1–3 1–1 2–0 1–3 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–3 2–2 2–0 2–2 1–3 1–3 3–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 4–0 0–2 2–0 1–3
L.A. Clippers 0–2 2–0 1–1 0–2 0–2 2–2 3–1 0–2 3–1 1–3 0–2 2–2 0–2 2–0 1–3 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 2–2 0–4 2–2 4–0 1–3 2–0 1–3 4–0 0–2
L.A. Lakers 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 4–0 4–0 1–1 4–0 1–3 1–1 2–2 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 4–0 1–3 4–0 2–2 3–1 1–1 1–3 4–0 2–0
Miami 2–1 4–0 2–1 2–2 4–0 2–0 2–0 4–0 2–0 2–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 4–0 1–1 3–1 1–3 2–2 3–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 2–0 0–2 3–1 0–2 2–0 3–1
Milwaukee 0–4 3–1 2–2 0–4 2–2 2–0 1–1 1–3 1–1 1–1 2–2 0–2 0–2 0–4 0–2 2–1 1–2 2–2 3–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 1–1 3–1 1–1 2–0 1–3
Minnesota 0–2 2–0 0–2 0–2 0–2 3–1 4–0 0–2 3–1 0–4 0–2 3–1 1–3 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 3–1 2–2 0–4 4–0 0–4 1–1 1–3 4–0 1–1
New Jersey 1–3 4–0 0–4 1–3 0–4 1–1 1–1 0–4 0–2 0–2 2–2 1–1 0–2 1–3 1–2 0–2 2–2 1–3 2–2 1–1 0–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 0–3 0–2 2–0 1–3
New York 3–1 4–0 1–3 2–2 3–1 1–1 2–0 2–1 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–1 1–1 2–2 3–1 3–2 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–0 0–2 3–0 1–1 2–0 4–0
Orlando 1–3 4–0 2–1 0–3 2–2 1–1 2–0 2–2 1–1 2–0 3–1 1–1 1–1 2–2 2–2 1–1 3–1 1–3 2–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 4–0 0–2 1–1 1–3
Philadelphia 0–4 3–1 0–4 0–4 0–3 0–2 1–1 1–2 0–2 0–2 0–3 1–1 0–2 1–3 1–3 1–1 2–2 2–3 2–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 0–2 1–3 0–2 2–0 1–3
Phoenix 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 3–1 2–2 2–0 4–0 2–2 1–1 2–2 0–4 0–2 1–1 1–3 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–3 4–0 3–1 2–2 0–2 1–3 2–2 1–1
Portland 0–2 1–1 2–0 0–2 1–1 3–1 4–0 1–1 2–2 2–2 1–1 4–0 3–1 1–1 2–0 2–2 2–0 1–1 0–2 1–1 3–1 2–2 4–0 1–3 0–2 2–2 4–0 0–2
Sacramento 0–2 2–0 0–2 0–2 0–2 2–2 2–2 1–1 3–1 0–4 1–1 2–2 0–4 0–2 2–0 4–0 1–1 0–2 1–1 2–0 0–4 2–2 3–1 1–3 1–1 0–4 4–0 0–2
San Antonio 0–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 2–0 3–1 2–2 0–2 0–4 1–3 1–1 0–4 2–2 0–2 1–1 0–4 0–2 0–2 1–1 1–1 1–3 0–4 1–3 0–4 1–1 1–3 1–3 0–2
Seattle 1–1 2–0 0–2 0–2 2–0 3–1 4–0 1–1 4–0 1–3 1–1 3–1 1–3 2–0 1–1 4–0 1–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 2–2 3–1 3–1 4–0 2–0 1–3 4–0 2–0
Toronto 0–4 1–3 2–2 1–3 1–3 2–0 1–1 1–3 0–2 1–1 0–4 0–2 1–1 1–3 1–3 1–1 3–0 0–3 0–4 3–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 2–2
Utah 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 3–1 4–0 1–1 4–0 2–2 2–0 3–1 3–1 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 2–0 3–1 2–2 4–0 3–1 3–1 1–1 4–0 2–0
Vancouver 0–2 2–0 0–2 0–2 0–2 1–3 1–3 0–2 1–3 1–3 0–2 0–4 0–4 0–2 0–2 0–4 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–2 2–2 0–4 0–4 3–1 0–4 1–1 0–4 1–1
Washington 1–2 4–0 1–3 1–2 3–1 2–0 1–1 0–4 2–0 0–2 3–1 2–0 0–2 1–3 3–1 1–1 3–1 0–4 3–1 3–1 1–1 2–0 2–0 2–0 0–2 2–2 0–2 1–1

Game log[edit]

Playoffs[edit]

West First Round[edit]

(4) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (5) Portland Trail Blazers Last Playoff Meeting: 1992 Western Conference First Round (Portland won 3–1)

Game Date Home Score Visitor Score Record

(LAL-POR)

Venue Recap Television
1 April 25 L.A. Lakers 95 Portland 77 1-0 Great Western Forum, Los Angeles 1 TNT
2 April 27 L.A. Lakers 107 Portland 93 2-0 Great Western Forum, Los Angeles, California 2 NBC
3 April 30 Portland 98 L.A. Lakers 90 2-1 Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon 3 TNT
4 May 2 Portland 91 L.A. Lakers 95 3-1 Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon 4 TNT
L.A. Lakers win series 3–1

West Conference Semifinals[edit]

(1) Utah Jazz vs. (4) Los Angeles Lakers Last Playoff Meeting: 1988 Western Conference Semifinals (Los Angeles won 4-3)

Game Date Home Score Visitor Score Record

(UTAH-LAL)

Venue Recap Television
1 May 4 Utah 93 Los Angeles 77 1-0 Delta Center, Salt Lake City 1 NBC
2 May 6 Utah 103 Los Angeles 101 2-0 Delta Center, Salt Lake City 2
3 May 8 Los Angeles 104 Utah 84 2-1 Great Western Forum, Los Angeles 3
4 May 10 Los Angeles 95 Utah 110 3-1 Great Western Forum, Los Angeles 4 NBC
5 May 12 Utah 98 Los Angeles 93 4-1 Delta Center, Salt Lake City 5 TNT
Utah wins series 4–1

Player statistics[edit]

Note: GP= Games played; REB= Rebounds; AST= Assists; STL = Steals; BLK = Blocks; PTS = Points; AVG = Average

Season[edit]

Player GP REB AST STL BLK PTS AVG
Nick Van Exel 79 2.9 8.5 0.9 0.1 1206 15.3
Derek Fisher 80 1.2 1.5 0.5 0.1 309 3.9
Shaquille O'Neal 51 12.5 3.1 0.9 2.9 1336 26.2

Playoffs[edit]

Awards and records[edit]

Transactions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1996-97 Los Angeles Lakers
  2. ^ "Lakers Get O'Neal In 7-Year Contract". New York Times. July 19, 1996. 
  3. ^ "Divac Agrees to a Trade With Charlotte". New York Times. July 2, 1996. 
  4. ^ "Mavs Score Just 2 Points In a Quarter". New York Times. April 7, 1997. Retrieved February 28, 2017. 
  5. ^ "With the Draft Over, Trading Season Begins". New York Times. June 28, 1996.