1995–96 NBA season
League National Basketball Association
Sport Basketball
TV partner/s NBC, TBS, TNT
Regular season
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
Runners-up Seattle SuperSonics
Finals MVP Michael Jordan (Chicago)

The 1995–96 NBA season was the 50th season of the National Basketball Association, 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.

Notable occurrences

  • The Chicago Bulls finish 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 guard Dennis Scott wore black socks while competing in the AT&T Three-Point Shootout at NBA All-Star Weekend.
  • Michael Jordan became the only player to win the NBA Finals MVP Award at least four times.
  • Michael Jordan won his NBA record 8th scoring title.
  • The Boston Celtics play 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 while the Raptors set up shop at SkyDome (now Rogers Centre). 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.
  • 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 (then Corestates Spectrum).
  • Hakeem Olajuwon passes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leader in blocked shots in the last game of the season.
  • 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.

Final standings

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Orlando Magic 60 22 .732 -
New York Knicks 47 35 .573 13
Miami Heat 42 40 .512 18
Washington Bullets 39 43 .476 21
Boston Celtics 33 49 .402 27
New Jersey Nets 30 52 .366 30
Philadelphia 76ers 18 64 .220 42
Central Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Chicago Bulls C 72 10 .878 -
Indiana Pacers 52 30 .634 20
Cleveland Cavaliers 47 35 .573 25
Atlanta Hawks 46 36 .561 26
Detroit Pistons 46 36 .561 26
Charlotte Hornets 41 41 .500 31
Milwaukee Bucks 25 57 .305 47
Toronto Raptors 21 61 .256 51

Western Conference

Midwest Division
Team W L PCT. GB
San Antonio Spurs 59 23 .720 -
Utah Jazz 55 27 .671 4
Houston Rockets 48 34 .585 11
Denver Nuggets 35 47 .427 24
Dallas Mavericks 26 56 .317 33
Minnesota Timberwolves 26 56 .317 33
Vancouver Grizzlies 15 67 .183 44
Pacific Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Seattle SuperSonics 64 18 .780 -
Los Angeles Lakers 53 29 .646 11
Portland Trail Blazers 44 38 .537 20
Phoenix Suns 41 41 .500 23
Sacramento Kings 39 43 .476 25
Golden State Warriors 36 46 .439 28
Los Angeles Clippers 29 53 .354 35

C - NBA Champions

Statistics leaders

Category Player Team Stat
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

NBA awards

Yearly awards

  • 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:
    • F - Karl Malone, Utah Jazz
    • F - Scottie Pippen, Chicago Bulls
    • C - David Robinson, San Antonio Spurs
    • G - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
    • G - Anfernee Hardaway, Orlando Magic
  • All-NBA Second Team:
    • F - Shawn Kemp, Seattle SuperSonics
    • F - Grant Hill, Detroit Pistons
    • C - Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets
    • G - Gary Payton, Seattle SuperSonics
    • G - John Stockton, Utah Jazz
  • All-NBA Third Team:
    • F - Charles Barkley, Phoenix Suns
    • F - Juwan Howard, Washington Bullets
    • C - Shaquille O'Neal, Orlando Magic
    • G - Mitch Richmond, Sacramento Kings
    • G - Reggie Miller, Indiana Pacers
  • NBA All-Defensive First Team:
    • F - Dennis Rodman, Chicago Bulls
    • F - Scottie Pippen, Chicago Bulls
    • C - David Robinson, San Antonio Spurs
    • G - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
    • G - Gary Payton, Seattle SuperSonics
  • NBA All-Defensive Second Team:
    • F - Horace Grant, Orlando Magic
    • F - Derrick McKey, Indiana Pacers
    • C - Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets
    • G - Bobby Phills, Cleveland Cavaliers
    • G - Mookie Blaylock, Atlanta Hawks
  • All-NBA Rookie First Team:
    • Damon Stoudamire, Toronto Raptors
    • Joe Smith, Golden State Warriors
    • Jerry Stackhouse, Philadelphia 76ers
    • Antonio McDyess, Denver Nuggets
    • Arvydas Sabonis, Portland Trail Blazers
    • Michael Finley, Phoenix Suns
  • All-NBA Rookie Second Team:
    • Rasheed Wallace, Washington Bullets
    • Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves
    • Bryant Reeves, Vancouver Grizzlies
    • Brent Barry, Los Angeles Clippers
    • Tyus Edney, Sacramento Kings

Player of the week

The following players were named NBA Player of the Week.

Week Player
Nov. 3 – Nov. 12 Anfernee Hardaway (Orlando Magic)
Nov. 13 – Nov. 19 Cedric Ceballos (Los Angeles Lakers)
Nov. 20 – Nov. 26 Shawn Kemp (Seattle SuperSonics)
Nov. 27 – Dec. 3 Terrell Brandon (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Dec. 4 – Dec. 10 Dikembe Mutombo (Denver Nuggets)
Dec. 11 – Dec. 17 Scottie Pippen (Chicago Bulls)
Dec. 18 – Dec. 24 Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)
Dec. 25 – Dec. 30 Karl Malone (Utah Jazz)
Jan. 2 – Jan. 7 Clifford R. Robinson (Portland Trail Blazers)
Jan. 8 – Jan. 14 David Robinson (San Antonio Spurs)
Jan. 15 – Jan. 21 Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)
Jan. 22 – Jan. 28 Reggie Miller (Indiana Pacers)
Jan. 29 – Feb. 4 Jason Kidd (Dallas Mavericks)
Feb. 13 – Feb. 18 Armon Gilliam (New Jersey Nets)
Feb. 19 – Feb. 25 Shawn Kemp (Seattle SuperSonics)
Feb. 26 – Mar. 3 (tie) Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets)
Feb. 26 – Mar. 3 (tie) Shaquille O'Neal (Orlando Magic)
Mar. 4 – Mar. 10 Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)
Mar. 11 – Mar. 17 Grant Hill (Detroit Pistons)
Mar. 18 – Mar. 24 Chris Gatling (Miami Heat)
Mar. 25 – Mar. 31 Arvydas Sabonis (Portland Trail Blazers)
Apr. 1 – Apr. 7 Kevin Johnson (Phoenix Suns)

Player of the month

The following players were named NBA Player of the Month.

Month Player
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.

Month Rookie
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.

Month Coach
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)
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