Season by Season
1995 to 1996
72-10: The Bulls Dominate
It wasn't a perfect season for the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls - after all,
they did lose 10 games in the regular season and three in their playoff
run to the team's fourth title in six years. But it came pretty close.
It was an exciting year in the NBA, as the league welcomed two new teams,
Toronto and Vancouver, into the fold and one familiar face, Magic Johnson,
returned to the court after a four-year retirement. Atlanta coach Lenny
Wilkens continued his winning ways, surpassing the 1,000 career victory
mark. But overall it was a Bull market, as the Michael Jordan-led Chicago
team captivated the sports world with their historic run, winning 72
regular-season games to shatter the 1971-72 Lakers' mark of 69 and following
that with a Finals victory over the Seattle SuperSonics in six games.
In his first full season since returning to the NBA, Jordan won his
eighth scoring title to break Wilt Chamberlain's record of seven and
also came away with an elusive triple crown: the MVP awards for the
regular season, All-Star Game and NBA Finals.
Scottie Pippen and the Bulls capped their record 72-win regular season by soaring past the Sonics in the Finals.
Other highlights of the season included Utah's John Stockton becoming
the NBA's all-time steals leader as well as winning his ninth assists
title in a row, breaking Bob Cousy's record of eight. Robert Parish
took over as the all-time leader in games played and stretched his career
to 20 years, only the second NBA player (after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)
to reach that plateau. And there was Magic again in Los Angeles, as
Johnson brought back his trademark smile and no-look passes at midseason
and reincarnated himself as a power forward.
The NBA became a truly international league in 1995-96 with the birth
of the Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies. Canada's teams began
the season with a bang, as both won their first games to start off on
the right foot. While both inevitably suffered the normal growing pains
that affect all new franchises, there were signs that the future could
There were some doubters when Toronto 's Isiah Thomas used the team's
first ever draft choice on 5-10 d Damon Stoudamire, but Thomas, after
all, is a pretty good judge of point guard talent. Stoudamire's selection
was greeted by boos by the locals attending the 1995 Draft in Toronto,
but he soon won them over with a magnificent rookie of the year season-long
performance for the Raptors. It took Vancouver rookie Bryant "Big
Country" Reeves a little longer to get adjusted to the NBA, but
he came on strong in the second half of the season and was a huge fan
favorite, as well.
NBA History Season by Season
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