1996–97 NBA season: Wikis


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1996–97 NBA season
League National Basketball Association
Sport Basketball
TV partner/s NBC, TBS
Regular season
Season MVP Karl Malone (Utah)
Top scorer Michael Jordan (Chicago)
Eastern champions Chicago Bulls
  Eastern runners-up Miami Heat
Western champions Utah Jazz
  Western runners-up Houston Rockets
Finals champions Chicago Bulls
  Runners-up Utah Jazz
Finals MVP Michael Jordan (Chicago)
NBA seasons

← 1995–96

1997–98 →

The 1996–97 NBA season was the 51st season of the National Basketball Association. The league used this season to mark its 50th anniversary, which included the unveiling of the league's list of its 50 greatest players. This particular year marked the debut of Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Jermaine O'Neal. The season ended with the Chicago Bulls defeating the Utah Jazz 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals to win the franchise's 5th championship.


Notable occurrences

  • The Chicago Bulls narrowly missed back-to-back 70 win seasons, going 69-13, tying the second best all-time record (with the 1971–72 Los Angeles Lakers season). In the final game of the regular season, the Bulls lost to the Knicks 103-101 as Scottie Pippen missed a three-pointer that would have given the Bulls back-to-back 70 win seasons. This loss also prevented the Bulls from tying the best home record of 40-1, set by the '85-'86 Boston Celtics, finishing 39-2 at the United Center.
  • The 1997 NBA All-Star Game was played at Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, with the East defeating the West 132-120. Glen Rice of the Charlotte Hornets was named the game's MVP.
  • The Philadelphia 76ers played their first game at the Core States Center' (later First Union Center, now Wachovia Center).
  • Allen Iverson set a rookie record scoring with 40 points or more in 5 straight games.
  • Due to extensive renovations at Oakland Arena, the Golden State Warriors played their home games at the San Jose Arena (now known as the HP Pavilion at San Jose, home of the NHL's San Jose Sharks).
  • Dennis Rodman was suspended for 11 games after kicking a cameraman in a road game against the Minnesota Timberwolves after tripping over him.
  • Following a last-second three-point shot by John Stockton in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, the Utah Jazz made their first ever NBA Finals appearance.
  • In Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Lakers, Karl Malone hit all 18 of his free-throw attempts, setting a playoff record for most attempts without a miss, since broken by Paul Pierce.
  • After seven seasons of futility, the Minnesota Timberwolves finally made a postseason appearance, becoming the last of the 1988 and 1989 expansion teams to do so. In addition, their expansion-franchise counterparts (Miami, Orlando, and Charlotte) also made the playoffs.
  • The Atlanta Hawks played their final season at The Omni Coliseum.

Final standings

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Miami Heat 61 21 .744 -
New York Knicks 57 25 .695 4
Orlando Magic 45 37 .549 16
Washington Bullets 44 38 .537 17
New Jersey Nets 26 56 .317 35
Philadelphia 76ers 22 60 .268 39
Boston Celtics 15 67 .183 46
Central Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Chicago Bulls C 69 13 .841 -
Atlanta Hawks 56 26 .683 13
Charlotte Hornets 54 28 .659 15
Detroit Pistons 54 28 .659 15
Cleveland Cavaliers 42 40 .512 27
Indiana Pacers 39 43 .476 30
Milwaukee Bucks 33 49 .402 36
Toronto Raptors 30 52 .366 39

Western Conference

Midwest Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Utah Jazz 64 18 .780 -
Houston Rockets 57 25 .695 7
Minnesota Timberwolves 40 42 .488 24
Dallas Mavericks 24 58 .293 40
Denver Nuggets 21 61 .256 43
San Antonio Spurs 20 62 .244 44
Vancouver Grizzlies 14 68 .171 50
Pacific Division
Team W L PCT. GB
Seattle SuperSonics 57 25 .695 -
Los Angeles Lakers 56 26 .683 1
Portland Trail Blazers 49 33 .598 8
Phoenix Suns 40 42 .488 17
Los Angeles Clippers 36 46 .439 21
Sacramento Kings 34 48 .415 23
Golden State Warriors 30 52 .366 27

C - NBA Champions

Statistics leaders

Category Player Team Stat
Points per game Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls 29.6
Rebounds per game Dennis Rodman Chicago Bulls 16.1
Assists per game Mark Jackson Indiana Pacers 11.4
Steals per game Mookie Blaylock Atlanta Hawks 2.7
Blocks per game Shawn Bradley New Jersey Nets 3.4
FG% Gheorghe Muresan Washington Bullets 60.4
FT% Mark Price Golden State Warriors 90.6
3FG% Glen Rice Charlotte Hornets 47.0

NBA awards

Note: All information on this page was obtained from the History section of NBA.com

See also



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