1996-97 NBA Season
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1996%E2%80%9397 NBA Season
1996-97 NBA season
LeagueNational Basketball Association
SportBasketball
DurationNovember 1, 1996 - April 20, 1997
April 24 - May 29, 1997 (Playoffs)
June 1 - 13, 1997 (Finals)
Number of teams29
TV partner(s)NBC, TBS, TNT
Draft
Top draft pickAllen Iverson
Picked byPhiladelphia 76ers
Regular season
Top seedChicago Bulls
Season MVPKarl Malone (Utah)
Top scorerMichael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)
Playoffs
Eastern championsChicago Bulls
  Eastern runners-upMiami Heat
Western championsUtah Jazz
  Western runners-upHouston Rockets
Finals
ChampionsChicago Bulls
  Runners-upUtah Jazz
Finals MVPMichael Jordan (Chicago)
NBA seasons

The 1996-97 NBA season was the 51st season of the National Basketball Association (NBA). 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 season featured what has since been acknowledged as one of the most talented rookie-classes, featuring the debuts of Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jermaine O'Neal, Ben Wallace and Stephon Marbury. 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.

1996 NBA lockout

The 1996 NBA lockout was the second lockout of four in the history of the NBA. It lasted for a couple of hours on July 10, 1996. The lockout was imposed after the league and the player's union could not reach an agreement involving $50 million in profit sharing from the television revenue. The league requested 50 percent of those profits to be applied toward player salaries while the union wanted more money to be included. After a few hours of talks, the league agreed to allocate an additional $14 million per season in television revenue toward the salary cap during the last four years of the six-year agreement. The lockout was ended only a few hours after it was announced and the agreement was reached.[1][2][3]

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). With four games to play, the Bulls' record stood at 68-10, only needing a 2-2 split; however, they went 1-3 in those games. 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 1985-86 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 after scoring a record 20 points in the third quarter, and 24 in the second half. Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett became the youngest player to play in the All-Star Game.
  • The New Jersey Nets and Orlando Magic both played two games against each other in Tokyo, Japan early into the season.
  • The Philadelphia 76ers played their first game at the Core States Center (later First Union and Wachovia Center, now Wells Fargo Center).
  • The Los Angeles Lakers signed free-agent center Shaquille O'Neal. Along with the addition of Kobe Bryant, the duo would become a fixture on the team for eight years, winning three championships together. However, a media created feud would eventually lead to O'Neal being traded to Miami in 2004.
  • Allen Iverson set a rookie record scoring with forty points or more in five successive games.
  • Due to extensive renovations at Oakland Coliseum Arena, the Golden State Warriors played their home games at the San Jose Arena (later the HP Pavilion at San Jose, now known as the SAP Center at San Jose), home of the NHL's San Jose Sharks. Following the season, the renovated arena became known as The Arena in Oakland, and was later renamed after the Oracle software company.
  • Dennis Rodman was suspended for 11 games after kicking a cameraman in a road game against the Minnesota Timberwolves after tripping over him.
  • In the last game of the regular season for both teams, the Washington Bullets defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers to obtain the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Had Cleveland won, the Cavaliers would have qualified instead. As for the Bullets, this was their final playoff appearance until 2005 where the team was renamed the "Wizards". It was the last time until the 2017-18 NBA season a regular-season game has served as a direct play-in game to the postseason.
  • 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.
  • The rivalry between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat got underway in Game 5 of the Conference Semifinals with a brawl at Miami Arena. In that brawl, P. J. Brown flipped Charlie Ward on the hardwood, inciting a bench brawl between the two. As a result, Brown was handed a two-game suspension, while Ward was suspended for Game 6. Meanwhile, as a result of leaving the bench during the brawl, Patrick Ewing and Allan Houston were suspended for Game 6, while Larry Johnson and John Starks were suspended for Game 7. The Heat eventually won the series in seven games.
  • 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 and Dirk Nowitzki.
  • After seven seasons of futility, the Minnesota Timberwolves finally made a postseason appearance, becoming the last of the late-1980s expansion teams to do so. In addition, their expansion counterparts (Miami, Orlando, and Charlotte) also made the playoffs. It would be seven years, however, before they could win their first playoff series.
  • The Atlanta Hawks played their final season at The Omni Coliseum. The site of The Omni was demolished to make way for Philips Arena, forcing the Hawks to play most of their home games at the Georgia Dome and, in games featuring lesser-profile opponents, the Alexander Memorial Coliseum for the next two seasons.
  • The season marked the fiftieth anniversary of the NBA. To commemorate the occasion, some NBA teams wore throwback uniforms, the NBA logo was decorated in gold for all uniforms, and the 50th anniversary logo patch was featured in the warmups. The 'NBA 50' logo also adorned all 29 NBA courts for the first month of the season, decorated in the respective team colors. In addition, the NBA also unveiled the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History during halftime of the 1997 NBA All-Star Game. One team, the Toronto Raptors, honored the Toronto Huskies BAA team by wearing the Huskies' throwback uniforms, and even played the New York Knicks at the SkyDome on the 50th anniversary of the first ever BAA/NBA game on November 1, 1996.
  • The Boston Celtics not only set a record for the worst winning percentage and number of wins in franchise history, but also become the only NBA team to win only once in 24 games against other teams in its division, in its last game therein versus the Philadelphia 76ers.[4] Several other teams, previously the 1970-71 Cleveland Cavaliers and latterly the 2005-06 Houston Rockets, won only one divisional game in a shorter schedule.
  • For the first time in NBA history, multiple teams - the above-mentioned Celtics and the second-year Vancouver Grizzlies - finished with a winning percentage below .200.[5] This was to be repeated in 1997-98 (the Nuggets and the Raptors) and again during 1998-99 (the Grizzlies again and the Los Angeles Clippers) but has never occurred in any season since 1999-2000.
  • After the San Antonio Spurs got off to a poor 3-15 start, general manager Gregg Popovich fired head coach Bob Hill. Popovich immediately took over as the head coach, beginning (as of the 2016-17 season) the NBA's longest active coaching tenure. The Spurs, after finishing the previous season with 59 victories, plunged to a 20-62 record while dealing with a myriad of injuries, especially to David Robinson and Sean Elliott. The 39-game decline was the worst regular-season turnaround in NBA history, surpassed 14 seasons later by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who lost 42 more games than the previous year.

1996-97 NBA changes

Final standings

By division

Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Miami Heat 61 21 .744 - 29-12 32-9 16-8
x-New York Knicks 57 25 .695 4 31-10 26-15 19-6
x-Orlando Magic 45 37 .549 16 26-15 19-22 13-11
x-Washington Bullets 44 38 .537 17 25-16 19-22 14-10
New Jersey Nets 26 56 .317 35 16-25 10-31 11-13
Philadelphia 76ers 22 60 .268 39 11-30 11-30 11-14
Boston Celtics 15 67 .183 46 11-30 4-37 1-23
Central Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Chicago Bulls 69 13 .841 - 39-2 30-11 24-4
x-Atlanta Hawks 56 26 .683 13 36-5 20-21 17-11
x-Detroit Pistons 54 28 .659 15 30-11 24-17 17-11
x-Charlotte Hornets 54 28 .659 15 30-11 24-17 14-14
Cleveland Cavaliers 42 40 .512 27 25-16 17-24 13-15
Indiana Pacers 39 43 .476 30 21-20 18-23 11-17
Milwaukee Bucks 33 49 .402 36 20-21 13-28 10-18
Toronto Raptors 30 52 .366 39 18-23 12-29 6-22
Midwest Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Utah Jazz 64 18 .780 - 38-3 26-15 19-5
x-Houston Rockets 57 25 .695 7 30-11 27-14 19-5
x-Minnesota Timberwolves 40 42 .488 24 25-16 15-26 16-8
Dallas Mavericks 24 58 .293 40 14-27 10-31 9-15
Denver Nuggets 21 61 .256 43 12-29 9-32 7-17
San Antonio Spurs 20 62 .244 44 12-29 8-33 8-16
Vancouver Grizzlies 14 68 .171 50 8-33 6-35 6-18
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

By conference

# Eastern Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Chicago Bulls 69 13 .841 -
2 y-Miami Heat 61 21 .744 8
3 x-New York Knicks 57 25 .695 12
4 x-Atlanta Hawks 56 26 .683 13
5 x-Detroit Pistons 54 28 .659 15
6 x-Charlotte Hornets 54 28 .659 15
7 x-Orlando Magic 45 37 .549 24
8 x-Washington Bullets 44 38 .537 25
9 Cleveland Cavaliers 42 40 .512 27
10 Indiana Pacers 39 43 .476 30
11 Milwaukee Bucks 33 49 .402 36
12 Toronto Raptors 30 52 .366 39
13 New Jersey Nets 26 56 .317 43
14 Philadelphia 76ers 22 60 .268 47
15 Boston Celtics 15 67 .183 54
# 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

Notes

  • 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

Playoffs

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
            
1 Utah 3
8 L.A. Clippers 0
1 Utah 4
4 L.A. Lakers 1
4 L.A. Lakers 3
5 Portland 1
1 Utah 4
Western Conference
3 Houston 2
3 Houston 3
6 Minnesota 0
3 Houston 4
2 Seattle 3
2 Seattle 3
7 Phoenix 2
W1 Utah 2
E1 Chicago 4
1 Chicago 3
8 Washington 0
1 Chicago 4
4 Atlanta 1
4 Atlanta 3
5 Detroit 2
1 Chicago 4
Eastern Conference
2 Miami 1
3 New York 3
6 Charlotte 0
3 New York 3
2 Miami 4
2 Miami 3
7 Orlando 2

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 2.72
Blocks per game Shawn Bradley New Jersey Nets 3.40
FG% Gheorghe Mure?an Washington Bullets .604
FT% Mark Price Golden State Warriors .906
3FG% Glen Rice Charlotte Hornets .470

NBA awards

Yearly awards

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

Player of the week

The following players were named NBA Player of the Week.

Week Player
Nov. 1 - Nov. 10 Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets)
Nov. 11 - Nov. 17 Dale Ellis (Denver Nuggets)
Nov. 18 - Nov. 24 (tie) Charles Barkley (Houston Rockets)
Nov. 18 - Nov. 24 (tie) Karl Malone (Utah Jazz)
Nov. 25 - Dec. 1 Dikembe Mutombo (Atlanta Hawks)
Dec. 2 - Dec. 8 Terry Mills (Detroit Pistons)
Dec. 9 - Dec. 15 Shaquille O'Neal (Los Angeles Lakers)
Dec. 16 - Dec. 22 Terrell Brandon (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Dec. 23 - Dec. 29 Tim Hardaway (Miami Heat)
Dec. 30 - Jan. 5 Glen Rice (Charlotte Hornets)
Jan. 6 - Jan. 12 Glenn Robinson (Milwaukee Bucks)
Jan. 13 - Jan. 19 Grant Hill (Detroit Pistons)
Jan. 20 - Jan. 26 Mitch Richmond (Sacramento Kings)
Jan. 27 - Feb. 2 Glen Rice (Charlotte Hornets)
Feb. 11 - Feb. 16 Alonzo Mourning (Miami Heat)
Feb. 17 - Feb. 23 Scottie Pippen (Chicago Bulls)
Feb. 24 - Mar. 2 Loy Vaught (Los Angeles Clippers)
Mar. 3 - Mar. 9 Patrick Ewing (New York Knicks)
Mar. 10 - Mar. 16 Karl Malone (Utah Jazz)
Mar. 17 - Mar. 23 Karl Malone (Utah Jazz)
Mar. 24 - Mar. 30 Kevin Johnson (Phoenix Suns)
Apr. 1 - Apr. 6 Grant Hill (Detroit Pistons)
Apr. 7 - Apr. 13 Allen Iverson (Philadelphia 76ers)
Apr. 14 - Apr. 20 Chris Webber (Washington Bullets)

Player of the month

The following players were named NBA Player of the Month.

Rookie of the month

The following players were named NBA Rookie of the Month.

Coach of the month

The following coaches were named NBA Coach of the Month.

References

  1. ^ Bembry, Jerry (July 10, 1996). "NBA lockout passes quickly Brief stoppage delays free-agent talks 2 days". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2011.
  2. ^ Brown, Clifton (July 10, 1996). "Deal Is a Lock, Not a Lockout, For the NBA". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011.
  3. ^ "NBA Lockout Chronology". CNN Sports Illustrated. January 6, 1999. Retrieved 2011.
  4. ^ 1996-1997 Boston Celtics schedule and results
  5. ^ Land of Basketball; NBA Worst Season Winning Percentages

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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