Sunday, April 22, 2012

1995-96 Chicago Bulls

In the 1995–96 season, the Chicago Bulls set an NBA record by becoming the first team to win 70 regular season games. They finished the season with a record of 72–10 and would go on to defeat the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1996 NBA Finals.

Prior the 1995–96 NBA season, Dennis Rodman and Jack Haley were traded from the Spurs to the Bulls for Will Perdue and cash considerations to fill a large void at power forward left by Horace Grant, who left the Bulls prior to the 1994–95 NBA season.

Haley only played in 1 game during the regular season and didn't participate in the playoffs. He was best known for his friendship with the enigmatic Rodman.

In his book Bad as I Wanna Be, Rodman stated that Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen had to approve the trade before it took place. Rodman chose the number 91 (9+1=10 according to Rodman for why he chose that number) for his jersey since #10 was retired by the Bulls in 1995 in honor of Bob Love.

Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Wt. From
PG 0 Brown, Randy 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) New Mexico State
SG 30 Buechler, Jud 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Arizona
PF 35 Caffey, Jason 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 255 lb (116 kg) Alabama
C 53 Edwards, James 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Washington
PF 54 Haley, Jack 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 240 lb (109 kg) UCLA
SG 9 Harper, Ron 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Miami (OH)
SG 23 Jordan, Michael (C) 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 215 lb (98 kg) North Carolina
PG 25 Kerr, Steve 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Arizona
SF 7 Kukoc, Toni 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Croatia
C 13 Longley, Luc 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) 265 lb (120 kg) New Mexico
SF 33 Pippen, Scottie (C) 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 218 lb (99 kg) Central Arkansas
PF 91 Rodman, Dennis 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 220 lb (100 kg) SE Oklahoma State
C 22 Salley, John 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Georgia Tech
PF 8 Simpkins, Dickey 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 248 lb (112 kg) Providence
C 34 Wennington, Bill 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 245 lb (111 kg) St. John's

Head coach

Phil Jackson (North Dakota)

Assistant coach(es)

Jim Cleamons (Ohio State)
Jim Rodgers (Iowa)
John Paxson (Notre Dame)
Tex Winter (Southern California)

Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman led Chicago to the NBA Finals as the Bulls had a historic run. The Bulls finished 72–10 in the regular season to break the 1971–72 Lakers' record of 69 wins in a season. 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 a triple crown of awards: the MVP awards for the regular season, All-Star Game and NBA Finals. The Bulls improved 25 games from the previous year's 47–35 record to their all-time record 72 regular season wins. In addition, they would go on to set another regular season landmark by becoming the fastest team to 41 wins; by going 41–3 before losing their 4th game that year, which was also a record once held by the 1971–72 Los Angeles Lakers, who got off to a 39–3 start. They would win 33 road games, setting yet another NBA record. They also had a 39–2 home record, which was one win shy of tying the Boston Celtics for best home record in history. For these reasons, many fans and media members regard the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls to be the greatest NBA team of all time.

Later, in the playoffs, the Bulls easily made their way to the NBA Finals and the NBA championship. Rodman, Jordan, and Scottie Pippen all made the All-Defensive First Team, the first time three players from the same team made it on the first team. Rodman led the league in rebounding for the fifth straight year, and Jordan won the scoring title, the second time that teammates had led the league in scoring and rebounding.

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