1995/96 NBA season was not perfect for Bulls – they lost 10 games in the regular season and three in the playoffs where they won the fourth title in six years. But it was very close to perfection.
It was an exciting year in the NBA league because the two new members, Toronto Raptors, and Vancouver Grizzlies, joined the NBA family and after four years of not playing, a famous Magic Johnson came back. Atlanta Hawks coach, Lenny Wilkens continued to win. In that season he has gone through the magical number of 1000 career wins.
But this was the Bulls season. Michael Jordan returned in the best possible way and led the Bulls to 72 wins in the regular season, which moved 69 Lakers wins from 1971/72 season to the second place in history. In the NBA Finals, they defeated Seattle SuperSonics in six games.
In the first full season after returning to the NBA, Jordan won the eighth title of the NBA league top scorer (Wilt Chamberlain had seven of these titles). Jordan won three valuable awards: regular season MVP, All-Star game MVP, and Finals MVP. Although Jordan dominated, he had great help in an all-around Scottie Pippen, a “rebound machine” Dennis Rodman, the sixth player of the year Toni Kukoc and the best coach of the season Phil Jackson.
The important thing that season was also John Stockton’s achievement – the first place in stolen balls of all time. He also won the best league assistant award for the ninth time in a row, knocking down Bob Cousy’s record of eight titles of the best assistant. Robert Parish has become a player with the most played games in history and has extended his career for 20 years, which only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar managed to do. Magic Johnson returned to Los Angeles and brought back his famous smile and assists that were his trademark. He played 32 games and went to a “real” retirement from which he did not return any more.
The All-Star game took place in San Antonio, where the East players won by 129:118. The MVP of the game was Jordan with 20 points in 22 minutes of play.