Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were on a mission during the 1995-96 season. After losing to the Orlando Magic in the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals, MJ and Co. had one goal on their mind: to win the 1996 championship and remind the NBA world who the best team in the league was.
While Jordan didn’t know the Bulls would win 72 games in 1995-96, he did have a feeling the team could do something historic.
Michael Jordan on 1995-96 team: It could be dangerous
Early in the 1995-96 season, Jordan could sense that the Bulls would be a dangerous team if everyone remained on the same page and didn’t have their own agenda.
“I think we got a collection of weapons that somehow Phil’s gonna blend to where we give ourselves the best shot,” Jordan said in an interview early in the season. “It could be dangerous if we get everybody on the same page and do the right things that we know we’re capable of doing.”
Scottie Pippen was the only player on the 1995-96 team who was part of the first three-peat. However, it didn’t take Jordan and Pippen long to develop chemistry with their new teammates.
Bulls started season 18-2
Jordan won the 1995-96 regular-season MVP by averaging 30.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists. He also took home his eighth scoring title. Meanwhile, Kukoc won the Sixth Man of the Year Award, Rodman won the rebounding title, and Phil Jackson won the Coach of the Year Award.
The Bulls went 72-10 in the regular season and easily won the Eastern Conference after sweeping the Magic in the conference finals. Jordan was correct in his assessment of the team. Chicago clicked on all cylinders all season long and never had any adversity.
The final step for Jordan and the Bulls to complete their vengeance season was to defeat the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1996 Finals. Although the SuperSonics had a talented one-two punch in Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp, His Airness was too powerful for them.
Michael Jordan averaged 27.3 points
The Bulls defeated the SuperSonics in six games for their fourth championship. Jordan averaged 27.3 points and won his fourth Finals MVP on Father’s Day, which was emotional for him since his father was murdered in 1993.
Chicago lost a total of 13 games in 1995-96 (10 in the regular season, three in the playoffs). Even though the 2015-16 Golden Stae Warriors won 73 regular-season games, they didn’t win the championship. As a result, Jordan’s 72-10 group still holds the title for the best team in NBA history.
Jordan finished his Bulls career by winning two more championships and two more Finals MVPs before retiring for a second time. It’s incredible he was able to three-peat twice with two different groups. It shows how special Jordan, Pippen, and Jackson were together. The threesome never lost in the Finals and never played in a Game 7.