It wasn't a perfect season for the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls - after all, they did lose 10 games in the regular season and three in their playoff run to the team's fourth title in six years. But it came pretty close.
Scottie Pippen

Scottie Pippen and the Bulls capped their record 72-win regular season by soaring past the Sonics in the Finals.


It was an exciting year in the NBA, as the league welcomed two new teams, Toronto and Vancouver, into the fold and one familiar face, Magic Johnson, returned to the court after a four-year retirement. Atlanta coach Lenny Wilkens continued his winning ways, surpassing the 1,000 career victory mark. But overall it was a Bull market, as the Michael Jordan-led Chicago team captivated the sports world with their historic run, winning 72 regular-season games to shatter the 1971-72 Lakers' mark of 69 and following that with a Finals victory over the Seattle SuperSonics in six games. 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 an elusive triple crown: the MVP awards for the regular season, All-Star Game and NBA Finals.

Other highlights of the season included Utah's John Stockton becoming the NBA's all-time steals leader as well as winning his ninth assists title in a row, breaking Bob Cousy's record of eight. Robert Parish took over as the all-time leader in games played and stretched his career to 20 years, only the second NBA player (after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) to reach that plateau. And there was Magic again in Los Angeles, as Johnson brought back his trademark smile and no-look passes at midseason and reincarnated himself as a power forward.

NORTHERN EXPOSURE
1995-96 Season in Review
The Bulls celebrate yet another title.

The NBA became a truly international league in 1995-96 with the birth of the Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies. Canada's teams began the season with a bang, as both won their first games to start off on the right foot. While both inevitably suffered the normal growing pains that affect all new franchises, there were signs that the future could be bright.

There were some doubters when Toronto 's Isiah Thomas used the team's first ever draft choice on 5-10 d Damon Stoudamire, but Thomas, after all, is a pretty good judge of point guard talent. Stoudamire's selection was greeted by boos by the locals attending the 1995 Draft in Toronto, but he soon won them over with a magnificent rookie of the year season-long performance for the Raptors. It took Vancouver rookie Bryant "Big Country" Reeves a little longer to get adjusted to the NBA, but he came on strong in the second half of the season and was a huge fan favorite, as well.