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1991–92 NBA season

1991–92 NBA season
League National Basketball Association
Sport Basketball
Duration November 1, 1991 – April 19, 1992
April 23 – May 29, 1992 (Playoffs)
June 3 – 14, 1992 (Finals)
Number of teams 27
TV partner(s) NBC, TBS, TNT
Top draft pick Larry Johnson
Picked by Charlotte Hornets
Regular season
Top seed Chicago Bulls
Season MVP Michael Jordan (Chicago)
Top scorer Michael Jordan (Chicago)
Eastern champions Chicago Bulls
  Eastern runners-up Cleveland Cavaliers
Western champions Portland Trail Blazers
  Western runners-up Utah Jazz
Champions Chicago Bulls
  Runners-up Portland Trail Blazers
Finals MVP Michael Jordan (Chicago)

The 1991–92 NBA season was the 46th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Chicago Bulls winning their second-straight NBA Championship, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.

Notable occurrences

Coaching changes
Team 1990–91 coach 1991–92 coach
Charlotte Hornets Gene Littles Allan Bristow
Miami Heat Ron Rothstein Kevin Loughery
Minnesota Timberwolves Bill Musselman Jimmy Rodgers
New York Knicks John MacLeod Pat Riley
Team Outgoing coach Incoming coach
Houston Rockets Don Chaney Rudy Tomjanovich
Los Angeles Clippers Mike Schuler Mack Calvin
Mack Calvin Larry Brown
Milwaukee Bucks Del Harris Frank Hamblen
Sacramento Kings Dick Motta Rex Hughes
San Antonio Spurs Larry Brown Bob Bass
Seattle SuperSonics K.C. Jones Bob Kloppenburg
Bob Kloppenburg George Karl
  • In one of the most shocking announcements in sports history, Lakers star Magic Johnson announces his retirement early in the season after receiving the news that he had tested HIV-positive.
  • Philadelphia 76er Charles Barkley honors Johnson by switching from his usual number 34 to 32, which he wore for the entire season. The 76ers had retired the number in honor of Billy Cunningham, who un-retired it for Barkley to wear.
  • Due to back problems, Celtics star Larry Bird retires at the end of the season, and since Bill Russell vs. Jerry West it brings one of the most memorable eras in NBA history (Magic vs. Bird) to a close.
  • After a season in the Western Conference's Midwest Division, the Orlando Magic move back to the Eastern Conference, playing in the Atlantic Division. The 27 teams of the NBA would remain in the same four divisions until 2004, when the league would realign into six divisions.
  • The 1992 NBA All-Star Game was played at the Orlando Arena in Orlando, Florida, with the West defeating the East 153–113. In an emotionally charged game, Magic Johnson wins the game's MVP award; despite having retired from the game a few days into the season, fans were still able to vote him into the starting lineup because the printed ballots still featured Magic's name.
  • In the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers rescheduled and moved their home playoff games to the nearest area possible. Game 4 of the Lakers-Blazers series was played at Las Vegas' Thomas & Mack Center while Game 4 of the Clippers-Jazz series was played at Anaheim's Convention Center.
  • Luc Longley, drafted by the Timberwolves, becomes the first Australian to play in the NBA. He would later play in three Bulls championship teams.
  • Larry Brown makes history becoming the first NBA coach to serve as head coach for two different teams in a single season (San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers). Brown leads the Clippers to the team's first winning season since the team relocated to Los Angeles. Brown was fired by the Spurs before taking the Clippers' job; Bob Bass replaced him in San Antonio.
  • The season marked the last time the Boston Celtics won 50 games (they won 51 that season) for nearly two decades. They would not win 50 games or more until the 2008 season.
  • Following the first round loss to the New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons head coach Chuck Daly resigned, ending the Pistons' 'Bad Boys' era.
  • On December 17, the Cleveland Cavaliers crushed the Miami Heat by a score of 148-80. This 68-point win by the Cavaliers set the record for largest margin of victory in the history of the NBA.
  • Run TMC, consisting of Tim Hardaway, Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond, and were named after the famous hip-hop group, was disbanded when the Golden State Warriors traded Richmond to the Sacramento Kings for Billy Owens. Richmond went on to become an All-Star for the otherwise struggling Kings while Owens never made an impact with the Warriors. Subsequently, the Warriors never won a playoff series following the trade until 2007, losing in the opening round to the Seattle SuperSonics in four games in 1992, and then were swept by the Phoenix Suns in 1994.
  • The Utah Jazz play their first game at the Delta Center.
  • The Phoenix Suns play their final season at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
  • The Chicago Bulls set a franchise record with 67 wins in a season (later broken by the 1996 team).
  • Dennis Rodman recorded 1,530 rebounds and averaged 18.7 rebounds per game in the regular season, both of which are the highest figures since 1972. It is the first of an NBA record seven consecutive rebounding titles for Rodman.
  • Michael Jordan scored 35 points in the first half to set an NBA Finals record for most points in a half. His six three-pointers also set a record for most in a half.
  • The Miami Heat were the first of the four late-1980s expansion franchises to make it to the playoffs. They were swept in the first round by the Bulls. Fourteen years later, they would become the first, and only to date, of those teams to win an NBA Championship.
  • All NBA teams sport patches on their warmups commemorating the centennial anniversary of basketball.


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