The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls were one of the greatest teams to ever set foot on an NBA court, and on this date 20 years ago they had their crowning achievement as they won the NBA championship over the Seattle Supersonics.
That Bulls squad, led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, went 72-10 during the regular season, setting a new NBA record for wins and becoming the first team to ever win 70 or more games in a single year. They rampaged through the NBA playoffs after their impressive regular season, and they beat the Sonics in six games to capture their fourth NBA championship in six years.
It seems oddly appropriate then that another history-making team could hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy on this date. The Golden State Warriors, who broke the Bulls’ record this season by winning 73 regular season games, will look to capture their second straight NBA title on Thursday night when they take on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
If the Warriors are able to accomplish the feat, then they will not only finish off their historic campaign with an emphatic championship, but they’ll do so with one key contributor to that Bulls squad sitting on their bench. Steve Kerr, the Warriors’ head coach, was the player that hit the game-winning jump shot from the free throw line to secure the Bulls’ championship on that fateful day in 1996.
In one more connection, Warriors assistant Luke Walton (who coached the team earlier this season while Kerr recuperated from back surgery) has agreed to coach the Los Angeles Lakers next season. The Lakers were the holders of the single-season wins record before the Bulls broke that record in 1996.