Chicago Bulls

As the Warriors prepare for a shot at history Wednesday with their 73rd win of the season, here's a look back at some intriguing notes related to the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who set the standard by going 72-10:

Wasn't the Bulls' 72nd win actually anticlimactic?

Dennis Rodman

The previous record for most regular-season wins belonged to the 1971-72 Lakers, who went 69-13, including a 33-game winning streak that still stands.

The Bulls set the new mark with their 70th on April 16, 1996, with an 86-80 win at Milwaukee. That moved their record to 70-9. In the next two games, they blew out the Pistons and lost by one at home to Indiana. Then they headed into the season finale at Washington on April 21.

"I didn't even want to play today," Dennis Rodman told the Chicago Tribuneafter they beat the Bullets for No. 72. "There was no incentive and no motive to even go out there."

Warriors coach Steve Kerr was a reserve on that Bulls team. What did he do in the 72nd win?

Steve Kerr

The Bulls beat Bullets 103-93 at the Capital Centre to finish 72-10. Kerr was Chicago's leading scorer off the bench with nine points on 3-of-4 shooting.

Kerr had one of the Bulls' four three-pointers in this game. Pippen, Jordan and Toni Kukoc had the others.

How much less of a factor was the three-point shot in 1995-96?

Michael Jordan

The Bulls made 544 three-pointers, which ranked 10th in the league. Dallas was tops with 735.

This season, there are just five teams -- Brooklyn, Memphis, Miami, Minnesota and Milwaukee -- that have made less than 544 three-pointers. The Warriors have 1,057 with one game left.

Individually, Scottie Pippen led the Bulls with 150 three-pointers. Kerr was the team leader in three-point accuracy at 51.5 percent (122 for 237). Jordan went 111 for 260 (42.7 percent).

Stephen Curry is 392 for 867 (45.2 percent) with one game left.

Why else is April 21, 1996, significant in NBA history?

This was also the day that Magic Johnson played his final regular-season game in the NBA.

Magic retired just before the start of the 1991-92 season when he announced he was HIV positive. He came back to play in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game, stealing the show with an MVP performance, and then became part of the Dream Team at the Olympics in Barcelona.

But many fans forget that he made another comeback during the 1995-96 season and appeared in 32 games. In his last regular-season game, Magic had six points, 10 assists, three rebounds and three steals to help the Lakers win in Portland. His NBA playing career ended for good shortly thereafter when the Lakers lost to Houston in the first round of the playoffs.

Anything else notable from April 21, 1996?

Jimmy The Greek Snyder died the day that the Bulls won their 72nd game.

The Greek was known for picking games without explicitly acknowledging point spread on the "NFL Today" pre-game show on CBS. But he lost his job in 1988 when CBS fired him for comments he made about black athletes in an interview with a Washington TV station (see video above).

The Warriors became the only NBA team to finish the regular season without consecutive losses. So what happened to the 1995-96 Bulls?

Jordan Barkley

The Bulls lost back-to-back games in Denver and Phoenix during a six-game Western swing just before the All-Star break.

Denver won 105-99 on Feb. 4, 1996, behind 32 points from Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and 17 rebounds from Dikembe Mutombo. Two nights later in Phoenix, Charles Barkley powered the Suns to a 106-96 win with 35 points and 16 rebounds.

These two losses dropped the Bulls to 41-5 on the season. Both the Nuggets and Suns were below .500 at the time of their victories against Chicago.

The Bulls won the final game of the trip, 99-95 at Golden State, as Jordan scored 40.

This was Jordan's first full season since returning from baseball. What else was noteworthy about Jordan's performance?

Michael Jordan

Jordan scored 26 points in the finale at Washington and set the NBA record with his eighth scoring championship. He and Wilt Chamberlain had been tied at seven.

Jordan played all 82 games and averaged 30.4 points. Jordan won the scoring title again the next two seasons, but 1995-96 was the last time he finished with an average higher than 30.

Another distinction for Jordan this season was bagging the MVP hat trick: Regular season, All-Star Game and Finals.

What was hot on the pop-culture scene at the time of the Bulls' 72nd victory?


In 1995-96, NBC had the top four shows in the Nielsen TV ratings with E.R., Seinfeld, Friends and Caroline in the City.

On April 21, the No. 1 song on the Billboard charts was Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion. The top-grossing film at the box office was Primal Fear, starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney, with Edward Norton earning an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

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