The 1988–89 NBA season was the 43rd season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Detroit Pistons winning the NBA Championship, sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers. This was the first season of the Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets.
|1988–89 NBA season|
|League||National Basketball Association|
|Duration||Nov 4, 1988 – Apr 23, 1989|
Apr 27 – Jun 2, 1989 (Playoffs)
Jun 6–13, 1989 (Finals)
|Number of teams||25|
|TV partner(s)||CBS, TBS|
|Top draft pick||Danny Manning|
|Picked by||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Top seed||Detroit Pistons|
|Season MVP||Magic Johnson (L.A. Lakers)|
|Top scorer||Michael Jordan (Chicago)|
|Eastern champions||Detroit Pistons|
|Eastern runners-up||Chicago Bulls|
|Western champions||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Western runners-up||Phoenix Suns|
|Runners-up||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Finals MVP||Joe Dumars (Detroit)|
|Team||1987–88 coach||1988–89 coach|
|Boston Celtics||K.C. Jones||Jimmy Rodgers|
|Charlotte Hornets||Expansion||Dick Harter|
|Houston Rockets||Bill Fitch||Don Chaney|
|Miami Heat||Expansion||Ron Rothstein|
|Phoenix Suns||John Wetzel||Cotton Fitzsimmons|
|San Antonio Spurs||Bob Weiss||Larry Brown|
|Golden State Warriors||Ed Gregory||Don Nelson|
|Team||Outgoing coach||Incoming coach|
|Portland Trail Blazers||Mike Schuler||Rick Adelman|
|Los Angeles Clippers||Gene Shue||Don Casey|
|Indiana Pacers||Jack Ramsay||Mel Daniels|
|Mel Daniels||George Irvine|
|George Irvine||Dick Versace|
|Utah Jazz||Frank Layden||Jerry Sloan|
- The NBA adopts the three-official system used in college basketball permanently. The league experimented with three officials per game in 1978–79, but went back to two officials per game for the next nine seasons, although they actually have three with the inclusion of an alternate referee for all playoff games and selected regular season games.
- The Miami Heat and the Charlotte Hornets become the league's 24th and 25th franchises.
- The Heat plays its inaugural season in the Midwest Division. As a result, the Sacramento Kings move to the Pacific Division.
- The Hornets play their inaugural season in the Atlantic Division.
- The 1989 NBA All-Star Game was played at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, with the West defeating the East 143–134. Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz takes home the game's MVP award.
- New Arenas: The Milwaukee Bucks move from the MECCA Arena to the then-Bradley Center (naming rights currently with BMO Harris Bank as of 2012), the Sacramento Kings move from ARCO Arena I to the then-ARCO Arena (later Power Balance Pavilion, now Sleep Train Arena), and the Detroit Pistons move from the Pontiac Silverdome to The Palace of Auburn Hills.
- Michael Jordan records ten triple-doubles in eleven games near the end of the season.
- Prior to the season, the first-year Hornets announce that they choose teal as their primary color, which gave them immediate attention. In the next decade, expansion teams in the other professional sports leagues (most notably the San Jose Sharks of the NHL, the Florida Marlins of Major League Baseball's NL, and the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL) further popularized the use of the color. The Hornets also popularized the use of pinstripes on the uniforms, which were later adopted by the Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls (alternates only), Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers and the current Charlotte Hornets' predecessor franchise, the Bobcats.
- The Chicago Bulls started a playoff tradition by wearing black sneakers. Prior to that, the Boston Celtics were the only team to wear black sneakers. Following the Bulls' unlikely playoff run, other teams began adopting the style, beginning with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1990.
- This was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's last season.
- The Los Angeles Lakers became the first team to sweep two consecutive best-of-seven series.
- The Celtics, who had never won fewer than 57 games in any of the previous nine seasons, slump to 42 as Larry Bird played only six games due to injuries.
- The Indiana Pacers had four different head coaches during the season, a rare occurrence that has not happened since.
- Seattle SuperSonics guard Dale Ellis won the All-Star game's 3-point shootout.
- The first postponement of an NBA game due to a civil disturbance. In the wake of the Miami riots, the game between the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns on January 17, 1989, was postponed.
- Head coach Jerry Sloan begins the first season of 23 for the Utah Jazz, the longest tenure of any professional coach for one city and franchise.
- This was the only season for Ricky Berry, who was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 18th overall pick in the 1988 NBA draft, who committed suicide during the off-season.
- On January 6, 1989, the Bullets franchise played its first regular season game in Baltimore since 1973; this was the first of 35 regular season "home" games the Bullets played in Baltimore through the 1996–97 season.
|y-New York Knicks||52||30||.634||–||35–6||17–24||18–12|
|New Jersey Nets||26||56||.317||26||17–24||9–32||9–21|
|San Antonio Spurs||21||61||.256||30||18–23||3–38||9–21|
|y-Los Angeles Lakers||57||25||.695||–||35–6||22–19||25–9|
|x-Golden State Warriors||43||39||.524||14||29–12||14–27||15–19|
|x-Portland Trail Blazers||39||43||.476||18||28–13||11–30||17–17|
|Los Angeles Clippers||21||61||.256||36||17–24||4–37||7–27|
|2||y-New York Knicks||52||30||.634||11|
|11||New Jersey Nets||26||56||.317||37|
|1||c-Los Angeles Lakers||57||25||.695||–|
|7||x-Golden State Warriors||43||39||.524||14|
|8||x-Portland Trail Blazers||39||43||.476||18|
|11||San Antonio Spurs||21||61||.256||36|
|12||Los Angeles Clippers||21||61||.256||36|
- z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs
- c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs
- y – Clinched division title
- x – Clinched playoff spot
The League expands from twenty-three to twenty-five franchises, with new expansion teams in Charlotte and Miami.
The Heat began its season as a member of the Western Conference despite its geographical position, enduring its longest road trips when playing Western Conference teams. It also began the season 0–17, at the time the worst start in NBA history. The Hornets finished at 20–62. Such records are typical of expansion NBA franchises in their initial seasons, with 15–67 being the poorest record repeated by the Cavaliers, Grizzlies, Rockets, and Mavericks, as well as the Heat. The Sacramento Kings were belatedly moved to the Pacific Division in their fourth season after leaving Kansas City.
Teams in bold advanced to the next round. The numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, and the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not necessarily belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record; teams enjoying the home advantage are shown in italics.
|First Round||Conference Semifinals||Conference Finals||NBA Finals|
* Division winner
Bold Series winner
Italic Team with home-court advantage
|Points per game||Michael Jordan||Chicago Bulls||32.5|
|Rebounds per game||Akeem Olajuwon||Houston Rockets||13.5|
|Assists per game||John Stockton||Utah Jazz||13.6|
|Steals per game||John Stockton||Utah Jazz||3.21|
|Blocks per game||Manute Bol||Golden State Warriors||4.31|
|FG%||Dennis Rodman||Detroit Pistons||.595|
|FT%||Magic Johnson||Los Angeles Lakers||.911|
|3FG%||Jon Sundvold||Miami Heat||.522|
- Most Valuable Player: Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
- Rookie of the Year: Mitch Richmond, Golden State Warriors
- Defensive Player of the Year: Mark Eaton, Utah Jazz
- Sixth Man of the Year: Eddie Johnson, Phoenix Suns
- Most Improved Player: Kevin Johnson, Phoenix Suns
- Coach of the Year: Cotton Fitzsimmons, Phoenix Suns
Note: All information on this page were obtained on the History section on NBA.com
Player of the weekEdit
The following players were named NBA Player of the Week.
Player of the monthEdit
The following players were named NBA Player of the Month.
|November||Charles Barkley (Philadelphia 76ers)|
|December||Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)|
|January||Chris Mullin (Golden State Warriors)|
|February||Kevin Johnson (Phoenix Suns)|
|March||Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)|
|April||Patrick Ewing (New York Knicks)|
Rookie of the monthEdit
The following players were named NBA Rookie of the Month.
|November||Willie Anderson (San Antonio Spurs)|
|December||Mitch Richmond (Golden State Warriors)|
|January||Mitch Richmond (Golden State Warriors)|
|February||Charles Smith (Los Angeles Clippers)|
|March||Mitch Richmond (Golden State Warriors)|
|April||Charles Smith (Los Angeles Clippers)|
Coach of the monthEdit
The following coaches were named NBA Coach of the Month.
|November||Chuck Daly (Detroit Pistons)|
|December||Lenny Wilkens (Cleveland Cavaliers)|
|January||Del Harris (Milwaukee Bucks)|
|February||Don Nelson (Golden State Warriors)|
|March||Chuck Daly (Detroit Pistons)|
|April||Cotton Fitzsimmons (Phoenix Suns)|
- The last time the Washington Bullets played in Baltimore United Press International
- "Bullets leave Baltimore with win Mavericks fall, 94-87" The Baltimore Sun
- List Expansion Team & Date: http://www.nba.com/analysis/00422957.html Archived 2011-03-12 at the Wayback Machine