The 1989–90 NBA season was the 44th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Detroit Pistons winning their second NBA Championship, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 4 games to 1 in the NBA Finals.
|1989–90 NBA season|
|League||National Basketball Association|
|Duration||November 3, 1989 – April 22, 1990|
April 26 – June 3, 1990 (Playoffs)
June 5 – 14, 1990 (Finals)
|Number of teams||27|
|TV partner(s)||CBS, TBS, TNT|
|Top draft pick||Pervis Ellison|
|Picked by||Sacramento Kings|
|Top seed||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Season MVP||Magic Johnson (L.A. Lakers)|
|Top scorer||Michael Jordan (Chicago)|
|Eastern champions||Detroit Pistons|
|Eastern runners-up||Chicago Bulls|
|Western champions||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Western runners-up||Phoenix Suns|
|Runners-up||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Finals MVP||Isiah Thomas (Detroit)|
|Team||1988–89 coach||1989–90 coach|
|Chicago Bulls||Doug Collins||Phil Jackson|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||Expansion||Bill Musselman|
|New Jersey Nets||Willis Reed||Bill Fitch|
|New York Knicks||Rick Pitino||Stu Jackson|
|Orlando Magic||Expansion||Matt Guokas|
|Team||Outgoing coach||Incoming coach|
|Sacramento Kings||Jerry Reynolds||Dick Motta|
|Dallas Mavericks||John MacLeod||Richie Adubato|
|Charlotte Hornets||Dick Harter||Gene Littles|
- The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Orlando Magic entered the NBA as the league's 26th and 27th franchises. The Timberwolves played their preseason schedule at the Met Center in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington home of the NHL's Minnesota North Stars. They played their regular season schedule at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, former home of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings and MLB's Minnesota Twins. They would move to smaller-capacity Target Center for the 1990–91 season. The Magic would play at Orlando Arena (later known as TD Waterhouse Centre and Amway Arena) for the next 21 years.
- The NBA All-Star Weekend was in Miami Arena in Miami. In the 1990 NBA All-Star Game, the East defeated the West 130–113. Magic Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers took home the game's MVP award. Dominique Wilkins of the Atlanta Hawks edged out Kenny Smith of the Sacramento Kings to win the Slam Dunk Contest.
- The Charlotte Hornets were aligned in the Midwest Division in the Western Conference. Charlotte would be aligned in the Central Division for good starting the next year. The league had placed the four new teams in different divisions to spread them out over their first few seasons.
- The NBA on CBS concluded its 17-year run (dating back to 1973). The program was succeeded by The NBA on NBC.
- The NBA adopted the FIBA rule that game clocks register tenths of seconds in the final minute of a quarter. This rule turns controversial during the season because of clock calibration problems in many venues; following a January 15, 1990, game at Madison Square Garden between the New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls where Trent Tucker sank a three-point basket with the ball put in play with one-tenth of a second remaining, the NBA mandated clock calibration and prohibited any shot made when the ball is put in play with less than three-tenths of a second remaining from counting unless it is a dunk or a tip-in. The Trent Tucker Rule would be established the following year as a result of this incident.
- All three Texas-based teams made the playoffs. This would not happen again until 2004.
- This was the last of nine consecutive seasons in which the Lakers finished as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. They would not return there until 2000.
- Long-time Boston Celtics announcer Johnny Most retired after 37 years behind the microphone. Most was best known for his call of "Havlicek stole the ball!!" in the 1965 Eastern Division Finals between the Celtics and the Sixers.
- The Philadelphia 76ers won their first Atlantic Division title since the 1982–83 championship season, and the first in the post-Julius Erving era. They lost to the Bulls in the second round of the playoffs.
- Several players from Eastern Bloc countries in Europe made an impact in the NBA. Yugoslavia's Vlade Divac and Dražen Petrović, and the Soviet Union's Šarūnas Marčiulionis and Alexander Volkov were among the pioneering players from Eastern Europe who made the jump to the NBA.
- On March 28, 1990, near the end of the 1989–90 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers faced their new nemesis Michael Jordan. Needing the victory to clinch a playoff berth, Jordan set his career high with 69 points in an overtime win and putting a dent in the Cavaliers' playoff plans.
- The Spurs orchestrated the biggest turnaround, with rookie David Robinson at center. After finishing 21–61 in 1988–89, they improved by 35 games and won the Midwest Division.
1989–90 NBA changesEdit
|x-New York Knicks||45||37||.549||8||29–12||16–25||17–9|
|New Jersey Nets||17||65||.207||36||13–28||4–37||9–17|
|y-San Antonio Spurs||56||26||.683||–||34–7||22–19||19–9|
|y-Los Angeles Lakers||63||19||.768||–||37–4||26–15||22–6|
|x-Portland Trail Blazers||59||23||.720||4||35–6||24–17||20–8|
|Golden State Warriors||37||45||.451||26||27–14||10–31||11–17|
|Los Angeles Clippers||30||52||.366||33||20–21||10–31||7–21|
|5||x-New York Knicks||45||37||.549||14|
|13||New Jersey Nets||17||65||.207||42|
|1||z-Los Angeles Lakers||63||19||.768||–|
|2||y-San Antonio Spurs||56||26||.683||7|
|3||x-Portland Trail Blazers||59||23||.720||4|
|10||Golden State Warriors||37||45||.451||26|
|11||Los Angeles Clippers||30||52||.366||33|
- 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
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||33.6|
|Rebounds per game||Akeem Olajuwon||Houston Rockets||14.0|
|Assists per game||John Stockton||Utah Jazz||14.5|
|Steals per game||Michael Jordan||Chicago Bulls||2.77|
|Blocks per game||Akeem Olajuwon||Houston Rockets||4.59|
|FG%||Mark West||Phoenix Suns||.625|
|FT%||Larry Bird||Boston Celtics||.930|
|3FG%||Steve Kerr||Cleveland Cavaliers||.507|
- Most Valuable Player: Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
- Rookie of the Year: David Robinson, San Antonio Spurs
- Defensive Player of the Year: Dennis Rodman, Detroit Pistons
- Sixth Man of the Year: Ricky Pierce, Milwaukee Bucks
- Most Improved Player: Rony Seikaly, Miami Heat
- Coach of the Year: Pat Riley, Los Angeles Lakers
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||Patrick Ewing (New York Knicks)|
|December||Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)|
|January||Karl Malone (Utah Jazz)|
|February||Magic Johnson (Los Angeles Lakers)|
|March||Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)|
|April||Akeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets)|
Rookie of the monthEdit
The following players were named NBA Rookie of the Month.
|November||David Robinson (San Antonio Spurs)|
|December||David Robinson (San Antonio Spurs)|
|January||David Robinson (San Antonio Spurs)|
|February||David Robinson (San Antonio Spurs)|
|March||David Robinson (San Antonio Spurs)|
|April||David Robinson (San Antonio Spurs)|
Coach of the monthEdit
The following coaches were named NBA Coach of the Month.
|November||Dick Versace (Indiana Pacers)|
|December||Stu Jackson (New York Knicks)|
|January||Jim Lynam (Philadelphia 76ers)|
|February||Cotton Fitzsimmons (Phoenix Suns)|
|March||Rick Adelman (Portland Trail Blazers)|
|April||Jimmy Rodgers (Boston Celtics)|