1987–88 NBA season
|1987–88 NBA season|
|League||National Basketball Association|
Nov 6, 1987 – Apr 24, 1988
Apr 28 – Jun 4, 1988 (Playoffs)
Jun 7–21, 1988 (Finals)
|Number of teams||23|
|TV partner(s)||CBS, TBS|
|Top draft pick||
(didn't play until 89–90 season)
|Picked by||San Antonio Spurs|
|Top seed||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Season MVP||Michael Jordan (Chicago)|
|Top scorer||Michael Jordan (Chicago)|
|Eastern champions||Detroit Pistons|
|Eastern runners-up||Boston Celtics|
|Western champions||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Western runners-up||Dallas Mavericks|
|Champions||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Finals MVP||James Worthy (L.A. Lakers)|
The 1987–88 NBA season was the 42nd season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning their second straight Championship, beating the Detroit Pistons in seven hard fought games in the NBA Finals, becoming the NBA's first repeat champions since the Boston Celtics did it in the 1968–69 NBA season.
|Team||1986-87 coach||1987-88 coach|
|Dallas Mavericks||Dick Motta||John MacLeod|
|Phoenix Suns||Dick Van Arsdale||John Wetzel|
|Milwaukee Bucks||Don Nelson||Del Harris|
|New York Knicks||Bob Hill||Rick Pitino|
|Sacramento Kings||Jerry Reynolds||Bill Russell|
|Los Angeles Clippers||Don Chaney||Gene Shue|
|Team||Outgoing coach||Incoming coach|
|Golden State Warriors||George Karl||Ed Gregory|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Matt Guokas||Jim Lynam|
|New Jersey Nets||Dave Wohl||Bob MacKinnon|
|Bob MacKinnon||Willis Reed|
|Sacramento Kings||Bill Russell||Jerry Reynolds|
|Washington Bullets||Kevin Loughery||Wes Unseld|
- The 1988 NBA All-Star Game was played at Chicago Stadium in Chicago, with the East defeating the West 138–133. Local hero Michael Jordan steals the show during the week-end, taking home the game's MVP award, after winning the slam dunk contest earlier in the week.
- Michael Jordan becomes the only player in NBA history to win both the scoring title and Defensive Player of the Year honors. He is also the only player in NBA history to combine these awards with the season's Most Valuable Player award.
- James Worthy records the first ever Game Seven triple double as he records 36 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.
- The league awards expansion franchises to Charlotte, Miami, Minneapolis, and Orlando. The Charlotte and Miami franchises would debut in the 1988–89 NBA season, while Minneapolis and Orlando would begin play in the 1989–90 NBA season.
- The New Jersey Nets had 3 different head coaches during the season, a rare occurrence. Interestingly, the Indiana Pacers would have 4 different head coaches during the following season.
- The San Antonio Spurs are the last team in NBA history to lose 50 or more games in a season, and still make the playoffs.
- With the exception of a first round sweep of San Antonio, the Los Angeles Lakers played seven-game series the rest of the way. During the run, they overcame the Utah Jazz in the semifinals, the Dallas Mavericks in the conference finals, and the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals. The Mavs' appearance in the conference finals was the team's first of three appearances.
- On January 5, 1988, Hall of Famer Pete Maravich died of a heart attack during a pickup game. He was 40 years old. The Utah Jazz subsequently honored him by sporting a patch containing his jersey No. 7.
- The Phoenix Suns mourned the loss of center Nick Vanos, killed in an airline crash on August 16, 1987. The Suns sported black circular patches with his jersey No. 30 on their uniforms for the season.
- The Detroit Pistons play their final season at Pontiac Silverdome.
- The Milwaukee Bucks play their final season at MECCA (Milwaukee Arena).
- The Sacramento Kings play their final season at ARCO Arena I.
- The Muggsy Bogues, the league's shortest player.