The Western Conference champion Seattle SuperSonics (64–18) played the Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls (72–10), with the Bulls holding home court advantage.

- 1996 NBA Finals

In the Western Conference Semi-finals, they swept the 5th-seeded and reigning champions Houston Rockets in four straight games to advance to the Western Conference Finals, where they defeated the Utah Jazz in seven games to reach their first NBA Finals since 1979.

- 1995–96 Seattle SuperSonics season

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Scottie Pippen accumulated 2 triple-doubles and 4 double-doubles in November 1995.

1995–96 Chicago Bulls season

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The Bulls' 30th season in the National Basketball Association.

The Bulls' 30th season in the National Basketball Association.

Scottie Pippen accumulated 2 triple-doubles and 4 double-doubles in November 1995.

They then defeated the Seattle SuperSonics 4–2 in the 1996 NBA Finals, winning their fourth NBA title in six seasons.

1995–96 NBA season

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The 50th season of the National Basketball Association , though the 50th anniversary was not celebrated until the following season.

The 50th season of the National Basketball Association , though the 50th anniversary was not celebrated until the following season.

The Chicago Bulls defeated the Seattle SuperSonics 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals to win their fourth championship.

Jordan in 2014

Michael Jordan

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American businessman and former professional basketball player.

American businessman and former professional basketball player.

Jordan in 2014
Jordan in 1992
Jordan in training with the Scottsdale Scorpions in 1994
Jordan with coach Phil Jackson in 1997
Plaque at the United Center that chronicles Jordan's career achievements
Jordan as a member of the Washington Wizards, April 14, 2003
Jordan on the "Dream Team" in 1992
Jordan dunking the ball, 1987–88
James Worthy, Jordan, and Dean Smith in 2007 at a North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball game honoring the 1957 and 1982 men's basketball teams
Jordan on a golf course in 2007
Jordan receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama at the White House
Jordan in 2008

Jordan abruptly retired from basketball before the 1993–94 NBA season to play Minor League Baseball but returned to the Bulls in March 1995 and led them to three more championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998, as well as a then-record 72 regular season wins in the 1995–96 NBA season.

In the playoffs, the Bulls lost only three games in four series (Miami Heat 3–0, New York Knicks 4–1, and Orlando Magic 4–0), as they defeated the Seattle SuperSonics 4–2 in the NBA Finals to win their fourth championship.

1995–96 Utah Jazz season

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The Jazz's 22nd season in the National Basketball Association, and 17th season in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Jazz's 22nd season in the National Basketball Association, and 17th season in Salt Lake City, Utah.

However, in the Western Conference Finals for the third time in five years, they lost to the Seattle SuperSonics in seven games.

The Sonics would reach the NBA Finals, but would lose in six games to the Chicago Bulls.

Karl coaching the Denver Nuggets in 2011

George Karl

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American former professional basketball coach and player.

American former professional basketball coach and player.

Karl coaching the Denver Nuggets in 2011
Karl with the Nuggets in 2009

While he never won an NBA championship, Karl made the postseason 22 times with five different teams, which included a trip to the 1996 NBA Finals with the Seattle SuperSonics.

Karl responded to the disappointing playoff exits with the best regular season in SuperSonics history, posting a 14–game winning streak between February and March to finish the 1995–96 season with a franchise-best 64–18 record.

1995–96 Houston Rockets season

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The Rockets' 29th season in the National Basketball Association, and 25th season in Houston.

The Rockets' 29th season in the National Basketball Association, and 25th season in Houston.

However, the Rockets would be swept in the Western Conference Semi-finals by the Seattle SuperSonics in four straight games.

The Sonics would reach the NBA Finals, but would lose in six games to the Chicago Bulls.

1995–96 Sacramento Kings season

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The Kings' 47th season in the National Basketball Association, and 11th season in Sacramento.

The Kings' 47th season in the National Basketball Association, and 11th season in Sacramento.

In the Western Conference First Round of the playoffs, the Kings faced the top-seeded Seattle SuperSonics.

The Sonics would reach the NBA Finals, but would lose in six games to the Chicago Bulls.