Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

1996–97 Denver Nuggets season

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Arena  McNichols Sports Arena
Playoff finish  DNQ
Record  21–61 (.256)
Head coach  Bernie Bickerstaff Dick Motta
Place  Division: 5th (Midwest) Conference: 12th (Western)
Television  Fox Sports Rocky Mountain, KWGN

The 1996–97 NBA season was the Nuggets' 21st season in the National Basketball Association, and 30th season as a franchise. In the offseason, the Nuggets acquired Mark Jackson and Ricky Pierce from the Indiana Pacers while signing free agent Ervin Johnson. However, after a 4–9 start to the season, Bernie Bickerstaff was forced out as head coach and replaced with Dick Motta, where the Nuggets then lost ten straight games along the way. Midway through the season, Jackson was traded back to the Indiana Pacers, while Pierce was dealt to the Charlotte Hornets. Meanwhile, the Nuggets signed free agent Kenny Smith, who won championships with the Houston Rockets. As the season drew, the Nuggets still struggled losing 26 of their final 30 games finishing fifth in the Midwest Division with a 21–61 record. Despite injuries limiting him to 55 games, LaPhonso Ellis led the team in scoring with a career high of 21.9 points per game.


Following the season, second-year star Antonio McDyess was traded to the Phoenix Suns, Dale Ellis was traded back to the Seattle SuperSonics, Johnson was dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks, Tom Hammonds signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Smith retired.

Roster Notes

  • Guard Eric Murdock was wavied on November 26.
  • Season standings

    z - clinched division title y - clinched division title x - clinched playoff spot


    1996–97 Denver Nuggets season Wikipedia

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