"You never want to go out with a loss but we have to use it as motivation." - Candace Parker

Learn from it and do better next time.

"Keep practicing. Never let someone tell you you’re too small or too slow." - Chris Paul

Hard work. Dedication.

Apr. 21, 1996 - The Chicago Bulls end the regular season with NBA record 72-10

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The only team in NBA history to win 70 games or more in a single season.

With a lineup of Ron Harper, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Luke Longley, and perhaps the league’s best bench in Steve Kerr, Toni Kukoc, Bill Wennington, Jud Buechler, and guard Randy Brown the Bulls posted one of the best single-season improvements in league history and the best single-season record, moving from 47–35 to 72–10, which remains the best record in NBA history. Jordan won his eighth scoring title, and Rodman his fifth straight rebounding title, while Kerr finished second in the league in three-point shooting percentage. Jordan garnered the elusive triple crown with the regular season MVP, All-star Game MVP, and Finals MVP. Jerry Krause was named Executive of the Year, Phil Jackson Coach of the Year, and Kukoc the Sixth Man of the Year. Both Pippen and Jordan made the All-NBA First Team, and Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman made the All-Defensive First Team, making the Bulls the only team in history with three players on the All-Defensive First Team.

In addition, the 1995–96 squad holds several other records, including the best road record in a standard 41-road-game season (33–8), the all-time best start by a team (41–3), the longest home winning streak (44 games, 7 from previous season), and the best start at home (37–0). The Bulls also posted the second-best home record in history (39–2), behind only the 1985–86 Celtics 40–1 home mark, and the second-best point differential in history, trailing the 1972 Lakers by 3 points over the course of an entire season. The team triumphed over Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp and the Seattle SuperSonics for their fourth title. The 1995–96 Chicago Bulls are widely regarded as one of the greatest teams in the history of basketball.

In the 1996–97 season, the Bulls narrowly missed out on a second consecutive 70-win season by losing their final two games to finish 69–13. They repeated their home dominance, going 39–2 at the United Center. The Bulls capped the season by winning their fifth NBA championship over John Stockton, Karl Malone and the Utah Jazz. Jordan earned his second straight and ninth career scoring title, while Rodman earned his sixth straight rebounding title.

"Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability." - John Wooden

Wisdom from the Wizard of Westwood.

Apr. 20, 1986 - Air Jordan sets an NBA playoff record with 63 points in a game

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"I think," Larry Bird said after the game, “it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.”

Jordan was able to play in only 18 regular-season games in his second year in the NBA, after breaking a small bone in his foot in Chicago Bulls third game of the year. Although he was encouraged to sit out the end of the season in order to make sure he was fully healed for the next, he insisted on coming back late in the season and led the Bulls to the 1986 NBA Playoffs.

It was in Game 2 of Chicago’s first round matchup against the eventual NBA champion Boston Celtics that Jordan showed just how thoroughly he had recovered. In the hallowed halls of the Boston Garden, he set a playoff record by scoring an amazing 63 points against what many considered to be one of the greatest NBA teams ever. The Celtics won the game, 135-131 in double-overtime, and went on to sweep the Bulls, but Jordan’s playoff record still stands.

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"Don’t be afraid of failure. This is the way to succeed." - LeBron James

If at first you don’t succeed…

The 2013-14 NBA playoffs begin today! 
Eight first-round series set to tip off. What are your first round predictions? Who you got?
Eastern Conference 1. Indiana Pacers vs. 8. Atlanta Hawks 2. Miami Heat vs. 7. Charlotte Bobcats  3. Toronto Raptors vs. 6. Brooklyn Nets  4. Chicago Bulls vs. 5. Washington Wizards Western Conference 1. San Antonio Spurs vs. 8. Dallas Mavericks 2. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 7. Memphis Grizzlies  3. Los Angeles Clippers vs. 6. Golden State Warriors 4. Houston Rockets vs. 5. Portland Trail Blazers

The 2013-14 NBA playoffs begin today!

Eight first-round series set to tip off. What are your first round predictions? Who you got?

Eastern Conference
1. Indiana Pacers vs. 8. Atlanta Hawks
2. Miami Heat vs. 7. Charlotte Bobcats
3. Toronto Raptors vs. 6. Brooklyn Nets
4. Chicago Bulls vs. 5. Washington Wizards

Western Conference
1. San Antonio Spurs vs. 8. Dallas Mavericks
2. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 7. Memphis Grizzlies
3. Los Angeles Clippers vs. 6. Golden State Warriors
4. Houston Rockets vs. 5. Portland Trail Blazers

"Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication." - Mike Krzyzewski

Stay in the loop.

Apr. 15, 1991 - Magic Johnson sets NBA record for career assists with 9,898

Fellow Lakers guard Michael Cooper said, “There have been times when [Johnson] has thrown passes and I wasn’t sure where he was going. Then one of our guys catches the ball and scores, and I run back up the floor convinced that he must’ve thrown it through somebody.”

In 905 NBA games, Lakers' Magic Johnson tallied 17,707 points, 6,559 rebounds, and 10,141 assists, translating to career averages of 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 11.2 assists per game, the highest assists per game average in NBA history (second highest is John Stockton with a career average of 10.5 assists per game). Johnson shares the single-game playoff record for assists (24), holds the Finals record for assists in a game (21), and has the most playoff assists (2,346). He holds the All-Star Game single-game record for assists (22), and the All-Star Game record for career assists (127). Johnson introduced a fast-paced style of basketball called “Showtime”, described as a mix of “no-look passes off the fastbreak, pin-point alley-oops from halfcourt, spinning feeds and overhand bullets under the basket through triple teams.”

"You have to go through good times and bad times to get where you’re trying to go." - Allen Iverson

It’s all part of the journey.

Apr. 14, 1997 - Allen Iverson set an NBA rookie record by scoring 40 or more points in his fifth consecutive game

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Billed as “The Answer,” Allen Iverson arrived on the NBA scene and immediately became one of the league’s most exciting players. With unmatched quickness, Iverson wowed crowds at the new CoreStates Center with a spectacular crossover dribble and a seeming ability to score at-will. While he couldn’t save the Philadelphia 76ers from a disappointing 22-60 season, his play gave every indication that he is indeed the Answer to many of the Sixers’ struggles.

Iverson proved his worth under the national spotlight on All-Star Saturday, winning Most Valuable Player honors at the Schick Rookie Game. But the telltale sign of his explosiveness came in April, when he set an NBA rookie record by scoring 40 or more points in five consecutive games (breaking Wilt Chamberlain's record, set in the 1959-60 season with the Philadelphia Warriors), highlighted by a 50-point outburst against the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 12. He was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.

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"Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It’s being able to take it as well as dish it out. That’s the only way you’re going to get respect from the players." - Larry Bird

Larry Legend on leadership.

Apr. 13, 1986 - Boston Celtics end the NBA season with a 40-1 home record

In 1985–86 the Boston Celtics fielded one of the best teams in NBA history. Under head coach K.C. Jones , the Celtics finished the regular season with a record of 67–15, going 40–1 at home (37–1 at the Boston Garden, 3–0 at the Hartford Civic Center). This team is generally considered to be the best of Larry Bird's career as he won his third consecutive MVP award after having arguably his finest season.

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