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NBA – 1985 – CBS Sports Almanac Highlights – NBA Year In Review – With Dick Stockton + Tom Heinshon

The 1984–85 NBA season was the 39th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Championship, beating the Boston Celtics 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals

Highlights from the 1984 – 1985 NBA season were as follows:

Michael Jordan became the only rookie in NBA history to lead a team in four statistics….points, assists, rebounds and steals.  

The Clippers relocated from San Diego to Los Angeles….thus creating a distinction whereby two teams from the same city of Los Angeles….are in the same division….as the Clippers and Lakers play in the Pacific Division.

Turner Broadcasting began a relationship with the NBA that continues today when TBS signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the NBA.  

The Kings played their final game in Kansas City…..and moved the franchise to Sacramento the following season.

In one of their final home games, Knicks forward Bernard King….who finished the year as the scoring champion….ruptured his ACL in his right knee….and was out of action for two years.  King would come back in 1987, but would not return to the All-Star Game until 1991.

This season marked the rookie season for four future NBA Hall of Fame Members in Michael Jordan, Akeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley and John Stockton.

Due to a roof collapse at the Pontiac Silverdome, the Pistons were forced to rent the Joe Louis Arena, home of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs.

At age 38, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the oldest player to win the honor of Finals MVP….as Jabbar’s team, the Lakers, became the first visiting team to win the NBA title at Boston Garden….after beating their arch rivals, the Boston Celtics, in six games.

The NBA Finals adopted the 2-3-2 format….which was used through the 2013 NBA Finals….after which the league returned to the 2–2–1–1–1 format.

The Cleveland Cavaliers returned to the playoffs after a seven-year absence. They were eliminated by the Celtics in four games. They would not make the playoffs again until 1988. The Cavaliers were coached by George Karl, then making his NBA coaching debut.

At New Orleans’ Lakefront Arena….where the Atlanta Hawks played 12 of 41 home games during the 1985 season….Larry Bird scored a Celtics’ franchise record 60 points in Boston’s 126–115 victory over the Hawks on March 12….as Bird broke the previous franchise record set by teammate Kevin McHale (56) nine days earlier at Boston Garden against the Pistons.

The Denver Nuggets made the conference finals for the first time since 1978….while losing 4-1 to the Lakers. They would not make the conference finals again until 2009….which they lost to the Lakers again. The series marked the end of Dan Issel’s playing career, having played 15 professional seasons and averaging 22.6 points and 9.1 rebounds in his career.

This was the last season of the backboard height set at 48 in (1.219 m)…..as It would be shortened 6 inches (15.2 cm) next season to the current 42 in (1.067 m). The NBA logo is added on the lower left hand corner of the backboard starting this season.

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