The 1976–77 NBA season was the 31st season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Portland Trail Blazers winning their first NBA Championship in franchise history, beating the Philadelphia 76ers in six games in the NBA Finals.
Prior to the season, the NBA merged with its primary rival league, the American Basketball Association (ABA). Four ABA teams joined the NBA, all four of which are still in the league today: the San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, and New York Nets. The Nets became the New Jersey Nets the following season, and now play as the Brooklyn Nets. With these additions, the NBA expanded from eighteen teams to twenty-two.
|1976–77 NBA season|
|League||National Basketball Association|
|Duration||October 21, 1976 – April 10, 1977|
April 12–May 17, 1977 (Playoffs)
May 22–June 5, 1977 (Finals)
|Number of games||82|
|Number of teams||22|
|Top draft pick||John Lucas|
|Picked by||Houston Rockets|
|Top seed||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Season MVP||Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (L.A. Lakers)|
|Top scorer||Pete Maravich (New Orleans)|
|Eastern champions||Philadelphia 76ers|
|Eastern runners-up||Houston Rockets|
|Western champions||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Western runners-up||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Champions||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Finals MVP||Bill Walton (Portland)|
|Team||1975–76 coach||1976–77 coach|
|Atlanta Hawks||Bumper Tormohlen||Hubie Brown|
|Buffalo Braves||Jack Ramsay||Tates Locke|
|Chicago Bulls||Dick Motta||Ed Badger|
|Houston Rockets||Johnny Egan||Tom Nissalke|
|Los Angeles Lakers||Bill Sharman||Jerry West|
|Portland Trail Blazers||Lenny Wilkens||Jack Ramsay|
|Washington Bullets||K. C. Jones||Dick Motta|
|Team||Outgoing coach||Incoming coach|
|Milwaukee Bucks||Larry Costello||Don Nelson|
|New Orleans Jazz||Butch Van Breda Kolff||Elgin Baylor|
|New York Knicks||40||42||.488||10||26–15||14–27||8–8|
|New York Nets||22||60||.268||28||10–31||12–29||6–10|
|x-San Antonio Spurs||44||38||.537||5||31–10||13–28||9–11|
|New Orleans Jazz||35||47||.427||14||26–15||9–32||10–10|
|Kansas City Kings||40||42||.488||10||28–13||12–29||7–13|
|y-Los Angeles Lakers||53||29||.646||–||37–4||16–25||11–5|
|x-Portland Trail Blazers||49||33||.598||4||35–6||14–27||10–6|
|x-Golden State Warriors||46||36||.561||7||29–12||17–24||8–8|
|5||x-San Antonio Spurs||44||38||.537||6|
|7||New York Knicks||40||42||.488||10|
|8||New Orleans Jazz||35||47||.427||15|
|11||New York Nets||22||60||.268||28|
|1||z-Los Angeles Lakers||53||29||.646||–|
|3||x-Portland Trail Blazers||49||33||.598||4|
|4||x-Golden State Warriors||46||36||.561||7|
|7||Kansas City Kings||40||42||.488||13|
|1st round||Conference semifinals||Conference finals||NBA Finals|
|Points per game||Pete Maravich||New Orleans Jazz||31.6|
|Rebounds per game||Bill Walton||Portland Trail Blazers||14.4|
|Assists per game||Don Buse||Indiana Pacers||8.5|
|Steals per game||Don Buse||Indiana Pacers||3.47|
|Blocks per game||Bill Walton||Portland Trail Blazers||3.25|
|FG%||Kareem Abdul-Jabbar||Los Angeles Lakers||.579|
|FT%||Ernie DiGregorio||Buffalo Braves||.945|
Note: All information on this page were obtained on the History section on NBA.com
The 1976–77 NBA season was the Hawks' 28th season in the NBA and ninth season in Atlanta.1976–77 Buffalo Braves season
The 1976–77 NBA season was the Braves seventh season in the NBA. The Braves were purchased by John Y. Brown, Jr., the former owner of the Kentucky Colonels in the now defunct American Basketball Association for $6.2 million. As part of an agreement with the Braves' former owner, Paul Snyder, Brown would give Snyder money received in player deals to reduce the purchase price. The sell-off began shortly after the season, as the Braves sold newly acquired Moses Malone. Malone was acquired in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers after the ABA dispersal draft. Malone was now off to the Houston Rockets. The selling of players continued into the season as Bob McAdoo was sold to the New York Knicks. While the deals helped Brown pay virtually nothing for the franchise, it turned a promising franchise into a rebuilding one. Attendance fell off as the Braves finished in 4th place with a 30-52 record. The only spotlight was rookie Adrian Dantley, who captured Rookie of the Year honors with 20.3 points per game. However Dantley himself was traded following the season to the Indiana Pacers for Billy Knight.1976–77 Chicago Bulls season
The 1976-77 NBA season was the Bulls' 11th season in the NBA.1976–77 Detroit Pistons season
Following are the results of the 1976–77 season of the Detroit Pistons, the franchise of the National Basketball Association based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The 1976-77 NBA season was the Pistons' 29th season in the NBA and 20th season in the city of Detroit.1976–77 Golden State Warriors season
The 1976–77 NBA season was the Warriors' 31st season in the NBA and 14th in the San Francisco Bay Area.1976–77 Houston Rockets season
The 1976–77 NBA season was the Rockets' 10th season in the NBA and 6th season in the city of Houston.In the playoffs, the Rockets defeated the Washington Bullets in six games in the Semifinals before losing to the Philadelphia 76ers in six games in the Conference Finals.1976–77 Indiana Pacers season
The 1976–77 NBA season was Indiana's 1st season in the NBA and 10th season as a franchise.1976–77 Kansas City Kings season
The 1976–77 NBA season was the Kings 28th season in the NBA and their fifth season in the city of Kansas City.1976–77 Los Angeles Lakers season
The 1976–77 NBA season was the Lakers' 29th season in the NBA and 17th season in Los Angeles.1976–77 Milwaukee Bucks season
The 1976–77 NBA season was the Bucks' ninth season in the NBA.1976–77 New York Nets season
The 1976–77 New York Nets season was the tenth season for the franchise, and the first for the team in the NBA. It was also their last before moving back to New Jersey.1976–77 Philadelphia 76ers season
The 1976–77 NBA season was the 28th season for the franchise in the NBA. Just months earlier, the American Basketball Association had ended its ninth and last campaign and the two leagues combined. In a special $6 million deal, the Nets sold Julius Erving, the ABA's leading scorer, to the Philadelphia 76ers for $3 million. The other $3 million went to Erving, by way of a new contract. In Philadelphia, Erving joined another scoring machine, George McGinnis, who had come over earlier from the Indiana Pacers. This accumulation of talent brought talk of an immediate championship to Philadelphia.
The talented 76ers had posted the best record in the Eastern Conference with a record of 50–32. Gene Shue was the coach and his key players were Erving (the esteemed Dr. J), McGinnis and 6-foot-6 shooting guard Doug Collins. Other key contributors included point guard Henry Bibby and World B. Free. Caldwell Jones started at center with 20-year-old Darryl Dawkins, also known as "Chocolate Thunder," in a backup role. The reserve forwards were Steve Mix, Harvey Catchings and Joe Bryant. The Sixers beat the Boston Celtics and the Houston Rockets in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, but lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 4–2, after winning the first 2 games.1976–77 Seattle SuperSonics season
The 1976–77 NBA season was the SuperSonics' 10th season in the NBA.1976–77 Washington Bullets season
The 1976–77 NBA season was the Bullets 16th season in the NBA and their 4th season in the city of Washington, D.C..1977 NBA All-Star Game
The 27th National Basketball Association All-Star Game was played on February 13, 1977, at MECCA Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference, 125–124. The Most Valuable Player was Julius Erving. Gene Shue coached the Eastern Conference team. Larry Brown coached the Western Conference team.1977 NBA Finals
The 1977 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1976–77 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs. The Western Conference champion Portland Trail Blazers played against the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers, with the 76ers holding home-court advantage. Their four regular season meetings had been split evenly, 2–2, with neither side winning away from home. The series was played under a best-of-seven format, so the first team to win four games would win the series and become the league champions.
The 1976–77 NBA season started with the ABA–NBA merger. Portland had benefited from the resulting ABA dispersal draft as they acquired Spirits of St. Louis power forward Maurice Lucas to partner with Bill Walton, and Philadelphia had signed ABA All-Star and 3-time ABA MVP Julius "Dr. J" Erving, who had taken the New York Nets to the ABA title the previous year. In the 1977 NBA Finals, five of the ten starting players were former ABA players (Julius Erving, Caldwell Jones, George McGinnis, Dave Twardzik, and Maurice Lucas.).While it was no surprise that Philadelphia had made it to the championship series, having posted the best record in the east (50-32, #1), Portland's appearance in the finals was a mild surprise. Portland, a team that was founded only seven years earlier, was not only making its playoff debut with its first winning season (49-33, #3), but it was also making its finals debut as well after sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers in four close games in the Western Conference Finals.
The series quickly went 2-0 in favor of Philadelphia, but over the next four games, Portland mounted a comeback that has rarely been seen in professional sports.1977 NBA playoffs
The 1977 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1976–77 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Portland Trail Blazers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals. It was Portland's first (and so far, only) NBA title. Bill Walton was named NBA Finals MVP.
Portland won the NBA title in its first playoff appearance, something that had not taken place since the early days of the BAA (and has not since, as of 2018). The Trail Blazers went 10-0 at home in the playoffs.
This was the first NBA playoffs after the ABA-NBA merger; two of the former ABA teams (the San Antonio Spurs and Denver Nuggets) made their playoff debuts in their first NBA season. The New Jersey Nets made their playoff debut in 1979, and the Indiana Pacers in 1981.
The NBA Playoffs added 1 more team from each conference, for a total of 12 contestants, up from 10 the previous year.
This was the Detroit Pistons last playoff appearance of the decade and their last as a Western Conference team as they would move to the East in 1978. They would not make the postseason again until 1984.
For the first time since 1956, the Eastern Conference Finals had neither the Celtics nor Knicks participating.
The referees went on strike during these playoffs.Dallas Chaparrals
The Dallas Chaparrals were a charter member of the American Basketball Association (ABA). The team moved to San Antonio, Texas for the 1973–74 season and were renamed the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs joined the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the 1976–77 NBA season as a result of the ABA–NBA merger.List of 1976–77 NBA season transactions
These are the list of personnel changes in the NBA from the 1976–77 NBA season.
1976–77 NBA season