1995–96 Los Angeles Lakers season

The 1995–96 NBA season was the Lakers' 48th season in the National Basketball Association, and 36th in the city of Los Angeles. It was also the highlight of All-Star guard Magic Johnson making a comeback. The Lakers played around .500 in the first few months before Johnson's arrival in late January. The team won ten of their twelve games in February. However, in March, after a game against the Seattle SuperSonics, scoring leader Cedric Ceballos missed the team's charter flight to Seattle without explanation. The Lakers were scheduled to play the Sonics again. Ceballos went missing for a few days, and was suspended without pay. Their troubles continued as Nick Van Exel shoved a referee in a game against the Denver Nuggets on April 9, and was suspended for the final seven games of the season. The Lakers finished second in the Pacific Division with a 53–29 record.

In the Western Conference First Round, the Lakers lost to the 5th-seeded Houston Rockets in four games. After the defeat, Magic decided to retire for the second time and for good. Following the season, Vlade Divac was traded to the Charlotte Hornets for Kobe Bryant, Anthony Peeler and George Lynch were both dealt to the Vancouver Grizzlies, and Sedale Threatt was released.

NBA Draft


Roster listing
1995–96 Los Angeles Lakers roster
Pos.No.NameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY-MM-DD)From
PF43Blount, Corie6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)240 lb (109 kg)1969–01–04Cincinnati
PF41Campbell, Elden6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)215 lb (98 kg)1968–07–23Clemson
SF23Ceballos, Cedric6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)190 lb (86 kg)1969–08–02Cal State Fullerton
C12Divac, Vlade7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)243 lb (110 kg)1968–02–03Yugoslavia
PF32Johnson, Magic6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)215 lb (98 kg)1959–08–14Michigan State
SG25Jones, Eddie6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)190 lb (86 kg)1971–10–20Temple
PG4King, Frankie Injured6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)185 lb (84 kg)1972–06–06Western Carolina
SF34Lynch, George6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)218 lb (99 kg)1970–09–03North Carolina
PF2Miller, Anthony Injured6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)225 lb (102 kg)1971–10–22Michigan State
SG1Peeler, Anthony6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)208 lb (94 kg)1969–11–25Missouri
C24Roberts, Fred6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)218 lb (99 kg)1960–08–14BYU
PF7Strong, Derek6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)220 lb (100 kg)1968–02–09Xavier
PG3Threatt, Sedale6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)175 lb (79 kg)1961–09–10West Virginia Tech
PG9Van Exel, Nick6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)170 lb (77 kg)1971–11–27Cincinnati
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Last transaction: 1996–01–29

Regular season

Magic's Comeback

In the 1995–96 NBA season, Johnson made a short-lived second comeback as a player from January 1996 to May 1996. In this time, he had bulked up from his self-reported weight of 235 lb in 1992 to 255 lb in order to play power forward, a much more physical position than his usual point guard role. At age 36, Johnson played the last 32 games of the season, averaging 14.6 points, 6.9 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per game. The Lakers lost to the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs, and Johnson retired for good. Johnson explained his comeback with the words: "I am going out on my terms, something I couldn't say when I aborted a comeback in 1992."

Season standings

Record vs. opponents

Game log


West First Round

(4) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (5) Houston Rockets Last Playoff Meeting: 1991 Western Conference First Round (Houston won 3–1)

Player statistics

  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG% Field-goal percentage 3P% 3-point field-goal percentage FT% Free-throw percentage
 RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
 BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game



Award winners



Uses material from the Wikipedia article 1995–96 Los Angeles Lakers season, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.