With James Worthy in the final season of his career, the 1993-94 Los Angeles Lakers were officially a young, rebuilding team. Led by Vlade Divac and Nick Van Exel, the Lakers starting lineup only featured one player over 25 while Worthy came off the bench in a limited role.
The NBA world was shocked once again by a stunning retirement, as Michael Jordan called it quits after winning three straight championships. His absence would be far shorter than Magic Johnson’s.
However, this wouldn’t greatly affect the Bulls success, as they still managed a 55-27 record, but would lose in the second round to the New York Knicks. The Lakers, on the other hand, would be less successful with their young core, going 33-49 and missing the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
The Knicks, after defeating the Bulls, would go on to get to the Finals. There, they would play Hakeem Olajuwan and the Houston Rockets in a grueling seven-game series.
It would go down to the very end, but it was the Rockets who prevailed to win their first ever championship.
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NBA playoffs schedule and results