The 1981–82 NBA season was the 36th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Championship, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.
* The 1982 NBA All-Star Game was played at the new Brendan Byrne Arena (now the Meadowlands Arena) in East Rutherford, New Jersey, with the East defeating the West 120–118. Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics wins the game's MVP award. This season also marked the New Jersey Nets first season in the new arena.
* On March 6, 1982, San Antonio beat Milwaukee 171-166 in three overtime periods to set the record for most points by two teams in a game. The record was broken two seasons later.
* Magic Johnson secures his second NBA Finals MVP award several months before his 23rd birthday.
* The Los Angeles Lakers begin a string of nine consecutive seasons as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
* The Denver Nuggets scored at least 100 points in every single game of the season, while also allowing 100 points in every game. It remains the only time this has occurred in NBA history.
* After a few years of success in NCAA basketball, the breakaway rim became standardized equipment in the NBA.
* This season marked Isiah Thomas' rookie season.
* The three-to-make-two free throw rule, along with the two-to-make one rule (both used when a team exceeded five team fouls in a quarter), were both eliminated.