The 1986–87 NBA season was the 41st season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning their fourth championship of the decade, beating the Boston Celtics 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.
* Boston Celtics' top draft pick Len Bias died of a cocaine overdose barely two days after the draft. In the wake of Micheal Ray Richardson's lifetime suspension, several NBA players were suspended for violations of the anti-drug policy; among them Houston Rockets forward Lewis Lloyd and guard Mitchell Wiggins.
* On April 17, three Phoenix Suns players (James Edwards, Jay Humphries, and Grant Gondrezick) and two former players (Gar Heard and Mike Bratz) were indicted for cocaine trafficking at a popular Phoenix nightclub. Several other players were also involved in the scandal.
* When Mychal Thompson joined the Lakers this season alongside the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, and James Worthy, the Lakers became the first team to ever have four different #1 draft picks join the same team.
* The 1987 NBA All-Star Game was played at the Kingdome in Seattle, with the West defeating the East 154-149 in overtime. To the delight of the Seattle crowd, the SuperSonics' Tom Chambers won the game's MVP award. Michael Jordan won his first Slam Dunk Contest.
* This was the final NBA season for Philadelphia's Julius Erving who announced his retirement that year. NBA arenas paid tribute to Erving's retirement by staging special events for him. The New Jersey Nets, in particular, retired Erving's No. 32 jersey for his contributions with the franchise. Thus Erving became the only player to have his number retired by a team while still an active player.
* Michael Jordan joined Wilt Chamberlain as only the second player in NBA history to score 3000 points in a season. With a 37.1 ppg, Jordan also began a seven-year reign as the NBA's scoring champion, tied with Chamberlain for the league record.
* This was the last season the Lakers and Celtics matched up in the NBA Finals until 2008.
* The 1986–87 season was also known as the "Golden Era" of the NBA. The 1987 NBA season featured up to 21 Hall of Fame players such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Bill Walton, Moses Malone, Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, Charles Barkley, Akeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Alex English, Patrick Ewing, Adrian Dantley, Joe Dumars, and Dennis Rodman.
* Despite finishing with a sub-.500 record, the Seattle SuperSonics were able to upset the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets before bowing down to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals in a four-game sweep.
* In a game on February 4, 1987, the Los Angeles Lakers set two NBA records by jumping out to a 29-0 lead over the Sacramento Kings and leading by 36 points (40-4) at the end of the first quarter. The Lakers went on to win, 128-92.
* The NBA logo was prominently displayed on the uniforms for the first time (usually on the left side of the jersey; it was moved to the top rear in 2014), becoming the first sports league in North America to do so. The practice of placing the league logo on the jerseys eventually spreads to the NFL, NHL and MLB.
* Fernando Martín became the first Spanish player to play in the NBA when he debuted for the Portland Trail Blazers in December 1986. He would pave the way for future Spanish players in the league, including five-time NBA All-Star Pau Gasol.
* Los Angeles Clippers becoming the second team in NBA history to lose 70 or more games joining the 1972–73 76ers, the latter was (1992–93 Mavericks, 1997–98 Nuggets, 2009–10 Nets (including losing 18 straight games to start the season), and the 2015–16 76ers (including a record–tying 26–game losing streak also including losing 18 straight games to start the season).