The 2008–09 NBA season was the 63rd season of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals, four games to one.
The 2008 NBA draft was held on June 28, 2008, and Derrick Rose was selected first overall by the Chicago Bulls and eventually was awarded the 2009 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. The 2009 NBA All-Star Game was hosted at the US Airways Center in Phoenix. The Western Conference All-Stars defeated the Eastern Conference All-Stars 146–119. The All-Star Game co-MVPs were Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant.
This was the first NBA season since 1966–67 without a Seattle franchise, as the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in July 2008 and became the Oklahoma City Thunder.
* On July 2, 2008, the city of Seattle and the Seattle SuperSonics (owned by the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based Professional Basketball Club LLC) reached a settlement where the defendants agreed to pay $45 million to relocate the team to Oklahoma City, retain the SuperSonics' players, coaches, and contracts, and "share" the SuperSonics' franchise history with a hypothetical future Seattle team. However, the SuperSonics name, colors, and logo will remain reserved for a future Seattle club. The team was named the Oklahoma City Thunder on September 3, 2008.
* On July 23, 2008, restricted free agent Josh Childress signed with Euroleague club Olympiacos for three years and $20 million net (the biggest signing in Euroleague history), marking the first departure of an American-born player to Europe in the prime of his career.
* On October 11, 2008, the NBA's first outdoor game in more than three decades was held on the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. The game was played between the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns, who played the last outdoor game against the Milwaukee Bucks in 1972.
* On October 23, 2008, the NBA Board of Governors (owners) approved expanded use of instant replays for this season to determine if made baskets would be worth two or three points, and to award either two or three free throws on shooting fouls.
* On December 10, 2008, Carmelo Anthony scored 33 of his season-high 45 points in the third quarter in a win against the Minnesota Timberwolves, breaking the franchise record and equaling the league record for most points in a quarter.
* On December 11, 2008, Cuttino Mobley retired from the NBA because of a severe case of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart disease.
* On December 25, 2008, the Los Angeles Lakers broke the Boston Celtics' 19-game winning streak in a rematch of the previous season's NBA Finals.
* On January 22, 2009, Alonzo Mourning retired from the NBA after 15 seasons.
* On February 4, 2009, LeBron James's 52-point triple-double against the New York Knicks on February 4 was negated by subtracting a rebound from his total. The negated rebound was given to Ben Wallace. James would have been the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 to have a 50-point triple-double.
* On February 5, 2009, the Los Angeles Lakers broke another Celtic winning streak, joining a short list of teams to break two 12+ game win streaks in a season.
* On February 8, 2009, the Los Angeles Lakers broke the Cleveland Cavaliers' 23-game home-winning streak. In doing so, the Lakers became the first team in NBA history to win back-to-back games on the road (Boston and Cleveland) against teams with .800-plus win percentages at least 40 games into the season.