The NBA All-Star Game was held at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C.. The East won 111–110, with Philadelphia's Allen Iverson being named the game's Most Valuable Player. The game is noted for the Eastern Conference's 21-point comeback in the fourth quarter.
The Los Angeles Lakers win their second straight title by going 15–1 in the playoffs, then the best playoff winning percentage in NBA history (later surpassed by the 2017 Golden State Warriors).
The Toronto Raptors made the second round of the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, winning over New York 3–2. They lost in the second round to Philadelphia 4–3.
Prior to the season, Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning announced that he suffered a kidney disorder and missed the first five months of the season. Mourning would receive a kidney transplant two years later.
Effective of this season, the league now permitted players to wear knee-length shorts by default, although players like John Stockton opted to continue wearing short shorts during the season. This would be the case for other players in the future as players like Chris Douglas-Roberts in the 2014–15 season and LeBron James for some of the 2015–16 season would opt to wear short shorts.
Three teams in the Western Conference who missed the playoffs won 40 or more games. The ninth-placed Houston Rockets finished the season with a 45–37 record, the tenth-placed Seattle SuperSonics finished with a 44–38 record, and the eleventh-placed Denver Nuggets ended the season with a 40–42 record.
Teams in bold advanced to the next round. The numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, and the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home-court advantage does not necessarily belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record; teams enjoying the home advantage are shown in italics.