On July 11, 2016, Tim Duncan officially announced his retirement after playing 19 seasons, winning five NBA championships with the San Antonio Spurs.
On July 12, 2016, Wang Zhizhi officially announced his retirement from professional basketball. Zhizhi played for three NBA teams during his 20-year playing career.
On July 25, 2016, Sasha Kaun officially announced his retirement after playing only one season in the NBA, winning one NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On July 26, 2016, Amar'e Stoudemire officially announced his retirement from the NBA after signing a ceremonial contract with the New York Knicks so he could officially end his 14-season career as an NBA player, and went to play in Israel.
On October 20, 2016, Elton Brand officially announced his retirement after playing 17 seasons.
On November 1, 2016, Ray Allen officially announced his retirement after playing 18 seasons, winning two NBA championships with the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat. Prior to announcing his retirement, Allen had not played since the end of the 2013–14 season. Allen was the last remaining active player from the 1996 NBA draft.
On November 25, 2016, Kevin Martin announced his retirement from the NBA after playing 12 seasons.
On December 6, 2016, Steve Blake announced his retirement from the NBA after playing 13 seasons in the NBA, and one season in the NBL in Australia.
On April 14, 2016, Sam Mitchell was relieved of his interim head coaching duties as the coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves after the last game of the season, allowing them to look for a permanent coach.
On April 19, 2016, Earl Watson would remove the interim coach tag he had last season and would be the coach of the Phoenix Suns for the next three years.
On April 20, 2016, the Timberwolves agreed to sign Tom Thibodeau to be their head coach and president of basketball operations. He was previously an assistant coach for the team from 1989 to 1991.
On April 25, 2016, the Lakers did not exercise their option on Scott's contract for the following season, deciding to pursue a new coach. His 38–126 (.232) record with the team was the worst of any of the 16 coaches who had led the franchise for at least two seasons.
There were no head coaching changes during the regular season. This was the first time since the 1963–64 NBA season that there was no in-season coaching changes, the fourth time this happened in league history.
The regular season began on October 25, 2016. Christmas Day games were played on December 25, 2016. The regular season ended on April 12, 2017. The schedule was released at 6:00 p.m. ET on August 11, 2016.
The 2017 NBA Playoffs began on April 15, 2017. In May 2017, ESPN aired the Western Conference Finals and TNT aired the Eastern Conference Finals. The season ended with the 2017 NBA Finals which began on June 1, 2017, and ended on June 12, 2017, on ABC.
Awards were presented at the NBA Awards ceremony, which were held on June 26. Finalists for voted awards were announced during the playoffs and winners were presented at the award ceremony. The All-NBA Teams were announced in advance in order for teams to have all the necessary information to make off-season preparations.
This was the first season of the new nine-year U.S. television contracts with ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV.
In Canada, rights were divided between the TSN and Sportsnet groups of channels and NBA TV Canada. These rights are of indefinite duration, as NBA TV Canada is owned by the Toronto Raptors' ownership group, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which in turn is controlled by the parent companies of TSN and Sportsnet (Bell Canada and Rogers Communications, respectively). TSN and Sportsnet each have rights to 41 Toronto Raptors regular season games and over 100 other regular season games, and were expected (as in 2015–16) to share coverage of NBA All-Star Weekend, and split coverage of the playoffs and the NBA Finals. NBA TV Canada carried 105 additional regular season games, plus replays of other games carried on TSN and Sportsnet.
The 2016–17 NBA schedule featured a historic low of "back-to-back" games, along with teams playing four games in a five-day stretch. It was the first schedule created with a new optimization computer program that the NBA described at the MIT Sport Analytic Conference.
The season also saw the league's timing systems, including the official game clock and shot clock united for the first time under a long-term sponsorship and equipment deal with Swiss watchmaker Tissot; the deal included the prominence of the Tissot logo on each court game clock/shot clock unit, which was redesigned to be both more clearly visible by spectators and with materials in the number elements that are more "see-through" than the previous Daktronics or OES models used by individual venues.
On November 1, James Harden recorded 41 points and 15 assists in a loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The next night, Harden scored 30 points with 15 assists in a win against the New York Knicks, becoming the first player to register at least 30 points and 15 assists in back-to-back games since Magic Johnson in 1986–87.
On November 23, Kevin Love scored 34 points in the first quarter of a win against the Portland Trail Blazers, setting an NBA record for most points scored in the first quarter, and second most in any quarter. Love finished the quarter 11-of-14 from the field and 8-of-10 from three, shattering the franchise's old record for both points and three-pointers in a quarter.
On November 29, the Houston Rockets scored at least ten three-pointers in their 17th consecutive game, setting an NBA record.
On November 29, in all six games, the team with the worst record ended up winning, making it only the second time in NBA history that's happened this late into the season (January 7, 1969).
On November 30, Russell Westbrook scored his fourth straight triple-double and in doing so became the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961–62 to average a triple-double into the month of December.
On December 1, in a 132–127 double-overtime win by the Houston Rockets over the Golden State Warriors, the two teams combined for 88 three-point attempts, setting an NBA record, with each team attempting 44 three's, also marking the first game in NBA history that both teams in a single game each attempted 40+ three-pointers.
On December 5, Klay Thompson scored 60 points (shooting 21-of-33 and 8-of-14 on three-pointers) in 29 minutes over just three quarters in a 142–106 win over the Indiana Pacers. Thompson became the first person in the shot-clock era to score 60 points in less than 30 minutes, and the first to score at least 60 points in three quarters since Kobe Bryant scored 62 against the Mavericks in December 2005.
On December 10, Chris Paul recorded 20 points, 20 assists without a turnovers in a win against the New Orleans Pelicans, the first person in NBA history to achieve those stats since turnovers first started being recorded in 1977.
On December 10, LeBron James recorded his 7,000th career assist, becoming the first frontcourt player, and 16th overall, in NBA history to reach that mark.
On December 14, the NBA tentatively completed an agreement with the NBA Players Association for their new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Major noteworthy notes about the agreement include the return of a six-year extension for a player on a team, an update on some of the fixed salaries, the introduction of two-way contracts for teams to have two extra players on their team for the purpose of developing in the NBA Development League while also improving the payment for players there, a shortened preseason with an earlier regular season starting point, and the extension of five-year contracts given to players nearing the age of 38 instead of the age of 36. The official signing was complete on January 19, 2017.
On December 16, the Houston Rockets made 24 three-pointers on 61 attempts in a win against the New Orleans Pelicans, setting the NBA records for both most made and attempted three-point field goals in a regular season game.
On December 17, Russell Westbrook became just the sixth player in NBA history to amass 50 career triple-doubles, and became the first player since Magic Johnson in 1988 to record a 25-point, 20 assist triple-double.
On December 31, James Harden recorded 53 points, 16 rebounds, and 17 assists in a win against the New York Knicks. It was the first 50–15–15 game in NBA history, and Harden tied Wilt Chamberlain for the most points ever scored in a triple-double.
On January 6, Chris Paul passed Rod Strickland for tenth on the all-time assists list with 7,988 career assists, and two days later, became the tenth player all-time to record 8,000 career assists.
On January 8, LeBron James became just the 14th player in NBA history to record 10,000 career field goals in a win against the Phoenix Suns.
On January 11, LeBron James passed Tim Hardaway for 15th on the all-time assists list with 7,096. James became the only player to be in the top 10 on the all-time scoring list and top 15 in assists.
On January 26, Vince Carter turned 40 years old, becoming just the 16th player ever to play in his 40s in the NBA.
On January 27, James Harden recorded a 51-point, 13 rebound, 13 assist triple-double in a win against the Philadelphia 76ers, becoming the first player in NBA history to record multiple 50-point triple-doubles in the same season, and tying Oscar Robertson for the most 40-point triple-doubles in a single season with five.
On February 3, the Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 113–107, giving the Celtics franchise its 3,253rd all-time win, passing the aforementioned Lakers for most wins by a single franchise in NBA history.
On February 4, LeBron James scored his 28,000th career point, becoming the youngest player, and just the eighth overall, to reach that mark (32 years, 36 days).
On February 8, the Miami Heat won their 12th straight game in a row, making it the longest winning streak for a team below .500 in NBA history, passing the 1996–97 Phoenix Suns. The streak would reach 13 straight before losing to the Philadelphia 76ers on February 11.
On February 10, Draymond Green became the first player in NBA history to record a triple-double while failing to score in double figures. In the Warriors' 122–107 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Green only scored four points, but collected 12 rebounds, ten assists, and ten steals. Green also became the first player to record ten steals and five blocks in a game since those became official NBA statistics in the 1973–74 season.
On February 13, the San Antonio Spurs earned their 42nd victory of the season, clinching the franchise's 20th straight winning season, setting an NBA record for most consecutive winning seasons by a single team.
On February 13, the Denver Nuggets made 24 three-pointers in a 132–110 win against the Golden State Warriors. The Nuggets' 24 three-pointers tied the NBA record for most three-pointers made in a single regular season game, along with the Houston Rockets who set the record earlier in the season on December 16.
On February 25, the Golden State Warriors became the quickest team in NBA history to clinch a playoff spot, beating the record set by last year's Warriors team by two days (February 27).
On February 27, Stephen Curry shot 0-for-11 on three-point attempts in a win against the Philadelphia 76ers, becoming just the fourth player in NBA history to make no three-pointers while attempting at least eleven such shots.
During the month of March, the NBA would break the record for most triple-doubles recorded in a single season.
On March 1, the Detroit Pistons shot 3-of-17 on free throws in a loss against the New Orleans Pelicans, setting a record for the lowest free-throw percentage (17.6%) in a game in NBA history (minimum 10 attempts).
On March 2, the Golden State Warriors lost their second consecutive game, snapping their NBA record streak of 146 straight regular season games without consecutive losses which dated back to April 2015.
On March 3, the Cleveland Cavaliers made 25 three-pointers in a win against the Atlanta Hawks, setting the NBA regular-season record for most three-pointers made in a game, surpassing the record of 24 set by the Rockets and Nuggets earlier in the season.
On March 4, Eric Gordon made his 180th three-pointer of the season in his 49th game as a reserve, setting an NBA record for the most three-pointers made in a season by a player off the bench. The previous record of 179 three-pointers was set by Mirza Teletović last year in 78 games.
On March 4, Ricky Rubio recorded the 79th triple-double of the season throughout the NBA, breaking the record of 78 set in 1988–89 for most triple-doubles in a single season in NBA history.
On March 22, Russell Westbrook became the first player in NBA history to record a triple-double while making all of his attempted baskets and free throws. In the Thunder's 122–97 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, he went 6-for-6 from both the floor and the line while collecting 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 14 assists.
On March 24, Devin Booker became the sixth player in NBA history to score at least 70 points in a game. In addition, Booker became the youngest player in NBA history to score at least 60 points in a game, breaking David Thompson's record.
On March 29, Russell Westbrook scored 57 points in a victory against the Orlando Magic along with 13 rebounds and 11 assists, it was his 38th triple double of the season and the highest points scored in a triple double.
On April 2, Russell Westbrook became the second player in NBA history to get 40 triple-doubles in a single season during the Oklahoma City Thunder's 113–101 loss against the Charlotte Hornets. Westbrook had 40 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists against the Hornets. In doing so, Westbrook moved within one triple double of tying the single season record that was set by Oscar Robertson in the 1961–62 season.
On April 4, Russell Westbrook recorded his 41st triple-double of the season in the Thunder's 110–79 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, tying the NBA record of most triple doubles in a single season set by Oscar Robertson during the 1961–62 NBA season.
On April 7, Russell Westbrook ensured he would finish the season averaging a triple-double. Entering the Thunder's game against the Phoenix Suns, Westbrook needed six assists to reach 820 for the season, the final number he needed to clinch a triple-double average; he reached the mark early in the third quarter. The only other player to average a triple-double for a season is Oscar Robertson, who accomplished it with the Cincinnati Royals during the 1961–62 NBA season.
On April 8, Rudy Gobert ensured that he would finish the season with 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 200 blocks during a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. This is the 23rd time a player has accomplished this feat in NBA history.
On April 9, Russell Westbrook recorded 50 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists during the Oklahoma City Thunder's 106–105 victory against the Denver Nuggets. This was Westbrook's 42nd triple double of the season, breaking the NBA record for most triple-doubles in a single season that was previously held by Oscar Robertson. It would also be his third game where he scored 50 or more points while recording a triple-double.
On April 12, during the Memphis Grizzlies final game of the regular season, Vince Carter passed Kobe Bryant for regular season games played with 1,347 for 13th place.
By the end of the regular season, Vince Carter, Jamal Crawford and Kyle Korver ended up with a triple-tie in career 3-pointers made with 2,049 each for 5th place.
This season became the first one since the 1963–64 NBA season in which no coaches were fired during the regular season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks in every one of the five major statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks) in the 2016–17 regular season, becoming only the fifth NBA player to do so after Dave Cowens, Scottie Pippen, Kevin Garnett and LeBron James. He also became the first player in NBA history to finish in the top 20 in the league in each of the five major categories in a regular season.
On April 20, the Cleveland Cavaliers erased a 25-point halftime deficit in their 119–114 victory over the Indiana Pacers, which, at the time, was the largest such deficit overcome in NBA playoff history.
On May 19, the Cleveland Cavaliers held a 72–31 lead over the Boston Celtics at halftime, setting the record for largest playoff halftime lead (41 points) in NBA history. The previous record had been 40, set by the Detroit Pistons against the Washington Bullets in 1987. The final score, a 130–86 Cavaliers victory, was the worst loss (44 points) for a #1 seed in NBA history. This was also the Cavaliers' 13th straight playoff victory dating back to 2016, which tied them with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1988 and 1989 for the longest playoff winning streak by a team in NBA history.
On May 22, the Golden State Warriors became the first team in NBA history to begin a postseason 12–0 and the first team in NBA history to achieve three consecutive sweeps in best-of-seven playoff series with their 129–115 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. The Los Angeles Lakers previously swept the first three rounds in both 1989 and 2001, but both times occurred when the first round was still played in a best-of-five format.
On June 4, the Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 132–113 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals to take a 2–0 series lead. Golden State improved to 14–0 this postseason, with their 14-game winning streak setting a new NBA playoff record for most consecutive victories. The Warriors also surpassed their own NBA record for three-point field goals made in a Finals game with 18.
On June 4, LeBron James and Stephen Curry became the first set of opposing players to each record a triple-double in an NBA postseason game since 1970.
On June 7, the Warriors set two NBA Finals records during a 118–113 Game 3 win over the Cavaliers: most three-point field goals made in a quarter (9 in the first quarter) and in a half (12 in the first half). The Warriors improved to 15–0 this postseason and extended the NBA's longest ever playoff win streak to 15 games.
On June 9, the Cavaliers defeated the Warriors 137–116 in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, snapping the Warriors' record playoff winning streak at 15 games. Several NBA Finals records were broken during the game. The Cavaliers set NBA Finals records for most points in a quarter (49 in the first quarter) and in a half (86 in the first half) in addition to most made three-pointers in a half (13 in the first half, which broke the record set by Golden State in the first half of Game 3 of this year's Finals only two days earlier) and in a game (24 total, which broke the record set by Golden State in Game 2 of this year's Finals only five days earlier). The Cavaliers and Warriors also scored a combined 154 points during the first half, setting an NBA Finals record for most combined points in a half. Finally, LeBron James recorded his ninth career triple double in an NBA Finals game, which surpassed Magic Johnson for the most career triple-doubles in Finals history.