On June 15, 2014, Shane Battier announced his retirement immediately following the Miami Heat's loss in Game 5 in the 2014 NBA Finals. He was 35, and had played for thirteen seasons. He won back-to-back NBA championships with the Heat (2012–2013)
On September 9, 2014, Chauncey Billups announced his retirement after 17 years of playing; the last team he played for was the Detroit Pistons, and he won a championship with them in 2004 as well as a Finals MVP that same year.
The regular season began on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, with the defending NBA champions San Antonio Spurs hosted the first game against the Dallas Mavericks. The regular season ended on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. Christmas Day games were played on Thursday, December 25, 2014. The NBA is mulling a week-long All-Star break in February 2015, and the full schedule was released during a one-hour schedule release special on August 13, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. EDT on NBA TV.
The Cleveland Cavaliers won the #1 pick in the NBA draft for the second year in a row, as well as the third time in four years and the sixth time in franchise history. It also ties the lowest percentage possible in the modern-day draft lottery with the Chicago Bulls back in 2008, as well as marks the second time one team got the #1 draft pick for the second year in a row. Their selection was Andrew Wiggins, the second straight Canadian player to be selected as the No. 1 pick.
Both top selections Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett were traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love on August 23rd, 2014, the soonest date allowed by Wiggins signing his rookie contract 30 days earlier. The trade of Wiggins also marked the second time since the NBA-ABA merger that a #1 draft pick was traded to another team without playing for the team he was initially drafted by.
During the month of September, Atlanta Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson sold his share of the Hawks after self-reporting an e-mail he received that was considered inappropriate and potentially racist back in 2012. Around that same time, general manager Danny Ferry's remark that player Luol Deng "had a bit of African in him" was leaked, resulting in Ferry taking an indefinite leave of absence and having coach Mike Budenholzer taking on the job until his potential return.
On September 29, 2014, the Phoenix Suns became the first team to have two different sets of brothers playing on the same team, with Goran Dragić's younger brother Zoran signing on a two-year deal and both twin brothers Markieff and Marcus Morris both getting four-year contract extensions from the team. All four of these players played in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on November 15, 2014, while both pairs of brothers played together at the same time late in the fourth quarter in a 112-96 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on January 2, 2015.
On October 6, 2014, the NBA announced a new TV deal with ESPN and TNT that's worth $24 billion on a 9-year deal. Starting in the 2015–16 NBA season, the NBA's value increased from $930 million to $2.6 billion per year, which would also increase each team's salary cap from $63 million to around $88.8 million. In addition to that, the NBA also announced that starting this season, the league will host an end-of-season award show on TNT to replace the time spent on giving out certain awards in sometimes awkward situations.
On October 19, 2014, the Brooklyn Nets and the Boston Celtics played a pre-season game that consisted of four 11 minute quarters, instead of the regular 12 minute quarters, which decreased the overall amount of playing time to around two hours. Boston won the game 95-90.
The NBA logo assumes a new position on team jerseys, moving from the top left chest in front to the back atop a player's name. In addition, teams who have won a championship will have their uniforms adorned with a gold patch on the back, featuring the number of championships won.
The NBA owners vote 17–13 to reform the lottery odds to reduce the chances of the worst teams in the league winning the lottery. However, the proposal fails as a 23 vote super-majority was required to pass the proposal. Had the proposal passed, it would have taken effect immediately.
The NBA also implements and debuts a replay center in Secaucus, New Jersey on October 28, 2014. Its purpose is to make sure the NBA's replays on questionable calls faster for the referees when making the final decision.
On November 1, 2014, Carmelo Anthony surpassed 20,000 career points, becoming the 40th player in NBA history to do so. He reached the milestone in the 1st quarter of a 96-93 home win against the Charlotte Hornets.
On November 11, 2014, Dirk Nowitzki surpassed Hakeem Olajuwon as the highest-scoring player born outside the United States and the 9th all-time scoring leader, as the Mavericks came from behind 24 points down to beat Sacramento 106–98 for their 21st straight regular-season win at home against the Kings. Nowitzki hit a jumper from just inside the three-point line early in the fourth quarter to pass Olajuwon at No. 9, and he finished the night at 26,953 career points.
On November 12, 2014, Kobe Bryant surpassed John Havlicek and became the all-time leader for missed field goal attempts in the league. His career-breaking record 13,418th missed shot came at 6:22 in the fourth quarter with a missed 14-foot fadeaway in a 107-102 loss on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies.
On December 3, 2014, the Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves created the first ever mulligan during a start of an official NBA game by nullyfing the first 16 seconds where the 76ers gained possession and drew a foul against the Timberwolves. The 76ers won their first game of the season.
On December 14, 2014, Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan for third place on the all-time scoring list. He reached the mark at 5:24 in the second quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves by making two free-throw shots. Bryant finished with 26 points in the Lakers' 100-94 victory over Minnesota.
On December 22, 2014, the Detroit Pistons waived Josh Smith after signing him to a four-year, $54 million contract in July 2013. Smith signed with the Houston Rockets two days later, after the Rockets waived undrafted rookie Tarik Black, who signed with the Los Angeles Lakers a few days later. In Smith's debut with the Rockets, he recorded 21 points and 8 rebounds in 32 minutes under a 117–111 overtime victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on December 26, 2014. After the waivers were cleared, the Pistons went on a seven-game winning streak after starting out 5-23 with Smith on the roster.
The league introduced new jerseys on Christmas Day, listing players' first names instead of the traditional practice of listing their last names.
On December 26, 2014, Dirk Nowitzki passed Elvin Hayes to become the 8th best all-time scorer in the NBA. He scored 14 points in the Mavericks' close 102–98 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Also that day, Jared Dudley became the first ever player to shoot perfectly from the field while attempting at least 10 field goals and 3 three-point shots, as he scored 24 points on 10-for-10 shooting, (4 for 4 on three-pointers) in the Milwaukee Bucks' 107-77 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
On January 2, 2015, an agreement was put in place by the Atlanta Hawks ownership to sell the franchise.
Shawn Marion would be the first player in NBA history to score over 15,000 points, grab 10,000 rebounds, have 1,500 steals, block 1,000 shots, and score over 500 three-point shots throughout his entire career.
During the All-Star game, Russell Westbrook would record the second-highest amount of points scored in an All-Star game with 41 as the Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference 163-158. After the game was over, it was announced that the New York Knicks bought out Amar'e Stoudemire's contract and would play wherever he wanted to. He'd end up going to the Dallas Mavericks two days later.
On March 24, 2015, Dirk Nowitzki recorded his 10,000th rebound in a 101-94 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. He became the first ever player to record 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 1,000 blocks, and 1,000 three-point field goals, as well as become the seventh player to ever reach 10,000 or more rebounds in the league.
On March 24, 2015, Jeremy Lin and Jordan Clarkson of the Los Angeles Lakers, made up the first starting Asian-American backcourt in NBA history in a 127-117 loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder . Clarkson, who is half African American (from his father's side), also originates from Filipino heritage with his mother's side of the family. Lin, who was also born in the U.S. , comes from a Chinese and Taiwanese heritage. Jordan Clarkson scored a career high 30 points and three blocks, along seven assists and 4 rebounds. He also became the youngest Laker to score 30 or more points since Andrew Bynum on Jan. 21, 2009. Jeremy Lin contributed with 19 points, 7 assists, and 2 rebounds.
All five teams in the Southwest Division made the playoffs, marking only the third time all teams in a division have made the playoffs, and the first time since the entire Central Division made it 9 Years prior. However this is the first occurrence of all teams in a division making the playoffs with all teams having a winning percentage above .500.
The New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers suffered their first 60 loss seasons in franchise history. The Knicks finished 17-65, surpassing their worst season of 23-59 in 1986 and 2006 respectively. The Lakers finished 21-61, surpassing their worst season of 27-55 from the previous season. These are the first 60 loss seasons for both franchises, leaving the Utah Jazz as the only franchise to have not lost 60 or more games in a season.
The Golden State Warriors and the Atlanta Hawks both achieved their first 60 win seasons in franchise history, finishing 67-15 and 60-22, respectively, and first place in their respective conferences.
Russell Westbrook became the first scoring champion since Tracy McGrady in 2003-04 whose team did not make the playoffs.