June 1984—Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, John Stockton and Charles Barkley are drafted, stocking the league with four future Hall of Fame players. The league also institutes a seven-team draft lottery, replacing the practice of flipping a silver dollar to determine the top pick between the two teams with the worst records.
October 1984—The Clippers open their first season in Los Angeles after having moved from San Diego.
October 1985—The Kings open their first season in Sacramento after having moved from Kansas City.
February 1986—New Jersey Nets guard Micheal Ray Richardson tests positive for cocaine and becomes the first active player to receive a lifetime ban under the league's anti-drug policy. Eight more players would be banned over the next nine years.
October 1986—The NBA's board of governors tweaks the draft lottery so that it determines the order of selection for only the first three teams. The rest of the non-playoff teams pick in inverse order of their regular-season records.
June 1989—The NBA draft is televised in prime time on national television for the first time. The league also reduces the draft to only two rounds, a format that remains in effect.
October 1989—The NBA's board of governors adopts a weighted 11-team draft lottery, starting with the 1990 draft, in which the team that finishes with the worst record has the highest odds of obtaining the top pick.
October 1995—The board of governors increases the number of teams participating in the draft lottery from 11 to 13 to account for expansion teams Toronto and Vancouver, who open their first seasons.
October 1997—Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner become the first female referees in any major U.S. professional sport.
December 1997—The league suspends Golden State's Latrell Sprewell for one year after he chokes Coach P.J. Carlesimo during a practice.
July 1998—The NBA locks out its players for nearly seven months until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, resulting in a shortened 50-game 1998-99 season.
October 1999—Officials begin enforcing a ban on hand-checking and forearm-checking above the free-throw line, allowing some of the game's top scorers to become even more prolific.
November 2001—The Grizzlies open their first season in Memphis after having moved from Vancouver.
January 2002—The NBA fines Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $500,000 for saying he wouldn't hire then-league head of officiating Ed Rush to run a Dairy Queen. Cuban has amassed more than $1.9 million in fines during his 14 years of ownership.
July 2002—The league agrees to use instant replay to determine whether shots at the end of quarters and overtimes should count and whether fouls had been called before time expired.
October 2002—The Hornets open their first season in New Orleans after having moved from Charlotte.