The 1979–80 NBA season was the 34th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Championship, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.
The NBA officially adopts the three-point field goal. Boston Celtics guard Chris Ford made the first three-pointer on October 12, 1979.
The Jazz relocate from New Orleans, Louisiana to Salt Lake City, Utah and move from the Central Division to the Midwest Division (with the Indiana Pacers replacing them).
The 1980 NBA All-Star Game was played at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland, with the East defeating the West 144–136 in overtime. George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs wins the game's MVP award.
This was the first season the NBA had a cable television partner. The USA Network signed a 3 year, 1.5 million dollar deal.
Magic Johnson and Larry Bird's rookie season, the 1979–80 NBA season is considered, by many, to be the birth of the modern game.[ Playing an up tempo style, the NBA appealed to a wider audience.
Darryl Dawkins broke two backboards: one at Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium on November 13, 1979, and a second backboard 23 days later at the Philadelphia Spectrum. Because his dunks resulted in delays while teams went to find another backboard, the NBA eventually modified their basketball rims to make them collapsible.
Former NBA official and CBS analyst Mendy Rudolph passed away on July 4, 1979. All NBA referee shirts sport the No. 5 patch in his honor, and was retired permanently.