NBA Rumors: Coach's Challenge, 'Replay Official' Rule Changes Discussed

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2019

Referees Tony Brothers (25) and Gediminas Petraitis review a play during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Detroit Pistons and the Oklahoma City Thunder, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Multiple changes to the replay system were discussed Tuesday at the NBA general manager meetings, including the possible implementation of coach's challenges.

According to ESPN.com's Zach Lowe, opinions were split on challenges. Some GMs want everything to be available to be challenged, including fouls, while others want only non-judgment calls such as out-of-bounds plays, goaltending and determining whether a shot was a two-pointer or three-pointer to be challengeable.

The meeting also featured a discussion about a replay official potentially sitting at the scorer's table during games.

That would allow certain determinations to be made without stopping play and would also not necessitate officials from huddling up to determine if a play should be reviewed, eliminating some of the down time currently attached to reviews.

Lowe noted that conversations about challenges got even deeper and involved discussions about how timeouts might play a role.

There was reportedly talk of taking a timeout from a team if they challenge regardless of whether they win or lose it. Lowe also wrote that some in the meeting were wary of teams using a challenge to essentially create an extra timeout since it would represent a stoppage in play.

Additionally, on the subject of challenging fouls, Lowe brought up the issue of whether that would also allow coaches to challenge non-calls.

Of the four major North American sports leagues, the NBA is the only one that lacks some type of challenge system.

The NFL, MLB and NHL have had systems in place for years, and they have expanded them during that time as well.

Most notably, the NFL voted this year to make pass-interference calls challengeable after the New Orleans Saints lost the Los Angeles Rams in last season's NFC Championship Game due primarily to a blatant pass-interference call that was not made.

If the NBA allows coaches to challenge fouls, it will essentially be following in the footsteps of the NFL, although the NFL still does not allow challenges on most infractions.

Discussions are ongoing about a potential challenge system in the NBA, and no formal decisions were made to implement one at Tuesday's meeting.

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