Rivers urges coach’s challenge system

Doc Rivers, coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, has been a proponent of a coach’s challenge system for replay reviews, similar to what the NFL has. He renewed his support Friday morning, talking with reporters at the Clippers’ shootaround session in advance of their game at Sacramento.

Rivers’ stance on the concept bubbled up after his team’s loss to Denver on Wednesday. His player, Jeff Green, was called for an offensive foul with 30.4 seconds left that – according to the NBA’s Officiating Last Two-Minute Report – should not have been called. L.A. trailed by four points at the time, so Green’s basket and a possible foul shot could have altered what unfolded over the final half minute.

Considering the Clippers’ reputation – and their head coach’s, too – for being arguably the league’s most argumentative over referees’ decisions, perhaps Rivers could offer a suggestion: Rather than hoping the Board of Governors and the NBA competition committee legislate a coach’s challenge into the rules, he and his players could negotiate it in. As in, if they give coaches the right to formally question one or more calls during a game, Rivers would promise not to incessantly challenge the other couple hundred he does on a typical night.

Anyway, here is a portion of Marc Spears‘ report for Yahoo! Sports:

While the NBA has instant replay, it currently doesn’t allow coaches to challenge a ruling on a play. Rivers said the NBA has discussed the subject of a coach’s challenge during competition committee meetings in recent years, but it has not come close to being approved. NFL coaches are allowed two challenges per game before the snap of the ball at any time before the two-minute warning of each half or overtime period.

“I would throw it out [a challenge flag] with both hands like a shot. That’s why I couldn’t shoot,” Rivers said. … “It’s a tough one to me. It’s not like officials are trying to make mistakes, but they do at the end of the games.”

Rivers described [the incorrect call on Green Wednesday] as a “horrible call, which the league acknowledged.”

“I’ve been pushing for a [challenge] flag for a year now,” Rivers said. “We should have a challenge flag. That is the third time this year [against the Clippers] that [the NBA] has come back and said it was a bad call. It doesn’t do anything for us.”

One of the games Rivers noted was a 100-99 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Dec. 21 that he said included three missed calls late in the contest.

“The league has done a great job of transparency and that has been phenomenal,” Rivers told Yahoo Sports. “But the problem with it is you don’t get anything from it if you’re the [losing] team. … The one thing I keep saying and make the point of is the refs are trying to make it right, too. It’s not like we’re mad at refs. We just want to get it right.”


  1. Jim says:

    Anything that will help improving the game without referees throwing out technical ($$$) fouls would be a great improvement. It seems referees are the traffic police seeking $$ for calls (for the league) that they think are correct “at the time”. But, when replay is shown, oops, their was no foul or oops, the ball was blocked and there was no foul. Yes a limit on challenges should be there, but not reduced when won. Perhaps 2 per half. I have seen soooo many bad calls by referees that I am beginning to think they are being “coached” into their calls. Not just a challenge on personal fouls, but also a challenge on technical fouls if the original foul was incorrect.

  2. taekayo says:

    What about last years “timer blunder” at the Spurs last possession? Pop was pissed because the Clips got to see SA’s last play due to a “problem with the timer”. LAL could’ve still won that series, but with what they did the Spurs could at least have a clean shot.

  3. I give Doc Rivers to the end of this season. The Flippers are way overrated. Even w Flake Griffin.

    • Yau says:

      You are annoying with no reasoning.
      Even if clips are overated, it has nothing to do with challeng system.
      If you don’t like clips, just dont say anything.