Doc Rivers on coach’s challenge rule: “I don’t like it, I think the refs have enough on their plate”

Kurt Helin

Coaches around the league are still adapting to the new coach’s challenge rule, where they can look to overturn a call with the bet of a timeout on the line.

Fans wanted it — they love it in the NFL. The league liked what they saw enough last season in the G-League to bring it to the NBA this season. Coaches, the guys with the power, are not believers yet.

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Take what Doc Rivers said Saturday at Clippers practice, via Mark Medina of The USA Today.


“I don’t like it, I think the refs have enough on their plate…

“I don’t like that it has to be a call to trigger it. It would be nice if I saw the foul, I called it, that would be nice. This way, it’s a tough rule. I think there’s a foul on every play, so if you contest a foul call, there’s a chance somewhere he got fouled, so I don’t love it in that way.

“The other way we loved it is goaltending, I believe that’s the hardest thing to call, by the human eye.”

Rivers has said that analytics say to use it whenever, but a lot of coaches may save it for late-game situations.

Through the preseason Rivers has made one challenge call, but said that was on a dare.

“I didn’t want to [challenge], Lou (Williams) and Pat (Beverley) asked me to throw [the challenge flag, which is not what happens in the NBA but we’ll just let it go]. I told them it was a foul, they basically bet me that it wasn’t a foul, so I said ‘alright, I’m throwing the flag then.’”


It was a foul.

It’s going to get interesting to watch late-game challenges when the games start to get serious in 10 days. For now, coaches are just experimenting.

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