The NBA coach’s challenge may still be in its infancy, but Doc Rivers already has strong feelings about the new rule.
The Clippers coach ranted about a failed challenge in the fourth quarter of his team’s 129-124 loss to the Bucks on Wednesday night, saying an offensive foul call on Los Angeles guard Lou Williams was “awful.” Rivers did have a strong case, as the replay angles available showed Milwaukee’s Eric Bledsoe throwing his head back after minimal contact with Williams’ shoulder.
MORE: What can NBA coaches challenge during games?
“They should’ve overturned it,” Rivers said after the game (via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk). “That’s why I hate the rule. Nobody wants to be wrong. Let me just say that. You have to overturn that. Unless Bledsoe fouled Lou with his face, there was no foul on that play…
“There was a flop. I think it [would’ve] been more of a chance that Bledsoe got a letter from the league about flopping than Bledsoe got fouled. That was awful. I don’t like the rule anyway. I said it up front. And now I like it even less.”
Following in the footsteps of the NFL and MLB, the NBA introduced a coach’s challenge for the 2019-20 season. Each team has one challenge available per game, and coaches are allowed to challenge personal foul calls, out-of-bounds calls and goaltending/basket interference calls over the course of the game. “Clear and conclusive evidence” is required in order to overturn a call on the floor. (For a more in-depth explanation of the rule, go here.)
Through the Clippers’ first eight games, Rivers has lost his only two challenges, but he should be at a 50 percent success rate based on Wednesday night’s video evidence.