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NBA coaches may soon get 2nd challenge if 1st is successful

Lachlan Cunningham / Getty Images Sport / Getty

MIAMI (AP) — NBA coaches may soon get to challenge two calls in a game instead of just one, the league revealed Wednesday.

The current rule gives coaches one challenge per game, whether they’re right or not. The league’s competition committee is weighing whether coaches should be rewarded with a second challenge opportunity to use later in the game if the first one is deemed successful.

“We feel like it’s an incremental movement that we would potentially like to see,” NBA President of Basketball Operations Byron Spruell said Wednesday in an appearance on ESPN. “There’s an appetite for it. We’ll see where it comes out.”

The NBA’s competition committee will discuss the matter further at its meeting Thursday in Miami. It would then have to go to the league’s Board of Governors, and tested in summer league before it would be officially implemented.

“I think that would be good,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said before Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday, though he noted that he doesn't know what the “unintended consequences” of such a change would be.

The league is also looking at ways to further implement technology on certain decisions — such as goaltending and out-of-bounds calls late in games. Any changes there would also have to get board approval and go through the traditional testing process before getting to the NBA.

“Now, over time, maybe those even become more automated, like you see in tennis, like you see in baseball, like you even see in soccer,” Spruell said on the ESPN appearance. “So, we’re excited by the innovation there and what it could potentially lead to, including for our referees, taking that focus off of those objective calls and letting them get to the more complex, more real-time and more judgment-type, subjective calls too, even shifting their focus.”

The league implemented the challenge starting with the 2019-20 season.


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