The news broke last night that the NBA will be incorporating the in-game challenge flag starting next season. As we have seen for many years in the NFL, the challenge flag can end up being a crucial part of the game, as it can give each team’s coach the chance to make a big and impactful play for his team.
This is a huge change for the NBA, as they hope to cut out wasteful time spent doing replay reviews, now the coaches will have one chance to dictate one in order to help his squad. Unlike the NFL, there will not be an actual flag used in the NBA, rather it will be a signal the coach will use to show he wants to challenge that certain play.
Now, what can you challenge exactly? It can only be used for personal fouls, goaltending and/or basket interference, and a called out-of-bounds violation. This gives the coaches a nice outlet to try impact the game by more than just their tactical decisions.
It will be very interesting to keep an eye on how coaches decide to use their challenges. I feel that it will take time before every coach becomes adapted to this new rule, as it has never been an option before in this sport.
There have been discussions that this will slow the NBA game down even more, but ultimately as a true fan of the sport, you just want the team to win that deserves to win, as it is important for the refs to get every call right, and this should help.