Doc Rivers wishes NBA would instate a coach’s challenge in final two minutes

Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers directs the Clippers during a game against Oklahoma City on Monday.

(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said he wishes coaches could challenge calls in the final two minutes of games after the NBA acknowledged referees botched three calls in the final two minutes of the Clippers’ 100-99 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.

“I’m a big believer in it,” Rivers said before Clippers practice Wednesday. “If we had a coach’s challenge the last two minutes of that game, we win the game.”

With one minute left, the league said, the officials missed calling a foul on Oklahoma City’s Dion Waiters for grabbing J.J. Redick’s jersey before he attempted a three-pointer. With 10.9 seconds left, the league said, a foul should have been called on Russell Westbrook for making contact with Chris Paul’s leg. And with 10.9 seconds left, the league said, an illegal screen on Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka was missed. 

“I really believe that we have to make a change there,” Rivers said. “Those non-calls or calls or whatever you want to call them, lost the game for us. Literally. We have to come up with something.”


Rivers said if it were up to him, coaches would be able to challenge calls in the final two minutes of games -- if the coach lost the challenge, he’d lose a timeout. If the coach was right, he’d get to keep his challenge. Rivers said he would have challenged each of those three plays the referees missed.

“On all three, you see me complaining about it,” Rivers said. “That’s where they say, ‘You’re complaining.’ Sometimes as a coach, I think that’s your job. I got yelled at by our official in the first half about complaining about the charge I was right on. I don’t know what you’re supposed to do as a coach, don’t say anything or say something. I don’t think anyone is trying to make mistakes or anything like that; it’s a hard game to ref.”

Rivers went on to joke that he’d love to have a red bean bag to throw on plays he’d like to challenge.

“I’d love that,” he said. “It’s so cool with the NFL coaches. I would put mine in a sock.”


The way things stand now, J.J. Redick said the league’s Last Two Minute report is pretty much useless, and the fact that they missed those three calls is totally irrelevant.

“I mean, I don’t even know why they do it,” Redick said. “Who cares? It doesn’t change anything. I don’t necessarily think it changed anything during the game.

“You can go through 48 minutes and write ‘INC’ or ‘CNC’ all you want,” added Redick, referring to the abbreviations for an incorrect call and a correct non-call, “but it doesn’t really change anything, so I don’t see a point in it. I’m not going to get worked up over it. Indifference.”

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