Changing the Game: 5 Rule changes the NBA must consider

2024 NBA All-Star Game
2024 NBA All-Star Game / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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4) Expand the coach’s challenge.

This past summer, the NBA expanded the use of the Coach’s Challenge. Previously, coaches were only allowed one challenge, regardless of the result. Under the new guidelines, if the first challenge is deemed successful, the challenging team is awarded a second coach’s challenge.

While this is a step in the right direction, there’s one major flaw. To trigger a challenge, a team needs to call a timeout first. If the first challenge is successful, the team retains its timeout, but regardless of the result, the team will not keep the timeout used to initiate the second challenge. 

It’s time for the NBA to look to its big brother, the NFL, for guidance. By default, the NFL Coach’s Challenge rules allow for coaches to call two challenges. If both are successful then the team is awarded a third challenge. More importantly, a team only loses a timeout if a challenge is ruled unsuccessful, regardless of how many challenges are called. 

While we’ve seen an uptick in Coach’s challenges amidst the rule change, there’s still some hesitancy to use the second one, in fear of needing that timeout in a crucial game situation. If the league takes a similar approach as the NFL and allows a team to retain its timeout on all successful challenges, we’ll likely see an increased willingness to use that second challenge.