NBA to experiment with a referee challenge system for coaches at Summer League

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If Tyronn Lue had a red, NFL-style challenge flag during these NBA Finals he might have thrown his arm out he tried to use it so much.

The NBA has been considering ways to give coaches the ability to ask for a couple of challenges to calls during games for a while now. In some form that is going to get tested out at Summer League, reports Justin Tremine, the host of NBA Today on SiriusXM NBA Radio.

I don’t know, I like the idea of an NFL-style flag. I want to see Tom Thibodeau “accidentally” throw the flag and hit Tony Brothers with it. Instead, it likely will look a little more like the tennis model, where a coach can ask for a call to be reviewed a couple of times a game, only during a break in the action.

There are a lot of questions still to be answered: What calls can be challenged, and which are non-reviewable? Can a common shooting foul be challenged? How many challenges does a coach get? If the coach is right and the call is reversed/overturned, does the coach keep that challenge?

Still, this is a good step by the NBA, which often uses Summer League or the G-League to test potential rule changes before bringing them to the NBA itself. The idea of giving coaches some mechanism to challenge a call is a good one.

It also adds another element of strategy for coaches, who may want to save at least one of their challenges for the end of a close game. Will NBA coaches have the advantage NFL coaches do, where an assistant often gets to watch the replay on TV before having to make the call on whether to challenge?

Summer League in Las Vegas just got a little more interesting.