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You can already here the call from Mike Breen and Doris Burke.

BREEN: Lebron James with the rebound, comes down the court with a full head of steam, takes off and THROWS IT DOWN...and 1!

BURKE: It looks like they're calling that a blocking foul on Jayson Tatum, but I saw it the other way...appears he got there. 

BREEN: Let's look at the highlight...

BURKE: Ohh, Tatum was clearly outside the restricted area, ready to take that charge! Stevens should be...yeah, there it is...Brad Stevens has just thrown the challenge flag to contest this call. 

Challenge flag? In the NBA? It will be a thing as soon as a few weeks from now.

It sounds crazy, but let's be honest here: there's bad blood in the NBA. It's players/coaches vs. the refs in a nightly, ego-driven Battle Royale.

Part of the problem is players think they're infallible, consistently throwing their hands in the air in disgust, protesting call after call after call with toddler-like tantrums, even though there are multiple cameras capturing the contact that garnered a whistle.

Part of the problem is that the only consistency we see from officiating is their gross inconsistency. It's come to the point that players and coaches don't even know what a foul is. What is in the first may not be in the fourth quarter, and vice versa. If a player or coach doesn't know how a game is going to be called, they can't adjust. Which leads to frustration.

Still, another part of the problem remains that players' exasperated outbursts are sometimes completely justified.

Exhibit A:

Lebron James was clearly out of the restricted area, so there was absolutely no reason for the refs to even review this call. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many people far more important than I am, this was an excuse for the refs to overturn the call. Why? I'll let you all draw your own conclusions.

Now, a couple things. I know as a Celtics fan that I'm supposed to be happy this call went against Lebron. I am, but not because he's Lebron -- because they ended up making the right call. Yeah, he was outside the restricted area, but he was moving and, in my opinion, deserved to be called for a block.

Regardless, Lebron also had every right to be enraged at the call. That kind of reversal, especially in the final 30-seconds of an NBA Finals game, against the league's best player, was unprecedented.

But, once again, like it or not, they got the call right. And that's all we really want as fans, isn't it? To get the call right.

That's why instant replay was instituted. That's why challenge flags were put into play for the NFL some twenty years ago.

So we can get the call right.

Something needed to be done. And challenge flags may be the answer.


New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick is known for neatly nestling away his challenge flag within the confines of a cotton sock and a Dockers pant leg, allowing the iconic red satin symbol of disagreement to comfortably hibernate until it's time to strike. Will Boston Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens soon be doing the same, tucking away said flag in an 8ty2 dress sock (the fine line of dress socks designed and owned by former Celtics player and former Celtics assistant coach, Walter McCarty)?

We'll have to wait and see.

A recent tweet from the original tweeter suggests the challenge flag might not be a literal flag.
Whatever the mechanism is, I'm for it. As long as it gets the call right.

Follow Edward Babaian on Twitter: @bojixbabaian

Photo Credit: Deadspin; Boston.com

Edward Babaian 6/13/2018 07:59:00 PM Edit
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