The NBA Will Implement Centralized Replay Review Next Season

It appears the NBA will implement a centralized instant replay review system for next season. The idea was originally brought up towards the end of David Stern‘s tenure as commissioner, and after several controversial replay decisions in these playoffs, Adam Silver appears ready to find a more efficient replay process.

Via the Sun-Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman, by way of Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated, comes the news the league is implementing an off-site command center where officials will review all replay decisions next season. It will replace the current set-up, where the three in-game referees convene at a television monitor at the scorers table.


The entire premise of instant replay in any sport is to make sure the correct call is made. It’s a fail safe for the inevitable human error that can occur. The current replay system has been inconsistent, especially in these playoffs. The most glaring example was a botched replay review during Game 5 between the Thunder and Clippers:

Even though it was clear Matt Barnes fouled Reggie Jackson and the ball went off of Jackson out of bounds, league rules prohibited the referees from assessing a foul on Barnes after the replay. So, in what was essentially a make-up call, they awarded possession to Oklahoma City even though the video evidence suggested otherwise.

The question now becomes: will the outcome of these types of reviews be different under a centralized replay system? The one positive that immediately comes to mind is the command center will eliminate the pressure referees face when they’re making a series-changing call on a team’s home floor. But, given the complicated nature of the league’s parameters around what can and cannot be reviewed, a play similar to the one above could likely end up with the same controversial result.

So, while the new replay system should improve the efficiency and time spent on reviewing plays, there will still be judgment calls by the refs which will have players, coaches and fans scratching their heads at the end of games.

What do you think of the proposed replay system?

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