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Rivers says new 90-second “handshake” rule hurts coaches

Oct 18, 2012, 6:51 PM EDT

Doc Rivers AP

You’ve seen players complain about the NBA’s new “90 seconds from intros to tip off” rule, saying the fans love their pregame handshake rituals. You’ve seen the media complain that the NBA fun police are out, taking cues from the NFL.

Now you can add a coach to the list of those who don’t like the rule. Doc Rivers came out and said he actually tries to coach in that window and the NBA rule cuts him off. Via

“I think they forgot that the coach actually has to draw up a play before the opening (tip),” said Boston’s Doc Rivers. “You usually do that. … I like why we’re doing it. I just think we need to re-think the time. Ninety seconds is not enough. We probably need 30 more seconds or a minute.”

Rivers is right.

My issue with this is the seeming arbitrariness of it. I get the NBA wants to speed up the game — that’s a good intention — but there are a lot of other, more effective ways to attack that. Zach Lowe laid out a series at Grantland. Personally, I like the idea of limiting the number of timeouts a coach can call in the final two minutes of a game, that is where things drag out and where I just want to see the players play. Don’t eliminate them, but what about two timeouts in the final two minutes per team?

Nah, handshake rituals and coaches pregame plans are the real culprits. Not television.

  1. trickybastard - Oct 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Draw the damn play up in the morning. Weak argument

    • circuscivics - Oct 19, 2012 at 8:35 AM

      the opponents’ starters might make a difference in the play you draw up. the coaches might not know who is actually starting until tip off.

      • trickybastard - Oct 19, 2012 at 4:28 PM

        please. starters are well know. this basketball, there’s only 5. those that might change on a given night are not going to be difference makers

  2. eugenesaxe - Oct 18, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Fans don’t give a crap about that silliness. Get it out of the way in the locker room.
    Doc’s argument is equally silly.

  3. hojo20 - Oct 18, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    I like cutting out the late game timeouts. The NBA & NCAA games take forever to finish.

    • usavebob - Oct 19, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      The number of timeouts could be cut down and the stupid rule about the ball getting advanced automatically might cut them down, too. The best thing they could do would be to shorten the length of them so we don’t have to watch the same commercials over and over again.

      The 90 second rule wan’t necessary; the refs have had the ability to move things along if they needed to. I assume they could award the ball to the other team if they deemed it a delay of game.

  4. circuscivics - Oct 19, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    the limit on time outs in the last 2 mins is a good suggestion.

  5. skinsfanwill - Oct 19, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Aren’t there better things to clean up in the sport than pre-game rituals. Talk about dictatorship. Next we will be hearing about who they can date or who they can hang out with after the game. Oh wait, they already can’t date the cheerleaders.

  6. motobus - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    The NBA would NEVER limit the number of timeouts as suggested. They would lose millions of dollars in ad revenue in doing this. The only real motive for the NBA to reduce the length of games is to turn the saved time in to ad time.

  7. dexterismyhero - Oct 19, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    enough of the stupid dickdances before the game. It is god awful. As far as drawing a play up, geez gimme a break. Bunch a BS as far as I’m concerned.

    Play the damn game, get paid, have a few beers, someone gets a DWI….Start all over the next day. Pompous a$$e$.

  8. manchestermiracle - Oct 20, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    Why is this an issue? Isn’t the start time for the game common knowledge? When 7:35 rolls around have the ref toss the ball up at center court. If your guy isn’t there then that’s your fault. What you and your team do in the time before the tipoff is your business. If you want to shake hands, toss talcum powder, or have an exorcism just do it before 7:35 (or whenever the game is scheduled to start). This does make the NBA seem even more anal than usual.

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