NBA season starts with league-first ‘disaster’
THE 2019-2020 NBA season was just 10 minutes old when Raptors coach Nick Nurse pressed the button on the league's first ever coach's challenge.
With two minutes left in the first quarter, Nurse challenged an offensive foul ruling that went against his team.
Despite eventually losing the coach's challenge, Nurse's Raptors went on to record the 130-122 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans in the opening game of the season.
The NBA announced dramatic changes to its review system during the off-season, where it was announced that each coach would receive one review per game to challenge the calls of whistleblowers.
The NBA again sent out the rules surrounding the coach's challenge during the first half of the Raptors' season-opener against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Nurse challenged the decision to slap Norman Powell with an offensive foul as he launched at the rim through heavy traffic.
Powell appeared to make contact with the face of Josh Hart and replays eventually showed him attacking the rim with an "unnatural elbow" motion.
See below for criteria regarding a Coach’s Challenge of a Personal Foul: pic.twitter.com/kcx4UI9CCU— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) October 23, 2019
"Powell led with an unnatural elbow to the face," an ESPN analyst said.
"There was no evidence to overturn it."
Nurse cemented his spot in history with the challenge as the first coach to call and lose a coach's challenge.
Despite the correct call being made, NBA commentators reacted scornfully to the disruption the challenge caused to the game.
This coach’s challenge in the NBA is going to be a disaster— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) October 23, 2019
Teams are only able to use the challenge in place of a timeout.
RAPTORS, DRAKE RECEIVE BIGGEST CHAMPIONSHIP RINGS IN HISTORY
Toronto Raptors players, coaches and staff have received the biggest championship rings in NBA history as they celebrated their title victory in a ceremony before their 2019/20 season opener against New Orleans Pelicans.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was on hand in Toronto on Tuesday night to honour the Raptors, who won their first title with a six-game triumph over Golden State Warriors last June.
The rings each contain 14 carats of diamonds and more than 650 diamonds in all, topped by a 1.25-carat diamond representing the Larry O'Brien trophy (the largest single diamond in the history of professional sports rings) with 14 carats of yellow gold on the ring, 16 rubies representing the Raptors' victories to win it all and the jersey numbers of all sixteen players on the roster. On the face of the ring, diamonds form the Toronto skyline above the word "North" spelled out in diamonds inside a golden chevron.
"One of a kind. Very, very detailed," Lowry said.
"The story on the ring is amazing. It's really personalised. "It's a very spectacular ring. It's something that you earned and it took a long time to get..."
Fans who attended the season-opener also received replica rings with the Raptors handing out 20,000 to their supporters at Scotiabank Arena.
20,000 of these replica NBA championship rings are being given to fans at the @Raptors Home Opener, where the players will be getting the real bling and championship banner will be raised pic.twitter.com/g0NTnOC7Gh— Tracy Tong (@TracyTongCTV) October 22, 2019
Five-time All-Star guard Lowry took the microphone, after the rings were handed out, to thank fans for their support.
He then gathered his teammates around him before leading a countdown to reveal a black, red and gold championship banner hanging above the home bench. The Raptors lost NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard in free agency to the Los Angeles Clippers, who will face LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers in the opening night's only other game.
Meanwhile, high profile Raptors supporter and rap artist Drake also showed off his own championship ring, which he commissioned to celebrate his team's big night.
The organisation also have Drake one of its official championship rings.
And now Nurse becomes the first NBA coach to lose a challenge.— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) October 23, 2019
Blowing your challenge in the 1st quarter on a meaningless foul— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) October 23, 2019
I'm already in love with the dumbass decisions that will result from the NBA coaches challenge