LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have been out of the playoffs for nearly a month now. But James, due to his love for basketball, has kept close tabs on the postseason proceedings nonetheless. James was outspoken about what he would have done had he been in the Indiana Pacers' position in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals tussle against the Boston Celtics, and during the Dallas Mavericks' 108-105 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves' on Wednesday, he also expressed his strong opinion regarding an NBA rule that doesn't quite make sense to him.

The Lakers star bemoaned the fact that the NBA limits teams to the use of two challenges despite being successful on both of them. This struck a chord with James due to the fact that the Mavericks, following the successful use of two challenges in the third quarter of Game 1 of their Western Conference Finals matchup against the Timberwolves, would not have the luxury of challenging a questionable call for the rest of the game.

“Have to change that challenge rule! No way you have 2 successful challenges and can’t anymore for the rest of the game! Makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE,” James wrote on his official Twitter (X) account.

Mavericks fans will agree with LeBron James' take; after all, why must Dallas be penalized for challenging blatantly incorrect calls from the officials?

Mavericks burn their challenges in quick succession

In the third quarter, the Mavericks found themselves in a dogfight against the Timberwolves. The two teams were trading blows, which meant that every possession mattered. Thus, head coach Jason Kidd, with 4:09 remaining in the third quarter, decided to challenge an out of bounds call on a play where it seemed rather obvious that Anthony Edwards had lost the ball on the way out on his own.

As expected, the Mavericks won the challenge and retrieved the ball. Moreover, they retained their timeout and ability to challenge another play. This would have come in handy had the officials blown another call at a more crucial juncture of the game. However, Kidd was forced to use another challenge after only two minutes after the referees called for a jumpball on an out of bounds call due to the uncertainty of which player the ball went off last.

Upon closer review, it was evident that the ball ricocheted out of bounds off the foot of a Timberwolves player. Again, the Mavericks were correct in challenging the call. While TNT analyst Stan Van Gundy said that using the challenge wasn't exactly the best choice in that scenario, as the ball wasn't awarded to the Timberwolves anyway, it's hard to knock the Mavericks for their decision to try and overturn the call, especially when the challenge went their way.

A short history of the NBA challenge rule that's not quite to LeBron James' liking

The NBA began adopting the challenge rule during the 2019-20 season. This challenge allowed coaches the opportunity to call for a replay review of a called foul, called out-of-bounds violation, or called goaltending or basket interference violation.

In the first four years of the rule, however, teams were only limited to one challenge per game, regardless of whether or not it was successful. This made the challenge rule not as rewarding as it could have been. However, prior to the start of the 2023-24 season, the league approved a rule change giving teams another challenge if they were successful on their first try.

LeBron James clearly wants more changes to come; alas, too many challenges might prove to be too disruptive to the flow of a game. At the very least, getting two successful challenges should be more rewarding instead of limiting. Thankfully for the Mavericks, it didn't prove to be too debilitating as they came away with an impressive Game 1 win over the Timberwolves.