NBA: Stopping the Flopping

By Thomas Duffy
Gary A. Vasquez – US PRESSWIRE

The NBA announced today that they will be introducing a new policy this season that will penalize players for flopping, and I absolutely love it.

“Flops have no place in our game,” Stu Jackson, the NBA’s executive vice president for basketball operations, said. “They either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call.”

The policy will financially penalize players with fines, rather than hit them with on-the-court punishment. I happen to think that the latter would be a better solution (calling technicals or flagrants on the floppers), but I’m just glad that something is being done to stop this madness. I’m tired of seeing some of the best athletes in world crumble to the ground like wounded soldiers at even the slightest contact.

I’m looking at you LeBron James, Blake Griffin, and James Harden.

Last year in Game 1 of the first round of the Eastern Conference between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat, Tyson Chandler set a screen on James at midcourt, and James’s reaction was worthy of a Grammy Award. He crumbled to his knees clenching his neck, and then jogged around seemingly writhing in pain.

Chandler was hit with flagrant foul, but at first glance watching it at home, I thought it was so blatant that Chandler should’ve received a technical foul, or even be ejected. I was nervous for LeBron’s well-being, but as Chandler straddled the half-court line with his hands up as if to say “What did I do?” I grew skeptical. Was the screen a hard one? Yes. But was James’ reaction warranted? Absolutely not. The replay showed that James fooled everyone- myself, the referee, even the fans in Miami- and was able to get the foul called on Chandler.

When play resumed, within that same minute, there was loose ball headed towards the baseline. James beat New York’s J.R. Smith to the ball, and in keeping his feet in bounds he seemed to be losing his balance. James extended his arm, pushed off Smith, and threw himself down the ground with an exasperated look on his face. The call? Foul on J.R. Smith.

The NBA is right on point with this new policy. Will the fines work? I am not sure about that part of the plan, but I think the biggest punishment will be the public embarrassment the floppers will be subjected to. If a player gets fined for a technical foul or a comment that they made, that’s still not respectable, but if you get fined for flopping, that’s weak.

The NBA will be fining the some of the strongest players in the world for the one of the weakest moves in the game: flopping. How crazy is that?

Follow Thomas Duffy @TD_Knicks on Twitter for Knicks news, updates, rumors, thoughts, and opinions.

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