NBA Referees Should be Held Accountable for "Flopping"

By Michael Stephenson
Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE

The NBA has created an “anti-flopping” rule, which plans to take “flopping” out of the game of basketball completely. Over the past few seasons NBA analysts, former players, and basketball fans have all complained about the absurd amount of “flops” that they see throughout an NBA game. So the league has decided to take action, but many people don’t think it will work, including myself.

The league has defined “flopping” as “any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player.” The factor to determine if a player “flops” is “whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected.”

This rule should not be enforced by the league. The referees should be the ones deciding whether a player “flops” and it should be up to them to make or not to make that judgment call. If a defensive player “flops” the referee should just let the play continue, which usually puts the defense at a disadvantage and if you don’t want that to happen then don’t “flop,” it’s that simple. If an offensive player “flops” the referees should make that call and the possession of ball should then go to the opposing team.

These referees have been around long enough to know what players are known for “flopping” and should watch them carefully throughout the game. Honestly, you could watch two minutes of a game and know that Manu Ginobili has been doing it for years. This sounds like a fairly easy solution to me, but the NBA has decided to take it a step further and fine players for “flopping.”

The first time a player “flops” they get a warning. (This is the same thing as threatening to put a first-grader on a timeout, it doesn’t work.) The second time results in a $5K fine, third time: $10K fine, fourth time: $15K fine, fifth time: $30K fine and a sixth time the league has a choice of a larger fine or a suspension. This is something that actually may work mainly because players love their money, but who doesn’t.

The bad thing about this is the fines might make these players question what they can and can’t do on the basketball court. When a player takes a charge they usually fall to the floor every time and sometimes on purpose to get the call, which has always been a part of the game. It’s just going to be so hard for the league to decide if someone “flops” on a charge or blocking call. That’s a play that happens so many times throughout a basketball game that the NBA will be fining players three times per game, seriously.

If these NBA referees feel like a player has been “flopping” numerous times throughout a game then they should give that player a technical foul, instead of the league having to hand out a ridiculous amount of fines after every single game. This could actually make a player think twice about “flopping” if it ends up hurting his teams chances at winning a basketball game.

I do think that “flopping” has happen way too often over the past couple of seasons in the NBA, but this new rule isn’t going stop it. If you watch a lot of NBA basketball you know that some of the game’s biggest stars “flop” which include LeBron James, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and just about every player who wants an advantage. Yes advantage, at the end of games with the game on the line any competitor is going to do whatever it takes to win that basketball game.

If these guys can fool a referee into thinking they took an elbow to the face then they will definitely do it, getting that key possession of the ball late in a game. This happens all of the time and will continue to happen even with the NBA trying to fine players because you just can’t take away the competitive nature of these athletes.

So if the NBA really wants to stop “flopping” they need to leave it up to the referees, who should know by now the difference between a foul and an Oscar Award winning “flop.”

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