“It has no place in our game” – NBA league official.
Starting next season, the NBA will be implementing a new “fine system” for players who are caught “flopping” during games.
The NBA defines flopping as “any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player“.
“The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact.” says the league.
Players will get a warning for their first offense, a $5000 fine for the second, $10,000 for the third, $15,000 for the fourth and $30,000 for the fifth. Any violation from that point forward could result in a larger fine and/or a suspension.
Several NBA players and coaches have already come forward with their thoughts on the new fining system.
“It’s good. Guys can’t be flopping and get away with it anymore. It was bound to happen at some point. Obviously, the league got fed up with it and they put it in. I’m happy they did.” – Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden
“I like the rule. Shameless flopping, that’s a chump move. We’re familiar with it. Vlade (Divac) kind of pioneered it in that playoff series against Shaq, and it kind of worked for him” – Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant
“I think guys will still play the game the way they’re accustomed to playing it. But we do want to have a clean game when you play basketball” – New York Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire
“I’m all on board for it. I think it needs to be addressed. I think the steps they’re taking right now, I think will benefit the game. I do. It remains to be seen if it truly has an impact. But I think it’s a step in the right direction. It’s not good for the game; nobody likes the flop. A majority of coaches don’t like the flop, particularly if you’re trying to build a solid defense.” – Miami Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra
“I’m not flopping anymore. I used to flop a little bit.” – Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao
Personally, I never saw the harm with players flopping in the first place.
Sure, it looks stupid. It tarnishes the game, just a bit anyways. Its unsportsmanlike and makes some of the best professional athletes on the planet look absolutely incompetent.
But you know what?
It’s only against the rules if you get caught.
The reason so many players flop in the first place is to deceive the referee into making them believe that they were fouled. If you truly believe that you can get away with it and have a call go your way, why wouldn’t you at least try to make it as real and convincing as possible?
The onus is on the NBA officials to figure out if a player flopped or not in the moment. It’s not the players fault. Whether it means checking replays or just having officials be more observant on the court, all I ask is that you get it right at the time of the foul/flop instead of waiting 24 hours to make a decision.
There will be more of an impact by calling a technical foul on a flopper during the game rather than punishing the player the very next day.
I suppose the big question now is “will it work?”
Of course it won’t work.
Players will flop. They will continue to flop.
Does anyone really think that a $1000 or $5000 dollar fine is going to deter enough NBA players from committing this act?
I certainly don’t.
No one player will probably flop enough to receive a suspension anyways. At the very least, those who do/did flop on a regular basis may just be fined upwards of $20,000 and that’s it.
That’s a slap on a wrist to a professional athlete who makes millions of dollars a year.
If their flop could result in a swing of momentum or even a win at the end of the game, then I am more than positive that no one player will have any problem putting up the dough to make that happen.
Update: The NBA Players Association plans to file a grievance with David Stern and the league, arguing that it should have been consulted first before the new flopping rules were laid out.
“The NBA is not permitted to unilaterally impose new economic discipline against the players without first bargaining with the union. We believe that any monetary penalty for an act of this type is inappropriate and without precedent in our sport or any other sport. We will bring appropriate legal action to challenge what is clearly a vague and arbitrary overreaction and overreach by the commissioner’s office.” – Union Executive Director Billy Hunter.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports