The time-honored NBA tradition of flopping looks to be coming to end in the upcoming 2012-2013 season. For the first time in league history players who flop and draw calls from referees will be targeted and fined by the league office.
Said vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson in a statement:“Flops have no place in our game; they either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call. Accordingly, both the Board of Governors and the competition committee felt strongly that any player who the league determines, following video review, to have committed a flop should—after a warning—be given an automatic penalty."
That last part is important. Jackson stresses the fact that these determinations will be made after a video review. It won’t be live. There won’t be representatives from NBA headquarters in New York at every game, slowing things down with a never-ending “booth challenge”. Players will flop, the calls will be made, and teams will win and lose games because of it; but every call will be reviewed afterward and fines will be handed out.
The first violation will result in a warning from the league office—to let players know that they are definitely serious about this. Second offenders will receive a $5,000 fine. The fines increase further from there—$10,000 for a third offense, $15,000 for a fourth, and $30,000 for a fifth. Six or more offenses could result in a suspension.
Anderson Varejao and Blake Griffin take heed. The NBA clarified the definition of flopping as “any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player.” Certainly, those who receive fines will be made famous as being deemed an “official” flopper by the league office.
As expected, players union executive director Billy Hunter announced that the union will “bring appropriate legal action” to challenge the league office’s decision. Collective bargaining. All that jazz.
On the other hand some high profile players, including Kobe Bryant and James Harden, have come out in favor of the new rule. Bryant brought up former Laker and Sacramento King of Floppington Vlade Divac’s campaign against Shaquille O’Neal in the early 2000’s. As time goes on Divac is famous more for his flopping than anything else in his career.
Newly-signed New York Knick and famed crusader against flopping Rasheed Wallace had his own unique take on the rule saying. "Hey, you all thought I was crazy for saying it over the last so-and-so years,” said Sheed I ain't even gonna’ get into it, but yes, they needed to bend on that."
Hopefully, this rule stays in place because flopping has done nothing for the game. It takes away from the game and tampers with the officiating.