There are 5.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Your favorite team is down by one with possession of the ball. As your team's star player backs his defender in the post, the clock continues to run. 3...2...1. Your star player turns to shoot a fadeaway and the whistle blows. All eyes are on the referee as he makes his call. H signals an offensive foul and the defense is rewarded with possession. All hopes of winning the game are virtually over. As you watch the replay, you suddenly become angry. Why? Because what you have just seen was a FLOP!
Flopping is an epidemic that is now plaguing basketball and it is beginning to ruin the game for many fans. The worst part is that scrubs aren't the only ones excelling at flopping. Superstars such as James Harden, Tony Parker, Chris Paul, and others have embraced their inner actor. This skill is taking away from the game of basketball. Fortunately, there are ways to curb flopping's impact before it permeates to every level of the sport and becomes embedded in the fundamentals of up and coming players.
1) Train referees to detect "the flop". Too many times referees fall for the acting of a player flopping. They are faced with the decision to make a call against the flopper or the victim of the flop. 9 out of 10 times the flopper usually wins. During the offseason, the league should help train the referees learn how to identify a flop. With training more knowledge about flopping situations can help prevent flops from happening.
2) Stiffer Penalties. What keeps athletes more in line than penalties? Creating penalties against flopping will make players less likely to try it. For example, Roger Goodell implemented harsher penalties against football players that deliver hits deemed violent. These penalties can range from a fine to a suspension. As a result, football players have redefined the way they play. Creating penalties for flopping will also cause frequent floppers to redefine their game.
3) Instant Replay. The league already uses replay to help the referees on out of bounds calls and last second shots. Why not use replays for flops? The rule should be that in the final two minutes of a game, referees have the right to review certain calls for flopping. If a flop occurred then a personal foul should be assessed on the flopper.
4) Old School Play. The league should return to a time when NBA players knew that if they were trying to take the ball to the rim, there was a good chance they would end up back on the floor. In my opinion, the NBA is too soft. There is no way that back in the day, Blake Griffin could have dunked on Charles Barkley like he did on Mozgav. Griffin would have had to earn his two points from the line after he got up from off the ground.
The problem is that fans have fallen too much in love with dunks and tricks and have forgotten what hard-nosed basketball used to be like because officials blow their whistles for every ticky-tacky touch foul.
If nothing is done against the flop, then the most the league can do is embrace it and create an award for "Most Valuable Flopper". One thing's for certain, the flop is something that needs to be addressed by Commissioner David Stern immediately.